Second City 2009
Green Wood Plays
Some useful tools

Second City, Summer 2009

The bits below were written when I took a one-week Sketch Writing course at Second City in Chicago during July, 2009. The instructor was great, very honest and straightfoward about the good and the bad, both in the bits we wrote and in the business as well. A real treat. Anne Saviano. Ten students in all. I've included the good, the bad, and the ugly to encourage anyone else who takes a class like this to just 'go for it'.

All plays are in PDF format and more-or-less in the order they were written. Hopefully, they get better as they go.

Returning a Library Book The assignment was prompted by the word "murder" and the location "library". A man returns a book to the library. He's very secretive about the title of the book, embarassed that anyone might find out he'd checked it out. This turns out to be the least of his problems as the library has implemented the death penalty for books over 30 days late.
Harrison Ford Monologue The assignment was to explore a character's motivation. A kind-of-funny monologue. A stuntman has a man-crush on Harrison Ford and is trying to get Spielberg to hire him as the stunt coordinator for his next movie.
Seven Hundred Dollar Shoes The assignment was a skit for two-persons, they're in a close relationship. A wife confronts her husband about his having bought a $700 pair of women's shoes.
The Facts of Life This one was written for the prior assignment too. I liked both ideas, so wrote both. This one never made it to class. It takes a serious turn at the end and I wanted to walk in with funny. A hard-core materialist dad deals with the death of his daughter's pet.
The Purple Bottle Write a sketch in sentences of three words or less. I think it's the weakest of the bunch because it goes on and on. A guy helps his buddy make the last of three wishes.
MBA Candy Floss Final assignment - came in as beats then the dialog was worked out with the 2 actors (thanks, Matt and Jake). A student runs into his MBA professor selling cotton candy at the carnival.

Plays for Green Wood

The plays before present religious themes. Most were written for and performed at Green Wood United Methodist Church in Ann Arbor and reflect my own interpretation of a variety of religious themes. My understanding of religious ideas was strongly influenced by writers like Ken Wilber, Paul Tillich, Raimundo Panikkar, Howard Thurman, Huston Smith, and others who understood that there is a huge difference between the religious spirit and the word and structures in which we attempt to capture them. God's too big for our boxes or brains to hold.

All plays are in PDF format and more-or-less in the order they were written. If you're interested in reading or performing them, please feel free. I'd like you to contact me and give me feedback and comments, but right now, they're all licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Penguins in the Sanctuary Howard Thurman was an incredible theologian and minister who not enough people know about. For Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 2008, I wrote this piece attempting to introduce more people to Thurman and his work. But I didn't choose a theological theme, I focused instead on one of the man's hobbies: painting penguins. Performed January 2007.
Who Gets In? Religious exclusivism. Legalism. The millions of little things you can do wrong to earn eternal damnation. A short play about "who gets in?"Performed Sept 2007.
Faith Based Lending Did you ever find SPAM email in your IN box that offered you "Faith Based Lending"? Did you ever wonder what exactly "faith based lending" might be? Read this script and wonder no more. Performed March 2008.
At the Foot of the Cross (Jesus' guys) A play about the brave guys who stayed around to support Jesus as he hung on the cross. Oh wait, those aren't guys!Performed Easter 2008.
Pieces of the Puzzle Everyone has a part to play in the big picture. Even the pain-in-the-neck ones you don't like...Performed August 2008.
No Gas Getting to the Engine What if you ran out of gas and your cell phone was dead? And you handed it to your innocent, trusting daughter? And help showed up? Performed Septembe r2008.
Voting for God's Candidate Did YOU vote for God's candidate? Or cast a vote for the other team? Performed October 2008.


By the way, there's a wonderful free script formatting tool available from Celtx. A fellow named Jake mentioned it during our Sketch Writing class and I checked it out. Nice software. It does a lot more, but this is what I'm intersted in. Right now, anyway.