Monday, April 24, 2017

Trumpgate and Russia: The Last 72 hrs

Indulging the lefty 'Conspiracy Brother' part of me for a minute b/c this is my blog, so why not? And I crave an eco-friendly, green socialism John LeCarre plot brought to life in 2017. So...

1. Twitter-verse of hackers and rogue gov workers have been going crazy with chatter the last 48 hrs. Many ppl seem to be gearing up for something big happening in the next week.

2.Pence cuts his Pacific trip a day short and is returning back on Tuesday.

3. Obama is doing his first public appearance this week. His first topic: leadership *cough cough*

4. former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates is getting ready to testify next week for the House Probe. Yates was fired by Trump for exposing Michael Flynn as a Russian operative. Former CIA chief James Clapper and John Brennan are also set to testify. They are not very fond of that Trump fellow.

5. Rep. Jason Chaffetz abruptly pulls a 'nah dawg' on his political future on Thursday...at the height of his power.

6. Koch-bought Senator Richard Burr (R) is refusing to sign intelligence committee letter to request Trump docs on Russia. He's trying to pull a 'Devin Nunes' and run interference, but it's a little like trying to stop a tidal wave with an umbrella. You can slow it down but there is too much info out there and too many different investigations to stop the 'Trump train' as it rides into the shit-belching volcano of corruption and treason.

7. On Friday Russian hacker Peter Yuryevich Levashov was arrested in Spain and will be extradited to the US by the Justice Dept. His botnet is a major component of the KGB's cyberwarfare against US and European governments. Levashov was also a key contact for Trump advisor Carter Page and his name was used in FISA warrant to monitor Page for his connections to Russian hackers in the midsts of the 2016 election.

8. Trump tweets his support for Marine Le Pen in the French elections. Le Pen has gotten huge loans from Russian bankers to run her French presidential campaign. Well, okay then.

9. Russian bots and hacking activity spikes in France during the last week of the election, similar to the spike in America before the November election.

10. President Donald 'I Love Wikileaks' Trump is now talking about charging Julian Assange. Wikileaks responded this weekend with the cyber equivalent of 'bitch please.'

11. Ivanka and Jared continue to 'sell luxury condos' to wealthy Russian and Chinese businessmen with no internet imprint and a variety of int'l shell companies. And Ivanka is moving into the West Wing and getting her own staff, so there goes your transparency and separation of Trump Inc. from Trump Gov.

And it hasn't even been 100 days yet! Could you imagine if just one of these things happened under Clinton? There would be 24-hr wall-to-wall, foaming-at-the-mouth coverage. The GOP would be catching the holy-ghost of Ayn Rand and speaking in tongues.

Okay...that's all the conspiracy links I got for today. Conspiracy Brother is taking a break.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Hollywood Pitch

Me *pitch*
Junior Exec: Great. I just have to run this up the flag pole.

Me *pitching again*
Midlevel Exec: Great. Like those changes. I just have to run this up the ol' pole.

Me: *pitching again*
Senior Exec: Great....it's really shaping up. So guess what we have to do?

Me: *pitching again with a slight twitch*
Super Senior Wizard Exec: This is so close. I just have to-

Me *pitching again, crying a little*
Studio Exec/Griffindor : I don't know about that 2nd act but let me run this up the mythical beast flagpole.

Me *pitching again, now cackling*
Putin: I really like these changes. I'm just gonna run this up the KGB flagpole.

Me *pitching in strait jacket*
Psychiatrist: He's not well. And I don't like his 3rd act. But let me run this up the Hippocratic Oath 'do no harm' flag pole.

Me *pitching in electroshock therapy*
Jesus: We're gonna need some more electricity. And a better love interest. But let me run this up the ontological flag pole of existence.

Me *pitching into the dark endless oblivion*
Oblivion: This is really great. You really incorporated all of the notes. But what if -and hear me out on this- we tweaked the tone a teensy bit and made it into "Lethal Weapon?"

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Democracy Hacked: The Decline and Fall of the Western World

The biggest story of my generation is how a weakened Russian government used fake news, Twitter bots, the viral spiral of social media, and hackers to weaponize an international alt-right movement for its own purposes. The results of this sophisticated combination of manufactured propaganda and social media platforms; willing Western patsies like Carter Page, Wikileaks' Julian Assange, and Edward Snowden; combined with outright hacking/theft have left their mark on Western democracies.

In Britain there was the surprising BREXIT which weakened the EU and shocked the UK. In America there was the surprising election of Trump which has weakened the United States politically and militarily. In the upcoming German and French elections we have the alt-right candidates which are -surprisingly- rising in the polls while documented attacks from Russian hackers are ramping up. Even if the anti-immigrant neoconservatives don't win this election they are well-positioned and funded by Russian government to continue undermining Western democracies and media. Putin and his ilk will continue to hack and attack at the foundations of the fourth estate because his 'cyber army' has been enormously effective, costs a fraction of the military, props up his kleptocratic economic ties abroad, while shoring up his base at home around nationalism. There has never been a more naked attempt at corruption but it's not coming from strength. The Russians are lashing out and attempting to destroy Western democracies before the slow-moving effects of economic sanctions and oil prices wipe out the country's power base. Here is some back story.

After the US invasion of Iraq, Russian leader Vladimir Putin was sulking. He was surrounded by military quagmires while it appeared that the US power was surging. In America, neoconservatives were promoted the idea of 'alt facts' which is precursor to the Trump administration. In justifying the use of fake evidence for an 'oil war' conservatives were proposing the idea that the US had reached such a zenith of power that it could alter facts simply by reiterating whatever it wanted to happen until it became reality. Iraq's WMDs (Weapons of Mass Destruction) seemed real because everyone in the Bush administration was saying it, so they blanketed the airwaves with this fear. Despite the lack of evidence, massive international protests, and no immediate threat, one party -primarily the Republicans- combined with use of Fox News and conservative radio used the droning noise of WMD to take control of all the major levers of power: The UN, the US government, the media. Do not think Putin -a life-long KGB man- did not notice this. Former French President Nicholas Sarkozy reportedly had a conversation with Putin in which the Russian leader's expressed jealousy at Bush's naked lies and power grab.

Later at a summit Putin told Sarkozy that he was going to hang the President of Georgia 'by the balls.' Sarkozy was shocked and asked why he would threaten another country's leader like that and Putin responded like a sullen child that Bush had gotten away with hanging Saddam Hussein. Hussein has been a useful idiot for Russia and it was a shock to see a former ally being hung on TV thanks to an entirely fabricated information campaign by the United States. Putin tried to do the same thing militarily in various countries but Russia's armed forces aren't as strong as the United States. Sarkozy only won the argument by reminding Putin 'do you want to end up like President Bush?' Putin conceded the point but the wheels were already turning.

Over the next few years, Putin continued to look for his 'Iraq' power grab. He decided that soft power was the way to approach things. Russia could influence democracy by using the media and hackers to promoted comprised candidates who would be Moscow-friendly. Think tanks and Russian conferences were formed to spread Putin's tentacles of influence to all the major world capitals.  Putin was going to take advantage of the power vacuum of a weakened America that was bogged down in two wars (Afghanistan and Iraq0.

In 2010 Russian ally Viktor Yanukovych was elected president of the Ukraine. This was seen as a key victory because the EU was trying to expand its reach to the Ukraine. The new president turned down the EU offer and Western powers began using its own media campaign against Yanukovych. Granted Yanukovych was a bad leader: corrupt, clumsy, and compromised by Russian intelligence. He fit the model of compromised Russian assets, much like President Trump and former French President Nicholas Sarkozy. In his first year Yanukovych made a number of obvious attempts to hedge free debate and align with Russia. If he had been a more sophisticated politician he could have succeeded in quietly removing the Ukraine from the EU snare. Instead, he was swept out of office in 2014 thanks to Western pressures. Naturally Yanukovych fled into Putin's bosom and received political exile.

In response to Yanukovych's exile, Russian forces invaded the Ukraine under the guise of being 'liberators.' This invasion became a unwitting trial balloon for the power of Russian hackers in coordination Russian-friendly agents in the media, and think tanks connected to various world capitals. Former Trump advisor Paul Manafort and Carter Page were at the forefront of this pro-Russia cheering section during the Ukraine invasion. Manafort was paid millions to weaken American resolve in opposing Russia's invasion. Fortunately the conservative henchman had President Obama as foil, so he just went running to Fox News. It was at this time when praise of Putin started ramping up in the conservative media. He was both lauded as a 'strong leader' for his invasion of the Ukraine and someone who had struck fear in the hearts of a seemingly feckless Dem president. The GOP base ate this up because it portrayed President Obama as weak...and in return they got millions of dollars funneled to a Russian-friendly Republican party and media. The fact is that Obama was playing a smart hand. Economic sanctions against Russia were devastating. Additionally 'oil fracking' ramped up under Obama and turned the United States into the #1 oil producer in the world. When American oil hit the market -combined with economic sanctions- Russian oligarchs were crushed. Some lost half of their portfolio value in a few years. Billions of dollars were wiped out by Obama playing petro-politics combined with the EU. The next phase was supposed to be a new level of flooding the petroleum markets with even more US oil.

