I was thrilled to attended the 4th Annual 1000 Monkeys Play Writing Festival at the Red Sandcastle Theatre. Each year, playwrights crowd into the little, perfect theatre, sitting around tables, typing up a storm, and devouring piles of gorgeous food. 24 hours later, each writer turns in play. The following day, the newly-minted scripts are print up, bound, and read by volunteer actors for an audience.
The 1000 Monkeys Festival is a great opportunity to be bold, daring, and wildly creative. But it’s also an important social and networking venture. Many playwrights are turning into veterans simply by attending this annual all-nighter. This year was particularly interesting because of the mix of personalities, with writers ranging in age from 19 to nearly 70!
Did I mention the FOOD? The Event is generously catered by first-rate supplies: The Roy Public House, Rashers (bacon as you have never tasted it!), Braised Restaurant & Bar, Leslieville Cheese Market & Fine Foods, and Ed’s Real Scoop. Believe me, the quality of the meals improves the quality of the scribbling. How could it not!
The 1000 Monkeys creates a unique ambiance. Everyone is writing in the same room, and the round-the-clock comradery is wonderful. After the finish, the next day, works are then read for an audience in the same space. Over the years, several of the plays have been produced for the stage at Red Sandcastle. The whole affair is like working in a magic factory conjured out of one’s imagination!
Artistic Director, Rosemary Doyle, founded The Red Sandcastle over 5 years ago. In that short time, the place has become an active player in Toronto’s independent theatre movement. In addition to producing its own plays, the theatre provides every service imaginable for professionals wishing to stage theatrical works.
During my marathon writing binge at the 1000 Monkey Event, I dashed off a very funny play called TOO FULL OF SURPRISES. And thanks to some amazing actors, the virgin reading of the work went very well. I plan to expand the comedy, and hopefully, it will enjoy a future production. After all, who doesn’t like to laugh?
Congratulations to all my fellow and beloved “monkeys”. The gods are with us!