Play by Playbook: Collected ZebraCon Plays

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Title: Play by Playbook: Collected ZebraCon Plays
Editor(s): Paula Smith
Date(s): 1995
Genre: fan play
Fandom: Starsky and Hutch, Professionals, Man From Uncle
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Play by Playbook: Collected ZebraCon Plays is a collection of plays performed at ZebraCon between 1981 and 1995. All plays are written by Paula Smith and each is a parody of a well-known fanzine.

On the front of the zine: "Celebrating Many Years of Silliness."

Author Notes

  • “Demonstrated to Death”
    • Other: Jody Lynn Nye
    • Champion: Paula Smith
    • Madam, Rospo: Pat Massie
    • Selkirk: Lucy Cribb
    • Brother Peter: April Valentine
    • Mutants, Owners, Acolytes, Ladies: Barb Green, Pam Rose
    • "Jody Lynn Nye, now known for her Myth 101 series, has helped bring to fruition more than just the plays she co-wrote. She will do anything: sing, act, write songs and jokes, make costumes and props. A distinct threat. "Demonstrated to Death" had probably the most memorable costumes: Jody's skintight red bodysuit and my green Naugahyde tunic and braids. I found the material at an upholsterer's. Several people thought the jingle bells in Hutch's braids were a nice touch, too."
  • Disaster of the Crivels”
    • Galen: Shoshanna
    • Zax: Paula Smith
    • Blob: Jody Lynn Nye
    • Anita: Rosemary C
    • Sadie: Kathy L
    • Regulator: Lois Welling
    • "The best thing about creating a play? You get to choose which part you want. And if you want a part in future ZebraCon plays, see, phone or write me about it. Or else challenge me to a game of charades ..."
  • “Distant Snores”
    • Starsky: Steve H
    • Hutch: Paula Smith
    • Eggie Louse: Lois Welling
    • Adelaide Perth: Jody Lynn Nye
    • Dirt Flavorin, Alice Springs: Pat Massie
    • "For the first time on this or any other stage, Starsky was played by a man. What a concept. I don't know, though, if that fact made things easier or harder on the mundane bartenders who were also in the room during the show. In general, the better written the original, the funnier the parody I can make out of it, because there are more "hooks" for me to hang my so-called plots from. So if you're an author and I've never parodied one of your stories — SHAPE UP!"
  • “Fudge and Fury”
    • Starsky: Billie Phillips
    • Hutch: Paula Smith
    • Bodie: Karen B
    • Doyle: Jean C.
    • Jan, Alexis, Terri: Lucy Cribb
    • Lorraine, Connie, Teri: Pat Massie
    • Marion, Judy, Laurie: April Valentine
    • Valerie, Smith, Soliste: Carole Swoboda
    • Gloria: Susan Lovett
    • "You do something once, it's a tradition. You do something twice, it's a sacred tradition. I had played Hutch twice in a row, with a different actress doing Starsky, so it was now de rigueur that I find another leading man, er, woman. I had not met Billie Phillips before the first rehearsal, but I had been told "She's really good at charades." Good enough for me; acting is simply talking with your body. I understand that [Billie] found my first letter a wee bit preemptory—"Here's the script. You're going to play Starsky"—but I was right. She was a terrific Starsky."
  • “Graven Mirages”
    • Starsky: Jan Lindner
    • Hutch: Paula Smith
    • Jogger, Corpse: Laurie Haldeman
    • Vargas: Ruth Kurz
    • Rooster, Coronor: Edith Crowe
    • Princess: Connie Faddis
    • "I've been writing or helping with fannish plays since 1976. In 1981, Kendra Hunter phoned me and said that for ZebraCon 2, there should be a Starsky & Hutch play. "And we think you should write it" She suggested a scenario of S&H as really old, still out there solving homicides —"The Rocking Chair Murders." I demurred, saying that musicals and parodies are a jot easier to write than actual plots. "What you really want," I said, "is an all-singing, all-dancing version of, say, Graven Images ... hmm..." Kendra was also responsible for us doing the "kiss in the alley" in stop-start freeze-frame mode. I have never heard an audience bellylaugh like that before. Or since."
  • “Murmur on San Carmelapples" (the story "Murdle on San Carmelappolis" by Ima Fool was printed in Tell Me Something I Don't Know! #3 in March 1987, but it appears to be a completely different fanwork.)
