The Playwright Experiment

CSM Creative Writing recently collaborated with Mines Little Theater in honor of the annual E-Days celebration at Colorado School of Mines.  In an experiment, the writers and actors gathered together to write five short plays.  But there was a catch: these plays were written in 24 straight hours.  To honor this incredible feat, we have decided to share some of the scripts on our blog.  We hope you enjoy them!

If you like what you see, please follow us for more updates or check out the works of our resident authors.

Note: These plays use profanity  and are not necessarily intended for young audiences.


VCR: Survival

By: Saige Mabutt-Wing

Characters: W1, W2, S1, S2, A1


(Man (W1) sitting on bench (couch) holding remote)

W1: Hey babe, where’s that new remote! (Finds it under butt) never mind, I got it! (Points at stage and presses buttons multiple time). Babe, I thought you put the batteries in here!

(Woman (W2) walks out and throws batteries at W1’s head)

W1: (Grabbing batteries and putting them in remote) Thanks babe! (Points at stage and presses button)

(Announcer (A1) steps out on stage)

A1: Welcome to the latest installment of Family Time: Wild Style, the only show where our daring adventurers are not only forced to survive in some of the most treacherous terrains on earth but are also put through the rigorous tests of spending time with their own family members. Tonight, a set of sisters are left alone in the middle of New York’s Central Park. Which will rip them apart first, sibling rivalry or this historic landmarks fearsome inhabitants? All this and more starting now on the one and only Yeeeee Channel.

W1: (Pauses channel) Babe, can we get some snacks in here already!

(W2 walks out and sprinkles a couple pieces of popcorn over W1’s head)

W1: Sweet! (Plays show)

(A1 steps off stage and two girls step on stage (Sister 1 (S1) and Sister 2 (S2)) looking around)

S1: (Pacing back and forth) Alright Carol, if we’re gonna make it through the night here we’ve gotta start collecting supplies. First, we need fresh water, god knows you can’t trust the water fountains around here, and we need to find a shelter, and then of course we’ve gotta find something to eat.

S2: (Rummaging around at floor level) Relax sis, check out these berries, food right? (gesturing with berry in hand) I’ve got this survival stuff in the bag.

S1: No!

(S2 pops berry in mouth and instantly collapses)

S1: Ahhh shit!

W1: (Laughing, pauses show) Babe you gotta see this! (Hits rewind)

(S2 sits back up, S1 turns back around, W1 hits play, Repeats, W1 laughing)(Does twice)

(W1’s laughing dies down and continues watching)

A1: With Jane incapacitated how will these sisters escape with their lives, stay tuned for more, right after these commercials.

Commercial: (A1) Spray on Nail Polish, that’s right you heard me, spray on nail polish!

W1: Boooorrriing (Fast Forwards)

Commercial: (A1 speaking very fast) Now coming in three convenient sizes, purse, shelf, and industrial. With every order you will receive not just 1, not 5, but a whole 10 finger sleeves for maximizing that neat and clean shine that only spray on nail polish can provide. So call in now – only the first 10,000 callers will receive this extra bedazzling kit for no extra cost. That’s right, I’ll say it all again, 1 bottle of every size, 10 finger sleeves and a bedazzling kit for only 4 easy payments of 15.99. So call now!

W1: Finally! (Hits Play)

(S1 enters dragging on S2)

S1: Alright sis, it looks like you’re gonna be paralyzed for a while, so we’re just gonna have to wait it out on this park bench and hope it doesn’t rain tonight.

S2: (Incoherent Mumbling)

S1: Right, sounds good! (S1 tries lifting S2 onto bench, fails) Hnnnggh (Tries again starting at feet) MMnnnegghhh, god Carol, have you even been using those aerobics disks I got you for Christmas?  You weigh a ton!

S2: (Squeals in protest and slightly flaps arm)

S1: (Drops feet) Fine then, just stay on the ground then! (Crosses arms and legs turns off to side)

(Silent standoff as S2 flops hand around. Simultaneously, W2 enters and sits down next to W1 trying to get his attention)

S2: (Turns around with fake mustache on and kneels beside S1 who is now playing dead) Mi Amour! Mi Amour! (Yelling lifting S2 in arms, begins slapping her face while repeating) Mi Amour! Mi Amour! Mi Amour!

W1: Dammit babe, you switched it to that awful Spanish Soap Opera crap! (Grabbing at remote)

W2: (Stands up in huff and throws down remote at W1’s feet) Uuggghhhh!

(S2 still slapping S1 and yelling)

W1: Thanks Babe! (Picking up remote changes channel)

(S2 throws aside mustache and starts swatting at the air, S1 throws up an arm in defense of face)

W1: Ahhh there we go.

S2: Dear god, what’s wrong with these pigeons?  They’re a bunch of maniacs! Aghhh! (Continues swatting)

S1: (Muffled Squealing)

S2: Look over there, that old abandoned hot dog cart lets go! Come on! (Half dragging a stumbling, uncoordinated S1, both walk around to backside of bench and duck underneath)

A1: (S1+S2 freeze, panicked looks on faces) The Johnson sisters have made it to shelter but will they make it through the night? Find out after this commercial break.