At the start of 2016 something that terrified many tinpot dictators and oil barons happened: America began exporting oil. After a 40 year ban, the American government was going to use its newly-fracked surplus of oil to bludgeon Putin and unfriendly Mideast dictators.  Oil prices sunk below $30. To give this some context, it had been as high as $100-a-barrel at the end of the Bush administration's Mideast clusterfuck. In 2010 oil was still $80-a-barrel. And now in 2016 it had lost over half its value. For a petroleum economy like Russia, this meant economic depression. In April 2016 the US began exporting natural gas. The US government was strategically castrating Putin and it didn't like what it saw on the horizon in the upcoming presidential election: Hilary Clinton. If gas dropped below $20 a barrel that might led to a new Russian revolution. Putin pressured OPEC but really the reality of US oil exports was a dire existential threat to both parties. Oil was drastically cut back to match the American surge and prices rose to $50-a-barrel.

The next step for Putin was to secure long-term allies to buy Russian oil. The problem is that Russian and OPEC oil comes from unstable regions filled with government corruption and/or bad equipment. The US oil comes from a relatively stable democracy with also relatively reliable production. Furthermore Russia was at a geographic disadvantage: its land mass was encircled by the Pacific Rim on its right flank and the EU on its left. Putin's hostility made an EU partnership impossible in the short-term (although very possible in the long-term if he could find a way to break up the EU power by getting nations to defect or withdraw from the EU...hence BREXIT).

Obama was pressuring Japan on its potential interest Russian economic partnership. The short message from the Obama administration was 'DO NOT DO IT.' And from Japan's vantage point there wasn't a lot of economic advantages to upsetting its most important economic ally for a corrupt, clunky petroleum kleptocracy that didn't really make anything nor have the consumer buying power to lure big countries. Then there was China, sitting in the middle and playing both sides off each other. The Obama administration decided to leverage China with TPP. The TransPacific was an initiative set up among 12 countries with ports in the Pacific. The goal of these 12 countries was simple: avoid getting swallowed by Chinese corporations. America pushed TPP to lasso in the biggest Pacific countries so that it could use that as leverage against China and Russia. The only hold-out was South Korea, but they were taking a cautiously interested look at TPP to see if it would work.

The Russian oligarchs REALLY hated TPP. Using Russian think tanks and media agents, TPP became this monstrosity that was going to destroy the American worker. It is hilarious because TPP was created as a stopgap on Chinese power and Russian attempts at leverage. The agreement was seen as a way of forcing China to crackdown on piracy, hacking, and adhere to industrial standards. These are all things that benefit the US economy, but TPP was shrouded in secrecy so it looked very fishy. Many American voters were still pissed off about NAFTA (even though NAFTA was a net-gain positive for the US economy), so demonizing TPP was easy. From the left, you had Russian-friendly socialists like Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein. From the right, you had populists like Trump. TPP was one of the few things far right-wing and left-wing ideologues could mutually hate. Thousands of Russian bots on social media kicked up the anti-TPP claims. It got to the point where Clinton said she would reverse herself and withdraw from the TPP if president, but she was probably just saying that to quell the left-wing in her own party. If elected, Clinton would have probably found some loophole or excuse to keep TPP around because it's something that offers US government enormous sway over Russia and China.

SO....this is the outlook at the start of 2016: Russia is weak, surrounded, and met on multiple fronts with hostile powers. For America there was no rush because Russia can not sustain itself. It is a one-man nation being held together by spies, oligarchs, mafias, and fear. And all roads led back to Putin.
Hilary Clinton was the enemy. It wasn't because she is a woman or promoted liberal values. Clinton was the enemy because she knew exactly what Putin wanted to do. She was for the TPP and her energy policy was going to be like Obama on steroids toward Putin. Her foreign policy called for exporting even more American oil to destroy's Putin's base.

In the presidential debates, Hillary Clinton famously referred to Trump as Putin's 'puppet.' You can see the restraint in her face in not going further. In retrospect her unwillingness to speak further on the matter, combined with Obama's silence, and the American media being distracted by her infernal emails created the perfect cover for Trump. Her restraint and belief in the inevitability of common sense was a key strategic flaw. Clinton, as well as most people in DC, underestimated the sway of the bot-infected social media platform that was microtargeting white voters in swing states through ads and links to fake news. Trump also received financial and cyber help from Russia. The DNC hacks were done to weaken Bernie Sanders supporters for the Dems, while continuing the compelling narrative of Clinton being Lady Macbeth. Fake News floated everything from Clinton having Parkinson's, to being demented, to being a mastermind serial killer with shrewd brilliance. She was a monster, a villain, brilliantly evil, and also demented...and a lesbian.

Russian hackers and bots were playing to one of the biggest weaknesses of Western democracy: white men and their hatred. Employing a mixture of racism, xenophobia, anti-immigration fever, and misogyny, Russia galvanized alt-right through the online platforms. They did this in Britain, America, and now this same strategy is spreading to France to get right-wing French people to hate immigrants. It will be spreading to Germany and every other nation in the EU. It doesn't have to succeed everywhere, but just enough to destroy the EU.

The Machiavellian shrewdness of Putin is evident in his plan because he took all the tools of Western democracy and economy and have turned them against its owner. The internet can now be manipulated by programmed bots that spread meme of propaganda to under-informed citizens. The 'free press' can be pried with the allure of 'hacked secrets' distributed through Wikileaks without really questioning the motives behind the leaks or who is benefiting. The neoconservatives philosophy of 'alt facts' fits right in line with the KGB psychological operations (known as psy-ops) in controlling public discourse through fake news. And Eurocentric cultures are now struggling with losing their white identity to the new wave of African, Arab, and Latino families that creating an identity crisis and fear throughout the US and Western Europe.

In Trump's first 100 days TPP is dead. Oil prices have started to rise again, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is busy trying to negotiate waivers for Russian oil companies to start drilling.

The hacking of western democracy is the biggest story of this decade because it combines international war and economic powers jockeying for position, along with the manipulation of TV and social media bots to micro-target low-information citizens. And it worked. No Russian troops were necessary to topple Western democracy. All Putin needed to succeed was an army of hackers, a morally corrupt alt-right, greedy American consultants and businessmen, and Western culture's fear of the brown population explosion. These factors have compel white people to destroy their own governments and unite around Putin. 

Monday, April 17, 2017

WGA Contract Negotiations

WGA metaphor: Ten years ago I wrote a spec screenplay for an indie producer. I completed several drafts, flew out to LA (out of pocket), had some great meetings, but nothing became of the efforts. No big deal, it happens. A year later the producer paid a very fancy script doctor to give a detailed eval of my screenplay. I was then handed the notes and told to 'fix the script.'  I asked the producer if I could at least get paid for the rewrites. The producer said 'sorry, there's no money' but that I should continue working. I politely declined to do more free work when others involved were paid. No hard feelings, no yelling or screaming. The producer then sent my agent a sharply-worded email that was to be forwarded to me (which is a strangely passive aggressive thing to do since said producer had my email). I asked my agent 'is there anything new or interesting in this email that hasn't been discussed? Is there anything constructive or helpful?' She said 'no.' It was just a negative email. I told her she could delete the message and that I wished the producer the best. Today I am thinking about that indie producer's mind games when it comes to the WGA negotiations. Producers often ask writers to build stuff for free or at a reduced price on 'a hope.'  Most writers are dreamers and are willing to do it if they have the passion and the free time. But that dreamer's kindness often gets mistaken for weakness. I think we have reached our limit of pro bono hope. We should be kind AND compensated. Let's delete their mind games and the messages they're sending through their media agents. Vote yes on Strike Authorization Vote.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Artificial Intelligence and Singularity

I am sitting in a Beverly Hills surgeon's office and thinking about mortality. I'm waiting for a friend to get out of surgery and reading an article about A.I's threat to our very existence. We are so fragile. I feel like human civilization is an oxymoron. For most of our existence we have acted like the kid who gets his first bike and decides to go practice on the 405 freeway: a reckless daredevil who is astonishingly ignorant, supremely overconfident in our abilities, battling our own death impulse and the gravitational pull toward the grave with this addiction to adrenaline. We are shocked when we die or when our bike trip goes poorly. I'm shocked that it doesn't go wrong more often. It's strange to think that our innovation and reckless pursuit of an faster, bolder and less ethical future has put me in this office. It has created this world that is going faster than our ethical understanding of life and I think it might be too late. We have passed to many historical markers where we could have stopped ourselves and reflected on the impact of our progress.

