IF YOU HAVE AN ANSWER
ANY WAY YOU FEEL IS COOL!
TAG: @Howlround (your comment) #Newplay
CAN'T WAIT TO HEAR IT!
IF YOU HAVE AN ANSWER
ANY WAY YOU FEEL IS COOL!
TAG: @Howlround (your comment) #Newplay
CAN'T WAIT TO HEAR IT!
IF YOU ARE IN PALO ALTO...
Dragon Productions is accepting submissions for The New Play Development Festival. The New Play Development Festival seeks to provide an opportunity for local playwrights to hear their new work out loud and to give them time to continue to develop their piece throughout the festival.
FOR MORE INFO CLICK HERE!
Chicago Dramatists serves the American theatre community not only by nurturing playwrights and their plays but by facilitating the entire playwriting process. Part of that mission involves helping to form significant interconnections between playwrights, experienced dramaturgs, directors, producers, and teachers—thereby providing playwrights and theatres with tools and opportunities to discover and develop their shared artistic visions.
As part of this mission, we are proud to begin an ongoing partnership with the Goodman Theatre in 2011-12 to help provide critical new-play development support for the Goodman Playwrights' Unit ---
In case you haven't heard, the regional theater model is kaput. People who care about theater have been saying it for years. Andre Gregory announced the death of regional theater in 1965, just two years after the experiment started, stating at a national theater conference: "I'm scared that the regional theater, by the time it is mature, will have bored the shit out of millions of people all over the country." (He was right.)
The old days—one or two big stages, a season with six or so monolithic plays, a focus on nationally famous actors and directors, a dependable base of subscribers, expensive single tickets, a steady stream of corporate and government donations—are over...
FOR THE REST OF THE SCOOP CLICK HERE!
The Twitter Revolution WILL NOT be televised. (because it will happen too fast for the cameras!)
This is the 1st track from the #NEWPLAYAHZ album dropping Nov 1.
Holla at me on the #NEWPLAY hashtag.
By Adam Hetrick
28 Sep 2011
Playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins
Playwrights Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Dorothy Fortenberry, Dan LeFranc, Radha Blank and Lisa Kron are the recipients of the 2011 Helen Merrill Awards in Playwrighting.
Named in honor of late theatrical agent and photographer Merrill, each playwright receives $20,000 as part of the award, which continues Merrill's legacy in nurturing new voices in theatre. The awards were presented Sept. 26 at the Algonquin Hotel.
Click here for the full article from Playbill.com
The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center is now accepting scripts for development during the 2012 National Playwrights Conference. Applicants for the National Playwrights Conference may submit works to the O’Neill’s Open Submissions Process through Friday, October 21, 2011.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CLICK HERE!
PLAYWRIGHTS, DIRECTORS, AND DESIGNERS ARE ADDED TO THE COMPANY AND WILL ENGAGE MORE DEEPLY WITH ACTORS IN PLAY PRODUCTION PROCESS
(Washington, DC) – Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company is proud to start its 32nd Season with the announcement of an important evolution of the theatre’s Company, a group of core actors formed originally in 1986. In addition to actors, the Company will now include, for the first time, a number of playwrights, directors, and designers. The goal of this change is to knit all of the theatre’s artists more closely together around a shared sense of purpose, and promote a deeper collaborative process for each production. Woolly will build more projects around Company Members, and seek new ways to involve Company Members in the full life cycle of each play, from early script and design development through the community dialogue surrounding each production.
Over the past year, a group of Woolly staff and board members served on a Company Task Force to examine the past and future of Woolly’s Company. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Howard Shalwitz, the Task Force gathered ideas and feedback from current and potential Company Members, examined lessons learned about maintaining and building companies at Woolly and other theatres, and clarified future goals. The members of the Task Force included Board Members J. Chris Babb, Linette Hwu, and Scott Schreiber with Managing Director Jeffrey Herrmann, Director of Artistic Development Miriam Weisfeld, and Production Manager Taryn Staples.
Following is a list of new members who are joining the Woolly Mammoth Company at the start of Season 32. Several of them are involved in our inaugural show of the season, A Bright New Boise by Samuel D. Hunter:
Colin K. Bills has designed the lighting for over twenty productions at Woolly Mammoth including A Bright New Boise. Other recent Woolly credits include Bootycandy, Oedipus el Rey, and In the Next Room or the vibrator play. He’s received three Helen Hayes Awards and is the 2009 recipient of a Princess Grace Fellowship in Theater.
Michael John Garcés directed last season's Oedipus el Rey, as well as Woolly’s productions of Recent Tragic Events and Grace. He’s the Artistic Director of Cornerstone Theater Company in Los Angeles, and winner of the Alan Schneider Award for Directing.
Misha Kachman designed the set for A Bright New Boise as well as Woolly’s productions of Gruesome Playground Injuries, Fever/Dream, and Oedipus el Rey. He serves as an Assistant Professor of Scene and Costume Design at the University of Maryland.
Robert O'Hara was playwright and director of Bootycandy (Woolly World Premiere), playwright of Antebellum (Woolly World Premiere), and director of Woolly’s production of In the Continuum. He received a 2010 Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding New Play for Antebellum and an OBIE Award for Directing the World Premiere of In the Continuum at Primary Stages.
Emily Townley is a member of the A Bright New Boise cast who has also appeared at Woolly in House of Gold, Maria/Stuart, Spain, Fuddy Meers, and Wonder of the World. She has performed at numerous area theatres including Studio, Rep Stage, Everyman, Round House, and the Folger.
John Vreeke, A Bright New Boise’s director, has helmed many Woolly productions including Gruesome Playground Injuries, Boom, Our Lady of 121st Street, and Homebody/Kabul. He has received four Helen Hayes nominations including Best Director and has worked in other area theatres including Theater J, Forum Theatre, and the Kennedy Center Theater for Young Audiences.
These new Company Members will be joining current Company Members Doug Brown, Jessica Frances Dukes, Daniel Escobar, Rick Foucheux, Kimberly Gilbert, Mitchell Hébert, Naomi Jacobson, Sarah Marshall, Jennifer Mendenhall, Bruce Nelson, Kate Eastwood Norris, Michael Russotto, Dawn Ursula, and Michael Willis. Longtime Woolly Company Members who are not currently active at the theatre will be honored as Company “Alumni.” They include Grover Gardner, Jason Kravits, Christopher Lane, Namu Lwanga, Nancy Robinette, Rob Leo Roy, Rhea Seehorn, and Eric Sutton.
“The idea of a company was embedded in the founding of Woolly Mammoth in 1980 and has been a key to our identity and success,” said Artistic Director Howard Shalwitz. “We have occasionally had actors who also directed or wrote Woolly plays. But by opening the door more fully to directors, designers, and playwrights who share the adventurous artistic values and collaborative spirit of our actors, I believe we are launching a new chapter. We have always been happiest when we work with artists over a long period of time, and now we will be drawing a fuller range of artists into the full investigative process and shared dialogue around each play. In doing so, we hope to tighten the connections among three key aspects of Woolly Mammoth’s mission: to develop and produce provocative new plays, to build and sustain a company of outstanding theatre artists, and to engage deeply with our community.”
The preparations for Season 32 have involved a number of specific steps aimed at deepening the role of Woolly Company Members in the investigative process around each production. The cast and design team for A Bright New Boise participated in a pre-rehearsal workshop to help playwright Samuel D. Hunter assess his script and respond to preliminary ideas from set designer Misha Kachman. Actress Sarah Marshall, who plays the pivotal role of “Big Hog” (a talking pig) in Jason Grote’s Civilization (all you can eat), is participating in design meetings and choreography workshops for the show, as well as research visits to local farms. Actress Jessica Frances Dukes is traveling to Chicago to improvise and rehearse with the cast of The Second City’s Spoiler Alert: Everybody Dies, helping that venerable company connect their new piece with the themes of Woolly’s “apocalyptic” season.
And actress Kimberly Gilbert will be participating in workshops of Anne Washburn’s new play, Mr.Burns: a post-electric play. In addition, new Company Member Colin K. Bills is serving on Woolly’s script-reading team, evaluating plays for future productions.
“This is a pivotal moment for the company tradition, as many American regional theatres are doing away with it entirely. So in addition to assessing our own experiences, we surveyed colleagues such as Steppenwolf and Dallas Theater Center about how their own companies have evolved and thrived,” said Director of Artistic Development Miriam Weisfeld. “We want to head as far away as possible from what frequent Woolly collaborator Mike Daisey characterized in How Theatre Failed America as ‘freeze-dried theatre,’ in which artists based in New York or Los Angeles have become ‘migrant workers,’ shuttling between theatres throughout the country to create shows in impossibly short periods of time. Instead, we're strengthening our core team of artists so we can plan more projects with them at the center, and so we can grow more sustainable collaborations with new artists who regard our Company and the Washington DC community as the significant resources for theatrical innovation we know they are.”
Now in its 32nd Season, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company continues to hold its place at the leading edge of American theatre. Acknowledged as “the hottest theatre company in town” (The Washington Post), “known for its productions of innovative new plays” (The New York Times), Woolly Mammoth is a national leader in the development of new plays, and one of the best known and most influential mid-sized theatres in America.
Woolly’s 32nd Season features five works that relate to the question, “Does our civilization have an expiration date?” They include Samuel D. Hunter’s A Bright New Boise (Oct 10-Nov 6), The Second City’s Spoiler Alert: Everybody Dies (Dec 6-Jan 8), Jason Grote’s Civilization (all you can eat) (Feb 13-Mar 11), Joey Arias and Basil Twist’s Arias with a Twist* (Apr 4-May 6), and Anne Washburn’s Mr. Burns, a post-electric play (May 28-July 1).
*This tour of Basil Twist is made possible by a grant from Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation with support from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Signature Theatre Company (Founding Artistic Director James Houghton; Executive Director Erika Mallin), is proud to announce the playwrights participating in the Theatre’s new Residency Five initiative, part of the expanded programming that will be presented at Signature Center (480 West 42nd Street, near 10th Avenue), the Company’s new Frank Gehry-designed home. Annie Baker, Will Eno, Katori Hall, Kenneth Lonergan and Regina Taylor will be the program’s inaugural playwrights.
Residency Five is a unique program that guarantees each playwright three world-premiere productions of new plays over the course of a five-year residency. This is the first program of its kind in the American theatre; going far beyond the traditional commissioning or workshop models, Residency Five will enable a diverse community of playwrights to build bodies of work. Residency Five playwrights receive a significant cash award, full health benefits, a stipend to attend theatre, access to Signature’s resources and staff, and like all of Signature’s playwrights, a place at the center of the artistic process.
“We are thrilled to be underway with Residency Five,” said Signature’s Founding Artistic Director James Houghton. “It has always been Signature’s intention to support new and mid-career playwrights as they build a body of work. Annie Baker, Will Eno, Katori Hall, Kenneth Lonergan and Regina Taylor are the ideal first group of writers. Each is an accomplished and fascinating storyteller who has left an indelible mark on the American theatre landscape. We can’t wait to have them with us at Signature Center and welcome them into this ever growing community of writers.”
"I'm so happy to be part of the first Residency Five group,” said Annie Baker. “All four of my fellow playwrights are insanely and intimidatingly talented and it's an honor to be included in their group. What Jim is doing is thrilling and unprecedented and I think it's going to change the way theaters across the country work with playwrights and develop new work.”
“There’s a friendliness and grandeur to the design that is without precedent in New York and is, I think, completely expressive of a possible America. I feel like a grown-up and I feel like a kid – like I’ve been given my own room and also given some responsibility for the house the room is in,” says Will Eno. “You can put almost anything into graphs and charts, but, it must come down to love, in the end, yeah?”
“Signature has been a theatre that has produced playwrights and works that spoke to me and my own cultural experience,” says Katori Hall. “For that reason, it has become my favorite New York City theatre. To be embraced by this family is a poignant moment in my career as I have really struggled to find an artistic home here. But finally, I have a place to lay my hat, and what better place to lay it than at the new Signature Center.”
“I am honored to be a part of Signature’s Residency Five and look forward to spending the next five years contributing to the exciting, vital life of Signature Center,” saidKenneth Lonergan. “It feels great to make a home at a theatre, particularly one that is known for showing unwavering, long-term support for playwrights.”
