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Alaska One-Minute Play Festival


Last month, I was invited once again to contribute a couple of plays to the Alaska One-Minute Play Festival, which includes pieces from 60 different Alaskan playwrights. I've always looked at it as a great opportunity to write something short and to the point. I also try to write something topical: In fact, the organizers' prompt for the event isn't really a prompt at all, just a general charge to write something that reflects the world we live in at the moment. Which, I think you'll agree, is pretty damn vague.

There was an addendum to the prompt, though: this year we were forbidden to write plays about the Cheeto Bandito (I intend to make it through 2020/resignation without ever referring to the dude as president). I had mixed feelings about that limitation, because it feels awful limiting to tell people to write about the current state of things while dancing around the gorilla at the center of it all. On the other hand, probably better to have zero plays about the guy than 30-50 of them, which is what I'm guessing they would have ended up with.

In fact, one of mine ended up indirectly referencing him anyway, but not by name; it had to do with having difficulty cheering for the New England Patriots because of the obvious political leanings of Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft - a piece that was both timely and very relevant to this native New Englander. My other piece was about Elon Musk's starcar.

I didn't get to go to the performance, which was in Anchorage the last couple of nights, but I was able to see the scripts for nine of the plays, and was a bit disappointed to find two other plays about the Superbowl AND two about the Starcar. So much for breadth. Still, I would still argue it's better than six plays about you-know-who.


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