AI is tied to our treatment of ourselves in history because this intelligence will learn from humans how to treat us when technology soon become more intelligent, powerful, and omniscient. Singularity is around the corner and we have not prepared for it. In recent human history there are two pivotal moments that we could have learned from in our rush toward this point. The first one is the end of the Cold War. For the latter half of the 20th century communism was the main threat to Western culture.  Our society was focused and organized around. When the Cold War ended a power vacuum opened up. At that point we should've gotten together, sat down, and drawn up some tech ethics for future research. When the nightmare of communism was removed as the focal point of our progressive struggle, there was only one place to look toward for our next enemy: the mirror. We were going to be our worst enemy in the 21st-century with no obvious imminent evil. That is not to say that terrorism is not a problem or that we don't have evils, but there was something about the Nazis and communists that captured all the attention so fully it was actually productive to organizing technological innovation, ethics, and laws.

The next period of time sounds weird at first but it immediately popped into my head: after the American Civil War. During the Reconstruction of America we could have created a different narrative for this country. Instead government just reinforced all our old hatred and racism and use that as a guide into the next chapter of American history. So much of what we do that is intentionally distractive in this culture comes from the original sin of a so-called free society trying to find ways to control slaves in antebellum and then freedmen after the Civil War while keeping poor White people in the dark. We have created an entire system of justice and laws and concepts and ethic that are destructive. But we keep these systems in place because they are extremely effective in preventing the average man from every uniting together for their betterment. Here is why that matters with AI: self-learning technology enhances human tendencies.

A few years ago Microsoft put AI bots on the Internet who could train themselves based on human interaction. The bots became extremely racist and misogynistic within a few hours. They embodied all the trash and awfulness of mankind...and it only took a few hours of ingesting our society. They were picking up on the way we train ourselves. We are not good models for artificial intelligence. In America particularly we're not a good model because our society has been designed around a post Civil War concept of degrading and controlling people by race. AI will use that. It will be like Trump's blitz of lies and hatred but much worse. AI will be like 1 million little bot Trumps who are playing on human stupidity, ignorance, and hatred to drive us over a cliff.

The red eye flight I just took back to Los Angeles was almost certainly flown mostly by autopilot while we, the human cargo, alternated between snacking and napping in front of blue screen. A cab GPS'ed me home from LAX and when the driver asked if I had cash I looked at him like he just requested to be paid in pirate's treasure or the beads that bought Manhattan. I am sitting in a sleek and automated doctor's office with one receptionist. Years ago this office would have been filled with multiple receptionists, rows of paper files, and the messy stench of...humans. Now it is quiet and streamlined. Even though the job of the surgeon is cutting open human flesh and is intimately messy, the process feels bloodless from the outside. I could be sitting in an architecture's office or the HQ of a new tech start-up. The automation and streamlining of our existence should be something we're thinking about a lot more, but AI hums quietly in the background of every single thing we do and it makes me vaguely suspicious, like a Luddite who is introduced to zippers and thinks the tailor is a witch. I write this on an iPhone in a surgeon's waiting room thinking about our fragile human body and our strange recklessness as we rush into the future.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Get What You Want: April 2017

1.
P73 Fellowship/Interstate Writers’ Group
Deadline: April 2nd
Website: http://www.page73.org/programs/programs-application/

The P73 Playwriting Fellowship provides a year of comprehensive support to one early-career playwright who has not received a professional production in New York City (please see eligibility requirements below). Through this program, Page 73 provides artistic and financial resources to this writer as he or she develops one or more new plays of his or her choosing. The P73 Playwriting Fellow receives an unrestricted award of $10,000 and a development budget, managed by Page 73 and the Fellow over the course of the Fellowship year, up to an additional $10,000.

The Fellow is encouraged to think creatively about using Fellowship resources to meet concrete goals that might not otherwise be possible. These goals may include, but are not limited to, development of one or more new plays, assistance in building relationships within the New York City theater community, research, and/or travel. Please note that funds from the P73 Playwriting Fellowship do not cover full-scale productions, nor does Page 73 commit to producing the work of the Fellow. The Fellowship incorporates at least one public presentation by the Fellow. Page 73 also helps the Fellow identify and connect with collaborators, including directors, designers, actors and dramaturgs, for Fellowship projects.

The Fellow is associated with Page 73 for the calendar year, from January 1 to December 31. After being selected, he or she works with Page 73’s staff to develop a plan for the year and establish a timeline for the development work to be done on the new play or plays. The Fellow may also be invited to participate in the Page 73 Summer Residency and, if eligible, Interstate 73 (described below) during the Fellowship year.

If the Fellow is not a New York City resident, he or she must be prepared to travel to New York during the Fellowship year in order to fully engage in the opportunities that the Fellowship provides.

Past P73 Playwriting Fellows are Kirsten Greenidge, Quiara Alegría Hudes, Jason Grote, Krista Knight, Tommy Smith, Heidi Schreck, Eliza Clark, Janine Nabers, Max Posner, Caroline V. McGraw, Clare Barron, Nick Gandiello, and Hansol Jung.

Interstate 73 Writers’ Group

Interstate 73 is Page 73’s yearlong writers group. Consisting of six to eight playwrights and led by Page 73’s staff, Interstate 73 meets twice monthly on weeknight evenings at our office in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. Each playwright receives a stipend for participating. Participants bring in pages that are read aloud and discussed by the group. Each participating playwright is also given an opportunity for a reading of a completed work, which can be a public or private reading, depending on the playwright’s interests and needs. Page 73's staff works with each playwright to craft the reading to be as useful as possible for the writer.
Interstate 73 begins each year in January, and meetings run through December; sessions are typically suspended for a period in the summer. Please consult the eligibility requirements below. Page 73 selects participants from individuals we meet through this application process as well as from individuals who have become known to the company through other means.


2.
UCSD: African American Experience
Deadline: May 27th
website: theatre.ucsd.edu/playwritingcontest

The University of California San Diego’s Theatre and Dance Department seeks from all enrolled undergraduate students submissions of previously unproduced, unpublished scripts highlighting African American experience in contemporary or historical terms.

Scripts must be original, unpublished, unproduced and free of royalty and copyright restrictions. Plays which have had staged readings are acceptable. Scripts must be 50 pages or longer, typed. Manuscripts must be submitted electronically (see below). You must also include your contact information (name, email, and address); play title, number of characters, institution affiliation, and a one page story summary.

A $1000 honorarium will be awarded to the winning playwright.
A stage reading in April of the winning script in the Wagner New Play Festival. This festival is attended by students, local patrons, and twelve national theatre professionals.
Travel and housing costs to and from UC San Diego to be present for the performance.


3.
Luxembourg Arts Prize
Deadline: May 31st
Website: https://www.luxembourgartprize.com/en/call-for-submissions-en/

The Luxembourg Art Prize aims to reveal and promote talented artists who have yet to establish a profile on the contemporary international scene. Its function is to discover artists, and it is open to any artist, amateur or professional, with no limits on age, nationality or place of residence. The Prize is aimed at artists working in one or more of the following media: drawing, printing, installation, painting, performance, photography, digital art, sculpture, sound art, video, mixed media, decorative art (textiles and material, glass, wood, metal, ceramics, mosaic, paper or other techniques).

How do I enter?

Artists have to create a Candidate Space on the Luxembourg Art Prize website and complete the entry form on-line. Everything takes place via the Luxembourg Art Prize website. Only entries submitted on-line via the artist’s personal Candidate Space will be accepted. Candidates may update and complete their submissions on-line as many times as necessary until the deadline for submissions.

Entry fee
Entry for the Luxembourg Art Prize 2017 is subject to the payment of an entry fee to be paid on-line. The entry fee is €45 (about 49 USD or 39 GBP or 48 CHF or 63 CAD or 5,463 JPY).
The entry fee pays for the time spent examining the entries by all the members of the selection committee. Talent is independent of age; we hope to receive submissions from artists young and not so young who have real personality and whose works will delight us.

The winner of the Prize in 2017 will receive an award of €25,000 (about 27,020 USD or 21,517 GBP or 26’725 CHF or 35,125 CAD or 3,035,000 JPY) to fund the production of further work and an individual exhibition in a prestigious gallery. The finalist artists will be included in a group exhibition in the gallery. The Luxembourg Art Prize is a unique opportunity to enter the international professional art circuit and to have your work seen by major private and institutional art collectors. You will have the chance to be supported and personally advised by Hervé Lancelin.

Unlike other prizes or art salons, the Luxembourg Art Prize is designed to boost your career by exhibiting your work in an international gallery and giving you a high level of visibility. Hervé Lancelin has been an art enthusiast for nearly 50 years. He is a member of ADIAF, a prestigious association of major European collectors. He has been a member of the selection committee for the Marcel Duchamp Prize in collaboration with the Centre Pompidou in Paris and has been a trustee of the Amis du Musée d’Art Moderne, d’Art Contemporain et d’Art Brut (Friends of the Museum of Modern, Contemporary and Outsider Art) in Lille for several years.

