Rules for Elevator Plays Rules for Elevator Plays

Rules for Elevator Plays

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• Elevator plays are about life altering events, conflicts, and discoveries that take us to the heights of joy and plunge us to the depths of despair in mere moments. They are about moments of transformation. The minutes in our lives that change us inexorably.

• Elevator plays are a maximum of 5 minutes in length.

• The elevator must be essential to the play. The text must need an elevator in order to be performed. It must rely on it. It should not be a piece that can be performed in another venue.

• The audience enters the elevator with the actors.

• The presence of the audience and their hyper-close proximity to the performers needs to be a vital component of the text. The play needs to create a contract with the audience which helps them to understand how to respond to the action of the play in performance.

• Each play has three actors in it. You may use supernumeraries (extras).

• The performers must control the length of the elevator ride as part of the action of the play. Elevator rides are mostly shorter than 5 minutes. In order for the play to be 5 minutes in length the actors will need to control the elevator’s use. You can count on us to have elevator keys.

• The action may take place inside and outside the elevator. Scenes can happen on various floors up or down from the starting place.

• There will be no technicians aboard the elevator. Technical requirements need to be minimal and must be executed by the actors inside the action of the play.

• No blackouts.

• No emergency stops.

• Elements that will require re-set before the play begins are allowed. Example: The elevator is full of balloons that are popped during each performance.

• The elevator can be used as a metaphor. Example: The people in the elevator could be a blood clot moving towards someone’s brain.

• We will be seeking exclusive use of each elevator.

• The plays will be performed in two cycles of 8 plays. The first cycle will be in October in Edmonton. The second cycle will be performed as part of Workshop West’s Canoe Festival in 2014.

• For the Edmonton productions the plays will be available for viewing simultaneously for two hours each performance evening. Audiences will meet at a central location where they will be given a map and directions to each elevator. From there they will make their way from elevator to elevator. Audiences will be free to view each work in whatever order they wish.

Last modified onSaturday, 14 June 2014 21:47
Heather Inglis

Heather is a theatre practitioner from Edmonton, Alberta.
She is the creator of the NEP and Artistic Producer of Theatre Yes. Website:


Heather Inglis



Theatre Yes, 2014