Tag-Archive for » short plays «

Inspiration in the Check Out Line…really?

Back in 2015 I wrote this post. It’s been getting some ‘clicks’ lately from visitors so I thought I would reprise it. When something or someone inspires you, grab hold and don’t let go?   

inspiration, writing, story telling, blogging, blogs, short stories,, short plays, life     The other day I was standing in line at the grocery store, minding my own business…preoccupied that I was leaving my dogs in the car too long….when I suddenly became aware of the man in front of me being checked out.  I had picked that line because it appeared that he only had maybe six items, (boxes of something) and I was eager to get checked out.  (the dogs…remember?)

Well, it turned out that in front of the ‘boxes’, and out of my line of sight, were two dozen very tiny cans of dog food.  It seems that you can buy three tablespoons of dog food in individual cans for your darling pet.  Two bags of doggy treats and then we were ready to ring up the boxes.

Those six boxes were actually fifteen (yes I counted every one of them; the dogs in the car, remember) boxes of Healthy Choice ‘nutritious, packaged dinners; microwavable, ready to eat  in just twelve minutes’. Fifteen boxes of over-processed, heavily salted, flavor enhanced, empty food.  The nutritional value in the dog food was probably better. I wanted so badly to take my bag of fresh spinach out of my cart and give it to him with my best wishes. But, wait, he wouldn’t know how to steam the spinach or for how long.

Well!  That made me take a closer look at the customer.  And by the time he paid ($86.13 for the dog food and the TV dinners, OMG!) I had half of a short, one act play written in my head.   

The man in my story is a newly widowed senior who was married for forty years and never cooked a meal in his life. 

He goes home with his sad little boxes of food.  He puts his delicious, processed dinners in the freezer to be enjoyed later in front of his fifty-two inch high definition television.  DogSpeaking baby talk he rips open the doggy treats and gives his overweight  shiatsu a goody.

If this sounds as if I am making fun…..no, no, no…it’s written with love as this is the typical existence of the widowed male.  A snapshot of life that gave me a great little story. And  the lesson to be learned, fellow writers, is to keep your eyes and ears open.  You never know when inspiration will strike!
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MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   May: Boo Walker, June: Anne D. LeClaire and July — Catherine Ryan Hyde
 
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New 10 Minute Play, ‘Parkland Requiem’

Requiem: an act or token of remembrance…

Mass shootings are a part of our current culture. Not until now did I have something to say (write) about the mass murders that plague our nation. One day after the horrendous mass shooting at the Virginia Beach Municipal building did I begin writing. 

Synopsis:

This ten minute play for teens (in the classroom) is to honor and memorialize the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. It focuses on a small class of students hidden away in safety by their English teacher and what happens while they wait for the shooting to stop. But the question begs will they ever be safe again?

The murdered victims:

My character, Mr. Hale is fashioned after Scott Beigel, 35, a geography teacher and the school’s cross-country coach. He was killed after he unlocked a door to allow students in to hide from the shooter,

Alyssa Alhadeff
Aaron Feis
Martin Duque Anguiano
Nicholas Dworet
Jamie Guttenberg
Chris Hixon
Luke Hoyer
Cara Loughran
Gina Montalto
Joaquin Oliver
Alaina Petty
Meadow Pollack
Helena Ramsay
Carmen Schentrup
Peter Wang

Want to see more one act plays? Click here 
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MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   April: Poet, Joe Albanese, May: Boo Walker, June: Anne D. LeClaire and July — Catherine Ryan Hyde
 
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New Short Play: Drop the Phone

Newest in the collection of ten minute plays for teens and the classroom. 

                        What would happen if you put down your phone for a half an hour and had a real conversation with another human being? Now lets mix it up further; sit down and talk to someone in your class who you don’t really know that well or at all. Are they who you thought they were? Were they surprised about who you are? This one act play, styled for the classroom (no sets, no costumes, no props), has a group of teens who do not tweet, email, Facetime or chat on their mobile devices for one half hour. They must TALK to each other, face to (real) face.  What did you learn about the person? What did you learn about yourself? 