A1: (Different Voice) Do you believe in…

W1: (Mutes TV) Gotta pee, gotta pee, gotta pee. (Waddles off stage)

A1: (Continues mouthing words, makes stabbing motions, starts dancing, returns to normal standing position)

W1: (Walks back on stage) Ahhhh. (Sits down and unmutes TV)

A1: So donate now by calling 1-800-666-LION, that’s 1-800-666-5466.

S2: (Whispering incoherently)

W1: What the… I can’t hear a thing. (Turns up volume)

S2: (Steady increase in volume up to yelling) I know I’ve been a pain in the butt, it’s just I felt like I really needed to prove myself, you were always our dog’s favorite and I guess I was just jealous.

S1: (Yelling as well) It’s okay I understand, he was a really cool dog and the only reason he slept in my bed more often was because I was on the bottom bunk.

(S1 and S2 share a heartfelt hug and then freeze)

A1: (Yelling at top of lungs) And so our sisters have made it through the night intact but will they make it out of this dense wilderness alive!!

W1: (Jumps at sudden loudness) Oh god too loud, too loud! (Turns down volume)

(S1 and S2 now standing looking around)

S2: How do we know which way is out?  We got so turned around last night, I don’t know if we’ll ever find our way out of here.

S1: I’ve got it! We’ve just gotta climb a tree and get our bearings, it’s so simple!

S2: I don’t know…

S1: It’s fine I’ll be extra careful, promise.

S2: (Sighs) Okay.

S1: (Climbs up tree offstage) I see it, I see it! A building right over there, we’re so close!

S2: That’s great, we might actually make it out of here alive!

S1: Whoooa, Whaa, Whoooaaa! (Falls back onto stage and starts clutching leg) Oh god, I think it’s broken.

S2: Oh great, just great!

A1: How will the wonder twins get out of this one, find out next!

(S1+S2 exit, W2 comes out wearing headband and war paint walks around looking intimidating)

A1: In a world overrun by underwater mutant zombie ninjas only this half vampire, half werewolf assassin can save the world from nuclear annihilation.

W2: (As character) And I don’t play by the rules.

(Walks off stage unfazed as A1 imitates explosion)

A1: Coming to theaters near you this Saturday.

W1: Awweessome, babe we gotta go see this when it comes out, the hero chick looks just like you!

(S2 enters supporting limping S1)

S2: We made it, we made it! I could never have done it without you, sis!

S1: Thanks sis.

(Turn to hug each other but unsupported S1 falls over)

S2: Whoops, sorry. (Helps S1 backup) Now let’s get out of here. Yo, Taxi!!

(S1+S2 freeze hailing a cab)

A1: And thus these sisters found their way out of the deadliest place on earth, and found their way back into each others hearts.  Tune in next week when an intrepid father and son duo take their chances in the untamed depths of a city aquarium.

W1: (Turns off TV, all others exit) Man, that was the worst episode yet! Oh well. (Starts to walk off stage) Hey babe, whatcha thinkin for dinner?




By: Jordan Brothers


Jogger (ipod and headphones)

A1, A2 (small book)

B1 (some sort of drink), B2



All: Wearing running shoes, running/jogging gear

JOGGER enters from curtain, walking; begins stretching, winces in pain; adjusts ipod

JOGGER: … Holy shit, my thighs. How long has it been since I’ve gone running? What, like 5 months? Wow… Oh boy. You can do this, this is good for you, ok? Great! Alright song, song, song… this one will do.

JOGGER begins jogging, move forward then run in place MC

JOGGER: …This is nice. Legs are fine, breathing’s good, this isn’t so bad.

SPRINTY bolts out of curtain, runs past JOGGER to DC, runs in several circles around JOGGER, then runs off to side and circles around backstage

JOGGER: … Scheise.

JOGGER speeds up gradually to a fast jog, struggling, then tires and slows down to a stop, bending over in exhaustion

A1 enters curtain, jogs to stop beside JOGGER

A1: [talking a mile-a-minute] HEEEYYY YOU! How are you? Do you come here often because I haven’t seen you outside in months!

JOGGER: [between heavy breaths] Hi.

A1: Isn’t this such a great path? Did Kara tell you about it? The lake is gorgeous and the loop is just the right length for five or six quick ones. I come out here everyday. Oh hey you and I could start running together!

JOGGER: Ummm I don’t know, I’d probably slow you down.

JOGGER starts up running, giving off clear signs of annoyance, A1 steps back then jogs forward to match pace

A1: Oh noooo, you’re fine, I don’t care much for the exercise part, just being outside is sooo beautiful. And isn’t this weather perfect for running? Although it’s going to snow tomorrow, surprise surprise THANK YOU COLORADO. Blah blah bla-blah blah ba-ba-blah blah. Anyways do you want to keep running with me?

JOGGER: No, really I’m going to slow you down, I’m fine.

A1: Oh, ok! Ta-ta! I think I’m going to go back to that other loop, the sunlight hitting the trees looked really nice….