“I was introduced to Signature Theater when they produced the Adrienne Kennedy season. I've been an admirer of Jim Houghton and the writers that the Signature supports ever since,” says Regina Taylor. “With an open heart, spirit and mind I enter into this new experience as a student and strive to bring my full self to all the work presented.”
As previously announced, Signature will launch the Theatre’s new home, Signature Center, with Athol Fugard as its inaugural Residency One playwright. Residency One is Signature’s core one year Playwright-in-Residence program that produces a series of plays from the body of work of one accomplished writer. Throughout the season, Signature will explore the works of Fugard, the South African playwright, director and actor, who was honored with a special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement at the 2011 Tony Awards.
In addition to the Residency One and Residency Five programs, Signature will also expand the company's Legacy Program, which is a homecoming for past Signature Playwrights-in-Residence with a production of a premiere or signature play. Through its three programs at Signature Center, the Company will produce up to nine shows a year and provide an artistic home for up to eleven playwrights each season.
The full programming for Signature Theatre Company’s inaugural season at Signature Center will be announced later this month.
ANNIE BAKER grew up in Amherst, Massachusetts. Her full-length plays include Circle Mirror Transformation (Playwrights Horizons, OBIE Award for Best New American Play, Drama Desk nomination for Best Play), The Aliens (Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, OBIE Award for Best New American Play), Body Awareness (Atlantic Theater Company, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nominations for Best Play/Emerging Playwright) and Nocturama. Her work has also been produced and developed at the Bush Theatre in London, New York Theatre Workshop, MCC Theater, Soho Repertory, The Orchard Project, Ontological-Hysteric Theater, Ars Nova, Huntington Theatre Company, Victory Gardens Theater, Z-Space/Theatre Artaud, Magic Theatre, The Cape Cod Theatre Project, the Bay Area Playwrights Festival and the Sundance Institute Theatre Lab in Utah and Ucross, Wyoming. Ms. Baker is a member of New Dramatists, MCC’s Playwrights Coalition and EST, and an alumna of Youngblood, Ars Nova’s Play Group and the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab. Recent honors include a New York Drama Critics Circle Award, a Susan Smith Blackburn Prize nomination, a Lilly Award, a Time Warner Storytelling Fellowship, and a MacDowell fellowship. An anthology of her work,The Vermont Plays, is forthcoming from TCG in 2011. MFA, Mac Wellman’s playwriting program at Brooklyn College.
WILL ENO’S critically acclaimed Middletown (Horton Foote Prize for Promising New American Play, 2010) received its world premiere in winter 2010 at the Vineyard Theatre, directed by Ken Rus Schmoll and was subsequently produced in June 2011 at Steppenwolf Theatre, Chicago. His play Tragedy: a tragedy received its US premiere at Berkeley Repertory Theatre in 2008 and his collection of short plays entitled Oh, The Humanity and other exclamations world premiered at The Flea Theater starring Marisa Tomei and Brian Hutchison. Will’s internationally heralded play Thom Pain (based on nothing) had a successful year long run at the DR2 in New York, produced by Bob Boyett and Daryl Roth; following a sold out run at the 2004 International Edinburgh Festival (Fringe First Award and the Herald Angel Award) and a subsequent transfer to the Soho Theatre in London. The play is now being produced across the United States, as well as Brazil, Italy, Germany, France, Norway, Denmark, Israel, Mexico and other countries.Thom Pain (based on nothing) was a finalist for the 2004 Pulitzer Prize in Drama. Will’s play The Flu Season received the 2004 Oppenheimer Award for the best debut production in New York by an American playwright. Will’s plays have been produced by the Gate Theatre, the SOHO Theatre and BBC Radio, in London; the Rude Mechanicals Theater Company and Naked Angels, in New York. His plays are published by Oberon Books and TCG; and have appeared in Harper's, The Antioch Review, The Quarterly andBest Ten-Minute Plays for Two Actors. Will has been commissioned by the National Theatre, London and Yale Repertory Theatre. He is a Helen Merrill Playwriting Fellow, a Guggenheim Fellow, an Edward F. Albee Foundation Fellow, and was awarded the first-ever Marian Seldes/Garson Kanin Fellowship by the Theater Hall of Fame, as well as the Alfred Hodder Fellowship at Princeton. Will Eno lives in Brooklyn, New York.
KATORI HALL’S plays include The Mountaintop, which was produced to great acclaim at London’s Theatre 503 and transfered to Trafalgar Studios in London’s West End, earning her an Olivier Award for Best New Play. The play opens on Broadway on October 13 at the Jacobs Theatre. Other plays include Hoodoo Love, which was produced Off-Broadway at the Cherry Lane Theatre, Remembrance, Hurt Village,Saturday Night/Sunday Morning, WHADDABLOODCLOT!?!?, The Hope Well and Pussy Valley. Her awards include a Susan Smith Blackburn Award, Lark Play Development Playwrights of New York (PONY) Fellowship, Kate Neal Kinley Fellowship, two Lecompte du Nouy Prizes from Lincoln Center, Fellowship of Southern Writers Bryan Family Award in Drama, NYFA Fellowship, and the Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award. Hall was shortlisted for the London Evening Standard Most Promising Playwright Award and received the Otis Guernsey New Voices Playwriting Award from the William Inge Theatre Festival. She is currently based in Washington D.C., where she is proud to be an ARENA Stage resident playwright supported by the American Voices New Play Institute. She was inducted into the Fellowship of Southern Writers in April 2011.
KENNETH LONERGAN has been represented in New York by The Waverly Gallery(Williamstown Theatre Festival, Promenade, 2001 Pulitzer Prize Finalist), This Is Our Youth (New Group, Second Stage, Drama Desk Best Play nominee, Encore Magazine Taking Off Award) and Lobby Hero (nominated for the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play and two Outer Critics Circle Awards for Outstanding Off-Broadway Play and the John Gassner Playwriting Award). His work has also been performed in New York at Naked Angels, Second Stage, The Atlantic Theater Company and H.B. Playwrights Foundation; in Los Angeles at The Coast Theatre and the Act I One Act Play Festival; and in London at The Royal Court Theatre and The Battersea Playhouse. His film You Can Count on Me, which he wrote and directed, shared the Sundance 2000 Grand Jury prize and won the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award and the NY Film Critics Circle, L.A. Film Critics Circle, Writers Guild of America and National Board of Review awards for Best Screenplay of 2001, two AFI awards for Best Film and Best New Writer and The Sutherland Trophy at the London Film Festival. He was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.
REGINA TAYLOR’S credits as playwright include Oo-Bla-Dee, for which she won the American Critics' Association new play award, Drowning Crow, The Dreams of Sarah Breedlove, A Night in Tunisia, Escape from Paradise, Watermelon Rinds and Inside the Belly of the Beast. Taylor’s critically acclaimed Crowns was the most performed musical in the country in 2006. It is the winner of four Washington D.C. Helen Hayes awards including Taylor’s win for Best Direction as well as Best Regional Musical. Her recent plays include Magnolia, which premiered at Chicago's Goodman Theatre in March 2009 and The Trinity River Plays, which premiered at Dallas Theater Center in November, 2010 and the Goodman Theatre in January, 2011. Taylor is best known to television audiences for her role as Lilly Harper in the series "I'll Fly Away," for which she won a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a TV Series, an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series and two Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. Taylor starred in the CBS hit drama "The Unit" alongside Dennis Haysbert, for which she took home the NAACP Image Award for “Outstanding Actress in a Drama”. Regina made her professional acting debut on CBS in the movie "Crisis at Central High" and other television credits include the series "The Education of Max Bickford," "Feds" as well as television movies "Strange Justice” playing Anita Hill, earning her a Peabody Award and Gracie Award, "In From the Night," "Cora Unashamed," "The Third Twin," "Hostile Waters," "Children of the Dust," "I'll Fly Away: Then and Now," "Howard Beach: Making a Case for Murder," "Concealed Enemies" and "Nurse." Her film credits include The Negotiator, Courage Under Fire, A Family Thing, The Keeper, Clockers, Losing Isaiah, Jersey Girl and Lean on Me. In addition to her film and television work, Taylor holds the honor as being the first Black woman to play William Shakespeare's Juliet in Broadway's Romeo and Juliet. Her other theater credits includeAs You Like It, Macbeth, Machinal, A Map of The World, The Illusion and Jar the Floor. In addition, she won the L.A. Dramalogue Award for her performance in The Tempest. Taylor is a member and Artistic Associate of the Goodman Theatre. She received the Hope Abelson Award from Northwestern in 2010. She received an honorary doctorate from DePaul University. She was raised in Dallas, Texas and still calls it home.
ABOUT SIGNATURE THEATRE COMPANY
Founded in 1991 by James Houghton, Signature Theatre Company exists to honor and celebrate the playwright. Signature makes an extended commitment to a playwright’s body of work, and during this journey, the writer is engaged in every aspect of the creative process. Signature is the first theatre company to devote an entire season to the work of a single playwright, including re-examinations of past writings as well as New York and world premieres. By championing in-depth explorations of a living playwright’s body of work, the Company delivers an intimate and immersive journey into the playwright’s singular vision.
Signature has presented entire seasons of the work of Edward Albee, Lee Blessing, Horton Foote, Maria Irene Fornes, John Guare, Bill Irwin, Adrienne Kennedy, Tony Kushner, Romulus Linney, Charles Mee, Arthur Miller, the Negro Ensemble Company, Sam Shepard, Paula Vogel, August Wilson and Lanford Wilson. Signature remains deeply committed to season-long residencies, and during the company’s tenth and fifteenth anniversaries, Signature introduced the Legacy Program. The Legacy Program invites past Playwrights-in-Residence back to Signature through two series: the Signature Series, which presents “signature,” or more well-known works; and the Premiere Series, which presents New York and world premieres.
In pursuit of its goal to build new audiences and remove the price barrier to those interested in experiencing live theatre, Signature has provided $20 tickets to all of its productions since 2005 through its groundbreaking Signature Ticket Initative. Providing unprecedented access to world class theatre this innovative program has served as a model for theatres and performing arts organizations across the country.
Signature, its productions and its resident writers have been recognized with a Pulitzer Prize, fourteen Lucille Lortel Awards, sixteen Obie Awards, six Drama Desk Awards, and twenty-two AUDELCO Awards, among many other distinctions. The National Theatre Conference recognized the company as the 2003 Outstanding National Theatre of the Year. For more information on Signature please visit us on-line at signaturetheatre.org.
ABOUT SIGNATURE CENTER
Opening in February 2012, Signature Center is the new, permanent home of Signature Theatre Company and is the largest non-profit performing arts center to be built in New York City that solely devoted to theatre. Spanning an entire city block at 42nd Street between Dyer and 10th Avenue, the Frank Gehry-designed Signature Center will feature three intimate theatres, a studio theatre, rehearsal studio, and a public café and bookstore, and will serve as both a theatre community hub and neighborhood destination. Working hand-in-hand with Signature leadership and architect of record H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture LLC, Gehry’s design has been carefully calibrated to foster interaction among playwrights, artistic collaborators, and the public. Signature Center will allow the 20-year old Company, critically acclaimed for its programs that celebrate the playwright’s body of work, to expand and enhance its programming, introduce new initiatives, and build audiences.
At Signature Center, the Company’s programming will include: Residency One, the continuation of Signature’s core program which provides audiences with an immersive exploration of the work of a singular playwright; Residency Five, a new artistic initiative which provides five-year residencies for multiple playwrights to support the creation and staging of new work; and the Legacy Program, which honors the lifetime achievement of artists who have previously been in residence at Signature with stagings of world premieres and signature works. Signature Center will serve as the artistic home for as many as 11 playwrights at any one time, fostering a dynamic creative community where playwrights will engage directly with audiences and one another.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PRLog (Press Release) - Sep 27, 2011 - Orlando Shakespeare Theater in Partnership with UCF announces its lineup of new play readings, special events and panel discussions for PlayFest! The Harriett Lake Festival of New Plays, running November 3-6, 2011 at the John and Rita Lowndes Shakespeare Center (812 East Rollins Street).
