Cary, NC – Most times when you go and see a play, you only have one story to watch the whole time, for better or worse. But for the second year, the Cary Playwrights’ Forum is putting on a series of short plays where the audience can vote on what they want to see next.
The Audience Decides
“Son of PlaySlam” is the sequel to 2016’s “PlaySlam” by the Cary Playwrights’ Forum where the audience will see 11 writers submit two three-minute-long plays. And as the forum’s Thom Haynes said, the audience will be seeing these for the first time.
“They are all original, never before produced plays,” Haynes said. “And all by North Carolina writers.”
The structure of the night is interactive, with 11 short plays running back-to-back. The audience will get to score what they see and then pick six favorites.
“After intermission, we announce the six winners and those playwrights get their second three-minute plays seen,” Haynes said. “A winner is picked out of that and we crown our king or queen of the night.”
There is no set theme to the night or any topic given to the writers so Haynes said they can be about anything.
“They can even be a musical as long as it’s three minutes long,” he said.
Haynes said most of the scripts are typically comedies but he asked the writers to focus on making these plays have real structure.
“We stress not just writing Saturday Night Live-like bits. We want a beginning, middle and end with some arcs for the characters,” he said.
Discovering The Material
This year’s event is shortened from 12 to 11 writers to make it quicker and there will be 16 actors involved. It is a staged reading instead of memorized lines and Haynes said it is a diverse cast, including one actor with a visual impairment who will have his lines whispered instead of reading them from the script.
“It is important to us to celebrate diversity and be inclusive and allow everyone to participate,” he said.
And while the plays are all original and “never seen before” by audiences, Haynes said they are also “never seen before” for much of the cast.
“The writers and actors don’t actually meet everyone until the day of the performance,” he said. “It’s a fun, intense sort of day with lots of energy.”
The writers are also directing their own plays in PlaySlam and Haynes said meeting with actors and talking through the performances is good experience.
“It lets them grow as writers to learn more about the craft and it adds nuance to their skill set,” he said.
Son of PlaySlam
Saturday, April 15, 2017 at 7:30 PM
The Cary Theater, 122 E Chatham St.
Story by Michael Papich. Photos courtesy of Cary Playwrights’ Forum.