Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Packing them in

Wow! That's all I can say after last night's meeting. (Although I'm sure I'll think of something more.)

We had 26 people show, including one new writer and three new actors. Fortunately, we had five plays to read, so everyone who wanted to act got a chance to do so.

Unfortunately, we ran out of cookies. I was simply unprepared for the number of people who came. But I'm glad they did and I'll be sure to buy more cookies--lots more--in the future.

We started out with the first play by Jeff Schmoyer, a very funny 10-minute sci fi comedy titled It Could Be Hell. We followed this with the latest rewrite of Tim Phillips' fairy tale adaptation Grimmland. It's been fun watching this work develop and tighten. We then dove into the second part of my backstage farce Kill the Critic! Next up was our newest writer David Overbey's wacky one-act comedy about a pair of very spoiled kitties The Return of the vonGoodnesses. And we finished up with a thought-provoking exploration of faith titled The Great Whatever from Washington state playwright Barbara Lindsay.

The only problem? The meeting ran really long. Like three hours long.

Although some people said they were happy to stay as long as we had stuff to read, most of the crowd had left by the time we started the last play and it seemed like enough fatigue had set in that we weren't able to give the script its due.

Which reminded me that once before we had done five plays in one night, and while that meeting only lasted a little over two hours, it also felt long.

I think four plays is the right number, maximizing opportunities for our actors to perform while stopping before people start getting tired.

So I'm going to set a maximum of four plays per meeting. And local scripts must take precedence, so any guest scripts will be postponed if we already have four scripts from playwrights in attendance.

After all, if there's one thing I've learned in life, it's that you always want to leave 'em wanting more.