Writing the 10 Minute Play

Writing the 10 Minute Play

by Glenn Alterman


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Writing the 10 Minute Play by Glenn Alterman

(Limelight). This book is written for the beginning or seasoned playwright, as well as for actors (or anyone) wishing to attempt their first ten-minute play. Every aspect of writing a ten-minute play is covered, from perking with an idea, to starting the play, to developing it, to effective rewriting, to completing it, even to how to get the most out of readings of your play once you've finished it. Writing the 10-Minute Play also reveals the best ways to market your play and includes an extensive listing of ten-minute play contests. The guide contains many in-depth interviews with international playwrights who have had substantial success with their ten-minute plays, as well as publishers of ten-minute plays and producers of ten-minute play festivals. Included as well are several award-winning ten-minute plays, followed by a discussion by the respective playwrights on how they went about creating their play, from start to finish. The final chapter offers tips and suggestions from artistic directors of ten-minute play festivals and from well-known playwrights whose ten-minute plays have received awards and publishing deals.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781557838483
Publisher: Hal Leonard Corporation
Publication date: 03/12/2013
Pages: 164
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.40(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

Chapter 1 Before We Get Started 1

Who This Book Was Written For 1

Learning Playwriting from Many Sources 1

How I Wrote My First Play 2

Ten Ways to Get the Most out of This Book 4

Chapter 2 What Is a Ten-Minute Play? 7

The Ten-Minute Play: A Definition 7

When Did Ten-Minute Plays Begin? 7

Why Write a Ten-Minute Play? 8

Popularity of Ten-Minute Plays 8

Basic Rules for All Ten-Minute Plays 9

Chapter 3 Before Beginning Your Ten-Minute Play 11

Perking with an Idea 11

Deciding When to Begin 12

The Actor and the Playwright 13

As an Actor, Do I Have the Skills Necessary to Create My Own Material? 13

Fear of Writing 14

Working Internally as an Actor and as a Writer 14

Techniques for Dealing with Writer's Block 15

Freewriting 16

Eleven Rules of Freewriting 16

Benefits of Freewriting 17

After You've Completed the Freewriting Session 17

Clustering (or Webbing): Finding the Initial Core of Your Work 17

How to Cluster 18

Starting Your Play with an Outline 19

Comparing Processes for Actors and Playwrights 19

Chapter 4 Playwriting Basics 21

Aristotle's Poetics 22

Freytag's Pyramid 24

Freytag's Five Dramatic Arcs 24

Chapter 5 Script Format 25

Chapter 6 Beginning Your Ten-Minute Play 31

How I Start My Ten-Minute Plays 31

Starting a Play with an Idea, a Theme, or an Image 33

Chapter 7 The Next Steps 35

Intention, Objective, and Action 35

The Setting and Time 36

The Best Way to Tell Your Story: The Play's Structure 36

Complications Arise 36

Realizing and Developing the Story of the Play 37

Actors Working on Their Plays 38

Ending the First Draft 38

Finding Your Title 39

After the First Draft 39

Chapter 8 Reading the First Draft 41

At What Point Should You Have Someone Else Read What You've Written? 42

Selecting the Right Person to Read Your First Draft 42

The First Reading of Your Play 43

Cold Readings of Your Ten-Minute Play 43

Should You Be an Actor in the First Readings of Your Ten-Minute Play? 44

Listening to Feedback and Comments 44

Not Allowing Others to Rewrite Your Play 44

Back to Rewrites 45

Chapter 9 Getting Your Play Out 47

E-mail Submissions 49

Actors: Should You Be in the First Production of Your Play? 49

Chapter 10 Interviews with Playwrights of Ten-Minute Plays 51

Jenny Lyn Bader 51

Don Nigro 56

Craig Pospisil 58

Mark Harvey Levine 62

Arlene Hutton 64

Alex Broun 67

Rich Orloff 69

Chapter 11 Interviews with Producers of Ten-Minute Plays 73

Kate Snodgrass 73

Alice Walker 75

Seth Gordon 78

Chapter 12 Interviews with Publishers of Ten-Minute Plays 81

Sarah Bernstein 81

Geri Albrecht 83

Lawrence Harbison 85

Chapter 13 Three Successful Ten-Minute Plays 89

The Popcorn Sonata Jenny Lyn Bader 89

Discussion on Writing The Popcorn Sonata 98

On the Edge Craig Pospisil 102

Creating On the Edge 113

The Pain in the Poetry Glenn Alterman 116

Creating The Pain in the Poetry 123

Chapter 14 Where to Submit Your Ten-Minute Play 127

Ten-Minute Play Festivals 128

Publishers of Ten-Minute Plays 145

Chapter 15 Observations about the Ten-Minute Play 147

Anastasia Traina, Playwright 147

Scott C. Sickles, Artistic Director, Workshop Theater Company, New York City 148

Dirk Knef, Literary Advisor, After Folsom Festival (Berlin, Germany) and others 149

Suzanne Bradbeer, Playwright 149

Eduardo Arbo, Playwright, Barcelona 150

Elaine Romero, Playwright 150

Chapter 16 And in the End 153

Playwrights: Some Key Points to Remember 153

Some Key Points for Actor/Playwrights 154

Selected Bibliography 155

About the Author 157

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Writing the 10 Minute Play 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book; extremely detailed and well written. Great for actors and playwrights I loved it a lot! The best book on this ubject!
HaroldLevine1 More than 1 year ago
Greatest book ever, EVER on playwriting! this guy helped me write what people are saying is a a TERRIFIC play! I even think it just got into a 10-minute play festival.  I NEVER thought of my self as a writer or a playwright, NEVER. NOW I AM! thank you so much Mr. Atterman for making it so easy, understandable. I also liked the interviews with the other playwrights. Everyone should buy this one if you ever thought of writing a ten minute play. He really knows what he's talking about! and makes it easy to learn, follow and DO
ActorOneChicago More than 1 year ago
I'm an actor. I'd heard about this new book through the internet. I'd always wanted to write a play and thought maybe this might be helpful. This book is AMAZING! Mr. Alterman takes you step by step through the whole process. It's like he's there teaching you directly! If you've ever toyed with the idea of writing a ten- minute play BUY THIS BOOK. I've recommended it t o ALL my actor friends. I wrote a REALLY GOOD first play. We did a reading last week and EVERYONE loved it. GUESS I'm an actor slash playwright now . Thank you, thank, thank Glenn Alterman!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My daughter gave me this book as a birthday present because I've always said I wanted to write a play someday.  I actually thought it was a joke. But after reading it, starting a play and then finishing it, I realized that there was something here. It's still just a hobby, by with Glenn Alterman's help, I've written 3 10-minute plays. One of them just  was selected to be in our local short play contest. I guess that  now makes me a professional.  The book is really  a  good read and is extremely helpful and inspiring. If I can write a 10-minute play, I guess anyone can! Highly recommended!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Absolutely te best book on this subject! If you ever want to write a play, by all means get this book. i've assigned to both my playwriting students and my acting students who expressed an interest in playwriting. Mr. Alterman is giving a Master Class here. A definite thumbs up!