Little Bite of the Big Apple
Local playwright Allston James debuts a short play in NYC’s Times Square.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Local Monterey playwright Allston James’ drama Duet in Platinum opened Friday, Jan. 21, at the Shell Theater/Times Square Arts Center in New York City, where it is enjoying a two-week run in a short plays festival.
James’ play was selected from among hundreds of international submissions.
Duet in Platinum concerns two strangers, a man and a woman, aboard a cross-country flight. (See box, below.)
“Their conversation leads each to make private, individual decisions that will change each of their lives,” James says. “It’s a trippy premise.”
James teaches literature at Monterey Peninsula College, specializing in Shakespeare. He is the author of a novel, Attic Light, and numerous short stories and poems. He began writing plays six years ago.
“I’d always been told dialogue was my strong suit,” he says. “A character will begin to take shape in my imagination. Something eventually happens and a story will occur.”
James’s advice to beginning playwrights: “If you want to see your work produced, it’s a good idea to keep casts small. If your script calls for 12 Amazonian dancers bungee jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge, don’t expect directors to beat down your door.”
On the Big Apple: “What makes theater in New York so vibrant is the abundance of talent – and it’s gratifying to be a small part of it. There’s just something special about walking to rehearsals through all of Times Square’s neon.”