No Signs of Intelligent Life

Book By: Bryan Starchman
Play #: 8428
Pages: 68 pgs
Cast: Widely flexible from 5 to 29

If you think you’ve suffered too many awkward moments or been in the dark in conversations, just think how poor, innocent aliens feel! Hungry to fit in, (a little too hungry at times!) they do and say things that we humans aren't allowed to. Join in the laughter as these extraterrestrials meet all kinds of humans -- teenagers, rednecks, survivalists and the most enigmatic, tech support nerds. Will these hapless aliens be able to figure out the daily rituals of dating, gossiping at the water cooler, camping, or even fixing our computers? The aliens have the knowledge to increase food production, create alternative energies, and achieve world peace. Are Earthlings the intelligent life they seek to bestow these gifts? More important, could Earthlings help the aliens get home again?!

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Performances - $75.00
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Productions

BISON HIGH SCHOOL 2 Performance(s)
BISON, SD 3/29/2019
UNITED HIGH SCHOOL 3 Performance(s)
MONMOUTH, IL 2/23/2019
BECKENDORFF JUNIOR HIGH THEATRE 2 Performance(s)
KATY, TX 11/9/2018
SOUTHERN BOONE HIGH SCHOOL 4 Performance(s)
ASHLAND, MO 10/29/2018
CHESTER AREA HIGH SCHOOL 2 Performance(s)
CHESTER, SD 10/15/2018
VALLEY VIEW SCHOOL, INC. 2 Performance(s)
NORTH BROOKFIELD, MA 10/13/2018
JENNINGS LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICT 2 Performance(s)
FORT JENNINGS, OH 10/5/2018
CHESTNUT RIDGE SENIOR HIGH SCH 2 Performance(s)
NEW PARIS, PA 5/10/2018
CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL 2 Performance(s)
WARTBURG, TN 5/2/2018
CROSWELL-LEXINGTON H.S. DRAMA 2 Performance(s)
CROSWELL, MI 4/20/2018
SOUTH BEND HIGH SCHOOL 3 Performance(s)
SOUTH BEND, WA 4/13/2018
MANHATTAN SCHOOL DISTRICT 114 1 Performance(s)
MANHATTAN, IL 4/12/2018
SKYKOMISH SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
SKYKOMISH, WA 3/28/2018
ELCHO HIGH SCHOOL 2 Performance(s)
ELCHO, WI 3/16/2018
REDMOND HIGH SCHOOL DRAMA 1 Performance(s)
REDMOND, OR 3/2/2018
ARCTIC VILLAGE SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
ARCTIC VILLAGE, AK 2/21/2018
HARPER CREEK HIGH SCHOOL 3 Performance(s)
BATTLE CREEK, MI 12/8/2017
TRI-COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL 2 Performance(s)
PLAINFIELD, WI 12/1/2017
PLATTE-GEDDES HIGH SCHOOL 2 Performance(s)
PLATTE, SD 11/30/2017
BELLE VERNON MIDDLE SCHOOL 2 Performance(s)
BELLE VERNON, PA 11/30/2017
WILLISTON MIDDLE HIGH SCHOOL 2 Performance(s)
WILLISTON, FL 11/29/2017
MORTIMER JORDAN HIGH SCHOOL 3 Performance(s)
KIMBERLY, AL 11/10/2017
CAL COMMUNITY SCHOOLS 2 Performance(s)
LATIMER, IA 11/10/2017
MAZAMA HIGH SCHOOL 2 Performance(s)
KLAMATH FALLS, OR 11/8/2017
LITCHFIELD CLC 1 Performance(s)
AKRON, OH 10/15/2017
CENTER STAGE THEATRE COMPANY 1 Performance(s)
WEST NEWBURY, MA 7/14/2017
HUNDRED HIGH SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
LITTLETON, WV 5/19/2017
BEULAH HIGH SCHOOL DRAMA 1 Performance(s)
BEULAH, ND 5/7/2017
EASTERN HIGH SCHOOL 3 Performance(s)
REEDSVILLE , OH 5/5/2017
BYRON-BERGEN CENTRAL SCHOOLS 2 Performance(s)
