It’s a new year, and with it comes a new February…

Yes, due to popular demand, 28 Plays Later is back for a fourth year!

And this year, we’re bigger, we’re better, and we’ve moved to a new home with Theatre Delicatessen.

 

Over the past three years (well, three months to be precise) 485 writers started the process, with 317 completing it. 10,676 plays were written in those months, and while some may never be read again, others have already been performed all around the world!

 

So… what are you waiting for? Have you committed to challenging your creativity in 2018? We’ve got just the thing for you ... 28 Plays Later!

 

Huh?!

Well, during the month of February 2018, you will have to write one short play every day.

Plays can be good, bad, terrible, embarrassingly dreadful – the only thing that’s important is that you write them on that day.

 

Ahhh, I get it. How does it work?

You commit £20.81 to the project and the money will be split between all the survivors who make it 28 plays later (minus 32% operational fee, and whatever PayPal decides to charge for the transfers). But who cares about the money, right? We’re doing it for the plays! (OK, and a little bit about the money). 

Naaah, sounds way too scary and challenging for me.

This is not as complicated or as hard as you may think. Plays really don’t have to be good (and let’s be honest, they’re very unlikely to be) but hopefully you might come up with a few good ideas, which you could develop at a later stage. It’s also a great way to battle your inner demons and beat your inner critic to a pulp!

 

I don’t have time. I’m way too busy at work!

You don’t need to dedicate too much time for it, either, you could write the play on your commute to work or even in the toilet (I’m not saying I did do that, but I’m not saying I didn’t!). Some people just allocate 30 minutes a day and when that’s over – so is the writing.

 

I’ve never written a play before. I wouldn’t even know where to start.

This is what’s so great about this programme. You don’t need to know how to write plays - you just need to know what they look like (and even that’s not a necessity). It’s a perfect opportunity for you to challenge yourself and try something completely new without any pressure of it being good - in fact, the opposite is true. In the past we have had complete novices to writing (let alone to playwriting) do this challenge… and complete it!

Hold on… last year it cost less and operational fees were lower! What gives?

This is the fourth year now, but we’re still trying to find the right balance to make it viable to continue doing it. This is still going to be costing more to do than it will earn, but we’re trying to figure out the optimal way of making it work, so that we can continue doing it for years to come. 

 

But if I complete - I will definitely get back at least the money that I put in, right?

We’ve set the fees to work with the averages from the past three years. So as long as it continues on trend - yes. Basically, about a third needs to falter in order for you to start making a profit - in both previous years, we exceeded that.

Fine, I’m in! What are the rules?

  1. To register, email Sebastian at (email address removed). He will send you account details to donate £20.81 by 28th of January.
  2. During February, you will receive an inspiring instruction every day at about 10pm, to help you along the way and get your creative juices flowing. You don’t have to follow the instructions, but boy is it more fun if you do! You will then have 36 hours to write and send your play in, which will be due by 10am the following-following day.
  3. You will send the play to(email address removed) - don’t miss the deadline, or you will be disqualified.
  4. At the beginning of March, the money will be divided between all those who have managed to write, and send 28 short plays on time.

Sounds like fun! how can I make it more fun?

Encourage all your friends to do it as well. I know it sounds like a cliché, but it is genuinely more enjoyable this way.

 

Will anybody read my works of genius?

Not really!

However, when we’re all done, local groups could meet and read some of their best submissions, whilst drinking beers. But only for those who want to share any of them.

So, that’s it! What are you waiting for? Join the challenge and let’s do some art! (or 28 short plays) …

 

Any tips?

Thanks for asking. Yes. Here are the top tips as suggested by past participants:

 

Top Tips:

  • KEEP GOING – Just keep going and submit something every day. You might want to quit quite a few times. You might feel like you’re cracking up. Just write even if you don’t feel like it.
  • CHALLENGE YOURSELF – Be uninhibited and explore themes and topics you would never normally contemplate. There is no one to impress. The dafter, riskier, obscurer the better. And don't be content with a three-page play if you know deep down that you could write more.
  • RELAX - Don't stress about making things good. And if the panic gets too much... have a drink. It’s only a little bit of money. Don't get stressed or angry. Don’t overthink it. Just write.
  • DON’T BE PUT OFF BY PROMPTS YOU DON’T LIKE – Remember, prompts are just that... prompts for ideas, not rules to follow. Use it as a means to improve your writing, not a series of onerous tasks where you have to create something amazing every time.
  • STORE IDEAS - If you have extra ideas for one day, write them down. You never know when you’ll desperately need to be inspired by your mind.
  • FIND YOUR RHYTHM AND METHOD – Some people like to work quick, some want to sleep on a brief. Some need to put aside 30 minutes to write, some just go with the flow. Some carry notebooks. Some take long baths. Some bake cakes. Some like to join the community on the internet, and some get stressed by it. Whatever it is that works for you – find it, and don’t get too stuck on what others are doing.
  • SLEEP - Never sacrifice sleep for the play.
  • HAVE FUN - Remember it's supposed to be fun, so don't get stressed. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Enjoy the pleasure of being able to write rubbish without pressure.
  • MAKE A RITUAL OF SENDING THE PLAY - create some form of ritual action to perform upon sending your play. Tick a chart, do a dance, down a shot of biscotti flavoured baileys, yodel into the street - anything that will remind you whether you have or haven't submitted your play for the day. It's worth it to avoid that spine-tingling horror of uncertainty whispering at 9:59 am the following morning.

 

P.S – a huge thank you to our friends in Chicago for allowing us to borrow their idea!