Saturday, August 30, 2014

Playing While Black

People were shouting. I was laying flat on my stomach in the shopping plaza parking lot. My glasses had been ripped off and all I could see was a blur moving toward me. It was either a cop or a security guard. His hands griped the belt holster. I couldn't tell whether it was a gun, a taser, or pepper spray he was about to bring out. I spun around and rolled onto my back with my hands in the air. I wanted him to see my eyes. It was amazing how quickly something could be misinterpreted in public. As I lay on the ground thinking about this, I felt a strange rush overtake me and a smirk of fear and excitement spread across my lips. Over the chaos, I shouted "no no no!"

In high school I was on the wrestling team. It was like having 12 little brothers. We would slap, smack, flick, kick, punch, and trip each other for entertainment. Our aggressive affection would come out in practice and flow out into our daily interactions. Our coaches were like our parents trying to calm down their hyper-active kids. Road trips were great opportunities for our teenage selves to get outside of North Miami Beach, staying in hotel room like adults, while competing with other schools from around the state.

When traveling, the roughhousing would start in the van. It was minor stuff, flicking the ear of the passenger in front of us, shoving each other for the best seat. At the rest stops the action would turn into tripping each other on the way to the bathroom, slap fights, chasing each other. On more than more occasion the chasing would flow out of the rest stop parking lots and on to the interstate highway while our coaches faces flushed with anger and fear at our demise at the hands of a 18-wheeler. When we arrived at the hotel, we would get put in our respective rooms and then the real fighting would start. Body slamming, hurling each other on to beds, rolling around on the floor while choking each other into submission. The coaches would bang on the walls from their room while drinking Coronas and smoking cigars.
Our wrestling team was North Miami Beach diverse: Haitian, Caribbean, Latin American, Jewish, and even the occasional WASP. When we would venture into Central and Northern Florida -which is the equivalent of the deep south, our crew would definitely draw attention. When strolling into one tournament in Central Florida, the rural coaches shouted 'uh-oh, here come the thugs! They're gonna rob us!' There was laughter as the insults went back and forth with us hurling claims of them screwing their cousins and tipping cows as they wanted to know how much crack-cocaine we had shoved up our ass. The wrestling locker room humor was drenched in competitive hatred, bigotry, prejudice, and tribalism as teenagers stripped down for weigh-ins and were placed in their respective tournament brackets.

We were in rural Florida on another wrestling trip, when our coaches decided to go shopping. They pulled the van into one of those non-descript Florida shopping plazas that litter I-95 corridor. We got out of the van and started tripping and slapping each other as we walked from store to store. A clerk in one stores suggested we leave and we sulked out into the plaza sidewalk, where the roughhousing continued.

In this particular we had a new member on the NMB traveling team: a Haitian teenager who was muscular, dark-skinned, and short. Now in many of these group rumbles it was me vs. everyone else. I enjoyed the battle of me against the world. The challenge made me feel like Bruce Lee dispatching of a fleet of adversaries. I would grab one of the smaller wrestlers and use him as a bludgeoning tool, swinging them around by their legs to take out a new wave of challengers in one blow (yes, we had no regard for concussions back then). We would never try to intentionally hurt or injure each other, as we would burst into delirious fits of laughter during the rumbling.

Usually I had no problem holding my own in these friendly battles. The new member of these games threw off the power dynamic. Muscular and squat in stature, the other guys decided to try a new tactic and use the Haitian teenager's strength in the first wave of attack while laying back. He lunged at me first and wrapped himself around one of my legs. Planted into the ground, the second wave of wrestlers came and attacked my free leg and took control. And then the final wrestler jumped on my back and wrapped himself around my shoulders trying to take me down. I did my best Terminator impersonation as I roared and swung my legs around while people grappled on.

My glasses were smacked off and I heard someone apologize while my glasses were pocketed for safekeeping. They took me down and we rolled around on the asphalt. My face was pushed down into the ground and all of sudden I heard shouting. Suddenly my legs and arms were free. All my friends had scattered. I looked up and saw a blurry figure running toward me as my savior. A stranger, a concerned store clerk? It was some kind of law enforcement officer or security guard. But when the officer started to reach for his holster, I realized that maybe he wasn't there to save me.

I wondered whether he had a gun, taser, or pepper spray on his belt. Whatever it was, I didn't want to get hit with 10,000 volts of electricity, chemical spray, or a warning shot, while lying on my stomach with the top part of my head exposed. Using my wrestling dexterity, I spun and flipped myself on to my back in one smooth motion while throwing my hands up near my ears. A bizarre smile appeared on my face as the officer realized that he wasn't breaking up a fight but teenage boy roughhousing.

I became aware of the picture we just created in that public space. This horde of black, brown, and yellow masculine bodies tossing each other around in a Central Florida parking lot. Unfortunately the victim in question (me) wasn't a blonde damsel in distress. As he got closer, I identified the blur as a the security guard, who was now extremely disappointed that he wouldn't be able to unsheathe his holster.

We all ended up laughing about the misunderstanding. My glasses were handed back to me and we spent the rest of our shopping time walking around the parking lot, trying to look as non-threatening and peaceful as possible.

Back in the van, we told our coaches about what had just happened while laughing. They didn't find it funny. In fact, they were horrified and reminded us that someone could have been shot by some 'redneck' cop. One of the wrestlers reminded the coach that the cop would have only shot the Haitian guy or me. The laughter faded away and into an uncomfortable silence on the ride back to the hotel.

From that day forward, I didn't participate in any roughhousing in public. My coaches praised me for this change, seeing it as a sign of maturity. When my other teammates would try to goad me into a fight at a convenience store or on the street, I reminded them that I was the one who could get in trouble. They usually backed off with a quiet understanding. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Grief and Las Lloronas

*I dictated these thoughts into my iPhone, which then transferred my speech into written text. I was seeking to jump into a running stream of thought by speaking these words aloud. I didn't want the added filter of my fingers typing, or considering grammar, structure, or style. The most involved I got in the writing of this was that I pasted these thoughts into my blog and divided it up into paragraphs. These are my spoken words. 

My grief is not solid. It is shifting tectonic clouds floating, dancing, rupturing, evaporating into thin air. A week ago my uncle was killed in a car accident. The accident happened at 6 AM. A van crashed into the driver side of the door crushing him in killing him instantly.  He was hit by a driver who had no regard for his car or his life. The driver was Latino and the police officer who showed up on the scene was also happened to be Latino. After a few minutes of discussing the dilemma amongst themselves, blame was put on the deceased. My uncle was accused of running a red light which he has never done in his life. There was no further investigation by the police. There was no video surveillance. They, the living witnesses to the accident, were satisfied with the pinning the vehicular homicide on the one person who could not defend himself. There is something unresolved to this situation. 