Want to know the happenings of hundreds of #Newplay-ahs around the country? EVERYDAY!!! Adam's on playwright #385!! Check out Adam Szymkowicz's blog: I Interview Playwrights! Today's entry is below:
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2011
NATIONAL NEW PLAY NETWORK SELECTS RIVERSIDE THEATRE IN IOWA CITY FOR MEMBERSHIP
(from July 8) NNPN's Board of Directors voted to extend full membership to Riverside Theatre, Iowa City's resident professional theater steps from the Iowa Playwriting Workshop. As part of its new long-range plan, the Board also approved an Affiliate Membership Class for producing companies not eligible for full membership. The new class will roll out in 2012.
Today's HowlRound.com "Weekly Howl"- Our weekly Twitter conversation on hashtag '#newplay' about New Theater - was OFF THE HOOK!
Thanks to all that came to talk about 'TRUST' !!
@TheyCallMeJLo @HowlRound By the end of a project, you often know who you've created a close artistic relationship with. #NewPlay
@playwrightsteve @jessiburgess is also one of my most trusted collaborators. We got set up to teach a class at Imagination Stage together #newplay
@HowlRound In a lot of theaters you are "forced" to work with certain collaborators, is this an effective way to make theater? #newplay
@travisbedard @HowlRound I think it can be. Tension can create truly great art even if it won't mean a lasting friendship later #newplay
@RSTStatusReport @HowlRound Not sure if that's why it's in vogue but I know all the good devised work I've seen has come from long collaboration. #newplay
@mattcosper @HowlRound the transience is a huge issue. Me and mine are in NYC but much rather be somewhere else. But where? WHERE? #newplay
@LeeLiebeskind @HowlRound Our love of new plays and of new play development, passion for our art, the belief that theatre can be more then 4 walls #newplay
PLAY BY PLAY
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id Theater accepts open submissions for the Seven Devils Playwrights Conference only. All other id projects are drawn from artists we have met and/or worked with through the Conference.
Please read all instructions & notes before submitting your play
The upcoming deadline for submission is November 15, 2011. All materials must be postmarked no later then this date.
*Please note responses to all submissions will be sent via e-mail.
You must also include a check for $5 made out to id Theater. Your check must be made out to id Theater! Our bank will not allow us to accept checks made out to Seven Devils Playwrights Conference. Sorry folks!
Return check fees will be charged for insufficient funds.
PLEASE NOTE: We are unable to return scripts to you. It is our policy to recycle them.
Policies at the US Post Office make the return of scripts time consuming for our small staff (we must take them to the Post Office & stand in line). Our policy is to NOT return scripts. Please also know that your response time could be delayed if you do not also include the e-mail address.
Jeni Mahoney, co-Artistic Director
343 East 30th Street, #19J
New York, NY 10016
ATTN: Seven Devils Playwrights Conference
We are open to full-length plays of any genre or style. Really. That being said, we are particularly inclined toward plays that embrace, explore and challenge the diverse geographical, philosophical, cultural, aesthetic and political landscape of the American experience - rural and urban, east and west, coastal and inland.
Final decisions will be made by mid-April. The Conference takes place in June (usually the middle two weeks) in McCall, Idaho.
Four playwrights will be invited to participate in our series of Staged Readings. Between two and four playwrights will be invited to participate in the Playwrights Intensive Program of Sit Down Readings.
Plays in the Staged Reading Program are presented as a fully staged reading with minimal props, sets & lights. The playwrights are provided with transportation, housing, access to a car and a modest stipend.
The Playwrights Intensive Program presents sit-down readings and is not currently able to provide a stipend or travel costs, but can provide housing and access to a car during the Conference.
All playwrights are assigned a director, dramaturg and cast of actors. During the rehearsal process playwrights are welcome to re-write the play as much or as little as they like.
Please note: Invited playwrights are expected to be in residence for the entire two weeks of the Conference.
Please remember this is a DEVELOPMENT event. The Conference does not "produce" the plays that are the selected. Plays are presented with a focus on the continuing growth o
Our play submission window will be October 1 through November 30, 2011.
The majority of Playwrights Foundation's programs are open to all playwrights writing in English and living in North America. The staff and a dedicated committee of Bay Area theater professionals carefully review each play, write in depth evaluations and meet regularly to share their thoughts. It is primarily through our open submission process that Playwrights Foundation Artistic Staff get acquainted with the work of a wide range of contemporary writers. Though each submission is directly considered for the annual Bay Area Playwrights Festival, our largest and most public event, select writers will also be considered for other PF programs by invitation. Other opportunities include the Rough Readings Series, INKubator Workshops, and Producing Partnership and Commissioning programming. Bay Area playwrights are eligible for the Resident Playwrights Initiative, and will be invited to apply upon review. Through this process we seek to gain a depth of familiarity with the work of a large range of playwrights, and expose those writers to our advisory committee and creative partners. Special attention is given to Bay Area writers, emerging writers, and writers of color.
Five plays will be chosen for the annual Bay Area Playwrights Festival. Winning Playwrights are paired with an artistic team comprised of a professional dramaturg, director, and actors, and receive two weeks of rehearsal and two rehearsed staged readings, separated by five-six days for rewrites. Local and national producers, theater artists and the general public are invited to the festival to see the staged readings, participate in special events and meet the playwrights.
Dates: Bay Area Playwrights Festival activities will occur mid July, 2011 at our home theater, The Thick House, in San Francisco.
Retreat: A pre-festival weekend retreat prior to rehearsal brings together artistic teams and playwrights to share work, thoughts and feedback with other festival participants. It is mandatory for playwrights to be in residence for the entire retreat and festival period, approximately July 15-31, 2011.
Financial arrangement: Stipend, travel, housing.
Award notification: By April 15, 2011
Each of our other programs are selected by recommendation through our Open Access Submission process, or by a recommendation from an active theater professional—an Artistic Director or Literary Manager, or director—at the discretion of PF's senior artistic staff. Read details and descriptions of PF programs.
We now accept online submissions only (THIS SEASON'S SUBMISSION WINDOW OCTOBER 1, 2011-NOVEMBER 30, 2011). Play submissions must be in .doc or .pdf format. Upon clicking through to submit a play, via LiteraryManager.org you will need the following information to complete your submission, including a one-page cover letter that outlines the play's development history and what you would hope to accomplish during the Festival should your play be chosen for the Bay Area Playwrights Festival 2011.
Application Fee: There is a $20 submission fee. The fee partially covers the costs associated with the selection process. When you complete your application, you will be taken to a payment page. Submissions will only be processed once the payment is received. Submission fees are not refundable.
Should the submission fee pose a serious financial hardship, you can request a waiver. To do so, please email us at email@example.com.
Guidelines: Plays must be full-length, between 60-120 pages, unproduced and original. We do accept adaptations, but not translations. Only one submission per playwright. Plays that have previously received a workshop or university production are considered unproduced. Unfortunately, at this time, we cannot accommodate musicals for the Festival, but will read and consider musicals for other programs, as funding is available.
Award Notification: Playwrights are informed on a rolling notification schedule for programs other than the annual Bay Area Playwrights Festival.
Questions: Send questions by email only to firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Submit a Play. This link will take you directly to the submission form atLiteraryManager.org.|
Sister City Playwrights Exchange, founded by playwright/director Vincent Murphy at Emory University in 2003 in cooperation with several Atlanta theaters and nine of the more adventurous Play Labs in the U.S., Canada and England, is relocating to its San Francisco affiliate, the Playwrights Foundation, under the guidance of Artistic Director Amy Mueller. Vincent Murphy will continue as Chief Project Consultant.
The mission of Sister City is to swap talented, under-recognized playwrights in several regions of the USA and in Canada and England. In the past six years, fourteen swaps involving significant Play Labs in Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, London, Minneapolis, New York, and San Francisco helped emerging playwrights find connections, develop material and discover how their unique voices resonate in a new region.
One of the most successful projects involved Austin playwright Abi Basch and her challenging Voices Underwater, a play set in the deep south with complex technical demands. Abi received a residency at the Minneapolis Playwrights’ Center and was brought to Atlanta to develop the play. In Atlanta she connected to the Synchronicity Performance group, a Sister City affiliate. Sister City underwrote a Barebones staging the next year in San Francisco at the Bay Area Playwrights Festival under the guidance of Amy Mueller that eventually led the play to be selected for the National New Play Networks underwriting of a three city concurrent world premiere. This included the Synchronicity Performance group.
Other good news involves ongoing fundraising to do more Barebones scaled collaborations. Funds have been raised by Vincent Murphy and Alice Benston to honor her late husband, George Benston, a patron of the arts in Atlanta and New York. Sister City currently has funds to do at least one Barebones staged reading for the next four years. And in honor of the late Frank Manley of Emory University, who inspired so many young writers, a special Frank Manley Exchange series will be included in the Sister City Playwrights Exchange project.
To learn more about becoming a Sister City Affiliate, or for general questions about the program, contact Jill MacLean at email@example.com.
To donate to the Sister City Playwrights Exchange, click on the DONATE NOW button and enter details under Gift Information.
For years, talented theater artists came to the Berkeley-based theatrical institution looking for help transforming the ideas in their heads into reality on the stage.
They came to Berkeley Rep because, for over four decades, the company has been the place to develop new work in the Bay Area—it hosted the world premiere of Green Day's rock opera "American Idiot," staged the first ever production of Sarah Rhul's "In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play)" that took Broadway by storm and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and Artistic Director Tony Taccone steered Carrie Fisher back into the spotlight when he directed her solo show "Wishful Drinking."
Berkeley Rep has a reputation for success, sending a show to Broadway nearly every year for close to a decade, but the logistical limitations of needing to travel all over the country to develop new plays made it such that the company wasn't able to take on as many new shows as it would have liked.
"We had to run from workshops in New York to rehearsals in Chicago and then down to L.A. for something else," said company dramaturg Madeline Oldham. Having to bounce from one coast to the other to help shepherd a new work to the stage was making life difficult.
It was out of this dilemma that The Ground Floor was born.
The idea behind The Ground Floor is to treat exciting new theater projects like innovative cities treat exciting new tech companies—put them all together in a former warehouse space converted into a "incubator" and hope something amazing comes out.
That aforementioned warehouse space was discovered when Berkeley Rep consolidated all of its pre-production facilities (costume, prop and scene shops as well as its administrative offices) onto a single campus in West Berkeley. The site came with a vacant warehouse space that was sitting vacant. The Berkeley Rep staff—always a creative lot—decided there was no better use for the facility than turning it into a hotbed for new play development.
The company is using the space as an umbrella organization for all of its new work development efforts as part of an innovative program that's the first of its kind anywhere in the United States.
There are some other companies around the country working on similar endeavors, such as Arena Stage's New Play Institute in Washington, D.C. and Yale Rep's Center For New Theatre; however, those are essentially only doing bits and pieces of what Berkeley Rep is trying to accomplish in its entirety.
The Ground Floor will be comprised of two key elements. There is an annual residency lab where theater artists come in for three to six weeks over the summer and take their project, be it a nearly completed draft or nothing more than an idea bouncing off the sides of their skull, to the next level. It will also serve as a venue for commissioned projects breathe until they're ready for an audience.
Giving work the time and space it requires is one of the primary reasons why The Ground Floor was created in the first place. "The traditional four week rehearsal process is fine when the script is already there," said Oldham, who also serves as The Ground Floor's director, "but if you have to develop something from scratch and then, for example, make dozens of puppets by hand [as was the case when the company premiered Lemony Snicket's The Composer is Dead last year, four weeks is ridiculously short."
One of the new works being considered is a piece by playwright Dan LeFranc that includes an onstage boat chase. Figuring out how to stage that particular scene, short of dropping a speedboat on the stage "Miss Saigon"-style, is the type of situation where a slightly longer production schedule is welcome.
"As we've explored new ways to develop plays and expanded our use of other artistic mediums, we've discovered that our familiar rehearsal and performance model is well-suited to work that is rooted in language and narrative -- but it's not as effective for work that draws on other media, such as music and dance, or which evolves through collaborative creation," said Taccone. "So we're launching The Ground Floor to encompass all of our efforts to create new work, including commissions, workshops, and an exciting new summer residency lab."
