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MMC Theatre Arts Junior Presents Original Play for “Quarantine Bake Off”

  • Alaina Messineo ’21
Alaina Messineo ’21, a Theatre Arts major with concentrations in Directing and Writing for the Stage, was selected as a finalist for the second round of Quarantine Bake Off, a monthly playwriting competition organized by college students and spurred by the social isolation brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Quarantine Bakeoff was created in mid-March, after students from the University of Minnesota’s BFA Acting program and New York University’s Playwrights Horizons program posted an online flyer for a virtual playwriting challenge on social media. The group, only expecting a hundred people or less, received over 5,000 interested participants in one weekend. According to the group’s official website, the challenge is based on Pulitzer-winning playwright Paula Vogel’s Bake-Off exercise, which assigns themes and specific elements for writers to use to create a short play within 48 hours.

Messineo was intrigued by the group and their challenge, and decided to submit for the second round. “The premise is that they send you a list of ‘ingredients’ in which you use to bake a 15 page or less play,” she explains. “When Round 2 came along I had started up writing again and had the itch to write a new play. I wrote this play after I had taken up baking banana bread - I have made countless loaves since entering quarantine. I was so surprised when my play was chosen and was more than happy with the reading, the direction, and the actors. Overall it was an amazing experience and I am very proud of this play.” 

The required “ingredients” for the second round included: a second chance, wild turkey, soil, a reuniting, a sprig of mint, and for extra credit, a monologue spoken by someone eating a fried egg.

Congratulations, Alaina!

Click the image below to watch the reading of Messineo’s short play, Banana Bread Tastes Better When It’s Ripe.