The words above were Ernest Hemingway's example of the shortest of short stories.
Shorter dramatic pieces tend not to have this sort of elegance.. Leaving Beckett out of the equation (for once) they tend to be written for younger audiences, as comedy sketches, or seem more like scenes from a larger work. They can be perfectly acceptable in that form, and many of them are funny and successful in their own right.
I'm curious if short pieces, dramatically, can be as successful as longer pieces. Some of the greatest works of fiction and poetry are brief and full of impact. What are some short pieces (less than 30 minutes) that you've found that strike you as attaining some sort of artistic height? Do you think stage performance lends itself, truly, to minimalism?
Short plays in the comments section are especially welcome.
- 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.