There is also an effort to bring more of the Bay Area theater-going community into the process of creating new work. "We're hoping to open up play development so its more than just three rich people coming to a rehearsal," said Oldham. "Not that rich people coming to workshops is a bad thing, but the development of new plays is something that a lot of people are interested in and it would be good to open it up to a wider audience."
The program is largely being funded by a $1 million grant from the James Irvine Foundation and a $750,000 grant from the National Endowment For The Arts offshoot ArtPlace.
The first artists are scheduled to begin their residencies at The Ground Floor next July.
FOR MORE CLICK HERE!
Recently, Carey Perloff, the artistic director for the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, posting on her Huffington Post blog, posited a new potential mission for her regional theater — stop trying to be a New York pipeline and start becoming a theater by and for San Franciscans. This notion of a “locavore theatre” is hugely appealing on the big-picture level, but it had the San Franciscan theater community a bit riled up.
Their concern: Can ACT champion “local culture” — plays about San Francisco in this case — if it is not hiring local artists to do the work? The flourishing indie theater community in San Francisco defines itself very deliberately in opposition to the big companies (ACT especially, but also Berkeley Rep and the like), while at the same time clearly craving acknowledgement from and inclusion by those larger organizations.
This is a very familiar conversation — it is nearly verbatim the conversation that happens in the Portland theater community about Portland Center Stage. In fact, if you checked in with any regional market I suspect you would find a similar conversation going on between the main “regional theater” house and the broader indie theater community.
A little backstory
Artistic directors naturally want to work with the highest caliber of artist they can find and afford. Historically, highly qualified artists who wanted careers, worked out of New York by definition. There was no other place from which to piece together a career. So for most artistic directors at the regional theater level, the most efficient way to find the largest pool of qualified artists was to commission, cast and hire out of New York (even if the artist they hired from there ended up being a native of their own region). It was a simple function of geography and concentration of the talent pool. If you were serious about your career, you moved to New York.
By extension the conventional wisdom was: if you weren’t available through New York, you weren’t serious. Of course this is not accurate now, if it ever was — there are highly talented actors, playwrights, composers and artists in every regional theater market in the country. They just aren’t all pooled in one giant pile for maximum, one-stop-shopping, convenience.
This means that many regional artistic directors (who are typically hired from a national pool, not locally) are slow to build relationships within the local performance community (see Kate Whoriskey’s plight at Intiman for an extreme example of how this can turn out badly, even for a highly competent artistic director [Editor’s note: the Intiman case was discussed at length here]). But often when artistic directors do start looking closer to home for theater artists to work with, they find a treasure trove of qualified artists with whom they can build successful long-term artistic relationships. It just takes more time, and in some cases, more deliberate cultivation of the available talent pool and a willingness to tailor the work presented to suit the talents available in the local pool.
So, should large companies develop local artist relationships? Absolutely. Will the local community always be a reliable place to find the best person for the artistic task at hand? Not as long as there is still intense pressure for talented regional artists to move to New York if they are serious about their career. The “brain drain” from regional markets is real, and unfortunately artists who choose to remain in a regional market because of values or lifestyle considerations are hampered in their own careers by the weakened arts ecology that’s left when most of the big fish routinely leap into the big pond of New York as soon as they can.
How does this relate to Perloff’s recent move towards sharing more San Francisco-centric stories?
Perloff seems to be addressing the giant pink elephant in the room of every regional arts market: that all major regional theater artistic directors experience the same pressure to look to New York, if they are serious about their own personal careers. This affects their hiring decisions and what seasons they choose to program. A local focus, while perhaps satisfying to their audience, will not help them market themselves or their institution nationally. If by “nationally, you mean “New York,” that is.
Can a regional theater operate at odds with the personal career goals of its leader? Unlikely.
So how should artistic directors define their mission on behalf of their art form, their audience and the general culture? Should their role be to steward their institution well in order to ultimately “earn” a New York career? Should they position themselves as the research and development arm for the New York stage (a la Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., or the Goodman in Chicago), thereby burnishing the national reputation of themselves and their institution in the process? Or should regional artistic directors see their role as tastemaker — a kind of conduit between the best New York work and a regional audience that would have no way to experience it otherwise?
Perloff seems to be suggesting that there could be a future when the answer is “none of the above.” She’s positing a regional theater mission that might look more like this:
Reflect and shape the culture of the region by developing work that celebrates the unique vision and voices of the community in which the theater is resident. When appropriate, find opportunities to share the values and aesthetics of your community with a national audience, thereby adding a region-specific perspective to the national artistic conversation.
Reflect, challenge, and be of value to your own community. Represent your community to the nation, rather than representing the national theater within your region.
This is a total inversion of the founding values of the regional theater system and an implicit rejection of the implied goals and hierarchy at the heart of the regional theater system itself.
Not surprisingly, I find a declaration of this sort from a major West Coast theater producer hugely invigorating (after all, that mission statement I’ve just ascribed to Perloff is an exact fit for the goals and values of Portland’s Fertile Ground Festival.) [Editor’s note: Mead was central to the invention of this January new-performance festival.]
Stop Importing New York Culture and Start Investing in, and Exporting, Portland (or San Francisco) Culture. I love it.
And let’s be clear — Perloff has been granted the freedom to declare for a fiercely regional theater by the technological evolutions of the last several years and the sweeping changes that have happened in the New York commercial theater as a result. In brief: Since most Broadway shows are now either adaptations of films (The Full Monty, Mary Poppins) or guaranteed to be coming soon to a cinema or iPad near you (Frost/Nixon, Chicago, The Producers, Doubt, Proof, Closer, The Shape of Things, etc) the need for regional theaters to act as importers of the best of NY (and by implication, national) culture has faded.
Average audience members can, at a moment’s notice, get up to date on the latest in high culture through their computers or through the cinema. Even live theater from the major capitals is no longer out of reach — look at the recent successes of the National Theatre Live broadcasts, for example.
On a deeper level, though, the rise of the Internet and social media is rapidly evolving the audience itself, and this is where Perloff’s recent revelations have the potential to bear the most fruit.
An audience that can carry all the world’s knowledge and visual culture in its pocket, and share anything it experiences with its own personal fan base through social media in real time, is a whole different beast than the audience of yore.
For one thing, audience members have become accustomed to seeing themselves, their lives, their culture and their perspective of the world reflected back to them through the media they create and consume. Have you noticed you can’t read a newspaper article online anymore without literally seeing your own face reflected back to you through the little Facebook comment widget that most websites now have? Audiences are no longer content to be passive receivers of culture from a higher source. They want to see their own choices validated.
One choice they particularly want to see validated is their decision to live in a specific place. Talk to any group of Portlanders (or any San Franciscan for that matter) and you’ll discover that they’ve made a deliberate choice not to live in L.A. or New York. Not because they can’t “hack it” there. Because they value something different than what those metropolises offer. Their choice of where to live comes bundled with a specific set of values, aesthetics and perspectives.
Imagine how they must feel then when they support their local regional theater only to have the value systems of the places they have rejected thrown back in their faces.
So yes, I absolutely applaud Ms. Perloff’s insight that a theater by and for San Franciscans could be of more value to San Francisco (and possibly the art form as a whole) than a theater that acts as passive conduit between New York and the “flyover states.”
Does it make sense that a shift towards a local aesthetic in the stories being told would also give rise to a theatrical culture where local artists are being used to tell those stories? Absolutely. After all, the vast majority of theater consumed in New York is by New Yorkers, about New York places and values, for an audience of New Yorkers uniquely positioned to get all the jokes. New York has already embraced a “local culture” model. It’s time for the other regions of the country to do the same. I suspect that one will naturally follow the other. Once you value local produce, it’s a natural next step to get to know and choose to support the people who create that local produce.
Does this run the risk of becoming insular or “parochial?” Perhaps it would have 20 years ago, when the danger of becoming “out of touch” was a genuine concern for people who valued culture and could not access it. But in a world where we can follow the unfolding of the #londonriots in real time on Twitter…and where I can watch a live stream of the latest National Theatre production at my local cineplex, perhaps “parochial” is less of a concern than “redundant.”
These days, being a card-carrying Portland locavore foodie, I tend to think heirloom tomatoes from my own backyard taste better than ones imported from Argentina. I prefer the burger crafted by my neighborhood bistro from Oregon-raised beef to the one served up by that national chain. And, in a perfect world, I’d like to feel that MY theater is something I can experience only in MY town, teaching me things I don’t already know about my own community, my own values, my own experiences.
Of course, I am still a cultural omnivore. I have the luxury to be one thanks to the hyper-connected world we live in. I can get real New York or San Francisco stories told by real New Yorkers and San Franciscans, delivered to my inbox in real time, any time. At MY theater, I want stories I can’t get anywhere else. Stories with the power to create and transform the community in which I want to live. The community in which I already live.
It is said that the decade we are living in will come to be defined as the decade that killed the middle man, permanently eliminating the gatekeepers and flattening the hierarchies through which information and culture flow. It is said that Andy Warhol’s “15 Minutes of Fame” is out of date — instead, everyone on the planet will be famous to 15 people. How theater positions itself in this transition will be the key to its survival.
So what can the theater do that our iPads cannot? It can bring us face to face, in real time, with the unique stories and perspectives of our own unique place and time. It can connect us, not only with the stories that define our geography and culture, but to the artists who share a common passion for this place we call home.
There was a time when Quality was something that had to be imported from somewhere richer and better resourced. These days Quality can and should be cultivated on our home turf.
LINK to Mead Hunter’s essay: Theater and the importance of being local: Part two
Trisha Mead is the director of marketing and communications at Oregon Ballet Theatre.
From the comments section of Nan Barnett's HowlRound.com Journal article "One of Those People"
You live to fight another day. Thank you for the great swirling truth.
The whole story is better than the terse obit and financial stats. After
which the ranks close and act like nothing happened. I have been
witness to this process. The greater thing is to go on to another day.
Diana Van Fossen
You are also one of those people who have given voice to the experience
that many are silently having–some of them alone. You are one of those
people asking us to remember our great good fortune, to reach out to
those whose good fortune is lacking. You are one of those people
continuing to make us t h i n k . Chris Mills
But another gift, if we are willing to take it up, is the opportunity to
reflect on the culture of theater in general. Just a couple of weeks ago I
passed a major U.S. theater that was in the midst of spending over 30
million dollars to re-do its front of house. My first thought was “that’s
what the death of at least 30 smaller theater companies looks like.” Yes,
there are a million reasons why that particular set of funds isn’t
transferable from one situation to the other – but there are values in play
that are worth examining. Jeri
Click here for the rest of the story and join the convo!
As we work with playwrights over a period of 18 months, we will choose a few plays for fully staged readings, bare bones Inkubator Productions.
PLEASE NOTE THAT THE INKWELL WILL ONLY ACCEPT PLAYS THAT MEET THE FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS:
IT IS ALSO IMPORTANT TO KNOW THAT WE ONLY ACCEPT SUBMISSIONS ONLINE THROUGH THE INKWELL'S WEBSITE.
Plays must be submitted as either Microsoft Word or PDF files. We will not accept any plays sent to us via mail or directly to The Inkwell's submissions email address.
Look over Inkblog! to better understand the kinds of plays that The Inkwell is likely to choose for development. We have a particular aesthetic, which basically boils down to this: We're looking for plays that push the boundaries of theater. For us, that means we are looking for plays that:
Your play does not need to be in perfect shape. We are a play development organization, so we are not looking for plays that are just about perfect and are ready for production. In fact, you're unlikely to get a lot out of our development process if your play is at this stage, and our readers are less likely to recommend the play for The Inkwell's process. We're looking for plays with potential and ones that need to put up on their feet to evolve. Just try to be as clear as you can be about what you hope to accomplish through a collaboration with The Inkwell around your play.
Take your time to fill out our submission form. We pay as much attention to that form as we do to your play. We are looking for thoughtful, open-hearted playwrights for our collaborations.
Check your records to see if you have submitted to us before. We're happy to look at plays that you've already sent us, if you have made revisions. And we understand that playwrights send their plays to hundreds of theaters each year. If you don't have a record and you don't remember, be honest with us about that.
