Rehearsals for the Drama Club’s Short Play Festival start this week, all leading up to a performance on March 18. After bribing them with a bowl of microwaved yams, YamPage was able to score an exclusive interview with the co-producers Samuel Phillips and Anka Chiorini concerning this “short” festival.
[Begin interview transcript.]
YAMPAGE: So, what exactly makes this festival “short”? What should audiences expect? A 15-minute outing? A two-second outing? What length are you considering “short”?
PHILLIPS: Oh, actually, the “short” doesn’t refer to the length of the plays at all. You see, the performance is actually going to be 23 and a half hours straight.
CHIORINI: Yeah. There’s a lot that needs to be said. I mean, I was secretly hoping we’d get 72 hours worth of plays—the best things come in threes, you know—but the 23 and a half is still pretty good.
PHILLIPS: And I think the lack of a link to the Google Form in the announcement really made the whole thing seem mysterious, exclusive. And it still is exclusive, of course. I mean, Drama Club won’t perform just anyone’s writing. We have standards.
YAMPAGE: So, what is your criteria for this festival then? Your standards?
PHILLIPS: Good quality writing, of course. And good stories telling their experiences.
YAMPAGE: “Their” experiences? Who are “they”?
CHIORINI: Short—or vertically challenged—students. Whatever identifier you want to use.
PHILLIPS: To put it simply, short people do not get enough recognition, especially in the field of drama. In the 70 years of my spiritual leadership of this club, I’ve noticed this discrimination and I wanted to create the opportunity for students who—let’s just say those who probably will never play professional basketball—to have their own plays performed and directed by other short students.
YAMPAGE: Where’s the short vs. tall cut off? That has to be a little contentious, right?
CHIORINI: Oh, no. Not at all. You know the charts they use at the pediatrician?
YAMPAGE: I haven’t gone to the doctor since I was born. WebMD and Reddit are much cheaper, and more reliable.
CHIORINI: Well, this chart will make anyone who’s not “average” never want to go to the doctor again…
PHILLIPS: What Anka means is, at the pediatrician, they have this really discriminatory graph which apparently uses “science” to say whether you are below or above average in terms of height.
CHIORINI (starting to tear up): It’s just really scarring when you’re told that you’re “below average”, you know? I mean, anyone I know would say I’m definitely above average in almost every other facet of my life.
PHILLIPS: It’s okay, Anka. It’s okay. That’s really why we’re doing this, to help those—like us—who have faced discrimination like this.
YAMPAGE: Has there been any response to your efforts?
CHIORINI: Some giants are trying to start their own “Tall Play Festival.” But I heard that it hasn’t really gotten anywhere, what with all of their basketball practices and other stupid tall person things messing with scheduling.
YAMPAGE: Do you ever maybe feel like tall people might be discriminated against themselves? You just used the word “giant” to describe them.
CHIORINI: Are you serious? Tall people? Discriminated against? How tall are you? You’re one of them, aren’t you?
YAMPAGE: I’m 5’9.
PHILLIPS (under his breath): Giraffe.
[Extraction due to unprofessional outburst by interviewer.]
YAMPAGE: So yams will be sold at intermission, yes?
PHILLIPS: Do we have a choice?
YAMPAGE: Good answer. Do you have any final words for our readers?
CHIORINI: Just to get ready for a night of pure entertainment by the amazing and unapologetically short students here at J-DHS.
[End interview transcript.]
Meanwhile, when asked about their reaction to these developments, students of the “average” height responded with a short, “What’s Drama Club?” In these divisive times, it’s comforting to know that the average person still remains averagely uninterested in Drama Club’s affairs.