A five-minute play? Is there such a thing? This collection of 105 gems says, briefly, Yes. Perfect for classroom study or to build a rollicking performance evening, these short works offer rich, complete worlds that are alternately lyrical, narrative, concrete and abstract. Some pack a wallop with powerful images while others use crackling dialogue to quickly establish character and motivation some move at the speed of light. Others freeze moments fo calm meditation. Still others capture historic moments, dream states or slapstick absurdity.
Along with contemporary works by both new and established playwrights, editors Capecci and Ziegler have gathered historical examples-such as those of the Italian Futurists and an early playlist by Thornton Wilder-and they offer useful tips for the study and performance of these brief and bright works.