To learn more about the stages of our collaboration, read Inkblog! and hear from some of the playwrights who have worked with us.
Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte has been working for more than 3 years to develop and fund New Voices for a New Generation, an annual new play festival scheduled for August 2012. Beginning in September 2011, Actor’s Theatre will begin taking submissions for new, previously unproduced plays by emerging American playwrights. Actor’s Theatre envisions New Voices being a springboard for new plays to catapult to the national stage through our existing relationship with the National New Play Network, as well as a program to mentor the next generation of professional artistic talent in the Charlotte region.
The goals of New Voices are three-fold:
NEW VOICES FOR A NEW GENERATION was created by Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte to honor and encourage emerging playwrights of the American Theatre. Four authors of selected works will be awarded a $500 honorarium, with transportation and housing provided. There will be a four-day residency and two script-in-hand public readings to take place in August 2012. Following the end of the four-day festival, the audience favorite will be invited by the Theatre for a full production in the 2012 – 2013 season.
Theatre staff will select the four festival plays, and the decision will be announced in May 2012.
Guidelines for Submission
Entries will be accepted through March 1, 2012.
Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte is a contributing member to the National New Play Network (NNPN). All submitted scripts will be considered for entry into the New Voices for a New Generation Summer Play Festival, as well as into the NNPN’s National Showcase of New Plays. For more information on the National Showcase, please visit NNPN’s website.
I’m interested in being considered for a mentorship. What types of artists is New Voices looking for?
Although we are currently not announcing mentorship opportunities, Actor’s Theatre will accept applications for emerging/aspiring directors, designers, technicians and actors. We will announce the application process soon.
I have more questions!
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
THE WEEKLY HOWL
Join HowlRound.com for a Twitter conversation on the topic of TRUST.
Tuesday, Sept 27 at 12pm-1pm Pacific / 3pm-4pm Eastern
Use hashtag "#newplay" in your tweets to get your voice heard and follow @HowlRound who will be moderating the discussion.
A couple of hours prior to the conversation, we'd like to invite you to DJ and hang with us in the HowlRound music room: http://turntable.fm/howlround
See you then!
-- the @HowlRound crew: Kevin Becerra, Polly Carl, David Dower, Jamie Gahlon, Vijay Mathew, Erin Washington
PlayPenn is pleased to request your full length script in consideration for our 2012 conference.
PlayPenn is accepting applications for its 2012 new play development conference. Application materials will be accepted until September 30, 2011.
The 2012 conference will be held in Philadelphia, PA from July 7 – 22 at the Adrienne Theatre. Invited playwrights will have the opportunity to work with a director, dramaturg, designer and Philadelphia-based, professional actors over a 17 day period that allows for 29 hours of rehearsal and staged reading time along with ample time to reflect and write. The work will include and be preceded by a three-day pre-conference retreat that will help in laying the collaborative groundwork for the development time ahead. The conference ends with public staged readings that are intended as a part of the process, giving playwrights an opportunity to measure the efficacy of their work and provide an opportunity to gauge the work ahead.
PlayPenn will provide travel for casting for both writer and director, travel to and from the conference, housing, per diem and a stipend.
Applicants should be aware that we are a development conference rather than a festival or showcase for new work. The distinction is important and meaningful to us in the current climate of the increasing commercialization of play development. We seek to avoid participation in what has become known as "development hell" by fostering an environment in which risk is rewarded and honest assessment is provided and encouraged.
Please go to this link http://www.literarymanager.org/submit_step_one_u.php?t=8 and follow the instructions to upload your play into our system. Because script reading by our evaluators is a blind process, you must upload the following documents with no identifying information -
1. An original script in .pdf format with no identifying indicators (no name on the document)
Portable Document Format (PDF) is a standard file format for sharing documents. Adobe Acrobat Standard and Professional editions can be used to create PDF documents. If you do not have Acrobat software, you may create a PDF in a number of other ways. Some examples: Macintosh Users: Mac OS X has built-in PDF creation capabilities. Look for the PDF button in the Print dialog box (available in all applications) and choose "Save as PDF." Windows Users: CutePDF Writer – Freeware for PDF creation. Learn more at www.cutepdf.com TinyPDF - Freeware for PDF creation. Learn more at www.tinypdf.com
2. Your current resume (no name on the document).
3. A casting breakdown and the number of actors required (no name on the document).
4. The play's development history (no name on the document).
5. An articulation of your goals for the development process using the resources offered by PlayPenn (no name on the document).
Your application must be uploaded and complete by September 30, 2011 or it cannot be considered.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CLICK HERE!
Plays receiving public readings are chosen from that season's submitted scripts highly rated by our readers/evaluators.
BPF public readings are open to the public with no admission fee. They are scheduled on alternate Saturdays from late November through the middle of March. A short play might be read following the BPF public meeting held regularly on the third Tuesday of each month. Other readings may be scheduled ad hoc as demand warrants.
The readings are rehearsed by an assigned director, and read by experienced actors. Each reading is followed by a discussion with the playwright(s) and director, and the actors and audience invited to participate.
If chosen for a reading,
A reading is not required for a play to be chosen for production, nor is it a guarantee of production. BPF member theatres are independent producing organizations, each with their own tastes, ambitions and strengths. Each theatre chooses which play(s) they will produce based on their own criteria.
There is a ten dollar ($10.00) submission fee. Checks must be made out to the Baltimore Playwrights Festival and should be attached to the submission material.
Note: The fee is used to help covering the cost of returning reader feedback to the playwright, awards to the playwrights of the top three productions, refreshments at the public readings, the kick off and awards ceremonies, and other BPF operating costs.
The BPF submission period is April 1 - September 30. All scripts must be submitted in DOC (preferred), PDF, or RTF format, emailed to the BPF Librarian (see below). The playwright must also send the BPF Librarian a submission packet with a check or money order attached for the submission fee.
Submission Packets should be sent to:
Baltimore Playwrights Festival
PO Box 38537
Baltimore, MD. 21231
FOR MORE INFORMATION CLICK HERE!
THEATRE THREE, Port Jefferson, New York, is now accepting submissions for its . . .
Festival of One-Act Plays
. . . to be held on its Second Stage, the Ronald F. Peierls Theatre, during March 2012.
Please submit a cover letter, a synopsis, and a resume along with one copy of the play. Cover sheet of play should have title, author, author's address, author's telephone number, and author's email address (if available). Plays should be neatly bound or stapled on the left-hand corner (no loose pages and no binders, please). All submissions must include a standard SASE for correspondence. Or, if playwrights wish to have their works returned, an appropriate SASE must also be included.
Selected plays will be presented for 10 performances. Playwrights will receive a small stipend.
Plays should be submitted to The 15th Annual Festival of One-Act Plays, Attn: Jeffrey Sanzel, Artistic Director, THEATRE THREE, P.O. Box 512, Port Jefferson, NY 11777-0512. We do not accept electronic (email) submissions. Please do not call or stop by the theatre.
Final selection of plays will be in late 2011.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CLICK HERE!
(news from July 8) WASHINGTON, DC - The NATIONAL NEW PLAY NETWORK (NNPN), the country's alliance of non-profit theaters that champions the development, production, and continued life of new plays, will award grants of more than $40,000 to playwrights for Commissions and Residencies in 2011-12. The awards were announced at the organization’s Annual Conference on June 8 in Mill Valley, CA, hosted by member Marin Theatre Company.
PLAYWRIGHTS IN RESIDENCE
NNPN's Playwright Residencies were established in 2007 to support playwrights graduating from qualified MFA programs for season-long residencies at NNPN member theaters. Playwrights selected for the program receive stipends of $10,000 plus travel funds to learn from and engage with NNPN members. 2011-12 recipient theaters and playwrights are:
• Curious Theatre (Denver, CO)/Steve Moulds (UT Austin ’11)
• Horizon Theatre (Atlanta, GA)/Gabrielle Fulton (Northwestern ‘11)
• Magic Theatre (San Francisco, CA)/Christina Anderson (Yale ‘11)
NNPN's oldest initiative is its Commissioning Program, which has awarded eighteen commissions since the Network’s founding in 1998. 2011 Commissions have been awarded to InterAct Theatre Company (Philadelphia, PA) for Jen Silverman's untitled play about an intercontinental search for a missing internet friend ($5,000), and to Victory Gardens Theatre (Chicago, IL) for Laura Jacqmin's Untitled College Kids Traveling Through Time Play ($4,000). Commission proposals are nominated by member theaters and voted annually by the Network’s artistic directors and literary managers.
NYMF announces 2011 full slate of musicals, readings, special events and partner events. NYMF Member Ticket Booking Begins August 1.
The New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) has announced a full slate of musical productions, a developmental reading series and special events for their eighth annual festival. This year's Festival will begin September 26th and continue through October 16th.
Notable recent additions include: oratorio-dance hybrid Tut, written by Grammy Award® songwriter Marcus Hummon; Rock The Audition In Concert by Sheri Sanders, who teaches a master class on how to audition for rock musicals and recently wrote a book on the subject, released by Hal Leonard; and Tour De Fierce by The Broadway Dolls, the official girl group of Broadway.
NYMF will also again partner with the Paley Center to present a weekend of television musical screenings, which will run in conjunction with the Festival. The Paley Center has been associated with NYMF since 2004.
Since its inception in 2004, The New York Musical Theatre Festival has premiered more than 250 new musicals - more than 70 of which have gone on to award-winning productions in New York, in regional theaters in almost every state, and in 16 countries worldwide. NYMF alum Next to Normal won three 2009 Tony Awards and the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama during its Broadway run, and is now enjoying a national tour. The more than one dozen NYMF shows to have enjoyed off-Broadway productions include the long-running hit Altar Boyz, [title of show] (which also enjoyed a Tony-nominated Broadway production), The Great American Trailer Park Musical, In Transit, Rooms, The Shaggs, and Yank! Other shows like Meet John Doe, Nerds: A Musical Software Satire, The Mistress Cycle, and Kingdom have enjoyed award-winning productions around the country.
“We are extremely excited with the unique variety of this year’s Festival offerings,“ said NYMF Executive Director and Producer Isaac Robert Hurwitz. “It is essential for us to challenge ourselves to bring the best new musicals and events to our audiences and the New York theater community. As the festival grows and expands, we are thrilled and grateful that our audience has too.”
This year's Festival will run September 26th through October 16th.
For more information, please click here!
THE PLAYWRIGHTS' CENTER'S FELLOWSHIP AND CORE WRITER PROGRAMS PROVIDE CASH GRANTS AND CAREER DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES FOR ARTISTS FROM THE TWIN CITIES AND ACROSS THE COUNTRY. THERE IS NO FEE TO APPLY.
Applications for the Core Writer program and four of the Playwrights' Center's fellowship programs are available for download.
The Playwrights' Center is home to five of the most generous career-advancing fellowships for playwrights and theater artists in the country, distributing over $200,000 to artists each year in partnership with the Jerome and McKnight foundations. The Center also supports 25-30 Core Writers, half from the Twin Cities and half from across the country, who are provided with an artistic home and access to Center resources for three-year terms.
There is no fee to apply for the Core Writer or fellowship programs, though eligibility requirements and deadlines vary. Please consult each application for specific instructions.
Applications for the following programs are currently available:
For more information, please contact Artistic Programs Administrator Laura Leffler-McCabe.
Steppenwolf is proud to offer First Look 101, an innovative program that offers you unprecedented access to the play rehearsal process leading up to the 7th Annual First Look Repertory of New Work.
First Look 101 is a unique two-month experience from September 24 – November 13, 2011 that takes enrolled participants on a backstage journey through all aspects of the new play development process - from the first rehearsal to the final performance. The program features three developmental productions of new plays presented in rotation, accompanied by events focused on the development of new work.
Throughout the fall, participants are invited to discuss First Look plays and follow changes being made to the scripts before opening night. Attend open rehearsals, open tech rehearsals and learn about the process from artists on the frontline of the new play development industry.
For only $100 you receive access to all First Look 101 events, plus tickets to all three First Look Repertory productions. First Look 101 is available to students with a valid ID for only $45. Call Audience Services at 312-335-1650 to purchase your package.
