Paper Straws: A Lifetime of Activism

Paper Straws

The Brief

Today’s brief comes to us from the incredible Guerrilla Girls.

A while ago I saw one of their art works and asked them if they would be willing to let me send it to you. They were! So here it is. It’s a video. Your brief for the day is to watch it, and to respond to it! Respond to as many (if not all) of the points they are making. Create a piece that really makes a difference!

WATCH IT HERE

And if you don’t know about The Guerrilla Girls, please check them out! They do amazing work.

 

Remember, this is a weekend task, so take your time – changing the world requires effort!

And as always with weekend challenges – the only bonus points is for you to write something you’re happy with.

 

The Excerpt

So, I bought this bag of paper straws, and I could feel the casher looking at me, like, here’s some white woman with colored hair buying designer straws, and she thinks that’s gonna change the world.

But the thing is.

I’ve been changing the world all my life.

For example.

I am three years old. I hear my grandmother speak in whispers about how some woman I don’t know is a (whispers) lesbian (normal voice) and I don’t know what that means, so when Mommy gets home from work, I ask:

“Mommy, what’s a lesbian?”

And Mommy says, “well, when two men love each other, they’re gay, and when women love each other, they’re lesbians.”

And in my three-year-old heart, this is perfectly natural, so I say, “Well, I must be a lesbian, too, Mommy, because I love you.” And Mommy laughs and says, “You keep thinking just that way.”

To Read the Entire Play

Click here: 1902.15 – Paper Straws – A Lifetime of Activism

Love is a Place: An e e cummings’ poem, in the style of Mummenschantz

mummenschanz

 

The Brief

There’s so much noise in the world it just makes you want to scream – but then… all you’ll be doing is just adding more noise! So how is that helpful?

If you live in a city – you have all the city noises.

If you live in the country – you have noises from nature.

So the challenge today is to help those suffering from Misophonia… write something without any sound whatsoever. Not just without dialogue – but actually soundless. No foot steps… no breathing… no nothing! Complete and utter silence!

Is that possible?

Hmm… sounds a bit too simple… and we’re already so advanced! So let’s add another layer to it- what’s the loudest form of theatre?

Hmm…

A pantomime!!!

 

The Excerpt

The display on LOVER’s tablet is a ticking clock.

LOVER mimes RAIN followed by SUN.

LOVER’s tablet displays each in turn.

LOVER mimes a plant growing up from the ground.

LOVER’s tablet displays a blooming flower.

LOVER touches their heart, then mimes looking at the flowering plant, then touches their heart again.

LOVER’s table displays a plant with a heart growing from it.

 

To Read the Entire Play

Click Here: 1902.14 – Love is a Place

Opportunity Knocks: (The Mostly True History of a Young Rover on Mars)

NASA Opportunity

The Brief

Anyway… onto the brief – with all this “fake news” claims going on, why don’t we jump on the bandwagon. After all, my mama always said, “if ya can’t fight ’em, join ’em”

 

So write a “fake news” play or a “fake history” play. I mean, Shakespeare did it to appease his monarchs, but we will do it to appease our own monarchs… those in our heads!

 

The Excerpt

SPIRIT:           (v/o weak) Oppy… Oppy, can you hear me?

OPPY:             Spirit? Sis, is something wrong?

SPIRIT:           (v/o) I… my solar cells aren’t… can’t… echarcge…

OPPY:             (alarmed) Spirit? I can’t understand you. Where are you? I wish I could see you… I miss you…

SPIRIT:           (v/o using her last strength) Listen, little brother. You’re gonna have to be strong. There’s… there’s another rover coming in a year or two, but until then… you’re gonna have to just focus on the mission, and remember I love you, and I’m always with you… (she chuckles) in spirit.

OPPY:             (crying) Spirit? Spirit, no! Don’t leave me alone! Please don’t go. Spirit! Spirit! (singing) We… are… stardust… we are golden… (breaks off crying.)

 

To Read the Entire Play

Click Here: 1902.13 – Opportunity Knocks

Hyp@critical

digiwear

 

The Brief

So who needs the pain of actually getting dressed – as long as we can post it on to the instagram, that’s enough, right?

Let’s write about that. What does it mean to get dressed in 2019 when you can just buy digital clothes.

