One weekend in October, ASW members were given 48 hours to write short plays for radio. At 5 PM that Friday, the rules were announced: each play had to include the same three ingredients: crickets, a countdown, and the fictional town of Piscacadawadaquoddywoggin, Maine. The three ingredients were provided by Jamie Smith Cantara of the Austin-American Statesman, Teresa Ferguson of KUT’s Femme FM and Radio Without Borders; and Sue Scott, one of the actors on the famous Prairie Home Companion radio show. At 5 PM on Sunday, the plays were read.

Cricket Radio '06It’s a mini-Alaska Iditarod for playwrights,” says C. Denby Swanson, the artistic director of Austin Script Works. “You just have to say ‘mush’ and get the dogs running. Writing plays in 48 hours is exhilarating but a big challenge.”

Austin Script Works produces a festival showcase of short plays written by members every year as part of their Out of Ink series. This year, the plays are being produced in the FronteraFest Long Fringe. “We can reach a bigger audience that way,” says Swanson, “and focus more on the text and the writers’ development. And this year, of course, we wanted to explore the world of sound.”

The results of the mini-writing-marathon range from abstract soundscape to zany farce by ASW writers Allan Baker, Rebecca Beegle, Katherine Catmull, Elizabeth Cobbe, Christopher Krejci, Max Langert, Candyce Rusk, Priscilla Sample, Katherine Tanney and Jason Tremblay. The plays will be directed by Ron Berry, Emily Fordyce, Ginger Morris, and Jason Tremblay. In spring 2006, the plays will be broadcast on KOOP Radio (schedule TBA).

Tickets are $10. All performances take place at the Blue Theater, 916 Springdale (map).

Wednesday 1/18 @ 9:15pm
Saturday 1/21 @ 6:30pm
Saturday 1/28 @ 1:45pm
Sunday 1/29 @ 8:00pm

This Out of Ink production is a part of the FronteraFest Long Fringe festival. For reservations, call 512-479-PLAY (7529).