Only 60,000 Milliseconds

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The Brief

So this week is all about the magnificent BBC Radio, with a particular eye on writing for audiences.

Today you will have a choice between BBC Radio 3 and BBC Radio 4

BBC Radio 3 – Best known for its classical content, which constitutes about 85% of its scheduling, this station also plays jazz, world music, new music, arts programmes and even has a weekly slot for drama. Most famously worldwide, this station is the home to the Proms and it broadcasts more live music than any other network.

 

BBC Radio 4 – Dubbed by some as a station for the “middle-class, liberal elite”, this is an all-speech station that discusses and presents topics ranging from current events, art, comedy, entertainment, religion, philosophy and almost anything, really. It is also the home to many playwrights, as it presents a substantial amount of new drama.

 

For bonus points – and seeing as both stations’ demographics are fairly similar, perhaps try to bridge some gaps. Create a piece of populist theatre that still takes its inspiration from these slightly more “high-brow” stations. Can we create a piece to bring together Radio 4 Listeners and Daily Mail readers? Can we bring together Radio 3 listeners and One Directioners (they’re still a thing, right?)

 

The Excerpt

HORACE

Alright, welcome back, everyone to Only Sixty Thousand Milliseconds. This is the game where each of our players will attempt to speak on a given topic for sixty thousand milliseconds without hesitating, deviating, repeating or Shatnerizing.

EVERYONE

All hail Shatner! All hail the Shat!

HORACE

As well, we have one rule that no one’s allowed to break, and that’s Wheaton’s Law. What’s that law everyone?

EVERYONE

Don’t be a dick!

HORACE

Right, so what that means is that while you will be buzzed for any of the four listed infractions, you are allowed to repeat the words in the topic, and you’re allowed to re-use common words like a, an, the, and, or, is, et cetera. If you are buzzed out and the reason is valid, the person who buzzed you gains a point and takes over the topic and remaining time. If the reason was invalid, the original speaker gains a point and keeps the topic. If you aren’t buzzed out you keep speaking until you hear the timer go, and if you’re still speaking at the end of sixty thousand milliseconds, you get a point for that, as well. Are you ready to play?

 

To Read the Entire Play

Click Here: 1902.19 – Only 60000 Milliseconds

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 Only 60,000 Milliseconds by Melissa Bartell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

One thought on “Only 60,000 Milliseconds

  1. You have a real gift for characterization and pacing. It made me laugh out loud. Luckily I was in an urban bus terminal, so nobody noticed.

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