Once again, we have smacked down. Theatre Unbound’s 24:00:00 Xtreme Theatre Smackdown was a success, as always, and a blast, as usual. We all counted ourselves lucky with the year’s common elements:
- an object whose name no one wants to say
sudden lust for an inanimate object
line of dialogue: “Yes, due to liability issues”
stage direction: Exit, pursued by a bear
My writing partner was the extremely funny Heather Meyer. We got on like a barn afire and were quite tickled with our final product, “Fourth Quarter Net”, which goes a little something like this:
Six points down with ten minutes left in the game, the Accounting Bears are within striking distance of the Purity Paws Organic Dog Food Company Spirit Athletic Award. Department head Victoria, convinced she’s one failed performance review from ouster, is laying on the team bonding pretty thick. Bored Jennifer can’t wait for the game to be over so they can hit the bar. Heartbroken Monica wants closure from her ex, who’s on the opposing team. Sweet, naive Hillary, the perpetual benchwarmer, has big hoop dreams. Sam, the 16-year-old intern coaching this band of misfits, has her own intimate reasons for wanting to win that Crystal Paw Print. As the clock winds down, the team pulls to within one point. When error and injury force Hillary onto the court, has her moment of glory finally arrived…or are the Bears seconds from ignomious defeat?
As usual, we were gifted with a phenomenal team. Director Meg Greivell and cast-members Charla Marie Bailey, Heather Burmeister, Catherine Hansen, Victoria Pyan, and Mickaylee Shaughnessy found all the funny Meyer and I put into the script and, thanks to some brilliant physical interpretation, a lot of funny we hadn’t even planned. By the time the play reached its inevitable conclusion (”Exit, pursued by Bears.”), I had purt near laughed myself sick.
I always enjoy watching how the different teams interpret and incorporate the common elements. This year, the “Exit, pursued by a bear” element in particular elicited a lot of creativity, including pursuit by gummi bear, bear hat, and (my personal favorite) a guy named Barry.
Thanks as always to all of the creative, hard-working, and dedicated good sports who pull together year after year to make the Smackdown such an incredible experience. I think we are all a credit to the awesome power of Twin Cities theater women.