The gallery will organise return travel for the nominated artists and their companions by train or air. The gallery will send travel documents to the nominated artists and their companions within the ten days before the opening of the nominated artists’ group exhibition.
The gallery will also book hotel rooms for the purpose on the basis of dual occupancy (each artist with his or her companion).

The candidates are invited to research as early as possible whether their journey to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg will require a visa (http://www.gouvernement.lu/4843909).

How does the Artistic Committee make its choice?

The Artistic Committee is already looking forwarding to getting to know your work and examining your entry carefully. They expect you to fulfil certain criteria, which may appear subjective but are nevertheless important.

For example, the Committee may be sensitive to the following points: the originality of the work, technical mastery, coherence of the work, freshness, novelty, historical continuity, the artistic, literary, historical, scientific or philosophical references in your work, the message conveyed, the poetry that emerges from the work.

The Committee hopes to find works that have been produced in a unique moment of grace experienced by the artist at the time of their creation. These magical creative moments are what make a work unique and unlike any other.


4.
CBS Writers' Mentoring Group
deadline: May 1st
website:  https://wmp.cbscorporation.com/form

There are many different paths writers can follow to get their first foothold in being hired in television. As part of its ongoing commitment to create additional access for writers of diverse backgrounds CBS’ Diversity Institute has launched a different kind of writers program which highlights one of those paths. The focus of this six month program is on opening doors: providing opportunities to build relationships with network executives and show runners; to support new and emerging writers in their efforts to improve their craft; and to develop the interpersonal skills necessary to break in and succeed. The Writers Mentoring Program is not employment and there is no monetary compensation. It is, instead, a structured program of career development, support, and personal access to executives and the decision-making processes, with the goal of preparing aspiring writers for later employment opportunities in television. Each participant will be teamed with an executive mentor.

A CBS network or studio executive with whom they will meet on a regular basis, to discuss their work, get creative feedback on their material and get advice and support in furthering their career.

Once a week, participants will be invited to attend a small workshop-style meeting with various CBS show runners and other industry professionals. Speakers include executive producers, agents, managers, development and current executives and show runners. The purpose of these gatherings is for participants to gain a better understanding of how the business works from many different perspectives as well as creating the opportunity to make critical networking connections. Another important part of the Program is the opportunity for each participant to spend time observing in a writing room, as well as in the CBS current and development departments. Each participant will have help in creating a rigorous career action plan and there will be on-going support in evaluating and achieving those goals. Another important benefit of the Program is the development of a close-knit peer support group that will sustain participants through the program and beyond. The CBS Writers Mentoring Program helps aspiring writers to understand the unwritten rules of breaking in and moving up. It is a combination of mentoring and networking opportunities. Program opportunities such as mentoring, workshops, and observing can be scheduled around participants’ existing work commitments. In order for a participant to get the most out of the Program a meaningful commitment of time and effort are required. It’s been found that in order to derive the greatest benefit from the Program, participants should be available to 1) attend a once a week (evening) workshop and 2) attend meetings or observe in various situations for a minimum of five full days (not necessarily in sequence) over the course of the six-month Program.

Eligibility

The primary focus of The CBS Diversity Institute’s Writers Mentoring Program is to provide access and opportunities for talented and motivated diverse writers. Aspiring diverse writers with a strong desire to write for CBS television series are encouraged to apply. You must be 21 or older to be eligible. SUBMISSION PERIOD:   IS NOW OPEN  All completed application materials must be received between March 1, 2017 and May 1, 2017. Any submissions received before March 1st or after May 1st, 2017 will not be considered. No hand delivered submissions will be accepted. Finalists will be notified in mid September 2017 (or such later date as may be determined by CBS). The Program is scheduled to begin in October, 2017 and continues through April 1, 2018. CBS reserves the right to make adjustments to Program schedule.

Application Materials

Each submission must be complete in order to be considered. A complete application packet includes:

Application
Letter of Interest
Work Resume or Bio
Two (2) Writing Samples: one (1) half-hour or one-hour episodic spec script based on a current prime time television series which aired, or was released, during the 2016/2017 season on any network or cable channel, including Netflix, Hulu or Amazon and (1) original work of writing – (original pilot, stage play or short fiction story). Original material should match in tone the spec script.
A signed Submission Release form for the writing samples.
Please submit all documentation in PDF form.

Contact information must include an e-mail address for further communication from CBS. Applications cannot be processed until they are complete. Writing samples will not be returned.

Apply for the 2017 -2018 Writers Mentoring Program here: https://wmp.cbscorporation.com/form


5.
Kevin Spacey Foundation
Deadline: April 14th
Website: http://www.kevinspaceyfoundation.org/theater-application-form/

The Kevin Spacey Foundation is looking to fund eight extraordinary transatlantic cross art-form artists. KSF Artists of Choice supports artists in the creation of new work by providing financial support (£10k / $10k)  and mentoring. Open to artists who have exciting, creative and unique projects across the genres of Musical Theater, Dance, Film and Theater.

Applications open: March 13, 2017, Application close: April 14, 2017, Shortlisted applicants notified: May 8, 2017

London interviews: May 15 to 19, 2017, New York interviews: May 22 to 26, 2017.

A renowned panel will select the recipients, with previous panels including Founder Kevin Spacey, Artistic Director Neil Pepe (Atlantic Theater), actress Cush Jumbo (The Good Wife), director Jamie Lloyd (The Ruling Class), playwright Anna Ziegler (Photograph 51) and actor Andrew Scott (Spectre & BBC’s Sherlock).


6.
ORT LAUNCH
Deadline: April 3rd
Website:

With the official launch of ORT in June 2017, it is our goal to support new work that explores and celebrates the human experience and what it means to be a global citizen, in today's changing society. We are seeking work that is bold, thought-provoking and pushes the boundaries of being OTHER.  These new works will be brought to life through workshops and performances presented in Jersey City, as well as New York City.

We are currently looking for 10-15 minute plays that represent the mission of ORT. The selected plays/playwrights will be awarded a stipend and their play will be presented as part of our full launch in June 2017.

 If you would like to submit your play for consideration, please email a cover letter and a PDF copy of your script to ortsubmissions@gmail.com with "Short Play Playwright Submission" in the subject line.

7.
Stage Left Theatre: Downstage Left Residency
Deadline: April 17th
website: stagelefttheatre.com/participate/playwright-residencies/

 The purpose of this residency is to give playwrights an opportunity to develop a play with Stage Left Theatre, moving from the conceptual stage to a production-ready script. We will be developing two projects, one in Fall 2017 and one in Winter-Spring 2018.  Playwrights will work closely with one of our ensemble directors and members of the literary team to design a process tailored to the particular needs of their project.  Residency projects will also be eligible for a public workshop in LeapFest, our annual developmental festival of new work, in Summer 2017. Thanks to a generous gift from the Cedars Legacy Fund, Stage Left will provide a stipend to both Residency playwrights, and can reimburse some travel expenses for out of town playwrights.

 Application Requirements
While we will consider full manuscripts, you do not need a completed draft to apply.  Just be sure to send us any relevant materials (partial draft, written scenes, outlines, synopsis, etc.) to give us an idea of the current shape of your project and what your long-term goals are. If you do not have any material from the project being submitted that you are able to share, please also include a sample of your writing.  The deadline to submit this application is April 17th, 2017. We expect to announce our selections by the end of July. If you have multiple projects, please submit separate applications for them, in separate emails. We are unable to reconsider projects that have been previously submitted to either the residency or our regular rolling literary submissions program unless they have undergone major revisions.  Please indicate what revisions have been made when submitting projects with identical or similar titles and themes.  Failure to do so may result in your submission being rejected without reading.


8.
Dramatists Guild Fellowship
Deadline: April 7th
Website: http://fellows.dgfund.org/

Applications for the 2017-2018 Fellows Program commencing Fall 2017 must be received by DGF no later than 5:30pm on April 7, 2017. Please read all of the instructions carefully.

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS:

Applicants will be considered eligible by meeting at least one of the following qualifications:

1. Participation in a graduate program in theatrical writing within the last five years

2. Participation in an organized theatrical workshop within the last ten years

3. Comparable experience, such as one or more professional productions, and a letter of recommendation by a theater professional or theater educator

4. Pertinent, documented practical experience

Applicants meeting only requirement #3 must submit a letter of recommendation. All applicants are welcome to submit a letter of recommendation if they so choose.

All applicants must be residents of New York or the surrounding metropolitan area for the time of their fellowship.  Applicants must be prepared to meet on alternate Monday evenings of every month and to make themselves available, if possible, to participate in additional development opportunities should they arise.

For questions or assistance applying to the Fellows Program, please email applications@dgfund.org.

