What's in a Name?

I just recently finished a short play entitled "A Small Act of Vandalism." It's part of a larger project I've been working on for sometime now - a collection of one-person plays centered around a theme. Yes, I'm aware that this is not exactly an original concept, but let's face it, a four character, two-act play is hardly a groundbreaking idea either, is it?

Anyway, every time I've finished one of these, I've run up against the same problem...what do I label it? Is it a monologue? A one-person play (as noted above)? A monologue play? Or just a play? I hesitate to call them monologues or even monologue plays, even though technically that's what they are, as I think calling it a monologue somehow suggests that it's something less than an actual play. This is not the case, but I think there's a tendency to see them as pieces or extracts rather than complete stories. I've been drawn to the idea of calling them one-person plays, but in another sense that seems rather silly. It's not as if you would call a two-character full-length play " a two-character play." Or a duologue play, for that matter. So, after much rumination, I have decided to simply call them "plays," as in "A Small Act of Vandalism - a play by Andrew Biss." While this may all sound very punctilious, it's been (perhaps bizarrely) the cause of some consternation for a while now. So, having happily resolved my pedantic crisis, I am now free to contemplate the larger issues around me, such as war, famine, and the decline of Western civilization.

All in good time...


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