My ten-minute play "The Chocolate Affair" was produced by the Department of Drama at the University of Calgary in the virtual world of Second Life. This is what it looked like.

When my ten-minute play, The Chocolate Affair, was published online by Walter Wykes at 10-Minute-Plays.com, I had no idea I would get as many requests as I do from college and high school students around the world. Something about this play really appeals to high school and college students looking for a ten-minute play to direct for student showcases, workshops, one-act festivals and even Forensic competitions.

Side note: Before publishing The Chocolate Affair, I was not aware that the term ‘Forensic’ relates to Speech & Debate. When I received my first request for use of my play at a Forensic tournament, images of Catherine Willows from CSI flooded my brain. I was more than confused. Then I Googled it (like a good little playwright) and discovered the NFL. No, not that NFL. The National Forensic League. Duh.

Anyway…

As I was saying, The Chocolate Affair has been around the world a bit. From South Africa to Singapore to India to Australia as well as here in the United States and even in the virtual world of Second Life. Not bad. I wish I were that well traveled. But so far none of these schools has been willing to foot an international flight for the playwright. One day, right?

Well, I did get to see the production in Second Life. I had to create an avatar just to see it. And when I finally figured out how to get my avatar into the theater, I couldn’t get her to sit down. She just kept standing on theater seats. Up on the seat, down on the floor. Turn around. Do it again. It was really hysterical. What made it even more funny was my husband (who is a computer consultant) watching me attempt to control my virtual self. Though he was no help, thank you very much.

And I wasn’t the only one having problems. Though most of the other avatars were sitting down like good theater patrons some seemed to have the same problem I was having. One avatar had his back to the stage through all of the plays. And another just kept walking up and down the aisle. Forget about cell phones ringing, you had to worry about your avatar jumping up in the middle of a play. It was just moments before the plays began that I finally got my stubborn avatar to sit properly. It was a relief.

No one wants to be that avatar. Am I right? I’m right. Just ask Felicia Day. Which reminds me. Do You Want to Date My Avatar was not only brilliant and hilarious, it sticks. It’s now in my head. And will probably be there the rest of the day.

What was I talking about?

Oh right. Online publication of ten-minute plays.

Now to the point of this post…

I’m happy to report that my two-person ten-minute romantic dramedy The Big Ride is joining The Chocolate Affair on Ten-Minute-Plays.com. And it has a competitive spirit. It’s already talking smack. Claiming it will get more productions in 2012 and go to far more countries. So far The Chocolate Affair (TCA) isn’t letting The Big Ride (TBR) ruffle her feathers. She’s quite secure in her popularity. In fact she applauds TBR for his ambition and even wishes him well… which only further irritates motivates him. Still, TCA’S feathers remain unruffled.

Is this a healthy sense of self? Or is it an inflated ego? Time will only tell as these two ten-minute plays battle it out in 2012. May the best short play win.

America Young & Nathan Frizzell in the Moving Arts production of "The Big Ride" in Los Angeles directed by Cece Tio

Lauren Blumenfeld & Ashley Springer in the New York 15-Minute Play Festival production of "The Big Ride" directed by Mark Karafin

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