Last fall the Willapa Players (see sidebar for link) sponsored a one-act playwrighting contest. There was no prize money, but three winners would get to see their plays produced at the Hannan Community Theater in Raymond, Washington.

I’d never written a play before, but what the heck, there’s a first time for everything. So I jumped right in and started learning about formatting and pacing and balancing actors’ lines and actions and immersed myself in the process, feeling my way as I went.

The first one-act play I created was almost too much fun to write. It was a romp, a lark, a spoof, and a farce: What if the Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery had all been women? And what if I used “present day” gender stereotypical politically incorrect jokes?

When that one was finished, I immediately wrote another one. A light romantic comedy taking place on a Mississippi Riverboat Dinner Cruise. A young man is there to meet, face-to-face, a woman he has communicated with only on the Internet. And through what can only be described as Divine Inspiration, I figured out a way to inextricably connect all eight people aboard the boat by the end of the play. I thoroughly enjoyed writing that one, as well.

So I submitted both plays, not choosing a favorite, but hoping that at least one of them would be selected by the judging committee. To make a long story shorter, miracles happen, and they both won!

I gleefully added “playwright” to my resume, and now look forward to seeing my words come to life in the theater this March. A dream come true!