The Pitch

Book By: Bryan Starchman
Play #: 2349
Pages: 28 pgs
Cast: Widely flexible from 4-20 actors

A young, hungry writer in Hollywood finally has his chance to pitch his original ideas for movies, television shows, and commercials to a major producer. The writer’s ideas come to life on stage as he tries to sell one -- just one -- of his many wacky ideas. Consider (and laugh) as the writer presents previews of a big-budget movie entitled “Thumb Wars”; a reality show about mailmen called “Going Postal”; a game show with the revolting title “Guess What I Just Ate for Dinner”; and even a commercial for a new sports drink called “H2MayO: The First Drinkable Mayonnaise.” This fast-paced comedic one act will put your audience in the producer’s shoes as they watch pitch after hilarious pitch go down in flames. With a very simple set, a flexible cast, basic costumes, and household props, this is also the perfect one act for competitions and traveling.

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Productions

GHVJH 1 Performance(s)
VENTURA, IA 5/18/2019
LAWRENCE CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN 3/19/2019
BILLINGS R-IV SCHOOL DISTRICT 1 Performance(s)
BILLINGS, MO 3/15/2019
CLEVELAND PUBLIC SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
CLEVELAND, MN 1/26/2019
CLEVELAND PUBLIC SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
CLEVELAND, MN 1/26/2019
MOUNT MICHAEL BENEDICTINE 3 Performance(s)
ELKHORN, NE 11/9/2018
MOOREVILLE HIGH SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
MOOREVILLE, MS 11/6/2018
THEATRE GROUP 2 Performance(s)
MINNEWAUKAN, ND 11/1/2018
1957 1 Performance(s)
OPELOUSAS, LA 10/18/2018
USD 491 EUDORA SCHOOLS 1 Performance(s)
EUDORA, KS 10/15/2018
NEW KENT STAGEHANDS 1 Performance(s)
NEW KENT, VA 6/23/2018
KINARD MIDDLE SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
FORT COLLINS, CO 5/14/2018
MIDDLEBRIDGE SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
NARRAGANSETT, RI 4/13/2018
DAVID L. RAHN JR HIGH 3 Performance(s)
MOUNT MORRIS, IL 3/1/2018
ELCHO HIGH SCHOOL 2 Performance(s)
ELCHO, WI 11/10/2017
DEER CREEK MIDDLE SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
LITTLETON, CO 11/7/2017
PRESTON MIDDLE SCHOOL 2 Performance(s)
FORT COLLINS, CO 5/12/2017
HOWARD MIDDLE SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
OCALA, FL 5/1/2017
RINGGOLD HIGH SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
MONONGAHELA, PA 4/6/2017
GREENVILLE MIDDLE SCHOOL 2 Performance(s)
GREENVILLE, AL 3/23/2017
NEWELL FONDA CSD 1 Performance(s)
NEWELL, IA 1/21/2017
FOSSIL RIDGE HIGH SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
FORT COLLINS, CO 12/9/2016
CARDIGAN MOUNTAIN SCHOOL 2 Performance(s)
CANAAN, NH 11/17/2016
LYNCH PUBLIC SCHOOL 5 Performance(s)
LYNCH, NE 11/11/2016
LUTHERAN HIGH SCHOOL 3 Performance(s)
ST. PETERS, MO 11/3/2016
MEIGS MIDDLE SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
POMEROY, OH 10/15/2016
IDAHO FALLS HIGH SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
IDAHO FALLS, ID 5/31/2016
WILSON JR. HIGH SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
EL CENTRO, CA 5/29/2016
THE TOME SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
NEWARK, DE 5/13/2016
CHISHOLM MIDDLE SCHOOL 2 Performance(s)
ENID, OK 5/12/2016
LEMOORE HIGH SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
LEMOORE, CA 5/2/2016
IDAHO FALLS HIGH SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
IDAHO FALLS, ID 4/22/2016
REDWOOD CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS 1 Performance(s)
CASTRO VALLEY, CA 4/22/2016
NEW KENT STAGEHANDS 3 Performance(s)
NEW KENT, VA 4/13/2016
BOISE HIGH SCHOOL 2 Performance(s)
BOISE, ID 3/30/2016
PILOT MOUNTAIN MIDDLE SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
PILOT MOUNTAIN, NC 3/18/2016
TAMMY RAGAN 1 Performance(s)
CLINTON, MN 3/15/2016
HOUGHTON-PORTAGE TWP. SCHOOLS 3 Performance(s)
HOUGHTON, MI 2/19/2016
WILLOWSIDE MIDDLE SCHOOL 2 Performance(s)
SANTA ROSA, CA 2/18/2016
STARKWEATHER SCHOOL 2 Performance(s)
STARKWEATHER, ND 11/23/2015
CONROE SCHOOL WAREHOUSE 1 Performance(s)
CONROE, TX 11/15/2015
COMPASS PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
MERIDIAN, ID 11/12/2015
STARKWEATHER SCHOOL 2 Performance(s)
STARKWEATHER, ND 11/2/2015
ABRAHAM LINCOLN HIGH SCHOOL 2 Performance(s)
DENVER, CO 5/1/2015
ROYAL SPRING MIDDLE SCHOOL 2 Performance(s)
GEORGETOWN, KY 4/27/2015
LAKE DALLAS MIDDLE SCHOOL 2 Performance(s)
LAKE DALLAS, TX 2/5/2015
SEWARD HIGH SCHOOL 2 Performance(s)
SEWARD, AK 12/1/2014
QUINCY HIGH SCHOOL 3 Performance(s)
QUINCY, WA 11/20/2014
BEATRICE HIGH SCHOOL 2 Performance(s)
BEATRICE, NE 11/15/2014
CRAIG R-3 SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
CRAIG, MO 11/15/2014
SCRIBNER-SNYDER COMM. SCHOOLS 3 Performance(s)
SCRIBNER, NE 11/14/2014
ANNA HIGH SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
ANNA, OH 11/7/2014
SETON CATHOLIC PREPARATORY HIG 1 Performance(s)
CHANDLER, AZ 4/11/2014
LAGO VISTA ISD 1 Performance(s)
LAGO VISTA, TX 12/11/2013
KAUAI PERFORMING ARTS CENTER 4 Performance(s)
LIHUE, HI 12/6/2013
EAST FOREST HIGH SCHOOL 2 Performance(s)
MARIENVILLE, PA 11/7/2013
PRAIRIE STAR MIDDLE SCHOOL 2 Performance(s)
LEAWOOD, KS 10/10/2013
MACA 1 Performance(s)
OPELOUSAS, LA 10/5/2013
REDWOOD CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS 1 Performance(s)
SAN LORENZO, CA 5/17/2013
MOODY HIGH SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
MOODY, AL 5/4/2013
NOTRE DAME-CATHEDRAL LATIN SCH 1 Performance(s)
CHARDON, OH 5/3/2013
MCNAUGHTON HIGH SCHOOL 3 Performance(s)
MOOSOMIN, SK 4/16/2013
CONCORDIA PREPARATORY SCHOOL 2 Performance(s)
RIVERTON, UT 3/22/2013

