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Challenge: You are the villain.

DUE November 2nd by 7am CST

Think of one of the worst things that’s ACTUALLY HAPPENED TO YOU. Did your heart just kick up a notch? Is that rage hitting your cheeks? Now, put yourself in the shoes of the person who did it. Become them. Write that play.

On Truth: You’re intimately involved in this incident. You “know” so much about it. Here’s the thing: nobody cares about truth. Change the facts as needed to make the play MORE dangerous and MORE engrossing and MORE complicated. Don’t make caricatures and don’t make it easy on yourself.

Note: You don’t have to apologize for them or “tell it from their side”. They did a bad thing. It should feel bad when they do it. HOW bad is up to you.

Structure: You might discover a new inciting incident, but we all know the climax. It’s where you do the bad thing.

This is an Id exercise. I like them a lot. Properly framed, they should erase the Ego and it’s writer-block while pushing you to write in provocative, theatrical ways. The Ego wants to be smart, moral, and pure. Don’t be any of those things. Give your audience the gift of FEELING those ways- of feeling at all- of having one- NO- ten god damn thousand emotions about your play. Let them just be able to try to think about it- try to talk about it- try to form words for the first time at the bar, with their friends, in their “small audience” that’s safely removed from the danger of you, artist, and what you presented on stage.

Let them be in awe of you- your courage- your passion- your “mind” they might say. But the mind is something that lets art FLOW THROUGH IT… not create it. Because we all know the mind THINKS and SOLVES but, the it does not create and cannot destroy. That is the domain of other body parts: the hands, the groin. Use those in art. Art that is worthy of the attention of minds.





And I laughed until the tears squeezed out of my eyes


and rolled down my cheeks


and I had to squat down on the ugly carpet to keep from pissing myself


And my husband-to-be thinking I'd lost my mind


But I was so happy, I felt such joy, because I knew I could be you -

laughing subsides as the warm happy

spotlight arrives


in that moment, I became you


And I was you



A prompt like this last year resulted in Playwright Emma Goldman-Sherman writing FUKT

“Thank you forever for this play - I never expected to write it - it spilled out of me in 7 days, and then I worked on it for the past year - it's had 3 readings here in NYC (for International Women's Voices Day at New Circle Theatre Co) and during Women's History month at the Bernie Wohl Center produced by W.H.A.M. and we've just written 50k worth of grants for it to get it up next fall here. “ - Emma Goldman-Sherman

The play will workshop in NYC at DIXON PLACE directed by Janice Goldberg with Andrea Goldman, Kelsea Feder and Karen Eleanor Wight! Saturday November 17th at 10pm, 161a Chrystie Street - Please come! Reservations cheaper in advance here: 

Please consider a tax deductible donation to fund FUKT

"Your event changed my life and my aesthetic and my future and my heart"- playwright Emma Goldman-Sherman