If this other driver did kill my uncle and he is still out on the street driving around. We don't know if he was drunk, on drugs, irresponsible, or what actually happened. What's most shocking is that he could do it again. I guess my uncle's life wasn't important enough to the police. It didn't matter that he was dead. What mattered was less paperwork for them. That is why I am walking into this grief with a lot of conflicting feelings. 

There is so much I want to know that will never be found out. I guess in America we don't expect that. We expect to have our murders solved, our lives counted and considered. I realize that in most of the world this does not happen. In most of the world murders are not solved or even bothered with by the local police. This also factors into my grief. It is my privileged assumption that lives do matter in our society. 

The other thing is that haunts me is that I did not know my uncle that well. We had a handful of conversations throughout the course of my entire life. He was quiet and reserved but never mean. He was always respectful and kind. Benjamin Wesley Boston blended in, he fit into most situations.

I remember sitting in a parked car with him one time trying to explain what I do as a writer. I talked about memory in mythology and how everyone had stories that fit into the grand scoop of history and math. He seemed both amazed and skeptical. He said that he didn't have any stories in that it was people like me that made magic happen. I tried to explain that I thought match it was all around us, and each one of us had magic mystery mythology in memory intertwining in our souls to create a tapestry of our own ark. He looked at me skeptically in muttered something under his breath. I could tell that he did not believe me. He thought that he did not have that gift. And I realize that trying to convince my uncle would just upset him so I let the issue drop away into silence. We sat there in the car silently not saying the word for the rest of the trip. 

Then the holidays with my uncle: he would normally stop by the day after Christmas for the family get together. In the early part of my childhood this often happen at my parents house and in the backyard patio area. I was thinking about all this while I was at his funeral. I was asked to see if you words on his behalf and in memory of what he meant. I kicked around a few poems in my head but my mom turned down my suggestions inadequate. 

Finally found some Ralph Waldo Emerson that I thought would be appropriate. The poem I selected was to laugh and often. I read it simply and then explained that my uncle made the world a better place. He laughed often tended his garden patch gave the world children and let us all breathed easier because he was alive. I sometimes wish we had professional wailers at funerals like they do in other countries.

 In Mexico I believe they pay them a few pesos an old women will stop by in the wail over a body. The sound and feeling of their grief is what you folks tears in other people and so we are not only cry for the decease crying for all of humanity in the sadness in the inevitability of death. They are called Lloronas (*this sentence I did type out because I couldn't figure out the correct pronunciation) 

I feel like in the black community in America we need professional wailers. We need people to remind us of the depth of grief. We need people to around us in that pain so that we can move and transform it. Right now I don't feel grounded in anything. The clouds of questions, pain, anxiety, and frustrations keep shifting in my horizon. Occasionally some of these clouds will rub up against each other. And then I will find myself hit with this strange concoction known as grief. I was on the moving sidewalk in JFK airport when another cloud burst before my eyes. And didn't on the train from the airport to the subway another strange weather condition over took my face. And then it was gone.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

To Laugh Often and Much

I was asked to say something about my uncle at today's funeral. I searched around for the right phrase or quote. Ralph Waldo Emerson seemed appropriate so this is what I read...

To Laugh Often and Much
By Ralph Waldo Emerson

To laugh often and much;
to win the respect of intelligent people
and the affection of children;
to earn the appreciation of honest critics
and endure the betrayal of false friends;
to appreciate beauty;
to find the best in others;
to leave the world a bit better
whether by a healthy child,
a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition;
to know that one life has breathed easier
because you lived here.
This is to have succeeded.

Through his family, kindness, and the garden patches he tended, Benjamin Wesley Boston left this physical manifestation as a success. Goodbye Uncle.


Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Sound and Fury of Ferguson, Missouri

I'm reading the papers about the 'fight for justice' in Ferguson. I look at these heroic titles and feel uneasy. There doesn't appear to be any organized movement on the ground to sustain anything of substance. The work that needs to be done in the black community by black people isn't happening. The injustices continue of police violence and brutality, but there is no corrective course in the long-term. This just feels like an exercise in anger expiation.

Over twenty years ago there was the Rodney King verdict, which triggered riots across the country. The media talked about race for a few weeks, some trees were planted in destroyed neighborhood, vague promises were made. I was in middle school and sat through the tension. It was a perfect time to be angry. I wasn't Buddhist, in fact I wasn't really anything accept myself at the time. Anger seemed to be the trend of the moment, something to attach myself to for community. Viscerally I felt thoroughly disgusted. It seemed like everyone was relishing in the anger without actually doing anything. In that moment I had mutual disdain for all parties. Highland Oaks Middle School organized a rally in the auditorium. I asked what was order of the event. A teacher told me that students would be allowed to express themselves. I immediately asked if I could skip this event and do homework instead. I didn't want to sit and listen to anyone tell me there feelings who was ill-informed, angry, and just wanting to vent. I was 12 years old at the time. I excused myself from the rally and went to Spanish class. I was the only black person who didn't attend the rally. When I asked my fellow students what happened, they said it was just a lot of screaming. I was glad to have missed out on that waste of time and energy.

These Orwellian rage sessions just seem to be about harnessing fury into pocket-sized events where people can exhaust themselves into numbness. I have been politically active since I was a child but I have avoided most anti-hate rally, anti-rape rally, most war protests. I find them patronizing acts of the least educated and loudest selection of the population. In Ferguson this feels like a repeat of the 'rage sessions' for the under-informed and inactive masses of oppressed who passively allow themselves to be pushed around. As someone who has pride in my race and country, I feel embarrassed that the vast majority of us continue to act like unthinking mobs of serfs roaming to and fro, looking for the next event to be outraged at without ever DOING anything to change the situation.

Only 15-20% of of eligible adults in Ferguson vote. Its representatives, police, and councilmen look, act, think differently from most of the residents. The black population stands at 65-70%. And a pathetically small amount vote. There is no organizations in place to address this issue. Black leaders seem to be posing for selfies and giving speeches. There appears to be no concept of what actually makes change happen. Stop marching and start voting. Sustained goals burns brighter and than abrupt anger.  Vote, vote, vote. Organize around voting blocks.

This is very un-PC but I don't want to hear about the great 'fight for justice' when 80% of the of the adult population chooses to not take part in the actual thing which could change their situation on the ground. Blacks fought long and hard to obtain the right to vote and this generation has just thrown it all away.

