Who are you?
The Miniaturists is a growing group of playwrights and other theatre workers interested in the possibilities of the short play.
What do you do?
We stage a regular writer-led event dedicated to bringing you short but perfectly formed plays. Every show is packed with 5 original pieces from an array of talented writers, new and established. Each piece is no longer than twenty minutes, and the dizzying mix makes every event as various and unpredictable as life itself. It says here.
What does writer-led actually mean?
It means it's curated by writer Stephen Sharkey (who had the idea in the first place) and writer Declan Feenan, and Stephen and Declan consult with other Miniaturist playwrights. Also, our writers work with a director of their choosing and are as involved as they want to be in all aspects of production.
Are they rehearsed readings, or what?
No, they're fully staged. We use lighting and sound design, and the actors are in costume, and in every respect a miniature is a play. We usually play on a Sunday on the set already in place for the current production at the host theatre. We're like The Borrowers, only less cute.
Why did you start The Miniaturists?
We thought it might be interesting for playwrights to work together on a show, and lo, it was. We enjoyed the fact that we could have an idea, write it out, and see it performed within a couple of weeks. It made a nice change from the seemingly universal and protracted marathon of workshops and developmental stages that all our bigger plays go through (not that there's anything wrong with that). Also it's a cracking way to meet other writers, swap notes and sob stories, and forge collaborations.
When did you start, and how many plays have you staged now?
Our first show was at Southwark Playhouse, London, on 13th November 2005. By the end of our next show it'll be... um... a lot. And counting.
Can you give me a full list?
Sure, they're listed show by show in the PAST SHOWS section, Miniaturists 1 being the first and so on.
I'm a writer too, can I send you my play?
There is currently no scope for us to stage unsolicited work. We program writers rather than plays. If you're a writer with a demonstrable talent, the first thing is to come to a show and see if you like what we do. Then send us a cv and sample piece. But we can never guarantee anyone a slot. Apart from you two, Caryl Churchill and Robert Holman. *sigh*.
I'm a director, and I act too. How can I get involved?
Our writers choose their own directors, and those directors cast the plays.
I've heard of the Monsterists, writers arguing the case for writers to think big, and lobbying theatres and directors to help them stage ambitious pieces with large casts. Are you saying they're wrong?
Absolutely not. We love the Monsterists, we're right behind them and we see no reason why Monsters can't be Miniaturists and vice versa. It's all about finding the right form for your story - if you've written a gem that needs a cast of twenty and a three hour running time, the resources should be there for you. One of the Monsters had a miniature on in our third show, in fact.
Thanks for all the info.