BYRON, NY 5/5/2017
SIERRA HIGH SCHOOL 2 Performance(s)
TOLLHOUSE, CA 5/1/2017
THEATRE GROUP 1 Performance(s)
GARDEN CITY, KS 4/28/2017
MCINTOSH HIGH SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
MCINTOSH, SD 4/28/2017
ORIENT-MACKSBURG SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
ORIENT, IA 4/8/2017
INDIAN MILLS MEMORIAL SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
SHAMONG, NJ 3/2/2017
PIKE COUNTY CENTRAL HIGH SCHOO 3 Performance(s)
PIKEVILLE, KY 3/1/2017
BOROUGH OF NEW PROVIDENCE 1 Performance(s)
NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ 1/28/2017
LAUDERDALE COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL 2 Performance(s)
ROGERSVILLE, AL 1/26/2017
SCHOOL 3 Performance(s)
PRINCE GEORGE , BC 12/8/2016
WEST CARROLL HIGH SCHOOL 3 Performance(s)
SAVANNA, IL 11/28/2016
BROOKS MIDDLE SCHOOL 3 Performance(s)
BOLINGBROOK, IL 11/16/2016
CLAYMOND HIGH SCHOOL 3 Performance(s)
DOVER, OH 11/10/2016
CLEAR CREEK HIGH SCHOOL 3 Performance(s)
EVERGREEN, CO 10/15/2016
FRIENDS SCHOOL OF ATLANTA 1 Performance(s)
DECATUR, GA 10/1/2016
TRIANGLE LAKE SCHOOL 2 Performance(s)
BLACHLY , OR 5/27/2016
BLOOMER MIDDLE SCHOOL 2 Performance(s)
BLOOMER, WI 5/15/2016
GRANT DEUEL SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
REVILLO, SD 4/30/2016
EBF COMMUNITY SCHOOLS 2 Performance(s)
EDDYVILLE , IA 4/29/2016
HICKMAN COUNTY HIGH 1 Performance(s)
CLINTON, KY 4/25/2016
BYRON PUBLIC SCHOOLS 2 Performance(s)
BYRON , MN 4/21/2016
RIVERHEADS HIGH SCHOOL 2 Performance(s)
STAUNTON, VA 4/15/2016
CARBON COUNTY SCHOOL DIST 1 2 Performance(s)
RAWLINS, WY 4/1/2016
CLIFTON RIDGE MIDDLE SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
MACON, GA 3/30/2016
BEARSPAW CHRISTIAN SCHOOL 3 Performance(s)
CALGARY, AB 3/17/2016
KATY JH 2 Performance(s)
KATY, TX 3/15/2016
SCHOOL DISTRICT 2 Performance(s)
THIEF RIVER FALLS, MN 3/15/2016
BOONVILLE HIGH SCHOOL 3 Performance(s)
BOONVILLE, MO 2/27/2016
LIGONIER VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL 2 Performance(s)
LIGONIER, PA 12/11/2015
PHOENIX CHRISTIAN PREPARATORY 2 Performance(s)
PHOENIX, AZ 12/4/2015
NER4 THEATER DEPARTMENT 1 Performance(s)
CAIRO, MO 11/21/2015
COLE CAMP HIGH SCHOOL 3 Performance(s)
COLE CAMP, MO 11/19/2015
ORION JR. HIGH SCHOOL 2 Performance(s)
HARRISVILLE, UT 11/12/2015
SAN BENITO HIGH SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
HOLLISTER, CA 10/23/2015
WESTVIEW HIGH SCHOOL 3 Performance(s)
AVONDALE, AZ 10/21/2015
ELIZABETH MIDDLE SCHOOL 2 Performance(s)
ELIZABETH, CO 10/15/2015
THEATRE ATCHISON 4 Performance(s)
ATCHISON, KS 7/22/2015
JAMESBURG MIDDLE SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
JAMESBURG, NJ 6/2/2015
BISHOP LUDDEN JRSR HIGH SCH 4 Performance(s)
SYRACUSE , NY 5/28/2015
OLATHE HIGH SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
OLATHE, CO 5/22/2015
PILOT MOUNTAIN MIDDLE SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
PILOT MOUNTAIN, NC 5/14/2015
SHADOW RIDGE MIDDLE SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
FLOWER MOUND, TX 5/12/2015
STAUNTON HIGH SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
STAUNTON, IL 3/15/2015
ROCKY FORD HIGH SCHOOL 2 Performance(s)
ROCKY FORD, CO 3/15/2015