Everywhere I've gone in this world I have encountered racism but I've also usually encountered programs to address inequalities. And I often find myself among the rare and few who take advantage of these opportunities, who stands in line to vote, who makes the bare minimum effort to be an informed citizen. I'm tired of seeing educated blacks go along with these futile acts when they know what must be done. I'm tired of seeing black leaders posing for photo ops when they should be organizing long-term strategic thinking. I'm of the loudest being praised when they're often the most passive in allowing the continued oppression. I'm tired of seeing cases like Michael Brown flash on screens without anything constructive being done to address the systemic problems in our society.

I fear that Ferguson will just be another angry flare-up, a bronzed footnote of anger that's all sound and fury, but signifying nothing. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

"Less Than 50%" @ NY Fringe

"Less Than 50%" is one of the most fresh and innovative romantic comedies I've seen in the past few years. It's a work of uber meta-theatre as the lead actor is also the writer and using the space to recreate his relationship's trajectory on stage...with his actual former girlfriend playing the stage version of herself. They stop and start the play to discuss the truth of some scenes, while going for the 'theatrical truth of the moment' at other times. Interspersed between the vignetted re-enactments are stand-up comedy routines, discussions about art, education, and what it means to say the word 'love.'

Gianmarco Soresi is the lead actor/narrator/playwright/boyfriend of this ambitious undertaking. His romantic 'better' is played by ex-girlfriend/co-lead/collaborator Laura Catalano. For the entire 90 minutes these 2 characters battle it out, jumping in and out of roles across a wide spectrum of time.

I have a soft-spot for meta-romantic comedies with neurotic New Yorkers. Like many nerdy and quirky moviegoers, I grew up on Woody Allen. "Annie Hall" was on a loop in my family's living room along with "The Cosby Show." "Annie Hall" is a masterpiece about Woody Allen playing a fictional Alvy Singer in order to discuss his the real artist dilemma with relationships and turning 40, with obvious homages to Fellini's "8 1/2" which was about an Italian director working through his artistic block and dilemma with relationships by putting up a movie within a movie. "The Cosby Show" was named after the real Bill Cosby whose playing a fictional Heathcliff Huxtable (in an jesting nod to the Bronte sisters) who has a family that replicated the real Cosby and became a way for him to employ his stand-up routines about his real family in a fake TV setting.  I say all of this because it's easy to forget how intricate and complex the mobius-strip overlap is between fiction and non-fiction in meta-media. Contemporary audiences are so accustomed to the form that we take it for granted.

In "Less Than 50%" there's a play within a play within a play that draws on the wealth of personal and artistic history from the leading pair. At the top of the show, Giarmarco explains the rules and context of what's about to take place. He's rewriting the love story as it takes place, seeking inspiration from both scripted sections, improv, and discussions about the play. Laura walks in and they begin a hilarious Meisner acting repetition exercise around pregnancy before 'breaking' to discuss their feelings about the moment. The show's title is based on the commonly known fact that less than 50% of marriages survive the pressures of lies, adultery, and creeping distrust.

Gianmarco pushes the story forward with a some times reluctant and unwilling actress/girlfriend who gives line readings that counter what her boyfriend wrote. As the story progresses it also begins to unravel and come undone in both content and form. The tone jumps around from stand-up, to  standard romantic comedy patter, etymological dissections of overused words like 'fuck' and 'love.' and playing against the expectations of the rom-com happy ending.

Director Max Freedman helps weave all these different elements together into a wonderful theatrical tapestry. The fact that it flows as one continuous arc is a tribute to Freedman's directorial skill with comedy. Laura Catalano is blissfully adorable and strong-willed in her role. She holds her own against Gianmarco's nitpicking and tangential rants. Catalano's illuminates her 'character' and shows how they make the perfect pair...at least on stage.

I have broad rom-com tastes. I truly enjoy schmaltzy stuff like "Garden State" as well as nostalgic reminiscing like "Love and Basketball" and classics in the vein of "His Girl Friday." But to me shows like "Less Than 50%" are the future of new romantic narratives. Our generation has become too cynical to root for traditional hetero-normative patriarchal stories...unless the leads are vampires, zombies, aliens, mutants, or...you know what: never mind. Traditional romantic stories will be fine because as long as the human species continues they will always be teenage girls, smoldering loners, lonely wives, disaffected husbands, and drifting souls looking for their other half. But for those of us looking for these stories with a twist of self-awareness, neurosis, and inquisitively restless spirits looking for more out of love and life, stories like "Less Than 50%" will hold a special place in our hearts.  

Monday, August 4, 2014

Get Up and Stand Down

I'm watching "Get On Up" in the theatre tonight and this family is talking in a loud voice throughout the movie. One of their kids is stomping up and down the stairs. No one in the crowd is saying anything.  In my most Zen-like and precise voice, I kindly asked them to 'shaddup!' Yes. You. Right there. I'm looking at you and your family. Shut up. Suddenly I become aware that I'm in 'stand your ground' Florida and we're now only a few steps away from bullets. Conversely, I think the parents are aware that they too are in Florida and I'm a complete stranger who could be packing heat. So we both quietly sink down into our chairs. We watch the rest of the movie in silence. Suddenly there is instant parenting on display: the mother tells the son to sit down and he doesn't say a word until the credits and he sits down.

Hmmm...I'm having a lot of conflicted feelings. I got what I wanted and the rest of the crowd jumped in and told the family to 'be quiet' so I received mob validation as people piled on to this unruly bunch.

I had an inelegant reaction that lasted about 2 seconds. I'm not proud of telling someone to 'shut up,' even in a nice voice. Even more disturbing, there was this weird tension of 'is someone going to get popped tonight?'

After the movie ended, I thought about apologizing. I decided this would be the best course of action, and then I remembered that potential of a gun.

'Hmm, but this could escalate into something.'  Instead we all seemed to sheepishly leave, exiting to our cars. Stand Your Ground America: where all public disagreement is tinged with the awareness 'is someone going to die because this cheesy bread is too cold?"

GET WHAT YOU WANT: August 2014



1.
Radcliffe Institute at Harvard Fellowship
Deadline: October 1st
Radcliffe Institute is accepting fellowship applications from the humanities, social sciences, and creative arts until 1 October.
Fellows receive office or studio space and access to libraries and other resources of Harvard University during the fellowship year, which extends from early September 2015 through May 31, 2016. Stipends are funded up to US$75,000 with additional funds for project expenses.Stipends are funded up to $75,000 for one year with additional funds for project expenses. Some support for relocation expenses is provided where relevant. If so directed, Radcliffe will pay the stipend to the fellow’s home institution.
We work with fellows who have families to help with relocation issues for a smooth transition.
Fellows receive office or studio space and access to libraries and other resources of Harvard University during the fellowship year, which extends from early September 2015 through May 31, 2016. Visual artists and film, video, sound, and new media artists may apply to come for either one or two semesters. In the event that they come for one semester, the stipend is $37,500. Fellows are expected to be free of their regular commitments so they may devote themselves full time to the work outlined in their proposal. Since this is a residential fellowship, we expect fellows to reside in the Boston area during that period and to have their primary office at the Institute so that they can participate fully in the life of the community.

