2020 Date coming soon!




About ONE

One Writer, One Actor, One Week is a chance for writers and actors to collaborate with writers and actors they may not otherwise meet.

Here’s how it works:

A week before this show, writers and actors put their names in separate hats and get paired together for one week to write a 3 to 7 minute act. Check out past years’ videos to see what others have done. One week later all teams perform in a Showcase event.


Pay online when you apply!

Application is all in advance - including payment.



How does ONE work?

A week before this show, writers and actors put their names in separate hats and get paired together for one week to write a 3 to 7 minute act (500 words or less). Check out past years’ videos to see what others have done. One week later all teams perform in a Showcase event.


ONE is a chance for actors and writers to collaborate with someone entirely new they may not otherwise meet.


How much does it cost?

The application fee is $10 and gets you a chance to play, entry to the Showcase evening, and networking at the Kick Off event. Space is limited. Application is complete this year! Let us know if you want to play next year! 


When and where?


   2019 Kick Off – March 25th

   4TH Street Theatre - 216 4th St.

   Doors open at 5:30 to meet & greet

   Pairing of Writers and Actors – 6:30 p.m.


   Showcase - April 1st  7:00 p.m.

   Stoner Theater, Des Moines Civic Center

   Call time for all writers and actors: 6:00 p.m.



I’m a writer AND an actor. Which hat do I put my name in?

If you aren’t sure which way you want to register, you can choose the “Producer's Choice” category. Once all registrations are received, you’ll be placed in whichever category needs you in order to match everyone up.


What happens if there is not an equal number of actors and writers?

If you’ve registered prior to the Kick Off, we’ll do our best to ensure you’ll be matched with someone at the Kick Off. Those who register the day of the Kick Off will be put into a separate drawing and only the number of pairs drawn will perform.


Is ONE a competition? Are there any assigned elements, like genre, character or a line of dialogue?

ONE is not a competition. It’s a chance to collaborate with other artists and find out how creative you can be within the week. There are no required elements, except that the piece should have been written in the prior week specifically for this event and your performance must be no more than 7 minutes. When names are drawn, teams will also pick a random item from a grab bag of props. The prop may be used in the final performance, however, it can also just be used to start brainstorming with your team.


What is the set for ONE?

Set for the evening will include one bar stool in a black box theater. Teams can remove or add to set, as long as they can set and strike within a two-minute time limit before and after their performance. Over the past few years we’ve learned that additional props and sets have rarely added more to the performance. This is a chance for you to focus only on the power of words and the actor’s ability to bring them to life.


What about costuming?

Costuming is up to the team and the resources available to them. Being dressed is required; the level of effort put into it is up to you.


Is this a full performance? Or a stage read?

Check out the videos for an idea of how prepared teams were last year. We also get it that things can change once you sign up – If your script or schedule doesn’t lend itself to full memorization or staging, just let us know. We want ONE to be a positive experience for everyone! If you’re doing a staged read, we’ll allow for that in show order and in the way your performance is set up.


Where can we rehearse?

If you need a neutral, centrally located place to rehearse, check out Des Moines Onstage for studio rental. Some groups also use the Des Moines Library or meet up at a local coffee shop.


What if we need some help finding our mojo?

While most teams do a great job figuring out how to write and direct a performance in a week, we get it that experience may vary and you could get stuck with how to get it all done. If you have a snafu within your team that you need a friendly intervention on – let us know. Several volunteers are on board to help with a variety of issues – and we’ll pair you up with a seasoned veteran who can help you get back on track. As with any live theater production, all participants take some risk that issues from artistic differences to family emergencies may come up after you’ve been paired with a partner. We do our best to resolve issues and/or find substitute actors or writers if needed, however, registration for ONE is not a guarantee that your piece will be performed in the showcase event.




Interested in sponsor opportunities or have other questions not covered in the FAQ?

Please contact:
Karen Swanson
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