Guest Blogger: Glenn Alterman is the author of Writing the 10-Minute Play, and an expert on the different facets of acting and playwriting.
I never set out to be a writer, I was primarily an actor. Like most actors I was constantly looking for new monologues for upcoming auditions. It was an ongoing frustrating process. One day I decided to just write my own monologue. After an exhausting few days, I wrote my first monologue, brought it in to an acting class, and performed it. To my amazement it was a big hit; I was hooked. Soon I was writing monologues every day for myself and for the other students. At the end of a year I had written hundreds of monologues. Within two years I had my first published book of monologues (Street Talk).
Over the years many books of monologues followed and then resource books about all aspects of the acting profession.
It was at this time I realized I had never written a play. I’d been in many plays, but had never written one. And just like my experience with monologues I decided to JUST DO IT! And so I began to write my first 10-minute play. It was trial and error for a while, but eventually I finished it (“Goin’ Round on Rock Solid Ground”). After some readings of the play, I sent it out to playwriting competitions. Once again, a good thing came of it. The play was a finalist at the prestigious Actor’s Theater of Louisville. I was now – a playwright. I wrote many ten-minute plays over the next few years. My book, Writing the 10-Minute Play, is about the lessons I learned during those years. The book also includes interviews with successful 10-minute play playwrights, producers of 10-minute play festivals, and publishers of 10-minute plays. There are also several examples of successful ten-minute plays, as well as an extensive listing of places you can send your completed ten-minute plays. If you’ve ever wanted to write a play I believe this might just be the book for you.
I’ve written a book for folks who have never written a play, for actors who have always wanted to write a play, and for experienced playwrights that want to learn how to perfect writing 10-minute plays.
Ten-minute play festivals have become increasingly popular with theaters over the last few years for several reasons. With the popularity of the Internet, music videos and television, full-length plays are not quite as in demand as they once were. And ten-minute play festivals are relatively inexpensive to produce. I personally feel that almost anyone can write, tell stories, and write plays. If you’ve had experiences, you have stories like no one else. Your stories are unique, yours alone.
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.