Writing quote

Sure, it's simple writing for kids...Just as simple as raising them.
— Ursula K. LeGuin

Monday, June 30, 2008


This year's 24 hour play festival at the Ukiah Players Theatre was a blast! My co-writer from last year and fellow Ukiah Writers' Salon member, Paul Kubin, was unavailable this time due to the fact that he had to meet a long lost cousin or some such thing (... yeah, yeah, yeah ... and the dog ate his script ...) But fortunately, I was able to convince Terena Scott, a friend and playwright (she penned the play Choices for the New Plays Festival) to join me. Terena is the publisher of the small press Medusa's Muse, and a talented writer in her own right. 

Since Terena is a member of the writing group, The Vaguerants, our team became The Vaguerant Salon. We rounded up a great cast of actors: Tommy McFadden, Brittani Ray, Jason Briseno, and Jan Michele. I had worked with all of them before except Jan, with whom I was quite impressed after seeing her performance at the New Plays Festival. Doug Hundley signed on as the director. Unfortunately, Doug had to pull out two days before the event because his house was in the path of a forest fire and he had to ready himself for evacuation. After a mad (unsuccesful) scramble to find a replacement, in which I briefly (and nervously--because that meant I had to stay up for 24 hours) considered directing myself, Tommy bravely stepped forward to save the day!

We met at UPT at 6:30 pm. on June 27 (which happened to be my birthday) for drinks and appetizers, generously provided by Applebee's. Then the teams (7 in all) gathered in the theater for instructions and rules, one theme from each team was thrown into a hat, and a theme was drawn at random. This year's theme was: Death. The teams dispersed at 8:00 pm. and writers were left at the mercies of their imaginations for the next 12 hours.

Terena was great to collaborate with. It's hard, sometimes, to figure out what role each person plays in a collaboration. But we seemed to find the right groove. We had a subject matter that fit the theme: vampires (I always wanted to do a vampire spoof), and by 9 pm., had completed the first 3 pages. By midnight--Death Sucks! was born--and the final draft completed by 3 am. (which was a lot better than last year--I could at least sneak in a few hours sleep before returning to UPT to deliver the script to the director and actors).

The performances on Sat., June 28, were a riot! It's amazing what derangement can come out of the brains of writers pumped full of caffeine and pure adrenaline.

There are 24 hour play festivals cropping up all over the nation, with variations in rules. Here are a few:


If you haven't yet participated in a 24 hour play festival, I highly recommend it. It's an experience like no other. Besides, what have you got to lose? 

Except a little sleep, of course.