The 7th Annual First Look Repertory of New Work Productions Are:
Man in Love
A new play by Christina Anderson
Directed by Robert O’Hara
A new play by Zayd Dohrn
Directed by Kimberly Senior
A new play by Carly Mensch
Directed by Matt Miller
First Look 101 Events:
First Look Opening Day: Discussions of each play in a book-club style (scripts distributed to First Look 101 participants in advance)
* Saturday, September 24, 11:00am - 2:30pm
First Day of Rehearsals (all plays): Designers present their plans, directors introduce their plays, and each production goes off into rehearsal
* Tuesday, September 27, 5:00pm
Open Rehearsals: Staging the play brings new challenges and insights
Date: Tuesday, October 4th
Location: Garage Theatre
Date: Saturday, October 8th
Location: 3rd Floor Conference Room
Man in Love
Date: Saturday, October 15th
Location: Garage Theatre
Script Workout: Script analysis session to discuss changes during the process
* Saturday, October 22, 11:00am – 2:30pm
Technical Rehearsals: Set, costumes and lights transform the play into a production
Man in Love
Date: Sunday, October 23rd
Tatiana: "… it echoes my thoughts. Actors become adept at
auditions not actually doing plays. The only thing I
would add is that actors don’t have to be forgiven for a
“life of lies”… there is nothing to be forgiven since we are
all active participants of the “lie” – the pretend world of a
play, from the writer, to the director, to the stage
manager, to the designer. Nothing to be forgiven from
either side… on the other hand, there is so much more
that could be given. Trust is one of those things.-
Click here for the rest of the story and join the convo.
In the spring of 2006, NNPN began administering an annual play prize. Funded by a gift from novelist and playwright Timothy Smith and a group of socially conscious donors, The Smith Prize is awarded to a play that specifically focuses on American politics - examining our civic institutions, particularly our democratic institutions - and asks: Who are Americans as a people? What are we becoming? What are our global responsibilities? The prize carries a $5,000 cash award, which is split between the playwright and the first National New Play Network member theater that chooses to produce the winning play.
The winner of the first annual award, announced in December 2006, was Topsy Turvy Mouse by Peter Gil-Sheridan. In November 2007, Black Gold by Seth Rozin was announced as the winner of the second Smith Prize, and went on to productions at InterAct Theatre Company (Philadelphia), Prop Thtr (Chicago) and Phoenix Theatre (Indianapolis) as part of the Continued Life of New Plays program. The 2008 prizewinner - Y York's dark comedy ...And LA is Burning, received its first NNPN member production from Florida Studio Theatre in March 2009. The 2010 Smith Prize was awarded for the first time to two plays: Sean Christopher Lewis’ Killadelphia: Mixtape of a City and Martin Zimmerman’s White Tie Ball. Killadelphia was produced by InterAct Theatre in Philadelphia, and has been subsequently performed across the country. White Tie Ball was produced by NNPN member Borderlands Theatre in Tucson, AZ in May of 2011. And the 2011 Smith Prize was recently awarded to A. Zell Williams' In a Daughter's Eyes. InterAct Theatre Company produced the world premiere in June of 2011.
SUBMISSIONS FOR THE 2012 SMITH PRIZE ARE NOW BEING ACCEPTED. Please note: scripts must be submitted online.
1) Only full-length, non-musical plays will be accepted.
2) The play's theme must focus on American politics, as explained above, illuminating issues that can only be dealt with at the national or global level, even if the story is told from an individual perspective.
3) At the time of application, the play must not have had a professional production.
4) Playwrights may only submit one script, and may not submit a script that was previously entered in the Smith Prize.
5) Previous winners of the Smith Prize may not enter.
There are two steps to the application process:
1) Pay the submission fee of $10. You may pay online by visiting our PayPal site – go to www.nnpn.org, click on the “Donate” button in the lower right-hand corner, and in the “instructions to seller” section, please type “Smith Prize” and the name of your play. Alternatively, you may send a check made out to the National New Play Network to us (NNPN, c/o Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, 641 D Street NW, Washington, DC 20004). If you send a check, please make sure to indicate the name of your play on your check. Do not mail your script.
2) Email a blind copy of your script (without your name on the title page or anywhere in the script) to General Manager Jojo Ruf, email@example.com. The script may be formatted in MSWord or PDF format.
The deadline for receipt of both the script and application fee is December 30, 2011. The winner will be announced in June 2012.
by Jamie Gahlon, Associate Director, American Voices New Play Institute
James Still was kind enough to speak with me over the phone about his experience at Indiana Rep, as part of our continuing series exploring the many incarnations of what it means to be a playwright-in-residence.
So, as you may have seen on the blog, I started interviewing playwrights about their experiences in residency at different institutions, obviously you have experienced one model – one model with a very long tenure at this point, at Indiana Rep and I’m curious, just for starters, how did it come about in the first place? And what does it look like for you now?
The IRT had done two of my plays, but I was not deeply involved or invested with them as an institution, culture, or community. I had an on-going friendly relationship with the artistic director, Janet Allen, as many playwrights do with artistic directors but it was not a day-to-day kind of relationship (this was before – gasp! email.). The first play they did of mine was a second production, the other was a world premiere – two essential events in a playwright’s life. The fact that the IRT had done both of those things was important for me and my work.
Then Janet called me – this was back in the day when the Pew Charitable Trust had the National Artists’ Residency Grant Program and the philosophy of that program was to put together an artist and an institution, to deepen an existing but largely undefined relationship. We applied for a two-year Pew Charitable Residency Grant and we got it. For two years the artist was obligated to spend a minimum of 4 months in residency and you could do that 4 months in any way you wanted.
The Grant had a lot of great, holistic flexibility built into it. They left it up to the artist and the institution to discover and – in a way, for the residency to reveal itself to everyone involved, and that was a great gift. I had never been a playwright-in-residence, the IRT had never had a playwright-in-residence and I think those two things are really important going into it, as well, because I didn’t have an agenda as to how I thought this should go. I was attracted at that moment in my life to the idea of being involved with an institution from the inside, with a culture, with an audience. I had been a guest artist at lots of theaters, as many of my colleagues were and have been, and I'd mostly had very good experiences as a guest, but I was very aware of being the guest and of course there comes the time when every guest must leave.
I was hungry for a relationship with an institution where that ongoing collaboration could go in many directions, so there could be many things happening at once, as opposed to being one project and you see that all the way through and you wait for a year or two or three, four years before you do another thing with that group of people.
I also was very hungry for an ongoing relationship with an audience. I wanted to – you know, I didn’t have that, I didn’t know it was even possible... it was probably based on an old, romantic idea of what Broadway used to be, when audiences saw every play by Tennessee Williams or Arthur Miller or Lillian Hellman –and it seemed they had a relationship with a writer’s work. I was intrigued by the idea of an ongoing dialogue I might have with a community, with an audience based on the plays that I was writing.
I immediately immersed myself – again, we created my residency as a kind of energetic, muscular baptism. I would go to IRT anywhere from two to five days a month; when I was directing I was there for a month, etc., etc. That kind of time scheme allowed me to see every production that the IRT did in those two years, to go to a rehearsal of every production, to go to board meetings, to go to finance committee meetings, to host community events around my writing projects. Janet immediately asked me to join both the artistic and senior staffs, and because I directed, I was also working with all the shop heads… so I was really able to immerse myself into the culture of the IRT by interacting both wide and deep.
After those two years, the Pew Grant allowed you to renew one time so, two years turned into four years and, by that time, I’d already done two new plays with more in the works, so audiences were getting to know me and I had relationships with the Board, and it became clear to everybody that this is a relationship that could, and probably should, continue. But I did pause and ask myself, honestly, “Do I want this continue? When is a good thing no longer a good thing?” I never wanted to be a playwright in residence out of habit.
Essentially I became a staff member: a freelance, in-house artist who doesn't live in Indianapolis but somehow manages to traffic in the details. I continue to commute there. I've just begun my 14th year of commuting from the west coast to Indianapolis. And in that same time structure: I see every play we do by spreading my time out, except when I’m directing or we’re doing one of my plays and then I am there for a month. The residency has evolved in all the best ways in that I do feel like I have a real relationship with the audience. In my 14 season, I think we’ve done at least 10 plays of mine. The IRT has two theater spaces – a 600 seat proscenium theater and a 300 seat ¾ thrust -- and so during my 10th anniversary season , we did two plays of mine at the same time in both theaters, so audiences could see two of my plays at once.
That’s so cool!
Yeah! And, I continue to direct. Right now I'm directing the premiere of my new play I Love To Eat, and in the spring I’ll direct Yasmina Reza's God of Carnage.
I think it’s also important to know that the IRT commissions plays by other writers. And in the same way the IRT works with other writers, I work with many, many other theaters. I think that’s been really key. My decision not to move to Indianapolis and not to limit, if you will, my relationships, has been important, because I believe I bring more to the IRT by having relationships with other theaters and I believe the IRT is a better theater for having relationships with other writers, as well. I love when we do other writers’ plays because I feel I can be a support to them in a way that you don’t always get when you’re a writer at a theater.
You talked about the original impulse being this desire to have an ongoing relationship with an audience and I’m wondering, now that you’re in your 14th season – I’m presuming that you’ve been able to establish that dialogue, and a fairly deep one at that – how’s that added value to your writing life and in what ways has it influenced you?
It probably was a bit of a naïve fantasy, but I feel like plays are mostly marketed by genre or subject and I was interested in whether it was possible to market a RELATIONSHIP, a long term relationship – where content was secondary to the fact that I had written it.
Exactly. It’s a James Still Play.
Right. And, in fact, we even sometimes will present it as James Still’s whatever play because that’s part of the conversation we’ve been having with the audience. That is part of the messaging. And yes, maybe that's dangerous if it becomes about pursuing celebrity but as a writer it's more about getting beyond what is it that people are going to want to come and see? Instead, it’s purely what do I want to write?
You have a confidence that they’re going to be game for what it is you put out there for them.
Yes, exactly. What’s really interesting is there are plays of mine that are written from that same impulse that the IRT has not done and I don’t know that they will do. And, again I think that comes back to realistically, I wouldn’t want the IRT do to every play I wrote in that – or I wouldn’t want that to be part of the deal because I would worry, then, would I start to think oh, would this be a play that would work at the IRT, rather than – do you know what I mean?
I’m mystified by audiences: who are they and what are they seeking, why did they come? In a way, my relationship with the IRT has given me a more direct opportunity to approach audiences, I can talk to them, I can actually say to people: Why are you here? What brought you here? Or I could run into them on the street and say: Have you seen & what did you think/feel? And why did you choose to go and if you haven’t gone, why haven’t you gone? What's keeping you away? What if I simply invite you – do you want to see a play? Having access has been a great thing for me.
You’re in your 14th year and IRT just began their 40th. You have been in residence for more than one third of IRT’s existence... What do you think the institution has gained as a result of having you in residence and how has the reciprocal relationship of you participating in the institution in a way that playwrights don’t necessarily have the opportunity to , (i.e., going to board meetings, being a part of the senior staff) influenced your career, your life, and your work?
We call me “the playwright-in-residence” because we can’t really think what else to call me – but, in some ways, I dramaturg the institution. Because I don’t live there, I’m sometimes able to ask the obvious questions because I’m not in the middle of it all the time. We have called me an “inside-outsider” – a term we coined pretty early on that still feels true even though, of course it gets harder the longer you are in a place. That “inside-outsider” role has allowed me a vantage point that is clearly privileged. I say that all the time to my fellow staff members because I get to come and go and, in some ways, I’m not doing all the day-to-day heavy lifting. But I'm doing a different kind of heavy lifting. I know my value.
I think it’s a really healthy thing for the staff to have someone who is essentially a freelance artist on staff. We bring in freelance artists all the time; we cast out of Indianapolis, but also out of Chicago, New York, L.A. Our designers and directors are from all over the country.. I just think knowing that I’m one of those people; too, I think it humanizes that aspect of having guests. There are just things you don’t think of if you’re not a freelance person always on the road. It can be the smallest thing, but it can make such a difference. Our customer service (as we like to call it) for our guest artists is something the IRT takes very seriously and I hope that I’ve been a part of furthering that commitment.