A1 exits by slowing and backing out through curtain

JOGGER: …. How do you even talk that fast?

Few moments of silent jogging, then B1 appears sloppily running out of curtain

JOGGER: Hey there, are you doing ok?

B1: Yeah, yeah… I had way too much to drink last night so I’m trying to sweat it off.

JOGGER: Um, running it off isn’t supposed to really work.

B1: Hey, weren’t you at the party last night?


B1: Oh, I was really worried I hit on you and I really don’t like it when I hit on friends when I’m drunk.

JOGGER: Yeah well, lucky me, I stayed in last night.

B1: Ehh, whatever boats your float. I think I’m gonna go puke in a bush.

B1 backs up through curtain, hear retching noises behind curtain

SPRINTY runs out of curtain again and runs off to side, JOGGER silently watches and starts to slow down

A2 enters from curtain and matches speed, nose in a novel, JOGGER speeds up again, A2 notices

A2: Oh, Ms Jones, nice to see you outside on a Saturday.

JOGGER: Oh, yeah, the weather’s nice but there’s going to be snow tomorrow.

A2: Oh, what a surprise. How is the monthly report coming?

JOGGER: Making progress.

A2: And the brochure graphics?

JOGGER: In the works.

A2: And the budget draft?

JOGGER: Coming along.

A2: Excellent, I’ll see you in the office on Monday.

A2 backs up through curtain

JOGGER: I hate my job… Oh great, a hill. [slow down, lift knees higher] Shit. [heavy breathing] Come on keep going. [reaches top, slows and switches to flat running] Don’t stop, don’t stop, keep going, it’s all downhill from here.

B2 enters from curtain

B2: Jones is that you?

JOGGER: [very heavy breathing] Hey. You. Wow. That hill was. Intense.

B2: Well that’s what happens when you run outside. I’m so proud of you for getting out of your apartment! You stay inside so much it gets me worried.

JOGGER: Work is keeping me pretty busy.

B2: SAME! But I’m really glad you’re finally getting off your butt and taking a break.

JOGGER: Yeah, a really painful break.

B2: But running is so good for you! And if you just keep pushing yourself you’ll get used to it! Just keep going. Listen, I need to finish this lap so I can get home. Toodles!

B2 runs off to the side

JOGGER: … I guess I could keep pushing myself. Hey, wait up!

JOGGER speeds up, breathing heavy and getting more and more tired. SPRINTY enters through the curtain, running circles around JOGGER

JOGGER: GAH, how do you run that fast?!

SPRINTY dead stops in place, JOGGER stops and bends over.

SPRINTY: [shrugs]

SPRINTY runs off to side. JOGGER falls to knees

JOGGER: … Running sucks.

JOGGER collapses, A and B emerge to carry her through the curtain.


The Novelist

By: Jordan Brothers


P: Policeman

N: Novelist

P: Can you tell us where you were this evening at 6 pm, ma’am?

N: I was lost in the desires of the sunset, drawn to the freedom-air like a bird to the sky. I followed my soul out into my secret place of earth and life. Beauty soared into my lungs and brought peace to these delicate bones of mine.

P: Come again?

N: I was in my garden.

P: What were you doing in your garden?

N: Chained, held captive by magnificent lyrics of emotion. My heart was weak against the pull of the raw breath of language. How intense a feeling, to be so enraptured by carvings painted on the corpses of life!

P: … Excuse me? Corpse?

N: I was reading a novel.

P: Was there anyone with you?

N: The caretaker of my ferocious passions was just beyond my reach in our dwelling place.

P: …Your what was in the house?

N: The musician of my joy, orchestrator of my moans, my angel of sweet intimacy, the roaring lion of my daylight wanderings.

P: Your… cat??

N: My “other half”.

P: Oh, your husband!

N: Yes! Sir are you hard of hearing?

P: No, of course I’m not. Now, how did you notice the fire at your neighbor’s house?

N: …The what?

P: The fire, th-the… the bright source of heat, erm, consuming the house?

N: Ah those!

P: So, how did you notice?

N: My heart was lost in the musings of a forsaken brother, but my ears captured the barest stirrings of human howls from across our low barrier. My focus was shattered and I raised my eyes from the skin of the forests. That is when I beheld them, the destructive galaxy of suns feasting on the compacted limbs of the deep woods. My bones became ice in the suddenness. The dim hums of agony and fear came from beyond the breath of dragons.

P: You… heard shouts and looked over?

N: Yes, approximately.

P: Did you see the burglar, the man who started the… consuming brightness, did you see him at all?

N: The unsummoned visitor, the starry wanderer?

P: Could you… oh boy, can you describe him?

N: I saw his face for barely a heartbeat. His face was a lake of darkness as he glided past the thermal brilliance. His eyes glowed with erotic mischief, clinging a satchel of abducted items to his chest. His mouth was scarred, but told the silent story of a broken psyche, a deep cloud of thunderous neglect bleeding into his heart. And he was tall.

P: ….

N: Would you like me to translate his likeness onto … how you say… paper?

P: A… picture? Yes please.

N: Jubilus! Come! [Exit]

P: Whew, young adult novelists.


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