Jul 4, 2014

Notes on Sure Thing by David Ives

This short, comic one act contains all the essentials you need for a successful play. Two main characters experience a host of problems (conflicts) associated with dating. You meet someone in a cafe. You're interested. What next? How many ways are there to f*ck it up? David Ives catalogs them all in Sure Thing. 

Even though it is a short play with a minimal cast and setting, it still works on an audience because the audience can relate to the foibles being portrayed. The actors on the stage crystallize experience, put it on display, reveal it to the crowd. 

What themes are important to this play? The emergence of romance, of the possibilities of romance (and impossibilities), and the way language can be used to dance in and out of these possibilities. 

One question to ask of this comedy: are the characters consistent? It seems as if they are quite willing to adapt their language for the sake of continuing the faltering relationship, yet they are consistent in that very commitment to find a way to work out a common protocol between them. It's interesting how that connection is first established at the level of language, and thereafter (one assumes) it will be consummated in more tangible ways.
Because it is a ten minute play, it is ridiculously easy to do script in hand readings in the classroom, and great fun, I might add.