Don’t make it a Black Mirror-esque play, though. Maybe instead of fearing the technology and its consequences, make it into something positive.

For bonus points – use the medium and lets get all modern with our forms as well. Abandon old fashioned things like pens… papers… word files… maybe write the play on the inter web… on the social medias… in a VR tool? I don’t know. That’s for you to figure out.

 

The Expert

This is another brief where my age gap was showing and I really didn’t connect to it. Instead, I wrote a one-act that talked ‘around’ the subject.

HE:                  Seems extreme.

SHE:                Not to me. But it almost – almost – makes me glad we never had children.

HE:                  You don’t mean that.

SHE:                No. Not really. (beat) Digital clothes though. I mean I thought it was crazy when I found out people were spending real money to buy virtual outfits for their characters on Second Life. I mean… really?

HE:                  It’s no different than me wanting to spend money on gear for my characters in the games I play.

SHE:                And if you’ll recall, I have a big problem with that, too. I think it’s absurd. It’s a cash grab, and I’m not sure it’s healthy. I don’t remember anyone charging real money to write bits of working code when our gaming consisted of MUSHes, MUXes, MUDs and MOOs.

 

To Read the Entire Play

Click here: 1902.12 – Hyp@critical

Storm Head (script)

Zombie Attack by https://www.123rf.com/profile_ecadphoto

The Brief

We are who we are and it’s time to embrace what that is!

Write a body-positive play and inspire the whole world to love themselves!

Love all shapes! Love all sizes! Love all people no matter what they look like!

Come on, everybody! Let’s make this world a better place with more beauty!

 

The Excerpt

It should be noted… I did a body positive monologue for the truth & art challenge last year that I’m so proud of that I couldn’t possibly touch. So I sort of subverted the brief with this.

ROGER:         No more headache?

AUDRA:         Uh-uh. No more brain, either. (sing-songy) I need a new brain. One that works when it should. One that won’t crave cats. One that feels so good. I need a new bra-ain.

ROGER:         Ah, I see we’ve reached the boudoir cabaret part of the evening. Sleep, sweetie. Fort and I will keep you safe.

AUDRA:         (tired) You won’t let me leave the bed?

ROGER:         We won’t. Not before morning.

AUDRA:         And you’ll make sure Mrs. Fletcher’s cats are safe tomorrow?

To read the entire play…

Click here: 1902.11 – Storm Head

Southern Discomfort

brent-spiner-outcast-cinemax

 

The Brief

Pick one of your favourite characters of all time.

Perhaps from a play, a film, a book, a comic… anything.

But pick someone with very little background. Someone we don’t know much about. So probably not a character that is the hero… or one we’ve been following since birth.

Because it’s on you to create this character’s “origin story”.

Who are they? Where did they come from? What made them become who they are? What made them behave the way they did?

Give them the story they deserve! Don’t forget – you love them after all.

 

The Excerpt

MEGAN:        You’re still here, hat and all.

SIDNEY:        (rising to his feet) Well, I don’t often get to share a glass of homemade iced tea with an attractive woman in the moonlight.

MEGAN:        (snorting a derisive laugh) Don’t go there. You’re not even…

SIDNEY:        Human? I am now. As much as you are. Maybe more.

MEGAN:        (handing over the glass) Here. (grudgingly) Anyway, it’s NesTea. (she backs up against the opposite pillar of the porch roof, leaning against it. She sets her own glass on the rail as she listens.)

SIDNEY:        Thank you, anyway. (he takes a long drink, grimaces, and then smooths his features. So.

MEGAN:        So.

SIDNEY:        So…?

MEGAN:        So, are you? The Devil?

 

To Read the Entire Play…

Click Here: 1902.10 – Southern Discomfort

Crustacean Oscillation

claude

 

The Brief…

So lets do something else.

Lets write a play without logic… without cause and effect and without reactions.

But can it still make some sort of sense (or is all sense attributed to logic)?

Can it still be dramatically interesting (or is all dramatic interest attributed to reactions)?

Is it even possible to make a good play without psychological interpretation?

Well – that’s for you to figure out.

 

The Excerpt

JEANNIE:      Claude.

THOMAS:       Beef Barley?

JEANNIE:      No.

THOMAS:       Italian Wedding Soup?

JEANNIE:      No.

A little girl walks across the stage and pauses.

GIRL:              Chicken and Stars.