2.
Heiress Productions 2014 Playwriting Competition
Deadline: August 31st
Website: http://www.heiressproductions.org/News.html


Scripts should be full-length and mostly comedic in nature (or with major comedic elements). Plays should be unpublished and should not have previously been produced in New York City. Submissions will be accepted through August 31, 2014. The prize for the winning play(s) will be a complete reading in NYC produced by Heiress Productions with the potential of moving on to a full stage production at a later date.
For consideration, please send the following materials to scripts@heiressproductions.org -
1. Cover Letter
2. Synopsis of the play
3. Ten (10) representative pages -
These will be the basis for the first round of consideration. Scripts selected to continue
will be read in their entirety by the judging panel.
4. Resume/CV of the playwright(s)

3.
Yale Drama Series/David Charles Horn Prize
Deadline: August 15th
Website: http://yalepress.yale.edu/yupbooks/drama.asp#rules


The Yale Drama Series is an annual, international competition for emerging playwrights. The winner is awarded the David Charles Horn Prize of $10,000, publication of the winning play by Yale University Press and a staged reading. The reading of the 2013 winning play will take place at Lincoln Center Theater in New York City.
Winners are chosen by the preeminent playwrights of our time. Edward Albee served as the Series’ inaugural judge (2007-2008), followed by Sir David Hare (2009-2010), John Guare (2011-2012), Marsha Norman (2013-2014) and Nicholas Wright (2015-2016).


What to submit:  A full-length play in English (worldwide submissions accepted).  Playwrights may submit only one manuscript per year.  No application form is required beyond the play itself.
The manuscript must begin with a title page that shows the play’s title and your name, address, telephone number, e-mail address (if you have one), page count and (if applicable) a list of acknowledgments; a second title page which lists the title of the play only, a 2-3 sentence keynote description of the play,  a list of characters, and a list of acts and scenes.
A brief biography may be included at the end of the manuscript, on a separate page, but is not required.


Full submission details can be found on their website.


How to apply:  They encourage electronic submissions, which can be made at the following address: https://yup.submittable.com/submit.


If you wish to apply in hardcopy, scripts can be sent to Yale Drama Series, P.O. Box 209040, New Haven, CT 06520-9040.
What you get:  The winner of this annual competition will be awarded the David Charles Horn Prize of $10,000, publication of his/her manuscript by Yale University Press, and a staged reading at Lincoln Center Theater.


Deadline: 15 August 2014 (entries not accepted until 1 June 2014)

4.
Hedgebrook Residency
Deadline: September 3rd


Hedgebrook supports visionary women writers whose stories and ideas shape our culture now and for generations to come. The Writers in Residence program is Hedgebrook’s core program that for more than 25 years has supported fully-funded residencies for writers representing diversity in citizenship status, nationality, current place of residence, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender expression, trans* identity, age, disability, professional experience, and economic resources. We welcome applicants, published or not, who embrace the mission and opportunity to be a member of Hedgebrook's community.


All residents are selected solely on the artist statement, artist information and writing sample supplied in their application.


You must be 18 years of age or older by February 1, 2015 to apply. Applicants are welcome to reapply if they have not yet been awarded a residency. Writers who work in languages other than English are welcome to apply if they can supply a writing sample in English translation as well as in the original language.

5.
Cullman Fellowship
Deadline: September 26th


Award Period: September 8, 2015 - May 27, 2016
Stipend: $70,000


The Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers supports projects that draw on the research collections at The New York Public Library’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building (formerly the Humanities and Social Sciences Library). The Center looks for top-quality writing from academics as well as from creative writers and independent scholars. It aims to promote dynamic conversation about the humanities, social sciences, and scholarship at the very highest level — within the Center, in public forums throughout the Library, and in the Fellows’ published work.


Candidates who need to work primarily in The New York Public Library’s other research centers — The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and the Science, Industry and Business Library — are not eligible for this fellowship.


In order to avoid real or apparent conflicts of interest, the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers does not accept applications from New York Public Library staff members or their partners, or from people active on the Library’s Board of Trustees, Board Advisory Committees, or Library Council.


Please visit www.nypl.org/research-collections for detailed information about the collections of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street.


Fellows are required to work at the Cullman Center, on the project for which they applied, for the duration of the fellowship term. Fellows may have a few prior brief commitments, but must limit research trips, attendance at scholarly meetings, and speaking engagements, and may not accept other major work obligations during the course of this fellowship. Anyone who needs to be away for more than two days must notify the Director or Deputy Director in advance. The Library will pro-rate stipends for Fellows who spend too much time away from the Center.
Fellowships will not be granted to post-doctoral fellows or to applicants doing graduate-school dissertation research.


The Cullman Center will not accept dossier letters in place of new letters of recommendation.
Fellows must be conversant in English.
Completed applications and supporting materials — research proposal, Curriculum Vitae, letters of recommendation, and art work sample or creative writing sample — must be submitted by 5 p.m. EST on September 26, 2014.


New York Public Library staff members are not able to make corrections or additions once applications are submitted.


The New York Public Library/American Council of Learned Societies Fellowships
The Center may give up to five fellowships a year in conjunction with the American Council of Learned Societies. Candidates for joint fellowships must submit separate applications to The New York Public Library and to the American Council of Learned Societies. For information regarding ACLS eligibility requirements and an ACLS application, please visit the ACLS website, www.acls.org/programs/comps.

6.
Blue Ink Playwriting Award
Deadline: September 1st
website: americanbluestheater.com/about-blues/new-work/blue-ink-submission-guidelines/


The winning play will be selected by Producing Artistic Director, Gwendolyn Whiteside, and the Ensemble. The winner of this annual competition will be awarded the Blue Ink Playwriting Award of $1,000 and receive a staged reading at American Blues Theater in Chicago.
There is a $5 administrative fee. Please follow these guidelines in preparing your manuscript:
- This contest is restricted to plays written in the English language. Worldwide submissions are accepted.
-Submissions must be original, unpublished full-length plays written in English. Translations, musicals, and children’s plays are not accepted.
- Playwrights may submit only one (1) manuscript per year.
- Plays that have been professionally produced or published are not eligible. Plays that have had a workshop, reading, or non-professional production will be considered.
- Plays may not be under option or scheduled for professional production or publication at the time of submission.
- American Blues Theater reserves the Right-of-First-Refusal to produce the World-premiere of the winning manuscript for (1) year beginning with the public announcement in March 2015.
-Plays must be sent as a Word document or pdf file to blueink@americanbluestheater.com.
- Send the $5 administrative fee to: American Blues Theater, 1016 N. Dearborn, Chicago, IL 60610 or pay online here

