Well, as I work on "Divorce in Love" I find myself with a first act that's probably 3/4th finished and over 50 pages long. As I'm looking at a three-act play, that may bode for a nearly 150 page play, give or take a few, and that's a bear. Especially for what is written like a comedy.
Now, I'm not about to tighten it before it's finished, and some of my other plays have actually been on the shorter side... but the rule tends to be comedy is brief. Unless you're Chekov, and the jokes only work in Russian. (This last statement is, of course, not true. I'm not a reliable narrator.)
Some of the length may simply come from a glut of characters (some of them are as yet unintroduced at 50 pages in... hmmm). Reasons for Moving had two actors, Great Escape had four, The Americans had three. This is looking at eight or nine, and I've given almost everyone a rambling monologue or six.
Am I getting messier or just more ambitious? Who can say?
And has anyone else noticed that a bigger cast means more audience? It only stands to reason. Sadly.
- Matthew Freeman is a Brooklyn based playwright with a BFA from Emerson College. His plays include THE DEATH OF KING ARTHUR, REASONS FOR MOVING, THE GREAT ESCAPE, THE AMERICANS, THE WHITE SWALLOW, AN INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR, THE MOST WONDERFUL LOVE, WHEN IS A CLOCK, GLEE CLUB, THAT OLD SOFT SHOE and BRANDYWINE DISTILLERY FIRE. He served as Assistant Producer and Senior Writer for the live webcast from Times Square on New Year's Eve 2010-2012. As a freelance writer, he has contributed to Gamespy, Premiere, Complex Magazine, Maxim Online, and MTV Magazine. His plays have been published by Playscripts, Inc., New York Theatre Experience, and Samuel French.