Last Saturday, Bricolage Production Company held its 11th annual Bricolage Urban Scrawl (B.U.S.) event held as an annual fundraiser. Each year, a band of writers take to the bus lines for inspiration as they ride around the city, inspiration they must harness to go home and write a play by 9 a.m. the next morning. At that point, scripts are given to actors and directors to start turning the script into a performance in time for an 8 p.m. curtain. This relay race produced six original 10 minute plays in just 24 hours time.
With time being as limited as it is to create these productions, the process is distilled into its truest form, leaving no time for second guessing from anyone involved. “The first year I did the show I loved it, it was exhilarating…If I could do this once a month I would do it,” said Jason McCune, a long time veteran of B.U.S. “It forces you as an actor to follow your gut, follow your instincts, not second guess yourself and when you are doing comedy, which most of them are, you want to make big bold choices.” Bold choices were definitely made in Gab Cody’s Wrong Place, Wrong Time in which McCune plays a Danish server that ends up mooning the audience during the play (not the first time Gab Cody has cast him as a pantsless foreigner).
This year’s event provided audiences with plenty of laughs, as many of the short plays are fast-paced comedies, but also on the bill were several thought provoking plays for patrons to digest long after closing curtain. Subjects such as PTSD, gentrification and race were touched on. Dog Shit, written by Mark Clayton Southers and directed by Bria Walker, revolved around the recent killing of Bruce Kelley Jr. and tackled a lot of tough questions about racism and the value of life.
“B.U.S. just pushes you as an artist, it helps you realize things you didn’t know you could do,” said Bria Walker, a three time B.U.S. participant who took on the role as director this year. “It gets you on your toes artistically, it pushes you to places you’ve never been before and it’s not for the faint of heart. Generally, artists who like a challenge, who are basically thrill seekers, who like really dynamic work are drawn to this.”
There have been so many plays that have been born through a decade of B.U.S. events and up until this point these plays lived only with the artists and patrons who performed and witnessed the birth of these plays. These plays now live on in an anthology titled B.U.S. (Bricolage Urban Scrawl): 10Years of 10-Minute Plays and includes 54 plays spanning between the years 2005 and 2015.
According to Bricolage, this was a record setting year for attendance and all of their goals were met. Overall, the Bricolage Urban Scrawl is an intriguing production and a whirlwind of entertainment and attendees can tell that those involved truly give it their all while also having a lot of fun.
Special thanks to Bricolage for complimentary press tickets to B.U.S. 11. For more information about Bricolage and their upcoming season, check out their website here