One of the many unforeseen benefits to me as a writer and director is that my residency has allowed me to deepen my relationships with designers, actors, and other directors. I'm a better writer and director because of the other artists I've had the chance to work with -- some of them I've worked with often and deeply and that's been pleasurable in ways I never could have imagined, and I know those collaborations have changed me. In many ways they've made me braver, they've certainly made me feel less alone, and they've also challenged me in ways I love (even when it's difficult, especially when it's difficult).
Having that privileged, inside position and going to board meetings de-mystified the culture of institutional theater. One of the many things that I do is read plays for Janet that she’s considering for next season. I see plays around the country, I report to her all the time on things I’m seeing or artists whose work I’ve found exciting. It’s been really good for me as a writer to understand the chemistry of a season and to also understand there are incredible plays that Janet would like to do that we can’t for reasons I never understood before. You know, I was much more of a brat about that. Being on the inside and really having that first-hand view of what goes on in terms of maintaining an institution, I think I probably always thought I wanted to be an artistic director and I would say I don’t have that thought anymore, having been on the inside.
Mm Hm. Ha. Jaded like the rest of us. (laughter)
I love artistic directors. Janet is a wonderful artistic director, but I don’t want her job, know what I mean?
I never looked at the position at the IRT as a stepping stone to something else. I never thought I’ll be the playwright-in-residence at the IRT and that will help me get to be the playwright-in-residence somewhere else. What we’ve created is so specific to our chemistry and this moment in my life and the institution’s life, that to try to replicate that or even build on that in another place seems like a dumb idea to me. I have a feeling that when my time is done at the IRT, whenever that is, that the next adventure will look completely different.
It’s important for people to understand that the residency's success in terms of longevity, is all about chemistry. I think you could make something like this work for a couple of years, but you get beyond the “crush” and there has to be something deeper there. On a purely practical level, traveling as much as I do to the IRT, it’s hard – travel is no longer simple. And maintaining relationships and a sense of home, all of that is complicated for any of us working freelance, so I’m aware of the trade-offs.
But, again there’s so much of it that has worked in a profound way that it continues making sense – to me. Honestly, when I applied with Janet and the IRT for this, I was in a real crisis with theatre – I had just taken a year off and was focusing on writing for television. I really believe in many ways that if we hadn’t got this grant, I don’t know what would have brought me back to the theatre. I was writing an awful lot, it was so hard to make a living – all the things everybody knows—and I was so hungry for some sort of ongoing identity as a writer (not just one particular project). I thinnk I was looking for an invitation of some kind, to have a seat at a table, to try to create beautiful theatre. The IRT has been that kind of place for me. I could never have dreamed it might be so vital for 14 seasons.
That’s the other beautiful thing about the IRT: sometimes they do a world-premiere of mine, sometimes it’s that beloved second production, and sometimes it the tenth production – and they’re all useful to me and my play. As a writer, you learn how to be grateful in different ways. Having your plays produced makes you a better writer, a better craftsman, a better collaborator.
In some ways maybe the audience is cultivated, in particular, for a play of yours that would be more risky than, say, some playwright they didn’t know as well. It’s almost like they might be more willing to go with you, which is exciting.
And we have done that on a couple of occasions. Certainly there were times where I was very aware that had I not written this play the IRT probably would not have done it. So, that was a real victory for a play..
And for the community -
Yes! Yes, absolutely. I hope we would continue to explore that. I really try to be very honest with myself and with Janet and my colleagues at the IRT about the work we do – my work in particular. And it’s important for me not to take any of it for granted; there are times when I will say to Janet and Steven Stole (the IRT's managing director), I will say, I want to have a conversation about my residency- even all these years later because I just don’t want to be lazy about it. I want to make sure we’re still on the edges of our seats about it. And maintaining the unknowns about it in some way, rather than it just becoming business as usual – because I feel like the opportunity continues to be what’s unusual about it. I do think it’s important for the artist and the institution to not get lazy about our relationships and our collaborations and to continue to demand bigger, deeper, riskier things from each other. That may be the real place where it evolves. But you have to personalize risk and grapple with the fact that risk is relative. What might be risky for a LORT-C theater in downtown Indianapolis is different than what’s risky for a not-for-profit theater in midtown Manhattan. It’s really easy to throw around that word “risk” and I kind of have to roll my eyes when I hear people do it endlessly – because it somehow starts to lose its meaning if you don’t think about what it means to the actual people and place that you’re talking about, that taking a huge risk in my work might make someone else yawn because they feel like they’ve seen it or done it themselves years ago... fair enough. But that doesn’t make it less risky for me. In some essential ways, I feel like my relationship with the IRT is a story about an artist and an institution being willing to take a chance on each other, and just as importantly to let the relationship reveal itself much the way a new play can reveal itself: as an unfolding, something that initially benefited from some naiveté (on my part) as well as a willingness to simply jump in and see what might happen. Like a new play, there is the "idea" of what it's going to be and then there's the mysterious, unforeseeable, not as neat but much more interesting version that is where the thing really lives. It isn't perfect – but the pursuit is perfect.
A challenge that's come up the past couple of years -- this isn't exactly a failure of the residency but it's something I'm trying to figure out -- is that I've made some really great, true friends in Indianapolis (folks who live there) and because of the nature of my work at the IRT being very time-intensive when I'm there (I am trying to fit a month's worth of work into 3 or 4 days on site) -- I find it harder and harder to spend enough time with those people in the community who I've gotten to know. It may seem like a small thing, but it bugs me and I'm working on figuring it out. Sharing a great meal with a friend should always be a priority.
* * * * *
JAMES STILL's plays have been produced throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia China, and Japan. He is an elected member of the National Theatre Conference and the College of Fellows of the American Theatre. He is also a two-time TCG-Pew National Theatre Artist with the Indiana Repertory Theatre where he is in his 14th season commuting from the West Coast as the IRT's first-ever playwright in residence. Upcoming premieres include his new play I LOVE TO EAT at the Indiana Repertory Theatre and LOVE ME SOME AMNESIA at American Blues in Chicago. Recent premiers: THE HEAVENS ARE HUNG IN BLACK (Ford's Theatre in D.C.); THE VELVET RUT (the Unicorn in Kansas City and the Illusion in Minneapolis) and INTERPRETING WILLIAM at the Indiana Rep. Other plays: A LONG BRIDGE OVER DEEP WATERS for Cornerstone's Faith-Based Theater Cycle in L.A.; AND THEN THEY CAME FOR ME, produced around the world including at the House of Commons in London hosted by Vanessa Redgrave; IRON KISSES at Geva; SEARCHING FOR EDEN at the Asolo; LOOKING OVER THE PRESIDENT'S SHOULDER at Pasadena Playhouse; AMBER WAVES most recently in Tokyo, next year in Flint, Michigan; HE HELD ME GRAND at People's Light & Theatre Company; and A VILLAGE FABLE with music by Michael Keck at Honolulu Theatre for Youth, the Children's Theatre Company in Minneapolis and at the Edinburgh Festival. THE VELOCITY OF GARY (NOT HIS REAL NAME) premiered in New York at EST, and seen most recently at Tricklock Productions in Albuquerque. Mr. Still is also a winner of the William Inge Festival's "Otis Guernsey New Voices Award," the Chorpenning Award for Distinguished Body of Work, is a two-time Pulitzer nominee, and three of his plays have received the Distinguished Play Award from the American Alliance for Theatre & Education. His plays have been developed and workshopped at Sundance, the O'Neill, the New Harmony Project, New Visions/New Voices at the Kennedy Center, Telluride Playwrights Festival, the Lark, and the Black Swan Lab at Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Television: five Emmy nominations for his work on Maurice Sendak's “Little Bear”, Bill Cosby's “Little Bill” and Discovery Kids' “Paz” among many others.
Each cycle, the winner of the biennial Scientists, Technologists and Artists Generating Exploration (STAGE) Competition will receive a $10,000 USD prize, along with possible opportunities for developing and promoting the winning script.
Previous STAGE judges include Pulitzer, Tony, Olivier & Nobel-winning judges David Auburn, John Guare, David Lindsay-Abaire, Dr. David Gross, Dr. Alan Heeger & Sir Anthony Leggett.
Submitted plays must explore scientific and/or technological stories, themes, issues or events. Multi-media theatre pieces, non-traditional plays and new forms are encouraged.
THE DEADLINE FOR 5TH CYCLE ENTRIES IS DECEMBER 1, 2011. For detailed guidelines, please visit: www.stage.cnsi.ucsb.edu/competition/guidelines.
To read the playwrights’ bios or learn more about the EWG program, please visit publictheater.org
Highlights from the 2008 Emerging Writers Group
Radha Blank’s Seed is currently running via a co-production between Classical Theater of Harlem and The Hip Hop Theater Festival. After developing her solo play happyFlowerNail as a part of Hedgebrook’s Festival for Women Playwrights (Whidbey Island, WA), Radha workshopped her latest play, Casket Sharp at Penumbra Theater’s The Gym program with Marion McClinton as director. Radha won the 2011 Helen Merrill Award in Playwriting.
Chris Cragin's darkly comic musical Son of a Gun (music/lyrics by Don Chaffer), about Danderhauler Agamemnon Khrusty's efforts to rid himself of the "shitty legacy" left to him by his wildly eccentric, charismatic, alcoholic, Appalachian-family-band-leading father, was part of this summer’s National Music Theater Conference at the O'Neill Center.
Ethan Lipton’s song cycle No Place To Go was commissioned by Joe’s Pub through the NEA and will receive its premiere there in November. He will be developing Red-Handed Otter as a 2011-2012 Playwright’s Realm Fellow.
Alejandro Morales's plays expat/infero, the silent concerto and the october crisis (to laura) have been electronically published on IndieTheaterNow.com. He will be working with Taylor Mac on a Spanish translation of The Lily's Revenge.
Nick Mwaluko’s play Waafrika, the story of an interracial relationship between two women set in a rural village during Kenya’s first democratic elections, was short-listed for London National Theatre’s African Playwriting Contest. Nick remains Artist-in-Residence at Thinking Cap Theater in Ft. Lauderdale and will be a resident artist at the California-based Djerassi Artist Residency Program from October to November 2011.
Don Nguyen Red Flamboyant, a play about Vietnamese heroines, was developed this past summer at the Ojai Playwrights Conference. His new play Sound, about Alexander Graham Bell and deaf culture past and present, received a reading via the Civilian's R&D Group.
Aladdin Ullah’s solo-show Indio will be performed at Joe’s Pub on October 24 and 27, directed by Chay Yew.
Pia Wilson's ten-minute play Turning the Glass Around is a finalist for the 2011 Heideman Award, presented by Actors Theatre of Louisville and City Theatre.
Highlights from the 2009 Emerging Writers Group
J. Julian Christopher's play Man Boobs, the story of two men about to embark on a night of passion until issues of obesity and self-esteem overpower their connection, will have a production in Melbourne, Australia for the Midsumma Festival 2011 celebrating Queer culture.
Branden Jacobs-Jenkins workshopped his play Appropriate at the Vineyard Arts Project’s New Writers, New Plays festival over the summer.
Mona Mansour’s short play Broadcast Yourself is part of Headlong Theater’s 9/11 project Decade, performing in London this September and published by Nick Hern Books. Over the summer, her play The Hour of Feeling was workshopped at The Playwrights Center in Minneapolis, where she is a Core Member, and at New York Stage and Film. This fall, it kicked off NYSF’s new reading series at Barnard. Mona also completed very gratifying residencies at the McCarter and at Williamstown Theater Festival.
Jordan Seavey recently became a New York Theatre Workshop Usual Suspect. His play Listening for Our Murderer will receive a reading at NYTW in September; The Truth Will Out will receive at reading at Norway's Oslo Internasjonale Teater in October; The Funny Pain will receive a workshop with CollaborationTown in November.
Alena Smith’s play The Bad Guys, about of group of good guys forced to confront their bad sides, was part of the New Work Now! series at the Public, directed by Kip Fagan.
