When you try your best, do you ever really fail?
Satan thinks so.

Sandra - Female, any age, any race / ethnicity

Satan- Any gender, any age, any race / ethnicity

self-esteemfriendship, playwriting, self-doubt
Contemporary 1-Minute Plays, Vol 4 - 2023
“A powerful little play that will so resonate with all the writers in the room! Fast, fun, and spot on! Thanks, John Mabey, for making my Monday morning!”
(Vivian Lermond)

“At least this play got a hit in the production circuit because Mabey nails it with a capital P and A for the pain and agony it is to be a writer, and also the pain and agony of submitting to these festivals. But he also nails what it is to be a community that do support each other and have each other's back until they don't. I'm sure there's a little Satan in all of us in the end.”
(Lee R. Lawing)
“A one-page hoot, playwrights and audiences alike will enjoy.”
(Maggie Goscinski)
“It should be absolutely no surprise to anyone when John Mabey reveals that not only is Satan responsible for all those rejections you get every year, but that he came up with the concept of Zoom readings in general. In one of those 'if you don't laugh you'll cry' pieces, the truth of what we do is laid bare in a sobering, funny manner.”
(Toby Malone)
“The absolute best commentary on Zoom plays I've heard comes from Mabey's brilliant short. The writing criteria given in the play aligns so well with the unfolding action. A fun ride.”
(Matt Cogswell)
“When you try your best but you don’t succeed... Satan will be there to be your biggest supporter... or perhaps your biggest rival. A devilishly funny and relatable one-minute treat.”
(Hayley St. James)
“A very funny play about attempting to stand tall in the face of rejection.”
(Evan Baughfman)
“Hilarious one-minute play with Satan as a tormenter of writers. So funny!”
(Jennifer O'Grady)
“Okay, now I know who's behind all those rejection letters. It isn't our own self-doubt, which is the bane of all playwrights, but the Fallen One who is really behind it because the Devil himself can't even get into the O'Neill. But when we learn to share our feelings... maybe there's hope... Or is it just some hellish trickery? John Mabey explores it... and then...”
(Philip Middleton Williams)

On some level, this play is about every rejection. All of them. We view them all as cosmic, demonic conspiracies because WHAT OTHER EXPLANATION IS THERE???

Often we only view our losses through the lens of those who were celebrated instead: as tiny creatures of profound insigificance. That this rejected piece is one-page-long heightens the humilation because at least 50 to 60 plays BY OTHER PEOPLE did get accpted!

At least we’re not alone, right? Well...
Mabey has an answer for that too.

Hilarous. Painful. Honest.”
(Scott Sickles)
“A funny little 1 page play about 1 page plays that, somehow, manages to say so much. It helps that Satan is so relatable, but the play's effectiveness is most likely the result of MABEY's excellent, tight execution.”
(Elisabeth Giffin Speckman)
“John Mabey is an exceptional playwright, who has written a really fun and witty one-minute play, “failing at a 1-page play festival”. I had a big laugh out loud moment, when I read the last line of dialogue. Pull up a chair and read this short play. You will love it!”
(Jack Levine)
“Well, this is delightful. Even Satan has an inbox full of rejections from theater companies. John Mabey has written a fun one page play that had me giggling.”
(Lisa Dellagiarino Feriend)
“We've all got a Satan on our shoulders. Who knew he was so adept at dramatic irony?

John Mabey's one-page farce "failing at a 1-page play festival" plays to a lot of writers' dreams and fears and disappointments. Remarkably, within a single page, an audience or reader will, indeed, develop sympathy for the Devil -- a great feat of conciseness and ever-focused forward movement by Mabey.

Watch out for that other shoe to drop, though. It's a doozy, and well earned. This is a marvelous one-page treat!”
(Steven G. Martin)
“I KNEW ONLY THE PRINCE OF DARKNESS COULD BE THE REAL FORCE BEHIND LAG DURING ZOOM READINGS! This 1-minute play skewers the submission-rejection-self-loathing-rinse-repeat cycle that we all know so well in a delightful way. This would be such a fun interlude in a night of plays.... or perhaps a zoom reading?”
(Emily McClain)
“John Mabey has crafted a delightful one-page play about the torments involved in play submissions. Even Satan the tormentor is tormented! Is Mabey devilishly suggesting there might be a little of Satan in all of us?”
(Peter Dakutis)

“A richly dark comedy, it raises the question many ask: How do you write a one minute play? The irony is, of course, that Mabey succeeds at the form here (as he does with all his works), and quickly conveys the Faustian deals playwrights may be willing to make for the sake of their art. In the end, Mabey wins the top prize.”
(Jake Lewis)

“I love the genius that Satan invented Zoom readings! For what? A punishment or penance? We wonder. Could the world, and particularly aspiring wordsmiths have misread Old Nick all these years? Oh no, at the very last, he comes true to his biblical form. And all of this in one page...genius!!!”
(David Patton)

“I just KNEW who was to blame for zoom play festivals! This hilarious satire will appeals to fans of new plays (and fans of Satan) and anyone who has been rejected. Sympathy for the Devil has never been so funny!”
(John Minigan)

“The smothering joke is so great! Would love to see this included in a 1 minute play festival.”
(Samantha Marchant)
Stage Left Theater, WA - 2021
Tiny Theatre, AL - 2022

Wine Box Players, NYC - 2022

Flush Ink Productions, Canada - 2021

Jakespeare Theatre Company, MA- 2022

Tiny Theatre

Jakespeare Theatre Company

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