The Maine Playwrights Festival has been around for 14 years. It’s presented an annual challenge to create some new stage worthy thing or to bring out something you’ve been working on for a while. Whatever, it’s been a call to arms in a sense, if that can be thought of as a metaphor for getting your ass in gear on a new play writing project. This year, the Maine playwright is challenged to submit a new play of 8 to 30 minutes duration for consideration. It’s comforting to read that the play you submit does not have to be a totally finished piece because the festival this year includes a period of time to revise the work after spending time with readers and a dramaturg and others who will give some commentary on your play. Of course, first, your entry must have been selected for inclusion in the festival. So, the waiting begins.
I find myself already preparing for the disappointment of not being selected. You’ve been around awhile. You have a thick skin, and you certainly will survive another rejection, but you still want your play to be included, and no matter how many times you have made the grade in the past, this is this year, this play, and it’s a new experience. Submissions remain anonymous until the list is finalized, and that is comforting too because you feel the playing field is level.
My play this year is 17 pages long, so it can run to maybe 2o minutes in production. I think it’s pretty good, It certainly contains an emotional component, the whole idea of whether something of real importance went down in a fair way, not a good way necessarily for the people involved, but ultimately a fair way. I’ll see what happens, hoping that I’ve been up to the task.