The first anniversary of 517 Playwrights is coming up! On the Sunday following Thanksgiving last year-- November 30, 2008-- the first meeting of 517 Playwrights was held in the kitchen of a house on Georgetown Road outside Lexington, KY. At that first meeting-- hosted by Greta Fields-- Bruce Williams, Steve Taylor, Bill McCann, Jr. and Greta Fields read through Bruce William's delightful full-length play TIM: A CHRISTMAS STORY while enjoying snacks and drinks provided by Greta Fields.
Members of 517 Playwrights took the month of December 2008 off. In January 2009, at a meeting of the group at the Beaumont Branch of the Lexington Public Library, Jim Betts joined the group. As the meeting was winding down Betts suggested that the group should hold a 10 minute play contest. There was enthusiasim for the idea so a day or two later Bill McCann, Jr., who had been serving as moderator of 517 meetings announced on line that the group was holding a play contest for 10 minute plays beginning February 1, 2009 and ending July 30th or whenever it "received 100 entries."
At the February meeting of 517 Playwrights Bill McCann announced that he had done as the membership had asked and posted the rules inviting entries for the 517 Playwrights 10 Minute Play Contest. However, it quickly became evident that the posting was a mistake; noone had meant to begin a play contest. Misunderstanding or not though members agreed that since the contest had been posted the contest should be held. So, the contest continued, and entries continued to arrive in Bill's email mail box.
Who would have guessed that the 100th entry would be received March 11th 2009; the contest was "closed" that same day. The play contest had been advertised in only two places: this blog and Playwrights Forum! According to the contest rules the submission period ended with the 100th entry. But getting that word out was more difficult than that there was a contest. Entries continued to arrive, more than 150 total!
At the March meeting it was evident 517 might have bitten off more than it could chew. We had more than 100 plays to read and judge, what now?