5f. 4m.

To Purchase

Click here to see all 40 short plays

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MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   February: Film Maker, Rick Lenz, March: Patrick Canning and April: Poet, Joe Albanese
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Best Seller

 

Black vs White vs Brown ~ A New Ten Minute PLay

    Ethnic groups have polarized and bullied each other for years, out on the street.  Recently, teens have taken to their cell phones and computers to do the same. Blacks against whites against browns. All good kids at their core, but divided by the color of their skin.

#32 in the series of short plays for the classroom.

This series has been very popular, over the years, with teachers and students. Sets, costumes, props are not needed. Most pertain to real life issues for teens so these plays are meant to open a dialogue between teens and their teachers. Or, at the very least, to experience live theatre. 

All ‘G’ rated so no adult content. When profanities are used, as teens do in real life, they are optional and can be easily eliminated. 

Available at www.amazon.com and all other fine book stores.
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MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!    March: Mystery (and Western) writer, Larry D. Sweazy ~~ April: International adventurer, writer, Tal Gur.
                                                                                   
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‘No Means No!’ New short play for the Classroom by Trisha Sugarek

  Available now!   The latest short play in the playwright’s  ShortN’Small series.
“G” rated for teens and the classroom.

Those who follow me and all my friends in theatre know that I have added to the
ShortN’Small short play series for years now. ‘G’ rated 10 minute plays that focus on issues impacting the teens of today. 
Ranging from divorce to cutting, from running away to drug use, from date violence to bullying. 

 Synopsis:  Emilee has reached the age where boys are pressuring her into sexual activities that she is not ready for.
In this ‘G’ rated, short play for the classroom we explore the peer pressure that comes to bear as young girls
try to navigate their teen years.

Emilee is torn between what her friends are doing and what she instinctively knows is not right for
her at this stage in her life.   1m. 5f.

No props, no sets, no costumes, just open dialogue!

To purchase click here

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MY BLOGS feature INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   Did you miss the past few months?    September: Dylan Callens.  October’s author is Donna Kauffman. In November we say hello to Rita Avaud a Najm. 
                                                                                   
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New Short Play, Trans-G Parents

Book #30 in the ShortN’Small Series of short, one act plays.   The Trans-G Parents

 A look into the world of the parents who are trying to do the right thing…support their child….love their child…sometimes
even save their life.  Their child is confused and frightened by their physical being telling them they are one gender
while their heart, soul and mind are telling them that they are another.

This short play’s setting is a support group for parents. Resigned, angry, confused, religious, experienced and lost,
they come together out of a common desperation.  Some handling the situation much better than others.

The script offers an insightful and educational dialogue from parents.  There is no manual on parenting much
less facing the challenges of this gender affirmation generation. 6f. 5m.

 

TS.  This seemed like a natural sequel to the Trans-G Kid, another short play by this playwright. Inspired by the television documentary, The Gender Revolution. 

 

 

 

 

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MY BLOGS feature INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   Did you miss the past few months?   December: Reed Farrel Coleman, contributing writer for Robert B. Parker series. January was Dinah Jefferies and February’s author is Sheryl Steines. Johan Thompson (South African author) will join us in March.
Check out more Motivational Moments…for Writers!

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Page 1 on Google! The Reward…After Four Years!

‘believe in what isn’t…as if it were…until it becomes…’

Four years ago my web site designer, Leon Adato, designed my web site and insisted that if I wanted to be any kind of viable force in cyber-space that I would have to write a blog. He said the results wouldn’t be over night and might take years, but my work would be noticed.  It seems silly now, as I write this, but my first reaction was:

‘No!  I don’t wanna!  It will take me away from my writing.  I have nothing to say.  What would I write about?’  I threw a tantrum, basically.  But it turned out that I had something to say….about the craft of writing.  And then I discovered chatting with other authors was a hoot and began interviewing them (some very famous ones).  And then I received requests to review books…and so it went.

