Monday, January 30, 2006

Iowa City Oder

1) "Champ Budzak Writes a Screenplay on His Laptop" by Patrick Ashcraft

1.5) "Eric Tells A Story That Almost Goes Somewhere" by Eric Landuyt

2) "Shoe Dance" by Silver Dollar Tabor

3) "Playing Soccer With A Quadriplegic OR How Lenin Gave Me Syphillus" by Eli Wilkinson

4) "Choose Your Own Choice For The Way That You Want Things In The Story To Go Next" by Katy Baggs

5) "The Shattering of Almost, Part I: The Articulation Battery" by Cool Jesse

6) "Tone Poem" by Sean Shatto

7) "There's A Reason For This, And I'll Get to It In A Minute" by Eric Landuyt

8) "Really Bad Haikus Volume I: This Slippery Walrus" by Chris Lavoie

8.5) "One True Faith" by Jon Shelton

9) "Here's A Hint: It Ain't Lemonade!" by Jonathen Shelton

10) "Tell Me The Secret Ingredient, Please Guy" by Sadie Martha "Spats" Smith

11) Personal Statement To Accompany Application to the University of Iowa Graduate Playwrights Workshop (Fall 2006 Admission Cycle) by Adam Hahn

Does anybody notice a trend in the length of the titles of the pieces? I'm not complaining, I'm just saying, you know? How would everybody like it if I cut off their title at 10 words?


Anonymous Eric said...

What is it with all the limitations being placed on us all of a sudden? No titles of more than 10 words, no more handwritten scripts, no more announcements without approval, no more doing a full piece and a .5 in the same night, no more skin in the back, no more strawberry preserves, no more live organ transplants, no more gratuitous nudity and onstage orgies. I mean, we're trying to be creative and come up with unique performances, but all these limitations are slowly strangling us, like an uncomfortable turtleneck or a botched hanging. Why should we forced to wear a turtleneck? I haven't worn a turtleneck in 10 years and have been glad for it. I have let my neck hang loose and be free, and I feel we all should stick our necks out like the noble geese we are. What's good for the goose is good for the gander, and a goose in a turtleneck is not a good thing. I say strip off the turtleneck and go with a nice shirt where you can unbutton the collar when you feel like it. All geese will be pleased.

2/01/2006 1:01 PM  
Anonymous Adam said...

Before I respond to Eric and address the many issues he raised, I want to say that I had a lot of fun at the last show.

Eric, calm down.

We're not discussing changes to the three rules dictating what you are permitted to perform, just the procedural bylaws suggesting your work's appropriate path to the stage.

Michael didn't say we would cut off titles at 10 words. He was asking a question that I took as rhetorical. Everyone with a title of more than one word (myself included) should consider whether all words really helped.

We don't have the power to limit the length of of titles any more than we can dictate the content of individual writers' scripts. We CAN limit the number of words we are willing to write in the order or speak at the opening of the show. If your 300-word title is absolutely vital, you can always start your piece by reading the title (as part of your alloted five minutes), include the title in a post to this blog, or include the title in the script you submit to the web archives.

Not all No Shames announce titles at the start of the show. At the festival shows this summer, only a list of authors was read (I believe this is what they do all the time in Roanoke), and no one was forced to wear a turtleneck.

As for announcements, we're not formally creating an approval process. We want to announce from the stage exactly the kind of things that have been announced lately from the audience. We just want the presentation to be faster and more audible. (perhaps better organized, if we think of it)

Writers should NEVER count on being able to get more than one piece into the order for one show, even if one is a four-second blackout gag, even if both are four-second blackout gags. It's great that we have people who want to stage more than one piece (not to mention incredibly helpful on nights only eleven writers bring material), but no one should forget that the acceptance of a second piece from one author, the acceptance of more than fifteen pieces, and the existence of "point-fives" in the order depend on the number of writers present, the apparent length of scripts, length of recent shows, complaints about the length of recent shows, and the fickle mood of whomever is taking scripts at 10:30.

We cannot say this enough times. Type your scripts. If there is more than one page, staple them. Make any lighting cues so clear that someone who is reading them for the first time while also trying to enjoy your piece could not possibly mess them up. We will, for the time being, continue to accept last-minute crayon scrawls on toilet paper, but these make it much harder to:
-Look at a stack of collected scripts and figure out if there is more room in the order.
-Shuffle through the pile while setting the order without missing a piece.
-Get the ordered script to the lightbooth without dropping any pages.
-Keep the scripts in order while working the lights.
-Hit all the lighting cues. As we've bounced between theatre spaces and across sets built for other shows, people running lights have been stuck in near darkness, in total darkness, out of sight of the stage, or in booths where most dialogue is inaudible. Some nights, "Guy walks on stage, does stuff, walks off." or, "When someone says, 'I think the berries are starting to rot,' quick blackout." will work, some nights they won't

While I'm at it, I should mention one real rule of which MT and I made light at the last show. Before you print your script and bring it to the lounge, check the length. If it's more than a page of monologue or three pages of dialogue, TIME IT. We don't often enforce the length rule, but for any given show accept that after five minutes you may find yourself talking in the dark while someone repositions the furniture.

If we can all follow the rules, we will all have the greatest freedom possible within our work. God willing, we will provide more skin on the back for every man, woman, and child in this great land.

2/01/2006 5:16 PM  
Blogger Eli Wilkinson the First said...

Eric I agree with you but I just don't think its right for you to make such a similie over the magestic Turtleneck. Please restate your argument augmenting the turtleneck that I loved from early childhood to today. Or else the turtlenecks will come after you again... wait is this what this is really all about. you get attacked by one turtleneck in your childhood 10 years ago and you think that all turtlenecks are bad! Don't You?! I've seen racism, sexism, and domasticism in my days but never will I see shirtism. It's on Eric.

Oh and by the way Eric?

Love the suit...

ERIC: Get this monster out of here!

2/01/2006 5:21 PM  
Blogger Michael Tabor said...

Actually the 10 word title thing was a joke. Yes, I'm sometimes annoyed when I have to write out extremely long titles, but I do it and I know there's not a damn thing I can do about it.

So...I wasn't so much considering cutting off people's titles at 10 words as I was making fun of the time Adam Hahn cut people's off at 3.

But, this whole thing did give Adam a chance to write an authoratitive essay on No Shame, which is always nice, right?

2/02/2006 2:16 PM  
Blogger Evan Schenck said...

Authors giving multiple pieces should be judged on a case by case basis. In a performance with substantially less than 15 submissions then it shouldn't be any problem if somebody wants to tack a point-five along with their full piece--and Hell, in an extreme case (like only 11 pieces total) it ought to be fine for somebody to do two full length pieces if he/she wants--if only so that the audience gets their $1 worth of entertainment. But going beyond that amount probably gives too much weight to a single contributor.

2/02/2006 2:46 PM  
Anonymous Eric said...

Ha ha, my devious plan worked perfectly! As some of you may have noticed, the order had been up for three days without a single post. If there's one thing I can't stand, it's a blank blog, and I got tired of waiting for someone else to post first. I figured a bizarre, extended rant would get people talking, and indeed it did, even if some people took my playful goose metaphors as being overly critical.
I also had a good time last Friday, which is why I was disappointed no one was talking about it on the blog. That's what the blog is for! Someone has to start the proverbial merry-go-round spinning so that the proverbial children will jump on and spin about in the proverbial circle until they proverbially vomit, and this time it was me. Maybe next time we can ride the proverbial tire swing. Proverbs, whee!

2/02/2006 7:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if you enjoyed the show so much why didnt you talk about it?

2/02/2006 8:55 PM  

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