Convention Skit

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Synonyms: fan play
See also:
cover of Spectrum #36, Connie Faddis and Jeff Johnston in drag as Kirk and Chantal in a parody of Diamonds and Rust, one of the fan plays performed at SeKWesterCon in 1977
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A convention skit or a "fan play' is a play written and performed by fans about their relationship with their favorite TV shows. Most gently mock fandom's obsessions. While some fan plays focus on the characters, many other delve into the meta issues surrounding fans' relationships with one another and their community.

Examples of convention skits

  • Spock Shock, the very first media convention skit, written in 1967, performed in 1969
  • Zebracon, a slash convention that was held in Chicago from the 1970s through the late 2000s was famous for its fan written plays and some have been collected in Play by Playbook: Collected ZebraCon Plays.
  • "Stour Trek: A Musical in Search of a Key" by Paula Smith and "Where No Man Has Gone Lately" by Winston Howlett were performed at SeKWesterCon in 1977. There was another skit performed at that con that was an epilogue to a story in Delta Triad #4: "The Sword At the Gate," a sequel to "The Paradise Syndrome. It was performed with Gerry Downes reading the lines aloud while the story was done in Indian Sign Language.
  • "The Dead Engineer Sketch" and "Mr. Jones Saves the Day" and "And the Scrod Shall Rise Again" were performed at T'Con in 1979
  • Dancing Penises - performed in the 1980s at IDICon, a K/S slash convention. Creators: Kandy Fong, PJ, Donna and Carol D.
  • "The Enchanted Duplicator" by Walt Willis and Bob Shaw was the skit performed at Norwescon #5 in 1983 [1]: It was a "Razz Bazz Rep Production." The program book (10 pages mimeoed with two staples, traditional Ross Chamberlin front & back covers) was edited by Patrick & Teresa Nielsen Hayden. Director Shelly Dutton. Contributors to program book - the editors and Gary Farber. Done in honor of Bob Shaw as a guest of Norwescon. All of known Seattle fandom seems to have had a hand in this production.
  • "Trek Wars: A New Enterprise, or... No Hope" and "In Search of Spock" were performed at MediaWest*Con in 1984
  • "Mister Roger's Neighborhood" and "Cole Porter: The Search for Star Trek III" were performed at MediaWest*Con in 1985
  • "Dark Side Story," a fannish musical retelling of "Return of the Jedi" based on "West Side Story" and there was showing of Visitors: A Puppet Opera at Mos' Eastly Con in 1985
  • "Gumby Shop of Horrors" was performed at MediaWest*Con in 1987
  • At the last ClipperCon in 1989, the concom put on a skit called "So Long, Farewell, and Praise Trek", named after the title of the final M*A*S*H* episode. At one point in the play, 12-13 convention members posed in a tableau of DaVinci's The Last Supper. The script was written and worked on by several of the committee, including Bev, April Valentine, and Nancy Kippax.[2]
  • Ian McLean's troupe, Harpic Productions, performed numerous skits at Astrex functions and Medtrek conventions in Sydney, Australia, including The Naked Never (1990).
  • At Tunnelcon 3 in 1994 among the entertainment offered was a skit performed by fans called Passionate Kisses wherein fan writers force Catherine and Vincent to repeat the same romantic balcony scene with many twists and turns. Watch the video Passionate Kisses.
  • Escapade 1995. Lezlie Shell wrote 2 plays: "In Jurassic Fandom" a scientist has come up with a way to clone our heroes for a theme entertainment park, and as she shows her sponsors through, they pass little dioramas of Kirk & Spock, Starsky & Hutch, Bodie & Doyle. In "In Search of Spock's Penis": "It was a play based on two bits of Star Trek canon: the absolutely horrific TV episode "In Search of Spock's Brain" where aliens abduct Spock's brain to use it in their planetary computer and the Enterprise crew runs around the planet with zombie Spock in tow, trying to recover his brain. And of course, it was a play on words for the title of the third Star Trek movie, "In Search of Spock." As you can imagine, in the play it is Spock's penis that goes missing. The thief of the missing organ was a fan who had been trapped in Santa Barbara for 15 years in a virtual reality game that was failing. Spock was brilliantly played by Pat Diggs, who, if I recall, would intermittently collapse into a chair while holding up an ersatz organ and gazing at it wistfully. It was beyond hilarious." [3]
  • Zebracon 1997 put on a convention skit by Paula Smith. It was a musical called "Revolution 9 from Outer Space" based on the K/S mirror universe novel Revolution by Madelien Lee. The play includes this bit at the end: "I take you for my mate, till the stars grow cold," Spock says happily. "And now, we have sex." He holds out two fingers. Kirk eagerly places his paired fingers against Spock's. Pause. Spock then puts both hands behind his back. "Is that IT???" Kirk cries, dismayed. "What did you expect, Jim, Courts of Honor?")
  • At Starsky & Hutch cons, "BAAD SH Theatre," "The ShareCon play is always a sterling representative of the worst of slash writing."
  • Connexions. In 2000, the comedy play, "A Hard Drive's Night" was written especially for Connexions by Paula Smith and was directed by Kath Sanders. In 2002, Genetic Fen Productions wrote and produced "Beat Da Geeks" a parody of the Comedy Central game show, styled for slash fans, by slash fans. Some of the plays were videotaped and were put on the convention vid show videotape con tape and distributed to the members.
  • Cabrillo Con, a gen Starsky & Hutch convention performed In the "World's Worst Fanfic Skit: Marrying Mary Sue" skit in 2009.
  • BlooMN'Con #2 had two skits, "In Search of Spock" and musical called "Skit of Con," the latter with a cast of 12



  1. ^ It is unclear if this was 1983 or the 5th Norwescon.
  2. ^ See Reminisce With Me/Back To The '80s by Nancy Kippax.
  3. ^ from Morgan Dawn's personal notes, accessed March 27, 2011