Primary Stages ESPA

DETENTION #1: WHAT ABOUT BOB?

Five 10-minute plays based on five constraints.

DETENTION #10: ALL THE SINGLE LADIES

Four 10-minute plays honoring Women's History Month.

DETENTION #11: END OF DAYS

Twenty 2-minute monologues exploring the possibility of the Mayan Apocalypse.

DETENTION #12: DETENTION, INTERRUPTED

Five 10-minute plays exploring the exact moment an artist was inspired to create one of the great artistic works in history.

DETENTION #13: SCRABBOPOLYLAND

Five 10-minute plays adapted from classic board games.

DETENTION #14: DETENTION THE MUSICAL!

Lyrics to nine songs based on major events in 2012.

DETENTION #15: DEAR JANE

A full-length play about the life and death of Jane. Each scene is written by a different writer.

DETENTION #2: A GRIMM LA RONDE

A full play based on a Grimm Fairy Tale with each scene written by a different writer.

DETENTION #3: BLIND DATE

Four 10-minute plays examining the trials and tribulations of blind dating.

DETENTION #4: PUNK ROCK STAR

Five 10-minute plays that are extremely dark and twisted in nature.

DETENTION #6: WHO’S AFRAID OF LEAR’S WAR HORSE

Three 10-minute plays that parody great works of theater.

DETENTION #7: ONE MINUTE PLAYS

Thirty one-minute plays grouped into five clumps based loosely on a common theme.

DETENTION #8: WHAM!

Four 10-minute plays inspired by classic songs from the 1980s.

DETENTION #9: SEVEN DEADLY SINS

Four 10-minute plays inspired by one of the Seven Deadly Sins.

Primary Stages/ESPA is a multidisciplinary school with departments in acting, writing, and directing. Now in its sixth year, ESPA has refined the skills of actors who have been seen on and off-Broadway, developed writers whose work has won awards and received workshops and productions, and served as a professional and artistic home for emerging talent. ESPA is defined by its strong commitment to collaboration through programs such as Detention, a monthly series that partners ESPA writers, actors, directors, and a faculty advisor in the creation of highly original performances. Having provided a home to over 2,000 students, ESPA has become a leader in performing arts education through its excellence in training, collaboration and networking opportunities, and strong professional community. ESPA is open to all artists, in all stages of their careers.

Detention is a monthly series of new and original theater pieces that are written, directed, and performed by students at the Primary Stages Einhorn School of Performing Arts (ESPA). Each month, writers are invited to submit short plays based on an imaginative assignment created by a prominent guest artist. A handful of plays are selected, staffed with a student director, and cast with student actors for a one-night-only production at Jimmy’s No. 43 in the East Village.

From inception to application, Detention exemplifies the collaborative, familial spirit that runs rampant in the ESPA halls. In commemoration of the 15 performances over the first two years of Detention (2011-12), we have published the plays. Well, there have actually only been 14 evenings in those years; Detention #5 has retained its number out of respect for the work, despite it having been cancelled).

You’ll find some collections are of stand-alone short plays; others are scenes that, when combined, make up a full-length; still others are two-minute monologues, and so on. Each collection has its own personality, and what’s most fun, each has an underlying theme, generated by the aforementioned writing assignment. The assignment is included in the Details portion of each collection. Do read them – some are absolutely hysterical (i.e. be sure to include a guy named Bob).

ESPA’s evolution from a handful of workshops to a multi-disciplinary arts institution where students are produced regularly for the public is an extraordinary and humbling trajectory that the ESPA staff does not take lightly. And in celebration, we’re sharing these plays with you. Enjoy!