Bonanza, OR – Audience members that had been rolling in the aisles at Saturday night’s premiere of Aunt Gertie’s Road Trip were stunned into silence when local mother Dana O’Malley took the stage after the 6th curtain call and claimed credit for penning the play.
“I don’t know what to think,” said Bonanza Councilwoman Mandy Heller. “I’ve read those thoughtful articles by Christopher Hitchens and Adam Carolla and they all say women aren’t funny. But during the scene where Aunt Gertie gets stranded at the top of the Washington Monument, I almost fell out of my chair. Could Adam Carolla be wrong?”
Other patrons felt equally perplexed. “I knew the play was written by a Dana,” said business owner, George Sherman. “I just assumed it was a boy-Dana.” Walter Johnson, long-time Bonanza resident, offered another theory, “I think it actually was a boy-Dana.”
The success of the Bonanza production calls into question the veracity of countless studies and Yahoo Answers that, until now, most people accepted as fact. Long time humor experts, Peter Chen and Jim Polaski, stand by their research, however. “Over the years, we’ve shown over 1,000 subjects clips of male and female comedians,” said Chen. “Chris Rock, Meryl Streep, Jerry Seinfeld, Hillary Clinton…Each time, we hope for different results, but everybody laughs harder at the guys.”
Playscripts, Inc. and the International Centre for Women Playwrights have joined forces to figure out if what happened in Bonanza could possibly be a global trend. The Are Women Funny? One-Act Play Contest invites playwrights who:
a) are women
b) think they might be funny
to submit large cast, one-act comedies ideal for performance by high school students. The winning play will be published by Playscripts and promoted throughout the world. “If there are more Dana O’Malleys out there, we want to find them.” said a Playscripts representative. “Our goal is to connect those fresh, funny, females voices with the next generation of theater makers.”
Detailed contest information can be found below:
The Basics: We are asking women writers to submit large cast, one-act comedies ideal for performance by high school students. The submission period opens today (September 25th) and runs until December 15th.
The Rules: All plays should be PG-13 or cleaner, comedic, have the potential for 8 or more characters, have the ability to be performed between 20 – 40 minutes, and must be written by a woman or team of women.
How to Submit: Please complete our submission form found here, and include “Are Women Funny? Contest” in the Comments or Special Instructions field above the SUBMIT PLAY button. You must submit your play by 11:59PM (EST) on December 15, 2013.
The Reward: The winning playwright will receive a $1,000 cash prize, and her play will be published by Playscripts, Inc.
Helpful Hints: High school drama programs often find themselves in the following situations:
- Twice as many girls audition as boys.
- Budget permits only simple sets and costumes.
- Full cast is not available for every rehearsal (many school plays are episodic, allowing scenes featuring different characters to be rehearsed separately.)
- And remember, a great title goes a long way.
- Each drama program has different casting needs based on their student population, so it’s helpful to create as much flexibility as possible in both gender breakdown and cast size. Checkout a few samples plays here, here, and here.
If you have any additional questions tweet us @Playscripts or email us at info at playscripts.com.