7.
Guggenheim Fellowship
Deadline: September 19th


The Fellowship competition was at first open only to citizens of either the United States or its possessions.  In keeping with the Guggenheims' intentions, as expressed in their First Letter of Gift, the awards were originally titled the "John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowships for Advanced Study Abroad."  Beginning with the inaugural class of fifteen Fellows in 1926, all Fellows were required to spend their terms outside of the United States.  But eager to place as few restrictions as possible on the Fellows, the Foundation rescinded that requirement with the competition of 1941.
Canadians became eligible for the Guggenheim Fellowships in 1940, and the name of the competition changed to "United States and Canada." Residents of the Philippines were eligible from the establishment of the Foundation (for the Philippines were a U.S. territory at that time) until 1988, when the Philippine program was discontinued; applications from the Philippines were considered by the Committee of Selection for the United States and Canada through 1949, when that responsibility shifted to the Latin American Committee.

8.
Macdowell Colony
Deadline: September 15

Application Guidelines

Please review the Application Guidelines below before beginning the application process. If you have questions about applying to MacDowell, please contact the admissions office atadmissions@macdowellcolony.org.
The MacDowell Colony provides time, space, and an inspiring environment to artists of exceptional talent. A MacDowell Fellowship, or residency, consists of exclusive use of a studio, accommodations, and three prepared meals a day for up to eight weeks. There are no residency fees.
MacDowell Fellows are selected by our admissions panels, which are comprised of a revolving group of distinguished professionals in each artistic discipline who serve anonymously for three years.


Eligibility
The Colony accepts applications from artists working in the following disciplines: architecture, film/video arts, interdisciplinary arts, literature, music composition, theatre, and visual arts. The sole criterion for acceptance is artistic excellence, which the Colony defines in a pluralistic and inclusive way. MacDowell encourages applications from artists representing the widest possible range of perspectives and demographics, and welcomes artists engaging in the broadest spectrum of artistic practice and investigating an unlimited array of inquiries and concerns. To that end, emerging as well as established artists are invited to apply. Applicants who are in a degree program as of the date of application are ineligible for a residency and therefore cannot apply.
MacDowell is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination and equal opportunity for all persons regardless of race, sex, color, religion, creed, national origin or ancestry, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and disability. No one with the AIDS virus, or HIV shall be denied admission as long as he/she is otherwise qualified. The Colony offers barrier-free access in all main buildings and some studios.


Application Periods and Deadlines
Artists may apply only once every 24 months. MacDowell will only accept applications for the next deadline. Please refer to the applications dates in the column on the left for open application time periods.


Application Process
Before starting the application process, we encourage applicants to scroll through our extensive list of Application FAQs. All applicants apply through the online application process. To apply, click on the Apply icon. Applicants are not required to mail in hard copies of the application forms.


Work Samples
Work samples supporting the proposed project and completed within the past four years are requested. All work samples are uploaded and submitted through the online application. Applicants unable to submit new work for the panel to review should include a note of explanation. Those applicants whose proposed project does not fall clearly within an artistic discipline should contact the Admissions office to discuss which discipline would best fit the proposed work. Please note, composers are required to mail in two copies of two clearly reproduced, bound scores within one week after the deadline, but must upload music files through the online application.
For detailed work sample requirements for each artistic discipline, click here.


References
Applicants are required to have one reference form on file completed by an authority in their field who is familiar with them and their work. Applications that do not have a completed reference form on file will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed. Reference letters are confidential and will be kept on file for five years.


Applicants:   The reference process is initiated by you, the applicant, from within the online application.  You will add the name and contact information for your recommender in the Reference step of the application and a secure link will be sent to your recommender.  This can be done in advance of submitting your application.  It is your responsibility to ensure the request is fulfilled.  The deadline for all references is one week after the application deadline.


Recommenders:  As a recommender, you will receive an automated email from SlideRoom once the applicant has entered your contact information. This email will contain a link specifically tied to the applicant, which should be used to complete the recommendation. The deadline for all references is one week after the application deadline. If a recommender cannot submit a reference online, please contact the Admissions Department at admissions@macdowellcolony.org or 603-924-3886 x 113.


Processing Fee
A nonrefundable processing fee of $30 (U.S.) is required with each application. Applicants pay the processing fee by debit or credit card through a secure site on the online application.


Notification
Applicants will be notified of admission status approximately 10 weeks after the applicable deadline, on or near the dates listed below:
Summer residency notification: March 25th
Fall residency notification: June 25th
Winter/Spring residency notification: November 25th


Collaborations
Artists collaborating on a project must submit individual application forms and appropriate work samples, along with a joint description of the work they intend to do at the Colony. Work space needs should be clearly specified (i.e. whether or not separate studios are required), and an example of a previous collaborative work (either completed or in progress) may also be submitted. Admission status is determined by averaging the individual application scores of all collaborators.

9.
Acadia University's Minifest
Deadline: October 15th


The Acadia University Theatre Company’s 22nd  Annual International MiniFest, a student-run festival, is coming up soon and we are looking for original, never-before-seen one act plays to stage. This would provide an excellent opportunity for your students to see their plays performed, by other university students. Plays shouldn't run longer than 30 minutes.


10.
National Geographics Expedition
Deadline: Aug. 31st


Encouraging you to submit your dream project at www.ExpeditionGranted.com!


National Geographic is giving away $50,000 to the next great explorer-innovator -- this can be in any category... the arts, tech, science, travel, journalism, food, education, environment... or a combination thereof. Imagine what you could explore with $50K - not to mention the exposure to NatGeo's audience, editorial, and advisors.


Details & inspiration at www.ExpeditionGranted.com - submit by 8/31 (the sooner, the better).

11.
Exit Player 7
Deadline: September 13th
Website: http://www.exit7players.org/shows/theexit7newshortpl/


Exit 7 Players is seeking submissions for The Exit 7 New Short Play Contest, performing in February 2015. The contest producers are Janine and Jeffrey Flood (co-producers, the LabWorks 15-Minute New Play Contest 2010-2013, Valley Repertory Company) and Rebecca Johnson (co-producer, Les Miserables, Exit 7 Players).


The Exit 7 New Short Play Contest will produce short plays by twelve playwrights in an exciting audience-participation format, awarding two winning writers a prize of $150 each.


You may submit either one or two plays. Please use the following process to enter the contest. Read all requirements carefully so as to be considered.


1. Format your script using no smaller than 12-point type. Use 1” margins on top, bottom, and sides. Please number your pages. (Click Sample Script Format to see a properly formatted page.)