LANSE HIGH SCHOOL DRAMA 3 Performance(s)
LANSE, MI 3/15/2015
LAPWAI SCHOOL DIST 341 1 Performance(s)
LAPWAI, ID 3/15/2015
SANDY CREEK CSD 2 Performance(s)
PARISH, NY 3/13/2015
DLR JUNIOR HIGH 2 Performance(s)
MOUNT MORRIS , IL 2/27/2015
TWIN TOWERS MIDDLE SCH DRAMA 2 Performance(s)
NEW PALTZ, NY 11/21/2014
FOX RIDGE MIDDLE SCHOOL 2 Performance(s)
AURORA, CO 11/20/2014
PALM SPRINGS MIDDLE SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
WEST PALM BEACH, FL 11/20/2014
OTIS-BISON HIGH SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
OTIS, KS 11/15/2014
COLEMAN MIDDLE SCHOOL 2 Performance(s)
CEDAR HILL, TX 11/14/2014
SIBLEY EAST SCHOOLS 2 Performance(s)
ARLINGTON, MN 11/7/2014
MARIPOSA COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL 3 Performance(s)
MARIPOSA, CA 10/31/2014
ONEIDA BAPTIST INSTITUTE 3 Performance(s)
ONEIDA, KY 10/30/2014
TIMBERLAKE HIGH SCHOOL 2 Performance(s)
SPIRIT LAKE, ID 10/28/2014
MARTIN LUTHER HIGH SCHOOL 3 Performance(s)
MASPETH, NY 10/23/2014
CONTINENTAL HIGH SCH 2 Performance(s)
CONTINENTAL, OH 10/15/2014
GRACE LUTHERAN CHURCH 1 Performance(s)
DES MOINES, IA 9/6/2014
LUTHER COLLEGE 3 Performance(s)
CROYDON HILLS, VI 6/17/2014
STANFIELD SECONDARY SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
STANFIELD, OR 5/22/2014
NORTON CITY SCHOOLS 1 Performance(s)
BARBERTON, OH 5/16/2014
PINE FOREST HIGH SCHOOL DRAMA 2 Performance(s)
PENSACOLA, FL 5/16/2014
HOLBROOK SCHOOL 2 Performance(s)
HOLDEN, ME 5/15/2014
EAST COWETA MIDDLE SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
SENOIA, GA 5/15/2014
PIKEVIEW HIGH SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
PRINCETON, WV 5/15/2014
DECATUR HIGH SCHOOL 2 Performance(s)
DECATUR, MI 5/3/2014
BUTLER SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
BUTLER, PA 5/2/2014
WAUBAY HIGH SCHOOL 2 Performance(s)
WAUBAY, SD 4/30/2014
MAHNOMEN PUBLIC SCHOOL 2 Performance(s)
MAHNOMEN, MN 4/15/2014
HIGHLAND HIGH SCHOOL 2 Performance(s)
LEWISTOWN, MO 4/11/2014
ARLINGTON HIGH SCHOOL 2 Performance(s)
ARLINGTON, OH 3/21/2014
MORRISTOWN HIGH SCHOOL 2 Performance(s)
MORRISTOWN , IN 3/14/2014
WHATCOM COMMUNITY COLLEGE 3 Performance(s)
BELLINGHAM, WA 3/13/2014
KENNEDY MIDDLE SCHOOL 2 Performance(s)
PLAINFIELD, IL 2/15/2014
STRASBURG PUBLIC SCHOOL 2 Performance(s)
STRASBURG, ND 12/7/2013
WILLISTON HIGH SCHOOL 2 Performance(s)
WILLISTON, FL 12/5/2013
CALICHE JR.SR. HIGH SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
ILIFF, CO 11/19/2013
ARLINGTON MEMORIAL HIGH SCHOOL 3 Performance(s)
ARLINGTON, VT 11/15/2013
SIERRA LINDA HIGH SCHOOL 2 Performance(s)
PHOENIX, AZ 11/15/2013
SILVERADO HIGH SCHOOL 2 Performance(s)
VICTORVILLE, CA 11/14/2013
WELLSVILLE 2 Performance(s)
OTTAWA, KS 11/14/2013
NORTH TAMA SCHOOLS 2 Performance(s)
TRAER, IA 11/9/2013
NEW FAIRFIELD H.SREBEL PLAYERS 2 Performance(s)
NEW FAIRFIELD, CT 11/8/2013
A-C CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL 2 Performance(s)
ASHLAND, IL 11/8/2013
MT. VERNON PRESBYTERIAN SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
ATLANTA, GA 11/1/2013
HOLDINGFORD HS 3 Performance(s)
HOLDINGFORD, MN 10/31/2013
MCCLAVE SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
MC CLAVE, CO 10/15/2013