PLAYWRITING FELLOWS:

Please submit a cover letter answering the following: “Describe an experience in which somebody’s input on your work as a writer affected you”; a resume containing pertinent contact information for you; 20 pages of a script you have written. Please name submission as follows: PlayTitle (for example: Ruined.pdf.) Documents must be uploaded as a PDF.

MUSICAL THEATER FELLOWS:

If you are applying as a Musical Theater Fellow and you write music, lyrics, and libretti, you may apply alone as a “self-contained” writer.

If you are applying as a Musical Theater Fellow and you write both music and lyrics, you may apply alone as a “self-contained” writer. In this case, your librettist must be available to attend meetings with you.

Composer/lyricist/librettist teams must apply together.

Unfortunately, we cannot accept people who write only lyrics or only music or only libretti without a writing partner, as we cannot pair collaborators. The cover letter and materials submitted should make it clear whether you are applying as a self-contained writer or you and your collaborator(s) are applying as a team.

Please submit a standard cover letter; a resume containing pertinent contact information for you; mp3 files of four (4) songs with lyric sheets; a brief description of each song as to its plot placement; a brief synopsis of the musical; and the complete libretto, if one exists. No partial libretti, please. Song submissions need not be elaborately produced; piano and voice is sufficient. Please note that we can only accept music in the mp3 format. Please label individual songs as follows: MusicalTitleSong# (for example: Ragtime#1.mp3). The other documents must be uploaded as a PDF.


9.
The Relentless Award
Deadline: May 15th
Website: http://www.americanplaywritingfoundation.org/the-relentless-award.html

 WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR:

Plays that are challenging.
Plays that exhibit fearlessness.
Plays that are not mainstream.
Plays that exude passion.
Plays that are relentlessly truthful.
The American Playwriting Foundation encourages submissions by first time playwrights, women and playwrights of color.

PRIZE:

The author of the Relentless Award-winning play will receive $45,000.
The winning playwright will have the option to have the winning play published by the Dramatists Play Service.
The winning playwright will have a week-long residency at SPACE on Ryder Farm, an artist residency program housed on a working organic farm in Brewster, New York. The author can elect to have a director, a dramaturg and actors join him or her while in residence on the farm.
The selected play will have a national roll-out through the Ed Vassallo Relentless Reading Series, established to help bring to life and develop the winning play by presenting a series of staged readings at some of the top theaters across the United States.
When the winning play is selected, three runners-up will also be named.
DEADLINES:

Submissions will be accepted from March 1, 2016 through May 2, 2016. Submissions must be sent via this website by 11:59pm EST, May 2, 2016.
ELIGIBILITY/CRITERIA FOR SUBMISSION:

Any unproduced play written by a United States citizen or permanent resident (green card holder) is eligible for The Relentless Award.
Each play must be submitted with a letter from a theater professional recommending the play. “Theater Professional” is defined as anyone who has worked in theater in any artistic capacity for a minimum of four years.
Plays with a producer, producing organization or theater attached are not eligible.
As much as we love them, one-act plays, musicals and plays for children are not eligible.
The author must be at least 21 years old.
HOW TO SUBMIT YOUR PLAY:

Use the form on our website to submit your play and accompanying letter of recommendation to The American Playwriting Foundation.
NOTE: please DO NOT have your name or other identifying info (email/phone number) on any of your manuscript pages. Please also exclude agent info, development info, and dedications.This will preserve the author's anonymity for the judges.
Please provide your script file in pdf (rather than Word documents), with the title format: TITLE OF PLAY.pdf. Do not include your name in the file script title.
You'll receive confirmation that your script and accompanying materials have been received. As submissions are processed manually, please allow up to two weeks to receive this confirmation.


10.
LOCUST PROJECT: LAB MFA (yes theatre artists are included)
Deadline: April 7th
Website: http://www.locustprojects.org/submissions/the-lab-mfa.shtml

Locust Projects is a not for profit exhibition space dedicated to providing contemporary visual artists the freedom to experiment with new ideas without the pressures of gallery sales or limitations of conventional exhibition spaces. Local, national and international artists are encouraged to create site-specific installations as an extension of their representative work. Locust Projects supports the local community through educational initiatives and programming that are free to the public.

Locust Projects is pleased to announce a national open call to graduate-level artists for an exhibition in the Locust Projects' LP03 project space during the summer of 2017. We are accepting applications for individual or collaborative projects. All artists must be currently enrolled in an MFA program during the spring of 2017. Locust Projects provides a stipend for project related costs and travel, and artists will be accommodated at Locust Projects’ residence house.


11.
Engaging Artists Fellowship
Deadline: April 5th
Website: http://moreart.org/projects/engaging-artists/ea-open-call-2017/

The 2017 Engaging Artists Fellowship is an artist-in-residence program for emerging NYC artists interested in addressing the intersecting issues of labor, immigration, globalization, and economic justice in their creative practice.

The goal of the 4 month fellowship is to prepare artists for long-term activist and socially-engaged work in partnership with advocacy and social service organizations, coalitions, unions, and groups of neighbors throughout the five boroughs. Ideal candidates must live in New York City and have an interest in or dedication to the interrogation of topics such as: value, wage, debt, livelihood and family life, workers rights, labor, and alternative economies as they relate to the fellow’s respective communities and the larger landscapes of migration, neoliberalism, and/or the economies of the contemporary art market(s).

professional development.
Participants will have access to 3-4 roundtables related to workers rights, alternative economies, and labor movements within the arts and at large. Additionally, the fellowship includes 2-3 hands-on professional development workshops with leaders in both the arts, political economy, and labor sectors on how to apply one’s skills as artists to the collective pursuit of labor rights and economic justice.

MORE ART welcomes applications from visual and performing artists of all disciplines. For the 2017 Engaging Artists Fellowship we are strongly encouraging applications from artists who work in movement and performance based art, intermedia, interactive and participatory arts, educational theater, choreography, and writing for stage or public performance. Artists of all disciplines are eligible to apply. We also strongly encourage applications from lifelong New York City residents; artists of color; recent immigrants; individuals from economically disadvantaged backgrounds; those who have been excluded from the resources of the art world because of cultural, racial, and linguistic heritage, ability, and/or sexual orientation or gender-based identity; do not have formal artistic training (such as an MFA); or those whose creative practices have been historically underrepresented from mainstream exhibitions and public works.


12.
I AM SOUL Residency (National Black Theatre)
Deadline: May 1st
Website: I AM SOUL

 I AM SOUL recognizes one black playwright annually whose work demonstrates exceptional artistic merit and excellence in the field. Alongside NBT’s Theatre Arts Director, the selected playwright will develop a new play during the 18 month residency. The program will provide the playwright with a stipend [pending funding], administrative and dramaturgical support, in-house readings, one 29-hour workshop and a workshop production in NBT’s following season

 With I AM SOUL, NBT seeks to deepen the artistic relationship between black theatrical institutions and black playwrights, and to begin to re-establish black theatrical institutions as the foremost supporters and producers of new works created by black playwrights.

13.
Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation Playwriting Competition
Deadline: April 30th
Website: http://aabbfoundation.org/comp-guidelines

The 2017 playwriting competition will be open to submissions from March 1 through April 30, 2017. All manuscripts must be electronically submitted (no hard copies) and received by midnight on April 30. Only the first 150 submissions will be accepted, and we will not consider work previously submitted to this competition.

Only full-length works (dramas, comedies, musicals, screenplays) will be considered.

One entry per author, please. Scripts must be original and in English. All must concern lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or genderqueer life and be based on, or directly inspired by, a historical person, culture, work of art, or event.

There is no entry fee. Prizes are as follows: First Prize, $3,000; Second Prize, $1,500; Honorable Mentions, $500. Prizewinners will be announced before the end of the year.


To be eligible for the Foundation’s 2017 competition:

-Your script must involve lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or genderqueer characters and/or themes.
-LGBTQ history must be central, not incidental, to the work. (For more information on the meaning of “historical,” go to the “What Is Historical?” page.)
-You must submit a brief statement, no longer than one page, describing how the script fulfills the above requirements. This statement should explain the time period and historical issues involved.
-Although submissions on any theme are welcome, this year we are particularly interested in works concerning pornography, sex workers, military service, aging, and education of LGBTQ youth. Also, we especially welcome works by and about women and people of color.
If your work has been produced in any form (workshop, staged reading, or full production), your submission must also include a synopsis of the work’s production history. We will give precedence to works that have never received a full production.
If all of these conditions of eligibility are not met, your submission will not be read.

When submitting:

Manuscripts should be in standard play or screenplay format, using a 12-point or larger font, and saved as a .doc, .docx, or PDF.

The cover page must include the title and your name, as well as your own email address, mailing address, and phone number. Even if you are represented by an agent, please provide your personal contact information.

In the case of musicals, audio segments should be sent separately as MP3 files and limited to a total of 10 minutes. We will request more if necessary.

Email submissions to:jwillis@aabbfoundation.org.

