Boston Public Works wanted to bring playwriting to the people at the expo, so we set up a giant whiteboard with markers and told visitors to write a line, which we would then tweet. At first it was slow going. We eventually gave up waiting and began the scene ourselves with a line. As more lines were written, the more people got comfortable taking control of the story. It was fun to watch people react to the board. “This is boring,” one woman said after reading through play two. “I’m making a new character.” With the stroke of her marker, a new character entered the scene.
Knowing that their lines would be live tweeted gave some people pause. The idea that their words weren’t tied down to just that whiteboard, but they would be sent out for the world to see caused more than one expo visitor to think about what to write.
As the night went on the white board filled quickly and what we thought would be simply one play became three. Below you will find the collaborative plays of #GBTE2014.
Play One: A Revolution of Frogs
John: we're going to be making some changes around here!
Dog: you know, I've been thinking the exact same thing.
Hieronomous: please, not again...
John: I'm afraid it's inevitable, I won't entertain any protest.
Dog: yeah, you know you're gonna have to suck it up and deal.
John: see?! This is EXACTLY what I'm talking about!
Hieronomous: ok... Ok. As long as it's better than your circus idea.
John picks up Hier and puts him into a boiling pot of water).
Hire: Hey I'm not a frog!
John: You can still "croak"
Dog: Goddamit John enough with the puns already.
Hire: (becoming a frog) Can't argue with Chang, I guess.
End of Play
Play Two: The Garden Party
(A Garden Party midday. Esther enters with a tray of drinks in hand.)
Esther: Should I place these by the petunias or the poppies?
Uncle Phil: Before you set that down, give me one. Make that 2. It looks like it might be a long night
Esther: I'll just leave the tray there. Just remember to shake the lava.
Uncle Phil: That cup hasn't been washed for ages! Why not use the new ones?
Bob: Do you want help passing the drinks out?
(An explosion of streamers.)
Esther: Where did the steamers come from? And what's that? A clown juggling kittens? Is a troupe of weirdos invading our party?
Bob: No. It's Boston Public Works!
End of play
Play Three: The Fishy Wingman
(Buzz and Dani sit at a bar. Being Bros.)
Buzz: I hope I don't smell bad.
Dani: Check you're upper lip.
Buzz: Ha Ha. Go talk to her for me. Be my wingman.
Dan: You still smell though....is that mackerel?
Dani: Ladies love halibut, tell her you're a fisherman. You would own a boat.
END OF PLAY