30 Day Script Challenge: From Skeptic to Believer!

Aug 25, 2021
 By Melvin Tunstall III

Okay, confession:

I’m not a fan of challenges. Whether it is my fear of failure or lack of discipline (or most likely a combination of both), I tend to steer clear of anything that blatantly states that it’s not going to be easy. 

Enter Ken Davenport. 

While scrolling through Instagram, I came across a monthly reminder that the 30 Day Script Challenge was approaching once again. 

I “liked” it but I kept scrolling. (Just being honest, I told you this was a confession!)

Then this week while visiting Midland, Michigan I learned a fun local fact: Midland is the home of the world’s oldest “Santa Academy,” the Charles W. Howard Santa Claus school. Considered the “Harvard of Santa Academies,” every October, around 300 Santa hopefuls arrive in Midland (via reindeer assumedly) to receive premiere training in all things Ho-Ho-Ho

“Well, that sounds like a Christmas show waiting to happen!” I said jokingly to one of Midland’s most influential theater producers.

“Santa Academy is in October, it’s beautiful here then- why don’t you come back, research,  and write it?!”


MELVIN scrolls feverishly to find that 30 Day Script challenge.

So here we are, theatermakers. Challenge accepted. Who says you can’t teach an old writer new tricks?

Full disclosure, because of prior commitments, I am scheduling this challenge with my return research trip to Midland. This will allow me to really sit and plan the perfect playcation (shout out to all you Tip of the Week E-mail readers!) to ensure success. 

However, I did take some time today to begin reading Ken’s incredible book, and it felt like he knew he was teaching someone that is a very high flight risk like yours truly.

“Now, if you have an idea already, then guess what? You get the day off! You’ve completed the assignment for Day 1.”

Woo-hoo! Already nailing this challenge. 

But don’t worry if you don’t have an idea! Ken’s got your back. Using his tried and true Idea Exercise, within 15 MINUTES you will have 10 ideas (!) and be on your way to writing your new script.

I’m sitting here looking at my “Davenport-generated” idea list and I must admit, I just may become a believer after all. Santa Academy is just the start. Stay tuned!

TheaterMakers, we are a few days into August. Did any of you take this challenge this month? How is it going for you so far? Remember, your 30 Days can begin anytime and as always, we are here to help you along your theatermaking journey. Join our FREE TheaterMakers Facebook Group today and open up a treasure trove of ideas, resources, and so much more that will help you get started today!




1501 Broadway

New York, NY 10036

Phone: 877-806-9969

Email: [email protected]