28 plays were written by Norfolk playwright Marie Cooper in February 2021. The plays were created whilst taking part in the 28 Plays Later playwriting challenge, along with other writers from all over the world.
What is 28 Plays Later?
28 Plays Later is an annual playwriting challenge, run by the Literal Challenge. The aim is to write 28 plays in 28 days.
That sounds crazy! Why write 28 Plays in 28 Days?
The challenge stretches you as a writer. It pushes you out of your comfort zone and gets you writing about things you might not have otherwise done. You don’t have time to plan or procrastinate as there is a new brief and new deadline daily.
I decided to take part in 28 Plays Later after the success of the Scriptly Writing screenwriting challenge in the previous year. It was a fantastic productive month for me.
I wrote my reflections on writing 28 plays in 28 days over on my blog. Below is the full list of plays, the day on which I wrote each one, along with a short synopsis.
Where can these plays been read?
The short play from Day 15, I integrated into another longer piece. I carried across the name ‘Unlocked’ to the longer play. It is due to be aired on AirPlay radio in 2022, as part of The Walking Plays collection.
I have plans to continue working on a few of these pieces. I am currently editing and adapting the play I wrote on Day 9 into an audio play.
The plays I wrote on Day 7, The Elbow Grease Strategy and Day 12, The Jade Palace, have had development readings at Maddermarket Theatre. I have some further edits to do as a result of the feedback.
28 Short Plays by Marie Cooper
Sideways to Siberia – Day 1. Feb. 1st.
A message doesn’t make it in time to who, where and when it is supposed to be.
Dawn in Misty Cove – Day 2. Feb. 2nd.
A woman returns every day, to visit the same place that her daughter died.
Dover Sole – Day 3. Feb. 3rd.
A tea stop on the Dover coast.
The Facility – Day 4. Feb. 4th.
It’s simple enough to get into the facility. But is it possible to get out?
The Catalyst – Day 5. Feb. 5th.
A wealthy man chats to a salesperson about his funeral options brochure.
Old Shuck – Day 6. Feb. 6th.
Even the old black dog comes when he is called.
The Elbow Grease Strategy – Day 7. Feb. 7th.
Jessica just can’t seem to get a (Brechtian) break in life. This short play is up, on the New Play Exchange.
Two Lattes to go – Day 8. Feb. 8th.
Two people who care about each other, but who can’t tell each other.
No Man. No Queen. No England – Day 9. Feb. 9th.
Hatshepsut and Grace O’Malley bump into each other, on a hilltop in the midst of a tank battle. Yeah! This short play has been further researched, edited, revised, and renamed since the challenge.
Nusturi – Day 10. Feb. 10th.
Purposely not making any sense.
Blood on the Leaves – Day 11. Feb. 11th.
The day the hanging tree falls.
12th Floor Room 2 (Now renamed the Jade Palace)- Day 12. Feb. 12th.
A woman has outstayed her welcome in the hotel lobby.
The very first draft of this play was brought to life during its first reading at the 28 Plays Later reading over Zoom. My play begins at approximately 1 hr 47m 33s and runs for 10 mins, to 1 hr 57m 54s
This short play was edited and renamed, “The Jade Palace”. The Jade Palace is now up and available on the New Play Exchange.
The Leopard Sleeps – Day 13. Feb. 13th.
Petty Gods and the mortals unlucky enough to get in the way
Poppy Packer – Day 14. Feb. 14th.
A strange poetic monologue
Unlocked – Day 15. Feb. 15th
A woman finds her partner’s phone unlocked and doesn’t like what she finds.
This short was integrated into a larger piece that became one of the audio plays I was working on at the time. I liked the title of this too, so I also used this as the title of the audio play. the full audio play script for ‘Unlocked’ can be found over on the New Play Exchange and is part of the Walking Plays anthology. It is due to be performed on AirPlay radio in May 2022.
Best Day Ever – Day 16. Feb. 16th.
A woman notices a ‘Sold’ sign has gone up in her neighbour’s garden.
All characters and events in this play, even those based on real people– are entirely fiction. Even the anti-social neighbours who kept me awake for four years who do not make an appearance. Imagined resemblances to anyone alive, dead or (at 2 am and sleep-deprived) wished to be dead, is entirely coincidental. Celebrations, alcohol, whooping and a happy dance did most definitely happen though.
Mosaic – Day 17. Feb. 17th.
A man searching for answers finds riddles
Do-Over – Day 18. Feb. 18th.
A woman talks to herself
The Sloth Appropriation – Day 19. Feb. 19th.
A trip to the zoo.
Stallion – Day 20. Feb. 20th.
A man becomes a horse.
Unidentified – Day 21. Feb. 21st.
Kings and Consequences – Day 22. Feb. 22nd.
Financial Services – Day 23. Feb. 23rd.
Stealth – Day 24. Feb. 24th.
The Cremation Perturbation – Day 25. Feb 25th.
A little girl has disturbing aspirations
Cocaine Cockup – Day 26. Feb. 26th.
The party doesn’t go quite as expected
Black Rye – Day 27. Feb 27th.
In the church ruins, a stranger comes to the fire.