2. Page one should start with the title of the play at the top of the page (as seen on the Sample Script Format). If you consider your play to be a comedy, please follow the title with “A Comedy”. If you do NOT consider your play to be a comedy, follow the title with “A Drama”. And yes, you must label your play as either one or the other.


3. Your play must be limited to 15 pages total. Any script 16 pages or longer will be rejected.


4. The plays we produce are chosen blind, so do not include ANY author information on the script itself. The contest Play Selection Committee does not see any playwrights’ names until the final selections for production have been made. Therefore, if you put your name on the script so that a member of the Committee sees it, it will be rejected. A company member who is not on the Play Selection Committee keeps the playwright contact info until the final 12 plays are selected for production.


5. Save your script(s) in .pdf format. You can submit your script(s) until Saturday, September 13th, 2014 via the form found in the link. Do not attempt to submit the script in any other format or to any other destination. Snail mail submissions are NOT being accepted.


Submission Restrictions


Please read the following carefully so that your script can be given due consideration:


1. Playwrights can submit 2 plays, but only 1 play per writer will be produced. Members of Exit 7 Players are eligible to submit to the contest, but if their script is chosen as one of the 12 semifinalists, they will be prohibited from working on the production of the contest in any capacity.


2. Scripts should require 2 to 5 actors. Please note that a play can include more than 5 characters, as long as they can be played by 2 to 5 actors. Scripts requiring more than 5 actors will be rejected.


3. We will not consider one-man or one-woman shows, musicals, or children’s theatre.


4. Entries must be original plays. Scripts may be co-authored, based on factual  material, or an adaptation. Legal clearance of materials not in the public domain is the full responsibility of the playwright.


5. We will consider unproduced works as well as plays that have been previously produced, so long as their first date of production was on, or after, June 15th of 2013.


6. Submissions are restricted to plays that have not been published in any form, and they must be royalty-free to Exit 7 for this contest.


7. We’re seeking plays, not skits or sketches. Plays should have a beginning, a middle, and an end (though not necessarily in that order) and feature character development. Above all, make the script compelling.


8. Exit 7 is a community theatre. If we foresee difficulty producing a play due to unusual script requirements, the play may be rejected.


9. While Exit 7 is a family-friendly theatre, adult content is acceptable. Profanity, if it is fully justified by the script and for the character, will not be cause for outright rejection; however, profanity is no replacement for good writing. We will reject any script that requires nudity.


10. Keep set, lighting, sound, costume, and prop requirements to a minimum. The contest will feature 6 plays per night, with quick changeovers. A script with complex technical requirements could lead to its rejection.

12.
20% Theatre
Deadline: open


20% Theatre Company Twin Cities is open to accepting full-length plays any time (60 minute minimum performance time). Please complete this Script Submission Form and email with your script to submissions@tctwentypercent.org. Due to the high volume of scripts submitted to us, we are unable to respond to all submissions. If we are interested in producing your work we will contact you.


13.
Mixed Blood
Deadline: open submission
Website:http://www.mixedblood.com/


Mixed Blood welcomes submissions of contemporary plays that pursue and realize the company’s mission and aesthetic. Mixed Blood uses theatre to address pluralism, usually manifest in race, culture, language, disability, gender, nationality, affectional orientation, and political worldview. Predictably unpredictable, the theatre particularly invites polyglot plays, scripts from the global stage, and work that advances the art form. We prefer e-submissions. If you think you play might be a good fit for us, please send a query letter, your bio or resume, a brief synopsis, and a 10-page sample of your play to the Mixed Blood. Send to: literary@mixedblood.com


14.
Mario Fratti-Fred Newman Political Play Contest
Deadline: Oct. 1st


The Castillo Theatre (NYC) sponsors the Mario Fratti-Fred Newman Political Play Contest and reading series bi-annually. In its seventh year, the political play contest is intended to encourage the writing of scripts for the stage that engage the political/social/cultural questions affecting the world today and/or historical events and issues that impact on our heritage.
While Castillo recognizes that in the broadest sense, all theatre is political, the contest is seeking politically progressive plays that: look at social and/or economic problems and challenges; explore possibilities of social transformation; and, reflect the concerns and interests of communities or which explore the importance of community. The contest also welcomes scripts that experiment with form and seek new ways of seeing and new ways of experiencing theatrical performance.
The plays submitted to the Fratti-Newman Political Play Contest may be written in any style, set in any historical time, geographic or imaginary location, contain any number of characters and be of any length. The plays must be in English and cannot be musicals or adaptations. No scripts will be considered that have previously been submitted to this contest, have received a production or won other contests. Only one script per playwright per year will be accepted.
The contest is judged by a team of distinguished theatre artists. The winning script(s) will receive a reading at the Castillo Theatre in New York City during the theatre’s 2015 summer season.
All scripts should be submitted in hard copy and must be accompanied by:
  • a statement of the political/social/cultural questions that the script engages(scripts with no accompanying statement will not be considered)
  • a brief synopsis
  • a character breakdown, including gender, age and ethnic requirements, if any
  • a 100-word biography of the playwright
  • a current email address
Please note:
  • Receipt of script will be acknowledged via email.       
  • Scripts will not be returned.
  • Castillo does not give critical feedback to playwrights/contestants.
  • Contest winners are required to sign a letter of agreement, which will include, but not be limited to, granting the right for Castillo to produce one or more readings and/or a full production of the winning play.
  • Contest winners are responsible for travel expenses or any other expenses incurred as a result of participating in the development of the play with Castillo, or as a result of attending the reading and/or production.
All scripts must be postmarked by October 1, 2014. The winner(s) will be publicly announced at the Otto René Castillo Awards for Political Theatre in New York City in May of 2015.
Send all submissions to:
Castillo Theatre
543 West 42nd Street
New York, NY 10036
Attn: Fratti-Newman Political Play Contest
Questions and inquiries should be addressed to Madelyn Chapman at 212-356-8485 or mchapman@allstars.org.

15.
Queens Museum and Jerome
Deadline: September 1st


Queens Museum (QM) is pleased to offer a major new opportunity for visual artists: The QM-Jerome Foundation Fellowship Program for Emerging Artists in New York City.  Operating in conjunction with the Museum’s new artist services program, the Fellowship Program for Emerging Artists in NYC will annually award three visual artists a grant of $20,000 each, an artist’s project at the Museum with an accompanying publication, as well as provide professional development and a mentorship with the QM Director of Exhibitions.
Fellowship eligibility is limited to emerging visual artists living in New York City who are working in traditional or new media, and who meet the following guidelines:
  • Artists who are working in painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, photography, multimedia, installation, public art, participatory and / or performance-based visual expression are eligible for this opportunity.
  • Artists must be a resident of New York City—from any of the five boroughs—and must have resided in the City for at least one year prior to the application deadline. Artists must reside in NYC until the end of the 12-month Fellowship period.
  • Artists may not be enrolled in a degree-seeking program, either part-time or full-time, at an institution of higher learning at the time of the application deadline or during the Fellowship year.
  • Eligible artists must fit the definition of “emerging” as defined by Queens Museum below. The artist must be limited in exhibition exposure, with no more than a few grants or fellowship awards.
  • Once accepted, Fellows must be willing to participate in the professional development program and to work closely with Queens Museum staff on his or her artist project and publication.


