The Library Play Challenge. Seven playwrights. Seven random library books. Seven days to write a play. WTF?
Seven playwrights, three artists and a musician met at Brooklyn’s Reanimation Library on Saturday, October 6th, 2007 to pick books at random from the shelves.
After selecting their books, the playwrights and artists had exactly one week to create a play, piece of art, or song based on their book. The day before the show, directors and actors were given randomly-selected, anonymous scripts to look over. The day of the show, each play was given one hour to rehearse in the theatre. After the show, the audience voted for their favorite play (Dynamometer by Laura Eason), at which point everyone found out who wrote which piece. The running-order for the show was also random. Nice, eh?
All of the profits from the event (over $350) were donated to 826NYC (www.826NYC.org), a Brooklyn-based nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6-18 with their creative and expository writing skills. Does it get any better than that?
October 14, 2007
The Gene Frankel Theatre
Presented by The Thursday Problem, Working Man’s Clothes, and the Reanimation Library
Alexander Poe adapted his short play What Life Means into a short film entitled The Eight Percent, starring Benjamin McKenzie, which screened at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival.
Minneapolis City Pages article about Dewey’s Nightmare and the Reanimation Library.
Tribeca Film Festival article about Alexander Poe’s award-winning film adaptation of his play from Dewey’s Nightmare, entitled The Eight Percent.
Quiet Color interview with Alexander Poe (scroll down halfway for discussion of The Eight Percent).
“…A highly compelling multi-disciplinary event.”
“Dewey’s Nightmare was a library play challenge with seven playwrights, seven random library books, seven days to write a 10-minute play, a director and two actors with an hour’s rehearsal. It could have been stupid or banal or… well, it was wonderful.”
- Shermania Blog
“A quote by playwright Eric Sanders, who directed the Dewey’s Nightmare project, appealed to me greatly: ‘There has been a sort of junk shop curiosity movement over the last 10 years in indie culture–with things like Found Magazine–and I think there is a misconception that Beccone is just taking random trash and calling it a collection, but he’s vetting everything and treating his library like it’s the rare books collection at Harvard.’”
“I really liked this idea.”
- Cainmark Blog