One Act Play competition
Presentation evening and writing workshop to be announced.
The 2018 competition is open now. Closing date is June 15 2018
First prize: £100 or equivalent €
Winners and commended
|There was again this year a range of
genres, with in particular a number of different takes on the theme
of identity – identity sometimes confused, multiple or somehow lost.
The following three plays were commended, offering a fulfilling project for any small company:
Snow Globe, Dan Borengasser (Springdale, USA)
Back to Pinocchio, Derrick Gilbert (Bridlington, England)
Not Relative, Gary Kluger (La Crescenta, USA)
In Not Relative Gary Kluger’s portrait of a family confronted with a previously unacknowledged child sparkles with lively dialogue and humour to offset its poignant finale. Dan Borengasser’s couple trapped in their Snow Globe struggle with the challenge of creating real lives and a meaningful relationship. In Back to Pinocchio Derrick Gilbert’s male duo fight against the obliteration of the theatre that they live for, intriguingly combining Commedia del Arte and Music Hall in an energetic tour de force.
Two plays, however, stood out for me, and a very close thing it was between them, though they are as different from each other as chalk from cheese.
Schroedinger’s Cat, Oliver Eade (Melrose, Scotland)
The Long Dance, Edgar Chisholm (Bloomfield, USA)
Oliver Eade takes the audience – and the male actor in the cast who plays five roles – on a mesmerising exploration of quantum physics accompanied by quick-fire dialogue and at times bewildering action (or should I say a bewildering series of potential rationales for the action?) around an apparently dead body. Schroedinger’s Cat is a highly clever and entertaining piece which would keep an audience on its – or somebody’s – toes. Some attention should be paid to stage directions which appear to be written with radio in mind, while other directions are very much for the stage. I also doubt the necessity of placing one scene in a different setting from the other six – with amendment the material in that scene could surely be covered in the same location as the rest of the play, thus helping the illusion of past, present and future being interchangeable. This is a fascinating play which deserves performance.
Edgar Chisholm’s The Long Dance is, by contrast, simple in construct. A couple who divorced after fifty years of marriage still have much affection for each other, though they have gone in opposite directions since they parted. Told with humour we learn of their past together, its frustrations and disappointments – the well-meaning ineptitude of one partner, the loyalty of the other, the inevitability of their eventual separation once the gulf between them was disclosed. There is no happy ending, but the piece ends unexpectedly on a beautifully poignant moment. A warm study which is never allowed to stray into sentimentality.
Edgar Chisholm is an award winning playwright, director, and producer. He is the winner of the Raymond J. Flores Playwriting Prize, The Eileen Heckart Drama award, The National Federation of Community Broadcasters Silver Reel Award and the New American Playwrights festival. His Play “Bridge of Honor” was performed at the 2017 ClareMorris Drama Festival in Ireland. His last two plays, “Tom and Ted Go To the Races” and “The Savage Queen” were both chosen for reading at the 2017 and 2015 National Black Theatre Festival in North Carolina. His 2014 adaption of Strindberg’s “Miss Julie” with the August Strindberg Rep opened to glowing reviews. His plays have been presented at such diverse locations as The Association For Jewish Theatre Conference in Chicago, Lincoln Center Directors Lab in NYC, Met Theatre in Los Angeles, Juneteenth Festival Theatre of Louisville, Gene Frankel Theatre, NYC, etc. Edgar is a member of the Dramatist Guild, Lincoln Center Theatre Directors Lab, The Fire This Time Festival Playwrights, August Strindberg Repertory Theatre, Manhattan Oracle Playwrights, a Founding member of Harlem Arts Alliance and a Director and Board Member of Polaris North Theatre where he developed “The Long Dance” q. In film, he is the executive producer of the theatrically released 2010 Movie “Deceptive” and has 20+ years at Time Warner’s HBO.