Queens Museum definition of emerging artist:
The Queens Museum defines an emerging artist as one who is at the dawn of their public career.  The emerging artist has completed his or her studies, but has not had solo exhibitions at established commercial galleries or institutions or received major grants. The category also includes artists who are well beyond their studies, and may have participated in group exhibitions but have not received extensive press or market recognition. These artists may have exhibited their work in other countries on a limited basis, but have not had major exhibition opportunities in the US or in New York in particular.


A three-person jury will review applications and make a selection of Fellow participants. The jury will be made up of the Queens Museum Director of Exhibitions and two other arts professionals, one of whom will be based outside New York City.


To apply:
Please prepare a PDF portfolio of 20 representative images of your visual artwork, a link to up to 5 minutes of video, a resume, and up to five pieces of critical writing about your work:https://queensmuseum.submittable.com/submit/30879


16.
The Naked Expedition Project (TNEP) is currently accepting submissions
Deadline: August 15th
Website: http://thenakedexpeditionproject.com/


The Naked Expedition Project (TNEP) is currently accepting submissions for our Monthly Reading Series kicking off this September 2014!


Seeking short plays (15-20 minutes) written by female emerging & pre-emerging playwrights or plays that focus on women, women's issues, femininity, and/or gender. (Male playwrights encouraged to submit as long as the play focuses on women, women's issues, femininity, and/or gender).


SUBMIT TO submissions@thenakedexpeditionproject.com


Electronic submissions only (PDF format- Attachment)


Please include a brief synopsis, character breakdown, short bio & contact information.


Deadline: August 15, 2014


The mission of The Naked Expedition Project is to challenge the perceptions of women and the underrepresented through the voice of theater and to serve as an advocate for their stories.


17.
Acadiana Repertory Theatre
Deadline: August 15th
Website: http://acadianarep.org/


The Acadiana Repertory Theatre is now accepting submissions for one to two slots available in its 2015 Season, with the theme Only Adapt.


We are looking for full length shows (we will accept one acts, as long as they are around 70-90 minutes) that fit the model of a newly written adaptation of a classic. This can range from Greek, to Shakespeare, to any classic tale. It does not necessarily have to be a re-telling, but it must at least use an existing story as its starting point.


The Acadiana Repertory Theatre is a small ensemble in Lafayette, Louisiana that is committed to producing and developing new works, and working hand in hand with playwrights to assist them in whatever stage of development their show might be in.


We are open to new show ideas as well, even if the show is not written yet but you are interested in writing an adaptation for us.


Plays should:
  • Never have been produced
  • Be in PDF
  • Be received by August 15th, 2014
  • Have a cast of 10 or less, or the possibility of doubling


Not require a great amount of space (we perform in a 50 seat house) or have a great amount of technical needs.


Please email scripts to our Artistic Director, Steven Landry, atstevenlandry@acadianarep.org.

18.
365 Women a Year: A Playwriting Project (Facebook Group Project)
Deadline: Rolling


They are seeking female identifying playwrights who want to join in their quest to write one acts about 365 women in history. A consolidated list of the historical women to choose from are listed at the top of page thread, and may be claimed by commenting on the post. Guidelines for submission can be found under the "files" tab on the group page. For questions, join the group and post a query. Deadline has been posted but historical figures are already being claimed, so join now if you want in on the fun!

19.
The Good Ear Review
Deadline: Rolling
Website: http://thegoodearreview.com/submission-guidelines/


Dedicated to publishing monologues that share a moment in time with the reader (and eventually, the audience). Seeking original monologues in all genres from established and emerging playwrights from across the globe to post on website. Playwrights may submit up to 3 monologues of 600-1000 words each. Monologues must be submitted electronically in the body of an e-mail; no attachments. Include setting, time, character, and any necessary set-up. Include a writer’s bio (do not exceed 60 words). There is no fee or pay. submit@thegoodearreview.com.

20.
TerraNova Groundbreakers
Deadline: August 11th
Website: http://www.terranovacollective.org/


Please read and follow these instructions carefully so that you may have a seamless experience applying to our 2014-2015 Groundbreakers Playwrights Group.


PLEASE NOTE: Incomplete applications (without attachments and payment) will not be processed. Thank you!


STEP 1: Have your ARTISTIC STATEMENT and PLAY ready to attach before you begin filling out the application.


ARTISTIC STATEMENT INSTRUCTIONS:
In any form or order you see fit, answer the following questions in a one-page ARTISTIC STATEMENT and attach as a .doc, .docx, or .pdf.


1. How long have you written plays?
2. Why do you write plays?
3. What is your attached play about and why are you writing it?
4. What is the development history of your attached play?
5. What elements are you working on in your attached play?
6. What questions do you currently have about it?
7. How do you feel participating in a writers' group will help you develop this particular play?
8. Why do you feel Groundbreakers is a good fit for you?

YOUR PLAY:
Please have your play ready as a .doc, .docx or .pdf.

STEP 2: Click on THIS LINK.


STEP 3: Complete all fields in the application, including uploading required attachments, as the system will not allow you to save and come back to it. It will take approximately 10-15 minutes to fill out the application form. All fields marked with * are required


STEP 4: Attach your ARTISTIC STATEMENT and YOUR PLAY as a .doc, .docx, or .pdf.


STEP 5: Before your application is entered in the system you will be prompted to pay a $10.00 processing fee.  


You will receive a confirmation email indicating that your application is in the system.
You will receive notification about the status of your application by Friday, September 19th.


If you have any problems or questions about the application process please contact Associate Artistic Director Jessi D. Hill at jessi@terranovacollective.org


Applications open: Monday, July 14th, 2014
Deadline for applications: Monday, August 11th, 2014
Interviews for shortlisted applicants: September 14-16
Notification: Friday, September 19th.