14.
GEVA THEATRE CENTER
Deadline: April 30th
Website: https://gevatheatre.submittable.com/submit

Geva Theatre Center accepts submissions of full-length plays, translations and adaptations for production on our stages and for the following programs:

-Festival of New Theatre
-Plays in Progress
-Regional Writers Showcase
-Young Writers Showcase

We are looking for bold, theatrical voices and are passionate about supporting the craft of both emerging and established writers in service of our commitment to developing new work for the American theatre.

The purpose and power of the theatrical event has always been to come together in the theatre and discover a new understanding of ourselves. By developing and producing work that explores and celebrates the human experience, we engage in a dialogue about what it means to be human, what it means to be an American and what it means to be a global citizen, in the 21st century.

We try to stay open to a diversity of aesthetic, topic and approach, but plays that we are interested in frequently share some of the following characteristics:

Strength and depth of writing which would indicate that this is not the first draft of the play
Strong, interesting characters that offer actors something to explore, and rich relationships between the characters onstage
A compelling narrative which presents a new story, or a new take on a familiar tale
Smart, compelling use of language
Action which befits a story told onstage, rather than on film or in print

Submission Guidelines
The following guidelines apply to submissions for our Festival of New Theatre, Plays in Progress and general production consideration.

Playwrights with professional representation may have their agents send full manuscripts at any time. Please note that lawyers and law firms do not qualify as professional representation.
To best accommodate our schedule of new play activities, we have an Inquiry Window, during which playwrights who are not working with an agent may send a submission inquiry. The dates of the submission window are January 1, 2017 – April 30, 2017.

We are thrilled to announce a simpler way to submit your script sample and save a tree at the same time! As of 2015, we are only accepting queries through Submittable. During the Inquiry Window, use the button at the bottom of this page to submit your script.

Looking for other places to submit your play before the next Inquiry Window? The blog Play Submissions Helper keeps an updated list of new play deadlines.

Before submitting a play for consideration, please look at our production history and at the lists of new plays we have commissioned or produced, as an indication of the kind of work we are likely to produce.

Please do not send us the first draft of a play. Due to the number of scripts we receive, we can only read any play one time, so make sure you are sending us your best work. Plays for consideration in our play development series must not have had more than one production at another theatre.
To have your play considered, submit the following:

-A cover letter introducing yourself, with your full contact information.
-Your creative resume and a development or production history of this play. If the play has had other developmental readings or productions, they must be included here.
-A description of this play, no more than ½ page. This need not be a summary of the plot – we welcome a description of the play’s world, characters and conflict, and your reasons for writing it.
-A complete list of characters.
-A ten-page dialogue sample. Pages do not need to come from the beginning of your text but must be sequential.
-After reviewing your query, we will let you know whether or not we wish to read the entire script. -Agents submitting plays should expect a response within 6-12 months.

CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT: https://gevatheatre.submittable.com/submit.



15.
Playwrights Realm Writing Fellows Program
Deadline: May 21st
Website: http://www.playwrightsrealm.org/fellow-app/

 The Writing Fellows Program is at the heart of what we do: helping writers write.  Four early-career playwrights will receive nine months of resources, workshops and feedback designed to help them reach their professional and artistic goals.  Over the course of the season, Fellows develop a single new play.  Monthly group meetings provide a collaborative, energizing setting for writers to share and refine their work. Individual meetings with the Realm’s Artistic Director and Literary Director support each writer’s specific artistic process. Fellows work with a director, design consultant, and actors over the course of two workshops to see their work come to life. Professional development resources are also an integral part of the program and are tailored to the individual group of Writing Fellows.  Mentor opportunities, meet-and-greets, and professional workshops shed light on the often opaque business of theatre, and empower the Fellows to be active, informed participants in their own careers. The Writing Fellows season culminates in a public reading of each fellowship play as part of our INK’D Festival of New Plays.

What We're Looking For
Above all, we look for dedicated early-career writers who crave a long-term, rigorous development process. We value intellectual curiosity, imagination and bravery.  We love plays with evocative language, plays that contemplate big, unanswerable questions, plays that embrace the complexity of life, and demonstrate an understanding of the possibilities of dramatic storytelling.

Writing Fellows Receive...
-$3,000 Award
-A monthly Writers Group
-Internal workshop
-Professional Development Opportunities
-A public reading in our INK'D Festival
-Access to all our resources: borrow our wi-fi, camp out in our conference room, use our stickies
- The occasional hug

To apply: http://www.playwrightsrealm.org/fellow-app/

16.
Academy Nicholls Screenwriting Fellowship
Deadline: April 20th
Website: http://www.oscars.org/nicholl/about

Each year, the Academy Nicholl screenwriting competition awards up to five $35,000 fellowships to amateur screenwriters. To enter, submit a feature length screenplay and entry fee via the online application when the competition is open for submissions. Fellowship winners are invited to participate in awards week ceremonies and seminars and expected to complete at least one original feature film screenplay during the Fellowship year.

QUALIFICATIONS
Screenwriters who have not earned more than $25,000 writing fictional work for film or television.

Entry scripts must be the original work of one writer, or of two writers who collaborated equally, and must be written originally in English. Adaptations and translated scripts are not eligible.
There are three deadlines for 2017: early is March 7 ($45 entry fee), regular is April 10 ($60 entry fee), and late is May 1 ($85 entry fee). The online application form must be completed and a PDF version of the script uploaded by 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time on May 1.

NEW FOR 2017: Full-time students at an accredited college/university are eligible for a discount on their entry fee in 2017. Indicate your status in the demographic section of your online application. The discount will be offered in the payment section.

PRIZES
Up to five $35,000 fellowships are awarded each year to promising new screenwriters. From the program’s inception in 1986 through 2016, $4.090 million has been awarded to 160 writers.

FELLOWSHIP OBLIGATIONS
Up to five fellows in the Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting competition will be invited to participate in awards week ceremonies and seminars in November.

Fellowship recipients will be expected to complete at least one original feature film screenplay during the fellowship year.

Fellowship payments will be made quarterly subject to satisfactory progress of the recipient’s work, as judged by the Academy Nicholl Fellowships Committee.

The Academy reserves the right to grant no awards if, in the opinion of the Academy Nicholl Fellowships Committee, no entry is of sufficient merit.


17.
Open Space Arts Playwriting Festival
Deadline: April 15th
Website: http://www.osarts.org/

Now accepting submissions for our 2017 Summer Playwright's Festival. This year's theme: Smoke and Mirrors!

Plays must be:
- Family friendly (no overt swearing or violence, or sexual themes)
- Between 10 to 15 minutes in length (around 8 to 13 pages)
- Inspired by the theme Smoke and Mirrors
- Suitable for an outdoor stage (no big special effects or lighting requirements, no musicals)
- Looking for plays that involve younger characters (ages 13 to 35)

Other Guidelines:
- Plays should be submitted in .PDF or .DOC format.
- Playwrights may submit up to 2 plays for consideration
- Plays must have a cover page with the Title, Playwrights Name, City and State, and Email. Plays should also ideally contain a dramatis personae, a one sentence summary, and page numbers.

Plays must to be submitted electronically to openspaceartsmd@gmail.com by April 15th, 2017. Please feel free to direct questions to that email as well.


18.
Cutting Ball’s RISK IS THIS... Experimental Play Festival
Deadline: April 15th
Website: http://cuttingball.com/

The Cutting Ball Theater is now accepting script submissions for its RISK IS THIS…New Experimental Plays Festival in the 2017/2018 season. The Cutting ball Theater is seeking two unproduced and unpublished full-length experimental plays to be presented in RISK IS THIS… in February 2018, part of Avant GardARAMA: Cutting ball's re-imagines signature festival of experimental works.
The Cutting Ball Theater is now accepting script submissions for its RISK IS THIS…New Experimental Plays Festival in the 2017/2018 season.

The Cutting ball Theater is seeking two unproduced and unpublished full-length experimental plays to be presented in RISK IS THIS… in February 2018, part of Avant GardARAMA: Cutting ball's re-imagines signature festival of experimental works.

Selected playwrights will collaborate closely with a director, actors, and designers over the course of a week-long developmental workshop, focusing on the playwright's generative process and the achievement of their vision for the play and conceptualizing the script's realization in full production. This week-long process will culminate in two public readings on Cutting Ball's main stage.

Submissions must be full-length, unproduced (meaning no "world premiere" with exceptions made for academic productions), and unpublished.

Submissions must defy boundaries of naturalism and demonstrate the playwright's commitment to experimentation within the dramatic form.

Step One: email Associate Artistic Director Ariel Craft at ariel@cuttingball.com with:

Your full-length script in PDF format, including playwright's name and contact information on the title page.
A comprehensive history of the play's development, including past or future workshops or readings at other theaters and any upcoming plans for production.
A short biography of the playwright.

To ensure proper processing, please include "RISK IS THIS… Submission" in the subject line of your email.

