Express Stops

Directing, Performance, Playwrighting, Theatre, Uncategorized, Writing

In 2008, I managed a black-box theatre and rehearsal space just off of Times Square. A bit more on that can be found in an earlier post.

 

Theatre4

 

One of the things I just failed to launch was one evening a week where our resident ensemble performed an hour of original short plays and vignettes. “Slice of life in NYC” sort of thing. Short, punchy, experimental stuff. I had written a number of short pieces to try out in the first evening, and would have been joined by some other writer friends of mine in time had it been successful. I wanted to call it Express Stops.

Unfortunately, we shut things down that winter and I departed for South Korea where I taught at a university and was a radio personality for the next year. I’ve never been back to work in NYC since then.

As an undergraduate art student just outside of Chicago, I had often gone to see The Neo-Futurists perform their Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind show, which just closed this past December after a 28-year run making it the longest running show ever in Chicago. Impressive.

 

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The structure of the TMLMTBGB show was 30 short plays written and directed by the ensemble and performed in 60-minutes. Some plays were recycled, others were taken out of the running over time, and new content was always being introduced. Typically the plays were a combination of autobiography and performance art that made for an entertaining and sometimes thought-provoking evening. I think subconsciously I was channeling something of that structure and intent in what I had planned for Express Stops. 

I’ve always appreciated performances that nailed the 60-minute mark. To me, it seems the perfect length for writers, performers, and audience. One of the best shows I’ve ever seen was SITI Company’s War of the Worlds – The Radio Play, which was only an hour long, but in my experience much longer.

Anyhow, below are some of those original short scripts I wrote back in 2008, never performed at the time. Some of them were near-transcriptions of life around me… on the streets, platforms, and other spaces of that great city I called home for a brief window.

(Note: If anyone wishes to use any of the scripts posted here for performance, please do! Just drop me a line to let me know they actually getting some use, and I’d appreciate being acknowledged in some way if the production is more substantial than scene-study work.)

 

Subway Intensive

Office Hell #13

Polish

The Wallet

Checkmate

Dismount

Passing By

The Joke

White Shoes

8 Minutes

Some Bravado

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