ABOUT GROUNDBREAKERS PLAYWRIGHTS GROUP:
Since 1996, terraNOVA has developed over 90 new plays through our Groundbreakers program. Groundbreakers Playwrights Group is an annual developmental playwriting lab, in which 6 playwrights receive the unique opportunity to work on a play-in-progress with the goal of creating a completed draft. Each playwright will hear their play read around the table by professional actors 3 times over 18 weeks, receiving feedback from the Groundbreakers Playwrights Group, special guests and the artistic staff of terraNOVA Collective.  terraNOVA assembles a diverse group devoted to creating theatrical, original, innovative, socially relevant new work for the stage and welcomes submissions of new plays-in-progress that will benefit from collective feedback and further terraNOVA Collective's artistic mission. We are especially interested in playwrights who, in addition to working on their own play, have an interest in attending weekly workshops to engage in the development of other playwrights' work. Groundbreakers is made possible through public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the Dramatists Guild Fund.


PARTICIPATING PLAYWRIGHTS WILL RECEIVE:
  • An opportunity to create a 10-minute play to be showcased in terraNOVA’s Annual Benefit.
  • Complimentary tickets to all terraNOVA events in the current season.
  • Hands-on artistic support and professional development guidance from terraNOVA's artistic staff.
  • A staged reading for a general and industry audience.


REQUIREMENTS FOR ELIGIBILITY:
- Must be able to attend weekly sessions in New York City. Attendance is mandatory.

21.
Marin Theatre Company’s Sky Cooper American Play Prize
Deadline: August 31st
Website: marintheatre.org/productions/new-plays-program/new-play-awards/


Norton J. “Sky” Cooper established the New American Play Prize at Marin Theatre Company in 2007 to celebrate the work of the American playwright and to encourage the creation of bold, powerful new voices and plays for the American stage. The Sky Cooper Prize will be awarded annually to either an established or emerging playwright for an outstanding new work. The play selected as the Sky Cooper winner will receives a $10,000 award and a developmental workshop as part of the theater’s annual New Play Reading Series. The winning play will also be considered under option for a full production at MTC as part of the theater’s annual main stage season.
Sky Cooper New American Play Prize Guidelines
• Submissions will be accepted from August 1 – 31, 2014.
• Submissions must be unpublished, original full-length plays in any genre.
• Musicals, translations, individual one-acts, and any play submitted in a previous year for the Sky Cooper or David Calicchio Prizes are not eligible.
• The submitted play may not have received or be scheduled for a full-scale, professional production prior to submission (plays that have had a workshop, reading, or non-professional production are eligible).
• Playwrights must be citizens of the United States.
• Only one submission per playwright is allowed each year; you may submit the same play for both prizes.
• For the Sky Cooper prize, the submission is required to include a professional recommendation.
PHASE I: Submit a completed online submission form and 10 pages of consecutive sample dialogue.
Agents may submit full scripts of their client’s work. Please do not send full scripts for Phase I unless via an agent or professional representation; unsolicited scripts will not be read.
We prefer sample pages attached to the online submission form in .pdf format, with last name, first name, (title of the play) as the document title. For example: Wilson, August (Seven Guitars).pdf.
PHASE II: Selected submissions will be invited to send full scripts for Phase II. All full scripts that have been solicited after Phase I will be read by a member of the Marin Theatre Company artistic staff.
All scripts will be read by a member of the Marin Theatre Company artistic staff. Please do not send more than the requested materials. Do not send videos, CDs or DVDs. Incomplete submissions will not be considered. Due to the high number of submissions, not every playwright will receive a response to their Phase I submission. No materials will be returned. Winners will be chosen from among submitted and solicited scripts; final selections are made by Jasson Minadakis, Artistic Director.
For questions or concerns, please contact literarymanager@marintheatre.org. Please, no phone inquiries.

22.
LaGuardia Performing Arts Center (LPAC) Lab Playwright Residency
Deadline: August 17th

LPAC Artistic Director Steven Hitt Assistant Artistic Director Handan Ozbilgin
Playwright Residency Manager: Rehana Mirza (email questions to rehana.mirza@gmail.com).

GUIDELINES
LPAC is located on a college campus of 50,000 full-time enrolled and adult continuing education students from 163 different countries and is a part of the vibrant and multicultural neighborhood of Western Queens. It is committed to being an “inclusive” performing arts center, which has a unique and exciting audience base and two world-class theaters to offer artists for the development and showcasing of their works. 

We are now probing deeper into the NYC talent pool for artists that need to be seen. Not everyone has a venue, and the LPAC Lab New Play Development Residency, part of the LPAC Lab, fosters the development of new plays by offering: a creative home; a stage; a rehearsal room; skilled technicians to develop original works-in-progress; connections to actors
and directors; and a potential production. 

While we are happy to provide support to work with professional actors, we also have the distinct position of being able to connect playwrights with the diverse body of student actors on campus. Because of the great diversity
of the student body, we are particularly interested in working on plays about young people from diverse backgrounds. 

For the 2014-15 residency, we are looking to present two plays about Muslim identity (though the writers do not necessarily have to identify
as Muslim). Given the nature of the residency, plays should be in the early conception or writing stages.

WHAT WE OFFER PLAYWRIGHT RESIDENTS:
  • An artistic home for eight months (September 2014-April 2015)
  • Development/mentorship from the Residency Manager, with regular meetings and deadlines, modeled after the playwright’s specific needs
  • A workshop of the play during the spring Rough Draft Festival (March 27-April 3, 2015), with at least 20 hours of rehearsal time plus an additional 10 hours of tech with a professional tech crew
  • Access to a community of student and professional actors, as well as professional directors if needed
  • A travel honorarium for the artistic team
  • Consideration for a full production of the play (up to seven performances), to be determined at the end of the residency

REQUIREMENTS:
  • The purpose of this Residency is to develop a new full-length play. We seek two playwrights who view the Residency as an exciting opportunity to engage with a multi-cultural student body in an academic environment.
  • Playwrights must be working on a play that reflects Muslim identity or issues, though the two writers do not necessarily have to identify as Muslim
  • Playwrights must live in the NYC area
  • Playwrights must commit to bi-weekly joint meetings with the Residency Manager, providing and receiving feedback on each other’s plays, in anticipation of the Rough Draft Festival in April

SUBMISSION PROCESS:
Please email LPACLabResidency@gmail.com with: 
  1. No more than a 1-page statement describing the project you would like to work on in the Lab and why this residency is important for your work on this play; 
  2. A 15- page writing sample; and 
  3. A brief bio. Deadline: August 17, 2014 by 5pm. Finalists will be contacted for a brief phone interview prior to September 1st.
TIMELINE:
September-December, 2014: Bi-weekly meetings with Residency Manager discussing pages in progress. (Location TBA.) This will primarily be a dramaturgical discussion, though an onsite table read with actors is also possible.

January-March, 2015: Bi-weekly workshopping at LPAC’s theatre in Long Island City. We will find directors to experiment with pages on their feet.

April 2015: Each play will be given rehearsal and tech time with a director and actors in the Little Theatre, culminating in a workshop presentation.