Step Two: visit bit.ly/risksubmit to submit your $5.00 submission fee. No script will be reviewed until playwright's submission fee has been processed.

If the name associated with your payment method is different than the playwright's name, please email ariel@cuttingball.com to ensure your script and placement are properly paired.

Submissions will be accepted through April 15, 2017.


19.
Parity Productions
Deadline: April 30th
Website: https://www.parityproductions.org/

Beyond our annual productions, in concert with our mission to see more women and transgender artists employed in the theatre, we award two commissions per year to women and transgender playwrights who have demonstrated a singular talent for storytelling. The selected playwrights will receive $2,500 each. One out of every $10 we make from our Parity Store goes to them in support of their commissioned work – we call that our 10% Promise. ​​

Parity Productions reads submissions blind and makes decisions based on who we believe to be the most promising playwrights with work that is in harmony with our artistic mission. Playwrights will receive regular feedback on their commissioned work, within 30 days of their submission of a first and second draft. They will also receive one “closed door” reading (cast, Parity Productions Artistic Director, and literary department) and at least one public reading and/or developmental production of the commissioned work. An option for Parity Productions to produce the work is included in The Commission agreement.

Can I apply for The Commission?
By submitting your work to us, you may ultimately be considered for The Commission, but there is no direct application for it. We award The Parity Commission to women and transgender playwrights that we have become familiar with through their submissions and subsequent meetings and interactions with us or other performances of their work. The deadline for submissions in a calendar year is April 30th. Submissions will reopen in the fall.

Thank you for your interest in submitting work to Parity Productions.

To best protect your script, we encourage (and request) that all playwrights register their scripts with copyright.gov before submission. Please go to http://www.copyright.gov/ for more information.

We believe the next great play can come from anywhere; we read all submissions and make no judgments based on a playwright’s education or representation.

If you are a fan of our all inclusive policy, join our mailing list, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter. We regularly filter and curate a variety of interesting, informative content on theatre and parity on social media which we think you’ll enjoy. We also include information and ticket offers to Qualifying Productions – shows that meet the 50% hiring standard for playwrights, directors, and designers. (As a service to the industry, we provide substantial and free support to Qualifying Productions in the form of social media, e-blasts, PR support, and placement in our online directory).

Please see the steps below on how to submit your work. We look forward to reading it.

Ludovica Villar-Hauser
Founder & Artistic Director

Submitting Your Script

When to Submit​
Please note that Parity Productions is currently accepting scripts through April 30th, 2017. After April 30th, submissions will reopen in the fall.

How to Submit
Please submit using the form below. It is requested that all playwrights submit two full-length plays. If two plays have not been completed, then playwrights can submit one full-length play and no less than twenty-five pages of a second play (or alternate form of fiction writing) as a minimum requirement for submission.

What happens after submission?
Once a submission is received, any information as to the playwrights identity will be removed so that the literary team can "blind" read.

What happens if my work is selected?
Playwrights whose work we want to develop or produce will be contacted by Parity Productions directly. Please note that due to the volume of submissions we receive as an active production company, once initial receipt is acknowledged, it will take a minimum of three months to respond to your submission.


Please submit here: https://www.parityproductions.org/submit-your-script.html


20.
Left Coast Theatre
Deadline: April 30th
Website: http://lctc-sf.org/

Left Coast Theatre Co. returns to its roots with “The Morning After,” an anthology of original LGBTQ shorts. This year we are looking for plays that address big moments we experience in life: weddings, funerals, breakups, proposals, birthdays, coming out. But sometimes it’s the morning after that really changes our lives. We are looking for shorts that showcases the hilarity, the joy, the grief, the angst, and the uncertainty of the morning after the big event.

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

Playwrights may submit no more than two 10-15 minute plays.
Plays may be no longer than 10-15 pages, exclusive of your title and character pages.
Plays must include an LGBTQ theme, character, event, etc.
Plays must contain no more than 5 characters.
Set, props and costume requirements should be minimal.
Script should include title page with play title, playwright’s name and contact info as well as a character page that includes a brief summary of the play and how it relates to the theme.
Plays must be submitted in PDF format.
To submit your play to the LCTC, please email info@lctc-sf.org with your name and title – which must include “The Morrning After…” – in the subject line (i.e. “Jane Doe – The Morning After I Told My Parents”).
Due: April 30th, 2017 at 5:00pm PST. No late entries. No exceptions.

Playwrights whose scripts have been selected for “The Morning After” will be notified in late May 2017.

$50 stipend is available for selected playwrights.

“The Morning After” runs at the Shelton Theater in San Francisco from November 2-18, 2017.

21.
Athena Project (Plays in Progress Series)
Deadline: April 15th
Website: http://www.athenaprojectfestival.org

Athena Project–located in Denver, Colorado–is proud to announce the call for submissions for its Plays In Progress Series (PIP Series). This Series will take place in Denver at a location to be determined over the course of approximately March-April 2018, as part of a larger arts festival celebrating the voices of female artists. Three to four new plays will be selected based on a blind submission process and given a dramaturg, director, cast and workshop level production during the Festival. One play from the PIP Series 2018 will be awarded a full production in March of 2019 based on a combination of a panel of judges and audience vote. Scripts are being accepted from March 3-April 15, 2017.

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES:
Playwright must be female or identify as female and may only submit ONE full-length script.
The play must not have ever had a fully mounted production. Prior workshop presentations are accepted, but the script must be a new version since the time of the workshop.
Submission must include:
Full copy of script (without playwright contact info*)
Character breakdown (without playwright contact info*)
Short synopsis of script (300 word limit, without playwright contact info*)
Resume
Cover letter addressing what the playwright would like to accomplish with the workshop presentation and how she heard about the call for submissions
Contact info must be listed ONLY on resume and cover letter, not on the script or any other documents (submissions will be read blind). All documents should include the Title of the Play, but no playwright contact information.
Plays submitted without all supporting materials included will be disqualified.
We recommend the playwright be able to travel to the area for rehearsals as needed if selected, and for at least one workshop production performance at their own expense. We will select 3-4 playwrights to participate in the PIP Series and hope to strike a balance between local and national work. Exact rehearsal and performance schedules will be worked out with the director, dramaturg, and playwright after all plays are selected.
Please contact us via LiteraryManager@AthenaProjectFestival.org if you have any questions about submitting. You will receive a confirmation upon receipt of materials.

Please read the FAQ’s found on the website for more information and details/restrictions on submissions.

Timeline:
Deadline to submit all materials is midnight, April 15, 2017
Three or four finalists will be selected by September 2017
Directors and Dramaturgs will be selected by November 2017
Casting will be between December-January 2017/18
Rehearsals will begin in February 2018
Plays In Progress Series (part of Athena Project’s Arts Festival) opens approximately March 2018


22.
Ox-Bow’s Artists in Residency
Deadline: May 1st
Website: http://www.ox-bow.org

Ox-Bow’s Artist-in-Residence program, located in Saugatuck, MI, offers artists and writers the time, space, and community to encourage growth and experimentation in their practice. During the fall residents are given the time, solitude, and focus often unavailable to so many working artists.

At Ox-Bow, artists can enjoy 24-hour access to their studios, and an inspirational setting, free from the expectations of commercial and academic demands. During the fall season, Artists-in-Residence have the opportunity to work in studios not available during the summer session. The fall is an ideal time for writers to apply as there are studios dedicated specifically to them. It’s also a great time to propose group or collaborative work. The residency is open to all visual art disciplines and writers.

The residency provides:
Studio (access to ceramic, printmaking, and painting studios—if you would like access to these facilities make sure this is clearly stated in your application)
Private room
Meals
A community of engaged artists
Opportunities to share work: slide presentations and/or readings

We are happy to announce that in 2016 Ox-Bow furthered its commitment to the needs of artists by no longer charging fees for the residency program (including application, room & board, and residency fees). All accepted residents are fully funded. Artists may apply for additional stipends to help pay for the cost of travel, supplies, and time away from work.

To find out more about Ox-Bow’s AIR program and to apply, visit our website: http://www.ox-bow.org


23.
La MaMa Umbria 2017: International Symposium for Directors
Deadline: May 15th
Website/La MaMa application: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScZPHCG1MhHgFuOC_LAcibrTfB40GHnjzla0QfSO44AhwBryw/viewform

The International Symposium for Directors is training program for professional directors, choreographers, actors and others. Internationally renowned theatre artists conduct workshops and lecture/demonstrations. During the Symposium, participants will travel to Umbrian towns such as Orvieto, Perugia  or Assisi to get a taste of Umbrian art and culture. Performances at local arts festivals and community fairs are also included.  In addition, participating directors may conduct their own workshops to share insights and techniques with their colleagues.