The reward.   more »

Curiosity Killed the Cat? The real Story!

Curosity.BookCoverPreview.do      Oddly, (I think) many searches/views on my web site contain  the phrase, ‘curiosity killed the cat’.  I thought it would be fun to tell my visitors where this story actually came from. (Part of my collection of 10 minute plays for the classroom)

By now you  know that I write frequently based on family stories….true ones.

This (short play) comedy is true which just goes to show, once again, that ‘truth is stranger than fiction’.

My auntie Ivah had been grubbing all day in the garden of her brick mansion in the Laurelhurst district in Seattle.  While she could afford a gardener or two, she was an avid gardener herself and could be found there, bare foot, in shorts and a sun hat every fair day.  Ivah wore shorts whenever she could because she had ‘Betty Grable legs’  (An actress circa 1940’s-1950’s whose legs were insured for a million dollars) and Ivah was quite vain about hers. She was eager to show them off at every opportunity…even if it was just to her flowers abounding in her gardens.

Around dinner time her husband, Arthur (an attorney) arrived home and announced that he had a client stopping by to sign some documents on his way to the airport.  Ivah, dirty and smelly from the garden said she’d hide in the kitchen, putting final touches on dinner, until the client was gone.  more »

Skip to the Head of the Line

bookstoreMy book store is just a click away!  USE THIS CODE 336699 AND GET 10% OFF of any BOOK purchase UNTIL November 31st.   The Web Site has a new feature: you can now buy an autographed copy of any book directly from the author using your Visa, MasterCard through PayPal. And you don’t need a PayPal account to use it. It’s so easy!

Scripts about bullying and other teen issues.  Great for the

Ten Minutes to Curtain, Vol. I, II, & III

Ten Minutes to Curtain, Vol. I, II, & III

classroom!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fiction.  The new mystery series, ‘The World of Murder’ with Detectives O’Roarke and Garcia.artofmurder_cover (2)

 

 

WOW.BanW._wow (3)Don’t miss “Women Outside the Walls” 

 

 

 

 

and”Wild Violetsfiction, women, flappers, prohibition, San Francisco, roaring twenties

more »

How To Write A Play…7 Tips…and more

Creative Writer's
Journal

Custom created Journal for the Creative Writer. 275+ lined blank pages include a famous quote to inspire the writer in you. Several sections of 'How To'.

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A Journal for Women. A quiet space to write your thoughts, your dreams, your concerns. Custom created for you with quotes on each page to soothe those worries and inspire one to dream.

I Wanna be a Writer

This beautiful and custom book, with some of the best quotes out there, will motivate you to dream big and write exciting stories. 'How To' sections will help you get started...

35 Tips on Creative Writing. A collection of writing tips that this author has learned over the years while honing her craft.

How To Write Creatively

Custom designed for creative women. Each blank page holds a famous quote from a female writer, director, actor, poet to inspire your writing. Several sections of "How To" will help you with your efforts.

Creative Writing for
Women

A collection of short plays, written specifically for the young actor in the classroom or drama department. Some are fun and silly; some are more serious, addressing real issues in a teen’s life. The collection is all "G" rated. The educator does not need to worry about any 'adult' surprises in this collection. Perfect for the classroom the plays are approximately 10-15 minutes in length with no sets or costumes.

Bigger, Better! Volume III has been revised, containing all new plays. Written specifically for the young actor in the classroom or drama department. Some are fun and silly; some are more serious, addressing real issues in a teen’s life. The collection is all "G" rated. Perfect for the classroom the plays are approximately 10-15 minutes in length with no sets props or costumes.

The Bullies

Bullying is a nationwide problem in our schools. This one act play tells how one young boy deals with it...

No Means NO!

Teen girls are being pressured from all sides to have sex. Their boyfriends and even their peers. This play explores decision making and how four girls took back their power!

Ethnic groups have polarized and bullied each other for years, out on the street. Recently teens have taken to their cell phones and computers to do the same. Blacks against whites against browns. All good kids at their core, but divided by the color of their skin.

