Stop Laughing Without Me

Five-Minute: (2021) A playwright meets with a producer, but the meeting doesn't go as planned.

The script is available at
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Stop Laughing Without Me

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  • Larry Rinkel:
    3 Mar. 2022
    Do we achieve our intentions when writing a play? Does the reader get what we expected, or do they respond more truly than we realize to what we actually wrote? Maybe Claude Balz's (Balls?) play is funnier than he thinks he is, or maybe producer Sid just doesn't get the intended serious meaning. Who knows. Either way, Philip's delightful short reminds me of Oscar Wilde's classic line about Dickens's "Old Curiosity Shop": “One must have a heart of stone to read the death of little Nell without laughing.”
  • Morey Norkin:
    3 Mar. 2022
    Maybe the funniest, and certainly the most unexpected line I’ve read in some time! Took me in hook, line, and sinker. That would be the ending of Philip Middleton Williams’ insightful short play. Leading up to this, is a look at what I believe most (all?) playwrights worry about when they hand their work over for production: do they get it? Of course, in Claude’s case, a little self-awareness would have been helpful. I’m going to find myself bursting into laughter whenever that line pops into my head!
  • Adam Richter:
    3 Mar. 2022
    I don't know why they say comedy is hard. For the main character in Philip Middleton Williams' short play, it was literally effortless. The gap between how we want our work to be seen an and how it is seen varies in size, but here it's a gaping maw.
    Therein lies the tragedy.
    Or in this case, the comedy.
    "Stop Laughing Without Me" is a comic gem with a brilliant kicker at the end. This is a great two-hander that would be perfect for an evening of short plays.

Character Information

  • Sid
  • Claude