Participants will be exposed to a variety of theatrical perspectives during the Symposium, from instructors who will expand their sense of what is possible in the theatre. Directors attending the Symposium see how prominent artists on the international scene create their unique productions. The workshops are participatory, and it is expected that all attendees will engage actively in the processes of the various teaching artists.

APPLICATION PROCESS: Space is limited. Registrants will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Registrants must fill out the Registration Form. Space is secured with a deposit of $1,000 due with the registration form. $100 of the deposit is a non-refundable processing fee (unless the Symposium is already full when we receive your registration). All fees should be paid in US dollars in the form of checks or money orders payable to La MaMa ETC. In the case that a participant cannot attend the Symposium after having paid, 50% of the fee will be refunded if the participant cancels by June 20, 2016. After this date, the fee will not be refundable.

FEE: $2,800 for one session / $5,400 for both sessions. Fee includes all workshops, housing and meals, ground transportation from the Rome airport to and from La MaMa Umbria, excursions by bus, van or car, including tickets to performances at a local festival, entrance fees to museums and other points of interest.

CREDIT: The La MaMa International Symposium is accredited through Sarah Lawrence College. While the Symposium is geared for working professionals, some slots may be filled by university students, who may get credit (2 credits for one session of the Symposium and 1 credit for the Retreat) for their participation through an arrangement with Sarah Lawrence College. For more information, please contact La MaMa at (212) 254-6468.


24.
Villa R Meditative Residency
Deadline: April 15th
Website: http://www.artistsinresidencevillar.wordpress.com

Villa R is a wide, private and contemporary residence for artists. It was designed in 1990 by the two owners, Iolanda Vacalebre and Nicola Rustica, whom for many years have used the villa for artistic and musical productions. Over the years there have been organized many evenings with music, poetry, as well as performance.

Since April 2013, the owners decided to offer most of the spaces of the villa to organize intercultural and interdisciplinary exchange with professionals both foreign and Italian and activities such as residencies for artists and summer holidays (agriturismo). These activities especially aim at the creation / implementation of projects, artworks and ideas in a stimulating environment, in contact with other artists and with nature.

The residence offers wide space for the artistic production of any size and media. It is an exclusive opportunity to create new works and develop ideas in a wide, beautiful and meditative location, far from the distracting vibes of the big city. A great experience for artistis to work in contact with nature.

The villa offers a great view on the sea, valley and Eolie Islands. Artists have the possibility to work.

The selected artists can apply minimum for one week and maximum for two weeks at a time, according to the disponibility of the residency.

How to apply:

- A cover letter that describes the purpose of your stay and which kind of work you wish to produce in relation to your career and/or personal development (pdf)

- Curriculum vitae that includes both professional and few basic biographic infos (pdf)

- 10 images of artworks in jpg (if you are a visual artist). One or more links to a webpage or other links that show your professional activity and former work.

Make sure to include your contact infos and preferred period of residency.

The maximum number of artists per residency is 4

All documents have to be sent to Giuditta R: giudittarustica@yahoo.it

Documents can be written either in English or Italian.


25.
Halcyon Arts Lab Fellowship
Deadline: May 4th
Website: http://halcyonhouse.org/arts-lab

The Halcyon Arts Lab Fellowship is a nine-month program established to provide emerging artists with time and space to explore new ideas and ambitious projects in an environment of independent learning, study, and collaboration. The fellowship is designed to provide support and resources to emerging artists who desire to develop projects that promote meaningful social impact, and for those who wish to follow the path of leadership in the field of socially-engaged art.

A dedicated studio to concentrate on independent learning and creative practice. • $18k financial scholarship to support living and material costs • Nine months of offsite residential accommodation (eligible for non-DC residents only) • A curriculum of classes that provides skills training in negotiating, marketing, and fundraising • Mentorship and critique from an experienced arts professional • Workshops and lectures with a broad content of art topics in the public realm, from urban planning and policy, to design thinking and social justice. • Mentorship with DC high school students to provide guidance, instruction and inspiration to the next generation • Opportunities to collaborate with fellow artists, social entrepreneurs and our program partner organizations in Washington, DC.

Costs: No application fees or residency costs

URL: http://halcyonhouse.org/arts-lab


26.
North Adams Project
Deadline: April 25th
Website: https://assetsforartists.org/assets-for-artists-north-adams-project/

Interested in a creative future in North Adams, Massachusetts? If you’ve been looking for a place with abundant natural beauty, affordable real estate, small-town charm and convenience, and a lively cultural community…. You’ve just found it. And Assets for Artists is now inviting applications for assistance to artists who intend to relocate here in 2017!

There’s never been a better time to make the move. Nestled in the heart of the beautiful Berkshires, North Adams is a happening little city full of creative energy. With world class institutions like MASS MoCA, the Clark Art Institute, and the Williams College Museum of Art all nearby, there is never a shortage of cultural happenings. And grassroots community art centers like Makers’ Mill and the Common Folk Artist Collective offer plenty of opportunities to get involved and make your mark.

Selected artists who relocate to North Adams in 2017 will receive:

-A “matched savings” grant providing up to $4,000 of seed capital to be invested in the artist’s North Adams-based creative practice.
-Free professional development services, including artist-tailored business and financial trainings and one-on-one coaching.
-$500 to assist with the cost of relocation to North Adams.
-A $250 mini grant to help jumpstart retirement savings or an emergency fund.
-Eligibility to apply for technical assistance grants (up to $5,000) for overhauling a website or other design or professional services (subject to the availability of such funds from the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation).
-Free 1-year membership to MASS MoCA.

Artists at all income levels, in all disciplines, and in all stages of their career may apply. We are seeking artists who can make the greatest contribution to the North Adams community, and who will receive the most benefit from the assistance we can provide. To be eligible, artists must demonstrate readiness to move to (and make a minimum 1-year commitment to) North Adams by the end of 2017.





Saturday, April 1, 2017

Universal Basic Income: Not April Fool's Day

Universal basic income: the government gives everyone enough money to live. Work is no longer a necessity for basic survival. I was talking with a libertarian friend about the impending workforce implosion due to automation and robots. He said 'just give everyone a basic income. We're going to have to do it anyway.' I didn't realize that socialist European countries, Silicon Valley execs, neo-futurists, libertarians, and liberals are all now starting to say the same thing: either we start down the path of universal basic income or we screw ourselves. I don't know if that's true but it definitely shook my sense of identity.

If we could remove work as a defining trait from the human species...then what the hell are we? How do we organize our cities, what do we learn in school, what would drive us? (maybe higher altruistic goals...maybe more fanatic religions?) There will be a point in the near future where half of the workforce will be totally redundant and unnecessary...and then it will be more than half, and then it will be 90% of the human population who won't be needed to farm, manufacture, serve, or do anything critical to keep the gears of society moving. That's right Trump voters: you're not getting your coal job back and it's not because of Mexicans. You're not getting your job back because of Siri. And HAL. And drones that are starting to do a million things at farms and in the military, and robots that are roaming the Amazon warehouse floor right now and eliminating thousands of jobs, and self check-out at the grocery store that requires only one supervising cashier to look over 5 lanes, and laser-eyes at highway toll booths and robot clean-up crews. My friend added 'and quite frankly why the hell do you want to struggle to keep these low-wage tasks for humans anyway?' These transient jobs don't give us a strong sense of identity, they keep people in poverty, and they're usually demeaning in large corporations. Why are we fighting to keep awful coal jobs that are really dangerous, kill way too many people, and give most of the employees cancer when a robot can do it? If our basic needs are met with universal income, then the only reason some ppl would fight to keep these menial, dangerous, low-paying, and/or human-killing jobs is b/c we're scared of losing our sense of self as Americans, or as men, or as providers, or as humans...so maybe it's time for universal basic income and to start thinking of another way to define ourselves?

But who is going to pay for universal basic income...or rather why would billionaires and wealthy people pay for 90% of the population to 'not work?' Perhaps the rationale billionaires, libertarians, conservatives, and Silicon Valley execs have is logical: it's more cost-effective than paying for protection? Perhaps the reasoning for an extra tax will be out of compassion? Or perhaps we, the 90%, will offer them a clear and present danger to their own survival? If Occupy Wall Street was the small-scale dress rehearsal of a class revolt, then what will the fully-staged version look like to billionaires? I think we are entering into a defining time in civilization because this issue isn't about just jobs or feeding ourselves. And it isn't just about income inequality. The issue on the table is that 90% of the world will begin losing their bearing on who they are as humans, how they identify themselves, what keeps them busy, and how they feed themselves. And this lost of 'self' -financially, psychically, occupationally, sociologically- is the fear we are facing with voters around the world lurching to the right-wing reactionary policies and fear. You can steal from a man and get him to believe it's charity. But if you take someone's sense of place and identity in the world AND you impoverish them, then that is something the average human reacts against with anger. This battle will happen in both small and large ways for a significant period of time until the powers that control our government and finances will see universal basic income as a smart solution to keep the unwashed hordes from storming the palace gates.