Behind The Scenes

Playwright Bryan Starchman Talks About

“NO SIGNS OF INTELLIGENT LIFE”

 

Q: WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE THIS PLAY?

A: I've always loved "fish out of water" stories. Oftentimes I've arrived late to a staff meeting where I have no idea what's going on, or find myself at a fundraiser where I'm the only young playwright among wealthy retired donors. In those awkward moments I observe the "culture" or "language" which fuels my writing. I try to build a story out of an unfamiliar situation.

 

I also buy a lot of goofy props and gimmicks for my own stage productions (heck, even for Christmas presents) and almost everything is made in another country. I can only imagine what a guy in Shenzhen, China must think in the factory as he's putting together yet another singing "Billy the Bass" or packaging a remote controlled fart speaker. Out of context, we consumers probably look very strange to him.

 

I think we all have had that feeling of being the outsider, sometimes not understanding what everyone else is talking about, and oftentimes new concepts or situations can feel very alien and unclear. This play is really a satire on some of the bizarre things that we do as humans and how what we think is normal behavior must look like to an outsider.

 

Q: WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE PART OR LINE IN THE PLAY? WHY?

A: The first scene I wrote was the one at the water cooler. I luckily have never made the mistake of asking how many months pregnant a woman was only to find out that she's not actually pregnant. However, I did see a friend confront a stranger at a bar once because she was having a drink and appeared to my friend to be pregnant. The drink was thrown in his face before I even knew what he had said to the poor woman. Turns out she was just a little on the round side. It was one of the most uncomfortable moments of his life and at the time it was not funny, but I love uncomfortable comedy and later, this humiliating incident became one of our favorite stories. Sometimes the best thing to do in a really awkward situation is to be able to take a step back, confront what makes us uncomfortable, and find the humor in it.

 

Q: TELL US ABOUT THE CHARACTERS.

A: It's really all about the aliens. I tried to keep them as neutral as possible but while they have a sense of innocence they also have a sense of adventure. They all dive right in and are hungry to fit in, a little too hungry at times. They do and say things that we aren't allowed to. They ask "why" when the rest of us would just play along and pretend we "get it" when in fact we might be completely lost. In real life I wouldn't want everyone to act like the aliens in this play, but at times I wish I could be as upfront and honest as they are. The rest of the characters are for the most part exaggerations of humans, caricatures of teenagers, rednecks, survival guides. However, I do have to say that I was a substitute teacher for a year so if any of those jokes hit a little too close to home for those substitutes out there, I'm making fun of myself in that scene. I was 21 years old and suddenly I was in charge of an entire class and I had to ask myself, "How is this possible? Don't they know that I have no idea what I'm doing!?!"

 

Q: WHAT DID YOU TRY TO ACHIEVE WITH THIS PLAY?

A: We all play the alien at some point in our lives. A woman starts screaming at you at the gas station because she thinks she recognizes your car as the one that "cut her off a week ago." Or you just happen to be dressed exactly like the employees in the grocery store and as you are shopping an old man is insisting that you show him where the lima beans are. I hope that audiences will laugh and be able to relate with that feeling of being an outsider who has the best intentions of trying to fit in or settle a conflict but inevitably ends up failing miserably.

 

Q: DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO ADD?

A: Have fun with the show. Practice is key. As I've directed more and more shows, I can't emphasize enough the importance of making sure your actors aren't reacting before it is their time to speak. This anticipation can really take the audience out of a scene, it feels "too rehearsed," and so I have been focusing more on the old cliché of "the illusion of the first time." The best advice I can give to other directors is to get the actors off book as soon as possible and then start to videotape each scene. Make them watch themselves in rehearsals and take notes on how they are acting when it is NOT their turn to speak. I've seen vast improvement in my actors after having them watch their own reactions even just a few times on tape.