Lauren Yee's A Man, his Wife, and his Hat, a klezmer-inspired comedy about the nature of love and old age, was developed at this summer's PlayPenn, directed by Hal Brooks, and will receive its world premiere at AlterTheater in November. Ching Chong Chinaman, a farce centering on a Chinese American family and their Chinese indentured servant, was published by Samuel French earlier this year and will receive its Los Angeles premiere with Artists at Play in November.
Highlights from the 2011 Emerging Writers Group
Augusto Federico Amador had a staged reading of his play Waking Up at The Imagined Life Theater in Los Angeles in June and in January, it will have it a full-production there.
Anna Moench's The Pillow Book received its world premiere at 59E59 in August, produced by Firework Theater. Anna is a recipient of the 2011 Tofte Lake Center Emerging Artist Residency and is currently working on a youth theater commission and her second EST/Sloan Project commission.
Laura Marks' play about the changeling myth, Mine, had a recent workshop in Juilliard's Playwrights Festival and a reading at Manhattan Theatre Club. Her play about the foreclosure crisis, Bethany, won the 2011 Leah Ryan Prize for Emerging Women Writers and was chosen by John Guare as runner-up for Yale's 2011 David C. Horn Prize.
Dominique Morisseau’s play Detroit ’67, about two siblings caught in the middle of the 1967 riots, is part of the Lark’s 2011 Playwrights’ Week. Her play, Paradise Blue, the second piece in her three-part Detroit series, was developed this summer at Voice and Vision. She was named runner-up for the 2011 Princess Grace Award.
EWG 2008: Radha Blank, Leila Buck, Raúl Castillo, Chris Cragin, Christina Gorman, Ethan Lipton, Alejandro Morales, Nick Mwaluko, Don Nguyen, Akin Salawu, Aladdin Ullah, Pia Wilson EWG 2009: J. Julian Christopher, Deen, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Bridget Kelso, Mona Mansour, Vickie Ramirez, Jordan Seavey, Alena Smith, Kevin Christopher Snipes, Lauren Yee EWG 2011: Augusto Federico Amador, Nikole Beckwith, Javierantonio Gonzalez, Sevan Kaloustian Greene, Sukari Jones, Aaron Wigdor Levy, Laura Marks, Anna Moench, Dominique Morisseau, Jerome A. Parker, Stella Fawn Ragsdale
American Blues Theater (ABT) seeks submissions for the annual Blue Ink Playwriting Award. The winner will be awarded a cash prize of $500.00 and receive a staged-reading of his/her manuscript by American Blues Theater. The winning play will be chosen by a selection committee comprised of ABT Ensemble members, most notably Emmy award-winner and ABT Founder Rick Cleveland (Nurse Jackie, Mad Men, Six Feet Under, West Wing).
There is no entry fee. Please follow these guidelines:
1. Submissions must be original, unpublished full-length plays written in English. Translations and screenplays are not accepted. Adaptations allowed only if underlying rights are free and available.
2. Plays that received fully-produced productions are not eligible.
3. The manuscript must begin with a title page that shows the play’s title and your name, address, telephone number, e-mail address, and page count; a second title page which lists the title of the play only; a list of characters; a list of acts and scenes; and (if applicable) a list of acknowledgments.
4. Blue Ink Playwriting Award is open to all subject matters. All playwrights are encouraged to submit.
5. Please include playwright’s bio/resume in a separate attachment.
6. Playwrights may submit only one (1) manuscript per each year.
7. Submissions and questions are accepted by email only to firstname.lastname@example.org
8. Please send as a Word Document or PDF File only. Plays must be typed/word-processed, numbered and in standard professional play format.
9. Submissions must be received no later than October 31, 2011
10. The winning play will be publicly announced by ABT no later than March 31, 2012. The winning playwright will be notified directly, prior to public notification. The winner and finalists will be posted on ABT’s website immediately following the public announcement.
11. ABT reserves the Right-of-First-Refusal to produce the World-premiere of the winning play for one year’s time beginning on the date of the winning playwright announcement.
12. From the time of your submission through the winning announcement date, if your play receives or is scheduled for a professional production, please contact us.
For more information regarding ABT, please visit our website at www.americanbluestheater.com
(news item from July 8) - Washington DC: The NATIONAL NEW PLAY NETWORK (NNPN), the country's alliance of non-profit theaters that champions the development, production, and continued life of new plays, has reduced or eliminated member theater subsidiary rights participation for productions sponsored by NNPN. The policy changes were announced at the organization's Annual Conference on June 8 in Mill Valley, CA, hosted by member Marin Theatre Company.
As part of a field-wide trend to make the playwriting profession more sustainable, NNPN theaters voted to eliminate subsidiary rights for Network commissions beginning in 2011-12. While the Network itself has long eschewed asking the playwrights it sponsors to share their future income, this decision obligates the Network's 26 member theaters themselves to do the same when commissioning plays with NNPN funds. Recent NNPN commissions include John Biguenet's Pulitzer nominee Rising Water, and Peter Nachtrieb's as-yet-untitled play, being written as part of the New Dramatists-sponsored Full Stage USA program.
Theaters participating in the Network's flagship program, the Continued Life of New Plays Fund, will also be required to change their policies beginning in 2011-12. For those participating in Rolling World Premieres initiated by NNPN members, theaters will be obligated to either forgo subsidiary rights entirely or adopt a Bonanza Clause, which precludes financial participation in a script's future life until a playwright has earned a predetermined, substantial income. NNPN sponsors nearly twenty Rolling World Premiere productions each year.
September 20 - 24
by Emily Bohannon
by Philip Dawkins
by Jennifer Haley
by Jacqueline Goldfinger
by Katharine Clark Gray
by Dominique Morisseau
by Ken Weitzman
FOR SCHEDULE AND TO RSVP
Started in 1999, EST/Going to the River addresses the critical lack of opportunity for women playwrights of color. The goal, simply put, is to give these women the kind of exposure that is provided by EST, whose goal is to nurture individual theatre artists and to develop new American plays. The River Crosses Rivers II is a stellar lineup of playwrights whose voices add richness and texture to the American Canon.
The series runs through October 2, 2011!
COMIDA DE PUTA (F#@king Lousy Food) by Desi Moreno-Penson, directed by José Zayas*
Stage Managed by Kevin Clutz; with Maggie Bofill+, Gilbert Cruz+, Ismael Cruz Cordova, Susanna Guzmán+
Phaedra in the Bronx. A bodega-owner’s wife, is madly in love with her husband’s son, the lunch-counter boy, even her friend, the neighborhood ‘spiritual’ woman, Rosalia, can’t save her.
LEARNING TO SWIM by France-Luce Benson*, directed by Elizabeth Van Dyke*
Stage Managed by Daniel Melnick; with Stephanie Berry*+, Lincoln Brown+, Ashley Bryant+, & Paulo Quiros
A woman grappling with loss discovers the only way to rise above her grief is to swim through it.
MODERN ROMANCE by Bridgette Wimberly*, directed by Chuck Patterson*
Stage Managed by B’Jai Pierce-Astwood; with Chike Johnson, Trish McCall+ & Harvey Gardner Moore
Tanya has been lonely for a long time. Lately she has found something exciting to do with her afternoons … but is he for real?
ONE QUARTER by Christine Jean Chambers, directed by Talvin Wilks*
Stage Managed by Jonathan McCrory; with William Jackson Harper*+& Amelia Workman+
A multi-racial woman ponders the future of her progeny— How will her child inherit a culture she’s always felt alienated from.
ONE FOR THE BROTHERS, A LOVE STORY by Pearl Cleage, directed by Woodie King, Jr.
Stage Managed by Mutiyat Ade-Salu+; with Reggie Burch, Denise Burse+, & Morocco Omari+
A love story set during the turbulent 60′s & 70′s when revolution was the norm.
POST BLACK written & directed by Regina Taylor+
Stage Managed by B’Jai Pierce-Astwood+;
with Carmen DeLavallade+ performing September 14 – 18,
Micki Grant+ performing September 21 – 25,
& Ruby Dee+ performing September 28 – October 2
In an airport, a 110 year-old woman encounters the post black generation, much to their surprise.
THE SETTLEMENT by Philana Omorotionmwan, directed by A. Dean Irby
Stage Managed by Chiara Di Lello; with Denny Dale Bess*+, Teresa Stephenson+, & Marie Thomas+
New homeowners find their domestic bliss disrupted by the late-night arrival of a stranger who insists that the couple’s home is rightfully hers.
SKIN by Naveen Bahar Choudhury, directed by Jamie Richards*
Stage Managed by Joshua Hernandez; with Vandit Bhatt+ & Nitya Vidyasagar*+
A classic tale of Hip Hop Wannabe Boy meets Disenchanted Poet Girl.
WAKING UP by Cori Thomas*, directed by Tea Alagić
Stage Managed by Kevin Clutz; with Lynnette Freeman+ & Amy Staats*+
Two women on different continents face breast cancer. A play about what separates us and what makes us the same.
*denotes member of EST
+denotes member of Equity
FOR MORE INFO GO TO: http://ensemblestudiotheatre.org
The Fringe Wilmington Festival is Delaware's five-day celebration of unconventional and experimental art in the beautiful and historic City of Wilmington! Join us in the First State's largest city as we take audiences and artists on a thrilling journey to the outer edges of performance, visuals arts, and cinema!
Check out the Performance Fringe Preview Party tonight beginning at 8:30 p.m. at World Cafe Live at the Queen! Enjoy short snippets from the artists participating in this year’s festival, then plan your itinerary for four more days of thrilling performances!
FOR MORE INFO GO TO http://fringewilmingtonde.com/
2012 SUNDANCE INSTITUTE THEATRE LAB
NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS
The Theatre Lab is returning to Utah! After two years partnering with amazing organizations across North America, the Theatre Lab is returning for its three-week residency at the Sundance Resort. The Lab provides a safe environment and artistic community for playwrights, directors, composers, and librettists to develop new work with the support of dramaturgs and full casts.
2012 Theatre Lab
July 9-29, 2012
Guidelines and Application available at www.sundance.org/theatreapp
Apply online by November 15, 2011.
Artists may only submit one project.
Previously submitted or produced projects will not be considered.
Today's howlround.com "Weekly Howl"- Our weekly conversation about New Play development- was AMAZING!
Shouts to everyone that joined in on the conversation: "Daydreaming- How do you make time? Does it fit into an artists life?"
WHAT'S YOUR DREAM...
@halcyontony my dream is to create work that will make the world a better place for my kids #newplay
@howlround We Dream of more shared resources, more investment in a cultural commons, more time to dream, more sense of shared purpose #newplay
@chadbauman I dream to work on the impossible. If it looks like it is possible, I become bored. #newplay
@KevBecerra I dream of creating a forum for conversation and community made of people from my generation #newplay
@DDower I dream of ways to promote the environment, resources, and circumstances for artists to succeed.
For the detailed transcription of our conversation, go to http://bit.ly/rs4ktI
C U NEXT WEEK SAME TIME! 12PM PST / 3PM EST TAG #newplay
Tuesday, Sept 20 from 12pm-1pm Pacific (3pm-4pm Eastern) - join HowlRound.com for "The Weekly Howl" an open Twitter conversation moderated by the @HowlRound / Institute staff.
We are discussing "Daydreaming- How do you make time? Does it fit into an artists life?"
Check out the latest Howlround.com journal article by Catherine Trieschmann "Parenting and Playwriting"
So go ahead and howl a few @HowlRound
Remember, add #newplay in your tweets to participate.
Tuesday, Sept 13 from 12pm-1pm Pacific (3pm-4pm Eastern) - join HowlRound.com for "The Weekly Howl" an open Twitter conversation moderated by the @HowlRound / Institute staff.
Tomorrow we will be discussing "How to integrate the producer into the creative process"
Check out the latest Howlround article on the topic
Remember, add #newplay in your tweets to participate
See you in tweet land!!
Wednesday, Sept 7 from 12pm-1pm Pacific (3pm-4pm Eastern) - join HowlRound.com for "The Weekly Howl" an open Twitter conversation moderated by the @HowlRound / Institute staff.
All topics are open for discussion, so go ahead and howl a few @HowlRound
Remember, add #newplay in your tweets to participate.