31 Plays in 31 Days

A month-long, international playwrights challenge project called “31 Plays in 31 Days” is about to commence which will involve more than 367 playwrights.   (That is how many have actually registered  –  more will register at the last minute and many more, I think, will be shadow participants who, for various reasons, may not sign up formally but will be in there writing with the best of them.)  31pThere is only one rule for the project:  each playwright must write 31 complete plays (each a minimum of one page long) during the 31 days of August, 2013.  There will be writing prompts and ideas provided along the way, segments about revising works, encouraging messages and food for thought.

Founded in 2012 by playwrights  (and multi-hatted theatre artists) Rachel  Bublitz and Tracy Held Potter,  the project is intended  first and foremost as a tool for playwrights.

Founders Rachel Bublitz and Tracy Held Potter

Founders Rachel Bublitz
and Tracy Held Potter

The project’s website describes its “Why” as follows:

The 31 Plays in 31 Days Project is based on the idea that to become a better writer, you must write. You must write a lot. And you need to practice experimenting with your writing form constantly. The pressure of this goal will allow you to set aside preconceived notions of what you should be writing and how you should be doing it. You will not have time to overanalyze your work, you will just have to write, write, write and be surprised by what comes out of you. You may love your work some days and wonder what happened on others, but by the end of the month, you will have amassed 31 new plays. Instead of waiting for the breeze of inspiration to blow your way, you will see that writing is a craft that can be called on at any time.

In lieu of a competition and podcast series as originally envisioned, to foster a sense of community rather than competition, this year all playwrights who complete the 31 plays challenge will choose their favorite play and the favorites will be posted on the project website throughout the coming year.31

I first heard about 31 Plays in 31 Days a few months ago when I saw a call for Guest Bloggers for the project.  Promising no compensation but “mad street cred”, this gig sounded pretty fun to me.  Now, the guest bloggers they had in mind were expressly playwrights.  (I am not a playwright.)  They did, however, go on to say “Not a playwright? No problem! Tell us what it’s like to work on a brand new play from the prospective of an actor, director, dramaturg, producer, literary manager, or anyone else who works with “fresh” scripts.” (I am not any kind of a theatre professional.)  They went on to say:  “Have another idea? Pitch it!”  So, I did.  A month or two later, they told me I had been selected to be a Guest Blogger on the project!  You can read my guest blog post on the 31 Plays in 31 Days Blog on  August 28, 2013.

You can also follow the project on their facebook page or through Twitter.  A play a day.  Exciting, exhausting, inspiring, crazy  – what adjective springs to your mind?

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