Jessica and Alan have dated all through high school. Even though Alan gives Jessica no cause to suspect him, she is obsessed with him and is very jealous. Alan tries everything to reassure her and finally he is forced to break up with Jessica. The consequences are disastrous. 3f. 1m.

You're Fat, You're Ugly & You Dress Weird

Bullying is precipitated by something as simple as how someone dresses, or if they have braces or glasses. And it can be relentless....

Mean Girls

She's the new girl at the school. Instead of being welcomed, she is talked about, snickered at, and ostracized. Until the mean girls find out how cool she is...

The Trans-G Kid

Trapped in the wrong body, this brave young boy makes some changes...

Cyber-Hate

A digital weapon used by our teens. Cyber bullying is out of control and can drive its victims to horrific acts...

Just for fun! Mr. Winston Churchill, one of the greatest leaders of the free world, invites us into his library while he paints and talks to his cat, Admiral Nelson. The cat tells the audience about his life with the Prime Minister and his opinion of humans and their love for war. 1m. 1cat.

The Last Text

Teenagers are multi-tasking. Texting while driving. This story brings home the fatal consequences...

Love Never Leaves
Bruises

Domestic violence only happens between adults, right? Teen dating violence is a common event and the best kept secret.

The Run-Away

Teens running away is epidemic in our country. Tens of thousands of kids are missing today, mostly runaways. It's dangerous and sometimes deadly...

A look into the world of the parents who are trying to do the right thing…support their child….love their child…sometimes even save their life. Their child is confused and frightened by their physical being telling them they are one gender while their heart, soul and mind are telling them that they are another.

This short play's setting is a support group for parents. Resigned, angry, confused, religious, experienced and lost, they come together out of a common desperation. Some handling the situation much better than others.

The expectations from parents, teachers, coaches, and peers are tremendous! Add in a young man who has known for years that he is gay. Will his parents support his choices? Will his ex-marine father, living the football dream through his son, understand and accept him when he chooses dance over sports?
2m. 1f

Cheets is looking for an adventure! The elf had heard about 'town'. Emma and her mother went all the time but no one from the fabled forest had been there. Cheets was certain it was a magical place and he decided that he must head for troublesville. He stows away in the car one day and finds himself in busy, noisy streets all alone. He begins his adventure by befriending two cats who live in a house with two humans. Then because of his obsession with carrots, he is captured in a trap.

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Hollywood, actors, friendship, stage play, film, success,Ideas have come to me in the visiting area of a state prison, a haunted lighthouse, my days in Hollywood, or listening to  stories of my mother, growing up with 13 siblings ….. the ideas come to me in a little kernel of truth and I am inspired to write.

I am frequently asked ‘how can you be so prolific?’,  ‘how do you write so many plays?’ ‘where do you get your ideas?’

So I thought what a perfect time to give my readers seven tips about writing their first stage play.  After all, 45 play scripts ago and seventeen years earlier I began writing my first script.  And that led me to create the Creative Writers’Journals and Handbooks which includes ‘how to write a play’ and ‘how to create exciting characters.’ I went on to create a book of writing tips. 

        SEVEN TIPS TO GET YOU STARTED  … and more 

1.  Format is very important.    If you submit your new play to anyone they will not read it if it is not in the proper format. There is software out there that

offer auto-format but I found them lacking.   Sample.playwrite.format
Notice character name is in CAPS and centered. Blocking (action) is indented and placed in parentheses. Setting, Rise and Dialogue are justified left. Single space between character’s name and first line of dialogue.  If one word it is placed next to character’s name in parentheses.  A ‘beat’ is a dramatic pause to enhance the pace of the speech and is placed in the dialogue where you wish the actor to pause for a beat or two. Or buy a play script from a publisher. Samuel French is the best.