    • Starsky: Pat Massie
    • Hutch: Paula Smith
    • Dobey: Anita R
    • Marx: Jody Lynn Nye
    • Grungi: Nancy Goodwin
    • Diego: Jane Kaufenberg
    • Chiquita: Lucy Cribb
    • Walker Bent: Terri Beckett
    • Urbane: Barb Green D.Y.
    • "This one went through the most revisions, right down to about an hour before showtime. As has been noted elsewhere, it ain't easy "to hint at great passion without using sex." Instead, we had TACS' gimungous cartoons, and they were funnier than sex. Unfortunately, as is sometimes the case with props, I managed to lose Carol Davis's favorite towel. If anyone happens to find it, could you return it?"
  • “Pair o’ Strokers”
    • Napoleon: Jane Mailander
    • Illya: Paula Smith
    • Slasha: Pat Massie
    • Blackadder, Bodie: Jody Lynn Nye
    • Baldrick: Steve H
    • Hutch: Barb P
    • Brian: Lois Welling
    • Exeter, Gorbachov/Reagan: Pat C
    • "The primary reason I wrote a Man From U.N.C.L.E. play for ZebraCon, aside from the fact that it's my favorite fandom, is that having come up with the title, I couldn't bear not to use it. You might notice that all the song tunes have the word "rose" in their titles. A couple of times I've used some sort of theme in picking out songs for my lyrics. Makes for weird song choices sometimes, but gives it that extra layer of cohesive humor. Thematic unison: your guarantee of great theatre. Jane Mailander was, far and away, the best Napoleon I've ever acted with. I think everyone loved the tux with white sneakers. Well, Karen B did like Lois Welling in the skating outfit..."
  • “Scales of Just-As-Good”
    • Starsky: Terri Beckett
    • Hutch/Sven: Paula Smith
    • Herman/Thorhead: Carole Swoboda
    • Freydis: April Valentine
    • Bjorn, Narrator: Pat Massie
    • Erne: Billie Phillips
    • Cecil: Jody Lynn Nye
    • "If you're going to steal, steal from the best. Astute listeners will detect routines lifted from Stan Freeberg, Monty Python, and The Flying Karamazov Brothers in this one. The role of Ken/Sven was my favorite to do. I love silly accents and crosstalk. However, the best accent in the play belonged to Terri Beckett: "Where the hell have you been?" Well, you hadda hear it. This was also the first time the author of the original book was in the audience. It's a good thing Marian laughs easily."
  • “Thousandth Goliath, The”
    • Starsky: Suzan Lovett
    • Hutch: Paula Smith
    • Dobey: Billie Phillips
    • Meredith: Maureen B.
    • Bubba, Dinsdale: Jody Lynn Nye
    • Billy, Doug: Terri Beckett
    • Linda: Pat Massie
    • "This time, the author of the original book was in the play. It's not true that you've regretted it ever since, is it, Suzan? Also in the play, as in every production since the second one, was Pat Massie. Even more than Jody, Pat throws herself into a role, or several, if need be. She's one of the best all-round performers in fandom, for my money: actress, comedienne, poetry reader and humorist If she could only shoot, bribe and extort, she'd be a real Renaissance man."
  • “Pieing of CI5, The”
    • Bodie: Carole Swoboda
    • Doyle: Steve H
    • Cowley: Paula Smith
    • Susan: Pat Massie
    • "Based on "The Purging of CI5," an episode of The Professionals. Karen B said I had to do at least one Professionals play. So this was it. "How come," I am sometimes asked, "you aren't interested in 20th generation tapes of two incomprehensible actors who play characters that apparently hate each other?" Gee, I dunno. Go figure. To approximate my accent for Cowley, I watched "Ducktales" for three weeks, and for "traditional Cowley plaid" (it was red, orange and purple), I scoured every Goodwill store in the tri-county area. But for most people, the highlight of the role was me getting hit in the face with a whipped cream pie. Hey, I'll do anything for my art."


  1. "In the holocaust department, Roy Smith' s "A Brother Helped Is a Strong City" was parodied in Sue Doughnym's "He Ain't Heavy, He's My City", and extrapolated into Jill Ripley's Decorated for Death (which Jody Lynn Nye and I parodied in "Demonstrated to--Death") -- from Paula Smith in the program book for The Paul Muni Special