New Short Plays and More from Crystal Skillman

October 14, 2013

The Vigil or the Guided Cradle, which won the NYIT Award for Outstanding Full-Length Script back in 2010, is now finally available for people to read, on Indie Theater Now. It is a remarkable play that explores some of humanity's deepest and darkest impulses, juxtaposing a contemporary story of a young woman visiting Prague who is mysteriously kidnapped with another story set several hundred years ago about the creation of the instrument of torture that gives the play its name. The original production at the Brick in Williamsburg was directed by John Hurley, produced by Impetuous Theater Group, and featured a stellar cast headed by the always amazing Susan Louise O'Connor. I am thrilled that Crystal has brought it to our Indie Theater Now reader community.

In her fascinating author's note to the play, she mentions something that actually quite surprised me. "It's one of the first full-length plays I wrote," she says; I've been following Crystal's prolific career for well over a decade now, and I have to admit that I hadn't realized this -- but then, after reading this, I thought about her work and, indeed, almost all of the early work is short-form. I'd go so far as to say that Crystal is one of the contemporary masters of the short form--not just the ubiquitous ten-minute play, but the meatier 20-30 minute play that is becoming more and more part of the dramatic landscape.

Terrific examples are already on Indie Theater Now: The Telling Trilogy, the cycle of linked ghost plays that she created in collaboration with Daniel Talbott and Rising Phoenix Rep for various locations at Jimmy's No. 43, is comprised of three half-hour pieces. And then there's her wonderfully off-kilter Primal Play (part of the Nosedive Red Ribbon Gala collection), the effervescent Rise (part of The Beach Plays), and Burning Beautiful (from The Wickapogue Plays).

And now we've just added two collections of Crystal's short works -- 10 plays in all, in two "volumes": Best Day Ever and Other Short Plays, and Tooth and Other Short Plays. As Crystal herself notes:

All are fun, with doses of sadness, and bursts of hilarity. I'm honored I got to work with such great companies and teams on these plays - in many ways I was working out ideas or concepts that would come out later in my full length plays. They are fun and easy to do and I hope they find many other fun homes with you or reveal new monologues that you might want to snag for an audition!
Check these out and enjoy....





Loco7's "Undefined Fraction" at La MaMa
I got to pay a visit to one of my all-time favorite indie theaters, La MaMa E.T.C., for a performance of Undefined Fraction, which is part of the company's 2015 Puppet Series. This blend of edgy puppetry, physical theater, and dance is an exemplar of the kind of meditative hybrid installation/happening/drama that has been a mainstay of this East Village institution for decades.
Trav S.D.'s Great Vaudeville History
A look back at Trav S.D.'s book on vaudeville, published 10 years ago this month.
United Solo 2014: Done; United Solo 2015: Starting Now!
ITN's United Solo 2014 play collection is now complete; and our first 2015 play--LOUISE IN CHARLESTOWN by Penny Jackson--is available as well.