Educator & Theatre Artist

30 Plays

a recurring event by the Modern Shakespeare Society

30 Plays in 60 Minutes

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Showcasing truth (an ever-moving target). Playful. Always honest. Ridiculous. Heart-felt. Heart-breaking. Electric. A mini cult phenomenon. Free. Physical and emotional chaos. Lots of other words. But mostly…



Members of the Modern Shakespeare society (“modshakes”) gather late on a Sunday night. We all bring in plays we’ve individually written- sometimes they’re just loose ideas, sometimes fully formed. Usually somewhere in between. We pitch. For hours. We pitch our plays. Plays could be 2 seconds, could be 2 minutes, hey, could technically be as long as 60 minutes. There are no characters and no settings. All the plays feature us as ourselves, vulnerably telling our truth- whatever our truth is in the moment we’re telling it. Once plays are pitched, we collaboratively choose 30 plays for our show that’s just 5 or 6 days away. When a play is chosen, whoever pitched that play is now the director of said play. We cast from within our troupe. Late at night all week, we rehearse.

And then it’s showtime. Every show is a one night only experience and no two shows are ever the same. Folks line up outside the door hours in advance. We do our best to squeeze in everybody who shows up and then it’s time to roll. We introduce ourselves, explain the rules, and start the clock. Madness ensues. Numbers hang above our heads, each play has its own title and its own number between 1 and 30. The audience calls out the number to a play, first number we hear is pulled down. The title is read, we set up, we say “go,” something happens, you might laugh till you can’t breathe, you might roll your eyes, you might sob, you might end up *in* the play, we yell “curtain” and it’s over. Audience members yell the number of the next play they want to see. The goal? Share all 30 before time catches up with us. When the clock strikes 0- it’s game over no matter what. Will we do it? We never know.

Wait a month. Do it all over again. New plays. New audience. New truth. New madness.

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The Team

2017-2018 Season Modshakes
Emelen Clemmons, Adair Tompkins, Emma Scaggs, Mckenzie Wilson, Paul Smith, Stuart Wilson, Carter Guensler, Frankie Lipscomb-Cobbs, Noni Shemenski, Ruthie Allen, Scott Diekema, Lydia Shiel, Kate Jones

2018-2019 Season Modshakes
Ash Heffernan, Noni Shemenski, Anish Pinnamaraju, Bea Manaligod, Malik Jabati, Frankie Lipscomb-Cobbs, Stuart Wilson, Ruthie Allen, Carter Guensler, Scott Diekema, Thomas Davids, Lydia Shiel, Adair Tompkins, Emma Scaggs