2. Each page represents approximately one minute of time on stage.  So if you have a play that is 200 pages long, that won’t work.  Audiences aren’t going to sit for more than one and a half hours unless you are providing a circus, a fire drill, sex, and an earthquake.  Audiences are even reluctant to sit through “The Iceman Cometh” a classic by Eugene O’Neill.  It runs close to 3 hours.You should keep your full length script to about 100 pages which equals 1.6 hours of stage time.  For a one act divide that by 2.  For a ten minute play your script should be from 10-15 pages.

3.  Leave lots of white space on the page.  One day when your play is being produced, actors will need a place to make notes in the script during rehearsal.  This is a sample of an actor’s (mine) working script. The  how to write a play, Trisha Sugaek, inspiration,    actor usually ‘highlights’ their lines and writes the director’s blocking in the margins. (in pencil, as blocking frequently changes)

4.  The blocking is indented. This is where the playwright gives the characters instructions on when and where to move.  But, keep it short and sweet.  Remember there will be a director who has their own ideas of where he/she wants their actors to be.  Be aware of costume changes in your writing.  An actor can’t exit stage left and enter stage right, seconds later, if you haven’t written in the time it will take to give them the time to accomplish a costume change.

42 Tips about Creative Writing

5.  Your script has to work on a stage If your story takes place in more than one locale, you have to be aware of the logistics of set changes. So keep it simple to start.  If you are ambitious in your setting buy a book on set design to research if your set is feasible.  There are some wonderful ‘envelope’ sets that unfold when you need to change the scene.  But you have to consider the budget; would a theatre have the money to build it? Always a worry.

6.  Dialogue: Now here’s the, sometimes, hard part:  everything you want the audience to know, about the story and the characters, is conveyed in the dialogue.  Unlike a short story or a novel, where you can write as much description as you’d like, a play script has none of that.  NO description.  Here is a Sample.Dialogue.Sugarek of dialogue demonstrating how to move the story forward.

7. How To Know When to Change Scenes. When there is a date/time or character/scene change is a good guide. But be careful, if the time/day changes and there is a costume change needed, always remember the audience isn’t a patient creature and they will not sit and wait for very long.  A director can and will set up an area backstage for those quick changes and often the costume mistress will be there to help with shoes, zippers, etc. To save time, you should write the actor entering from the same side as they exited (when possible) to save the time it would take for them to hurry to the other side of the stage.

Did you miss my post about Publishers?

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Visit my Home page to see what this writer/playwright is up to.writing process, create, writers, grammar
Want to see some original plays? Click here. 
47 Short Plays to choose from. Click here.
Interviews with Best Selling Authors. Click Here.   
Want to try writing a ten minute play?Click here

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Instruction on:
CW.Cover.ScanHow To Begin 
How to Choose the Subject of your Play
Formatting your Play on the Page
How to write Dialogue
How to Create Rich, Exciting Characters
Story Arc
Stage Terminology
Sending out Your Script

  ‘How To’  Journals and Handbooks for all of your Creative Writing, including how to write a stage Play! 
275 blank, lined pages for your writing.  Tips and famous quotes from authors, playwrights, directors, actors, writers and poets to help inspire you. 

WANT TO LEARN MORE?? … These new Journals/Handbooks offer a total of 14 points of ‘how to’. Available on Amazon.com    B&N, and all fine book stores.

Check out the new videos on writing 

If you’d like to try writing a ten minute play?  Click here
How To Format a Screenplay
How to Format Your Novel
How to Format a Stage Play

  Order here

This new, exciting, instructional book is a sharing of over twenty+ years of experience. This writer has honed  her craft of creative writing and ‘is still learning.’ 

Thirty-five writing tips that include:
That first, all important, sentence
How to develop rich characters
Writer’s Block
Procrastination
Writing process
What Not to Do (when receiving a critique)

 Takes the ‘scary’ out of writing!
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DON’T MISS MY  blog, blogs, blogger, writer, author, playwright, books, plays,fictionwith weekly posts.  Also featuring INTERVIEWS with other best-selling AUTHORS! with me once a month . We shall sneak into these writers’ special places, be a fly on the wall and watch them create!  

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