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Monologue Mania Day # 1635 Circling by Janet S. Tiger (c) Aug. 8, 2018
a monologue by Janet S. Tiger (c) 2018
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(The writer comes out, smiling, yes, it's me)
Am writing this in the first person because it is about some firsts for me.
I have been writing plays since 1979 - when I first penned LITTLE HORRORS - about a family in Uganda under the reign of Idi Amin.
Having no idea what to do with the play, I relied on talking to everyone about the topic. My mother came through - she, a voracious reader of all things - magazines, books and local newspapers, saw an article in THE CLAIREMONT SENTINEL (we lived in the Clairemont section of San Diego) about a local playreading group, The Scripteasers. It was the only time Jonathan Dunn-Rankin (a member for decades who was a fantastic actor and former newscaster for local TV) had ever sent in such publicity for the group. And it worked- I called up, was given a date to bring my play, and the rest is history. Not front page, but a big part of my history.
The group heard my first play which was 120 pages long. And not pages with a lot of white space. So each page clocked in at not one minute (as I heard a page should take) but at closer to 2 minutes - making the play.....endless!
Within the first few minutes of the reading, which was held at DJ Sullivan's house overlooking Mission Bay (DJ - a great actor and director, also became a wonderful supporter and friend) I realized my horrific mistake of overwriting.
I was mortified - I wished I could hide somewhere but there was no escape!
At the break between acts, I went to Jonathan and asked if I could stop the reading, that I knew it was too long, and he was very kind. He said if the others didn't mind, they would finish (even if half the folks were asleep!) and I could hear what they thought.
And that's what happened. The play ended, and surprisingly enough, they did not throw tomatoes - they clapped!
And Jonathan told them I knew it was too long so there were to be no comments about the length, just the other elements - plot, character, theme, dialogue, climax, denouement.
They were amazing - no one complained about the length, and the comments were very constructive. I was actually able to smile. My next play was 45 minutes long, won prizes, and has been followed by dozens more plays and now over 1600 monologues......the productions circling the world.
Why do I tell this oh-so-long story again and again? Because.....the circle is coming round. SLIDE RULES, a play of mine that won first place in the Scripteaser contest a few years ago, will be produced in November by the Clairemont Act One Community Theater - and my work will be seen where I have lived for over 50 years..... for the first time! (I've had other shows in many places, but this is where I grew up!) And the theater is in the same building where my kids went to pre-school/ The circle comes around.....
(I turn to leave, stop, look back)
..........only I prefer thinking of a circle as -two smiles connected.
(I do not exit, but the lights come up on some more productions soon- will let everyone know what's happening as I get details. Thanks for your support!)
* Note: A few words about 'free' - all these monologues are protected under copyright law and are free to read, free to perform and video as long as no money is charged. Once you charge admission or a donation, or include my work in an anthology, you need to contact me for royalty
Swedenborg Hall 2006-8