7 MINUTES

7 MINUTES follows a college wrestling team through the 2002-2003 season, building to the NCAA National Championship. Immersed in the alpha-male culture of wrestling, and the lead-up to the US invasion of Iraq, members of the team, led by their captain Harry Finn, wrangle with masculinity, patriotism, and growing into adulthood after lives spent dedicated to living on the mat.

Harry Finn is a...
7 MINUTES follows a college wrestling team through the 2002-2003 season, building to the NCAA National Championship. Immersed in the alpha-male culture of wrestling, and the lead-up to the US invasion of Iraq, members of the team, led by their captain Harry Finn, wrangle with masculinity, patriotism, and growing into adulthood after lives spent dedicated to living on the mat.

Harry Finn is a senior wrestler, but his father’s death, and the drinking spiral Harry fell into afterwards, disrupted his Junior year chances at a National Championship. Harry returns to the Warriors wrestling team senior year to face his rival, Luis Fernandez of Penn State, and captain a team wary of his leadership after his Junior year struggles. Off the mat, he faces the looming question of his future, after dedicating his life to a sport that all but ends after college.

Harry leads a team of alphas, each of whom come with personal battles. Biddy, a senior who struggles to meet his weight requirement, fights back fears that he’ll be replaced by a younger, fresher team. Guerra hides his sexuality under the cover of machismo. Freshman Burnett flails as the new kid trying to keep up with the big dogs, after a high school career of being on top. And Randi, who transfers from the team’s rival Penn State, is a female wrestler who isn’t allowed to compete in men’s tournaments, but wants to test herself against the best wrestlers she can find.

Tracking the Warrior’s journey is Karina, a senior year journalism student profiling the team’s quest for the title. Haunted by the fear her brother will join the military as the nation spirals into war, Karina seeks to understand the masculinity and tribalism that holds the Warriors together. As she follows the Warriors, Karina and Harry fall in love. But Harry’s dedication to his sport, and his lack of understanding anything off the mat – particularly emotional connection – make any kind of relationship difficult.

As the Warriors near the National Championships, and the country invades Iraq, Harry faces his arch rival Luis, but also must face the reality of who he has become, having spent his life living only for the wrestling mat.
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7 MINUTES

Recommended by

  • Eugene O'Neill Theater Center:
    22 Jun. 2020
    It is the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center's pleasure to recommend John J King and their play 7 MINUTES as a finalist for our 2020 National Playwrights Conference. This particular work emerged from a highly competitive selection process to become one of 63 finalists out of more than 1,500 submissions. This enthralling piece galvanized the hearts and theatrical imaginations of our reading teams and is fully championed by our offices. We are honored to put our enthusiastic support behind this writer and their ongoing contributions to the American Theater.
  • American Shakespeare Center:
    14 Mar. 2020
    7 Minutes was on the final shortlist for Shakespeare’s New Contemporaries Cycle 3 at the American Shakespeare Center. It rose through to the top of an anonymous, multi-tiered selection process, and it is our pleasure to recommend this play. This play is a skillful and thoughtful exploration of masculinity and nationality through collegiate wrestling. The language shifts adroitly through distinct voices, the energy is compelling, and the connections to the Shakespeare play that inspired it make it all the more timely.

Awards

Honorable Mention
,
88th Annual Writer's Digest Competition - SCRIPT
,
Writer's Digest
,
2019
Finalist
,
Shakespeare's New Contemporaries
,
American Shakespeare Center
,
2019