TheatreWorks 24-Hour Playwriting Competition: A Live Update

When the opportunity arose to cover TheatreWorks’ annual (and very much buzzed-about) 24-hour playwriting competition this year, Popspoken curator Lu Shanhwa jumped to the monumental task of actually doing the all-nighter and trying to conjure a script, just like everyone else who is participating. She liveblogs the event as it happens at Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall. Hopefully, some good ol’ Starbucks is accompanying her as she tries her hand at making a play to this year’s theme, “Liberate your ideas”.

Stimulus #1, received 17 Aug 2013, 16:00

“What the hell are you doing here?”

I am covering this awesome event on behalf of Popspoken. It’s Saturday night and there are 84 playwrights gathered in the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall post-operating hours. Most of them are still up, typing on their laptops, or scribbling something on a notepad. Some are in groups having a good time chatting, and a few are already cosied up in their sleeping bags or against a wall with a small pillow getting some rest because it’s gonna be a long day tomorrow.

Tomorrow! We’re going to get our 4th stimulus at 7AM, followed by breakfast and a heritage trail around Balestier Road. The trail should last an hour and we are promised it will be inspiring. Then we will come back all inspired and ready to receive our final stimulus at 10AM.

Stimulus #2, received 17 Aug 2013, 19:00


I love rose! I like rose tea biscuits, rose macaroons, rose flowers, rose petals in a milk bath… I like this competition. I like Dr. Robin Loon who is le Game Master in charge of thinking up and revealing the stimuli. Apparently he came up with this stimulus at 18:45 and revealed it 15 minutes later just so he does not “accidentally tell anyone” before he is supposed to.

*Stimulus #2 has to be incorporated in the script as either a plant or a colour.

Stimulus #3, received 17 Aug 2013, 22:00

Well this got everyone excited. Dr. Loon had everyone gathered in the Little Paradise, told everyone that this is going to be a “non-specific” stimulus, and from behind his back, brought out a Tupperware full of…


He didn’t even have to say it, about 57 squeals went up simultaneously and no one even seemed to care what “non-specific” meant. Or maybe the participants already know… after all, about 25% of them aren’t first-timers to this competition. I had to ask around to find out what non-specific means: you can use this stimulus however you like. For example, if you relate white rabbit candies to nostalgia, then you may have this stimulus appear in your script in the form of the theme nostalgia.

Check back at 8AM for the next update on stimulus #4.


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