Behind The Scenes

Playwright Bryan Starchman

Talks About THE PITCH

 

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE THIS PLAY?

Well, the title character’s name kind of gives it away. I worked in Hollywood for four years while attending UCLA and was always sitting in on pitch meetings as an intern at FOX Studios, Starz, etc. I always thought that my ideas were a lot better than the ones being pitched to the producers, but I was just an intern so I had to keep my opinions (and ideas) to myself. This play is based on a recurring nightmare I have of how things would go if I ever got the chance to pitch my ideas to a Hollywood producer.

 

WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE PART OR LINE IN THE PLAY? WHY?

It sounds sort of lame to say that your own work makes you laugh, but I had set this script to one side for a couple of months before answering this question and I did laugh out loud when the main character is pitching the cooking show idea based on recipes from the Great Depression and says, “Originally I had him eating out of his shoe.” It’s just such a ridiculous concept to begin with and the image of him eating out of his shoe made me laugh. I think I have a screw loose. I like to make audiences laugh and hope that this script tickles their funny bone.

 

WHERE DID THE CHARACTERS COME FROM? ARE THEY BASED ON PEOPLE YOU KNOW?

Well, the two leads represent every desperate writer I’ve ever met and every intimidating producer I’ve interacted with. As far as the pitches go, just like the writer in the play, I have dreams about great ideas for movies and TV shows all the time. In my dreams, they sound like the best ideas ever so when I wake up I start writing, and by the time I’m fully conscious I realize what I’m writing makes no sense whatsoever. I’ve had a couple of good ideas come to me in my dreams, but most of the time my brain just seems to like to mess with me. I mean, a movie about thumb wrestling? Really? I must have eaten something weird before bed that night.

 

WHAT DID YOU TRY TO ACHIEVE WITH THIS PLAY?

While this is a satirical look at a pitch meeting, in reality they can be very uncomfortable. Especially when someone is desperate and is obviously making up storylines on the spot. I’ve rarely seen impromptu pitches work, usually the room is very, very quiet and the writer is looking for a rock to crawl under. I like uncomfortable comedy (think "The Office") and think that this play is so fast-paced that audiences will be very entertained by the writer’s plight.

 

DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO ADD?

As far as sets and costumes go, this is the “easiest to stage” show I’ve ever written. Keep it simple, focus on the flow of the dialogue to make it feel conversational, and make sure that as a pitch is being acted out that the attention of the audience is on the extra actors. It should appear as if the writer’s ideas are coming to life. Basic lighting and having the writer/producer detached from the action is most effective.