Waiting for everyone to arrive and casts to be assigned, the actors all seem a bit nervous. Topping that though is their excitement. The constant question is “How much sleep did you get?” I was expecting sleeplessness from the writers but even the actors tossed and turned. Several actors mention waking up around 5 am for their 9:45 call. Some went back to sleep, others weren’t so lucky.
Still, until their names are drawn there’s little they can do, so they eat their breakfast and socialize as the directors and writers discuss the new scripts. At my table, playwright Ben D. McFadden talks about how his writing went. After getting away from literal interpretations of “Lifting the Veil” he found it easier to work with the theme. Some of the actors at the table discuss how it’s easier to work on a comedy in a scenario like this, with a bunch of ten minute plays. They talk about how working on a deep, “soul sucking” piece can be harder to pull off.
9:45, the actors have arrived and the names are drawn. Jodi-Paul Wooster and Peter Dylan O’Connor comment that it’s up to the actors and directors to make sure their plays take 10 minutes or less. Apparently the 7 plays total at 59 pages, instead of the ideal 42 pages or less (6 pages translates to about 10 minutes). Now that casts have been chosen and rehearsal rooms assigned, the room clears out quickly as each group eagerly gets to work.