The little girl continues across the stage.

THOMAS:       Chicken and Stars.

JEANNIE:      Chicken and Stars. Yes.

 

To Read the Entire Play…

Click here: 1902.09 – Crustacean Oscillation

 

Birthday Girl (An Alternate Basil & Zoe Story)

Draco-cello-black-blue

 

The Brief

Gods and devils,

Today we shall fight the battle over the souls of the people! Or at least one person!

Today we are writing a morality play.

Normally, you will have God on the right, the Devil on the left, and an everyman character in the centre.

Lots of other representation will try to persuade them to do the right thing.

But… and this is the big question – what is good? And what is evil?

For some inspiration, here is the text of Everyman – the archetypical morality play:

http://www.luminarium.org/renascence-editions/everyman.html

 

This is your opportunity to push your agenda!

 

The Excerpt

METHOS:       You’re a kid.

ZOE:               I’m legal. I’m also the daughter of one of the most famous composers in the Coalition’s history. And I’m a bad-ass cellist. I thought you and Basil talked. You should know that.

METHOS:       He said he coached classical.

ZOE:               I play everything.

METHOS:       (eyeing her) You’re pretty enough. And you kept your cool in the bar. But there are two problems with this scenario little girl. First, I don’t do virgins. And second, I don’t do virgins who are stuck on my brother.

ZOE gets off the bed and crosses the room, invading METHOS’s personal space. She presses herself against him, sliding her hands up his chest. He’s a synth. Stronger than human. He resists. She presses her knee against him.

ZOE:               Two things you’re missing in this scenario, silver-guy. First, I’m not a virgin. And second, I’m not stuck on your brother.

 

To Read the Entire Play…

Click here: 1902.08 – Birthday Girl

Filtered

data-pic

The Brief

So write stream-of-conciousness, and let the words flow, including all the, uhms… and ooohs… and arghs… and anything else that your brain might… hold on, there’s a arm with the…uhm, who is he pointing at? I mean, can I really even be as a … what’s it called? Uhm… Off! Argh! I forgot what he’s.. uhm… you know, the… oh, never mind. I guess it must be because of the… Sorry. I’m back! I mean, just get busy and let the words flow.

 

Write a monologue that’s all coming straight from your head without any censorship. Perhaps be brave and write about yourselves, or be less self-indulgent and write about a friend’s story (though keep it all first person).

 

The Excerpt

But now… now I’m not even hungry before I’m absorbed. So now, I have to set reminders to drink protein shakes so I can take morning meds, and then to eat lunch and then to have snacks, only I just had dental work and mouth is still all weird so I can’t chew much and I’m so sick of mushy things – there are no good mushy snacks that don’t require being spread on crunchy snacks!!!

And fanfic – this epic Star Trek: The Next Generation fanfic  – this Data/OFC romance that I’ve been working on for a decade now – is my escape. I write it between the stuff that’s real. I write it when I can’t focus on the sort stories I’m supposed to be polishing or the flash fic I’m supposed to be collecting or the podcast that literally only two people listen to.

 

To Read the Entire Play

Click here: 1902.07 – Filtered

Vineland Revisited: Being the True Tale (Told in Reverse) of Cedric the Man-Eating Plant

cedric

The Brief

I think we’ve done enough content for a bit so let’s look at structure.

And more interestingly – let’s look at erutcurts!

We are writing a play backwards today.

Or do the Pinter thing from Betrayal and reverse chronology.

if you’re writing in another language);

(or right to left or up to down

so you read it left to right

But still maintain the sentence structure

So that you need to read it from the bottom up

Maybe you want the play to go backwards line by line,

It read to time a at word one backwards go and end the from start to needs just one so, front to back from word for word play entire the write to want you maybe or.

!sdrawkcab gnihtyreve etirw dna erocdrah og nac uoy rO

Don’t use computer programmes or algorithms though to do it for you!

And bonus points if you can make the backwardnessity make contextual sense with the play!

 

The Excerpt

I could hear my offspring singing, ready to break out of my planter, and spread their seed around this world, ready to go out on their own, but all I could think of was that my dinner was repeating on me. The blonde chick had been kinda stringy, with more than a hint of bleach. I shoulda eaten her first. I shoulda…

To Read the Entire Play

Click here: 1902.06 – Vineland Revisited