Birds of Play
Written by Bwog Staff
In case you missed it, Bwog freelancer Thomas Anawalt summarizes Egg and Peacock, a theater festival in which ten plays were written, casted, and performed in twenty-four hours.
Shall I compare thee to a Latenite anthology? Thou art more zany and whimsical. And a tad longer. The Egg and Peacock playwrights were given starting lines, and had to hand off their plays’ last line for the next writer to start another another play. The imposition of the start/end through-lines didn’t add anything to the drama or the comedy, but only dictated where the jokes would turn.
The night opened with “Demographics,” (written by Chas Carey, directed by Will Scheussler), which was essentially a power play between women. Enter highlight number one, Gabe Miner in frump-dragg. The third play, “The Abolition of Compassion” (written by Matt Herzfield, directed by Ameneh Bordi) featured a terrorist, played by David Iscoe, who waltzes into a ladies room with thundering heavy metal and blood red light, but can’t bring himself to look at possibly naked women. The first act ended with Michael Molina’s nightmare-sitcom “The Merit Badge.” Lakshmi Sundaram and Katherine Atwill played convincing boy scouts and received some of the biggest laughs of the 2 1/2 hour quasi-impromptu play marathon.
Molina’s play ended with the line, “Last time you said that I was holding two sausages”, and this is exactly where the second act picked up. “Two Sausages” (written by Jonah Block-Johnson, directed by Mark Holden) featured more jokes about sausages than you’d ever expect or want. Overtly sexual content was also present in the elaborate if not rather linear “Ruses are Red” (written by Abby Rosebrock, directed by Jake Green).
Eventually, the marathon reached a point where the length of the individual plays started to become apparent. Fresh out of the 24 hour writing process, its hard to deride any of the plays for slapping the art of theater in the face or anything so dramatic—even the worst of the plays had its merit. Though it looked like the writers had fun with them, the rules seemed to limit rather inspire dialog.