Monday, October 17, 2016

Learning About My Body

Since mid-June I've lost over 50 lbs and put on 10 lbs of muscle for a net loss of 40 lbs. Back to high school wrestling weight, sprinting on treadmills, doing cross-fit and all that stuff while continuing to drop. Usually I do morning workouts, 5 days a week and eating healthier California food. Last Monday I took part in a very rich decadent feast. In one sitting put on 5 lbs. It took me the entire week and this weekend to work off those 5 lbs. But at least now I know how much exercise it takes to work off one rich delicious meal. So I'm already thinking ahead. Thanksgiving: that's about a week of HARD exercise. Christmas is about two weeks, New Year's is about 5 days. That's a month of exercise (or about 40-50 hrs) just to get back into pre-holiday shape.

Or there's another possibility: I could just eat healthy during the holidays.



So now I'm trying to lose another 10 lbs before Thanksgiving so I have a holiday cushion. See, body: we can work through this. I'm not going to starve you or deprive you as long as we're willing to put in the work. 

Saturday, October 8, 2016

"Grab them by the pussy" and other Trump-isms

When I was a teenager I spent a lot time in locker rooms (tennis, football, wrestling) and heard some pretty vile talk that was similar  Trump's hot mic conversation. Usually these things were said by the kind of punks, scrubs, fuckmuppets, and cocksplats who got their ass beat on the regular by the team captains and the actual leaders. They would say or do something repulsive, some would laugh, some would insult the person right back to undercut them. But the real response wasn't in words. It was in action and in a certain type of herd thinking that was non-verbal and instinctively primitive. Some times the beat downs would start with a slap to the back of the head or whaling on their backs to humiliate them in front of others so they would be put back in their place. Other times you would put the ass-kickings into a savings account with a simple nod or look amongst others that said 'this guy is gonna get his ass kicked. Trust.' And then at a certain improvised moment, something in the group would just 'click' and the offending boy would find themselves getting a critical beatdown.

Locker rooms are cruel and stupid in many aspects. But the flipside of this is that I have never experienced the kind of visceral, masculine, unspoken, synchronicity of justice that a morally-aligned locker room can offer against bullies. This morning it feels like something has 'clicked' among Republicans. To the rest of us, we've just been banking this ass-kicking for a long time and intend on spending it in the voting booth. But keep some of that 'beat down' in the bank for after November, when we have to dismantle the party that enabled a misogynistic, tax-cheating, racist, rape-y, sociopath con artist. The real challenge is recognizing that Trump's ascent is a symptom of a systemic failure in our society and in each of us. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

VP Debate and Reaction

Quick reaction to VP Debate:

I am watching Mike Pence, who claims to be a man of faith, lie dozens of times. Straight up. There's no gray area. These are flat-out lies and falsehoods and he's cool. Unblinking. Talking about his grandpappy or some dead dude who was folksy and covered in sepia-toned goodness. It's kind of amazing. He's 'winning' on style points because whatever appalling thing Trump has said or done in his well-documented campaign is shrugged off with 'didn't happen, not true.' And I wonder about people like Pence more than Trump who I just pass off as a con artist. I wonder about people like Pence whose values are so easily tailored into whatever fashion fits the cruelty of men. I wonder about people who go beyond fibbing and become bold. Not just public liars who are covering up for a mistake, but liars in service of things that will do great harm to many people, cause poverty and violence, wreck lives, deny people medical coverage and -therefore- led to thousands of deaths, and I wonder what they're thinking?

When Republicans say things like 'global warming isn't real' they know that there's going to be no ice in the arctic within our lifetime, right? They know there's going to be no fish in the ocean in less than 100 yrs, California is going through a super drought expected to last for 40 yrs and the earth is the hottest it's been in 100,00 years. They know that we're driving human civilization as we know it off a cliff of extinction due to greed and lying to low-information humans. We will cease to exist as a species because of our lies and greed. And all of these thoughts are condensed down into that confident, cool white smile.

And I just wonder what men like Pence must be thinking behind it all? Do they see their grandchildren when they speak? Do they see their sepia-toned ancestors getting abused by cool-talking, wealthy men with straight teeth? Or do they not think at all? Do they have to kill that part of the brain which conjures up such questions and live in the hollowed-out husks of their humanity?

Monday, October 3, 2016

GET WHAT YOU WANT: October 2016

Eugene O'Neill National Playwrights Conference
Deadline: October 14

Each year a community of professionals gathers in the serene setting of the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in order to support playwrights and new works for the theater.  The National Playwrights Conference strives to create a supportive environment that empowers playwrights to their own process and to experience the play with a professional company. Playwrights live on the grounds of the O'Neill for a full month and each engages in a week-long process of rehearsals culminating in two script-in-hand public readings.  Up to eight playwrights are selected for this intensive laboratory each summer.

The Lark - Van Lier New Voices Fellowship
Deadline October 31

The Lark is accepting applications for the second round of its Van Lier New Voices Fellowship program, supported by The New York Community Trust's Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund. The Van Lier New Voices Fellowship supports playwrights of color under 30 who demonstrate financial need. During a year-long residency, Fellows will work on multiple artistic projects through an individually-tailored program of Lark play development programs, and form relationships with other theater-makers at various career stages from all parts of the world. The Fellowship includes a cash award of $15,000, plus a $3,000 health insurance allowance, along with access to a wide range of Lark resources, including artistic program participation, financial literacy workshops, office and rehearsal space and staff support.

Award: $15,000 + $3,000 health insurance allowance. Fee: N/A Restrictions: Be legal residents of New York City; identify as playwrights of color under the age of 30 at the time of application; not be enrolled in a college, conservatory or advanced training program during the fellowship period.

Actors Theatre of Louisville - The National Ten-Minute Play Contest
Deadline November 1 

Established in 1989, the National Ten-Minute Play Contest remains one of the most enduring and significant means by which the literary staff at Actors Theatre of Louisville connects with American playwrights and is introduced to vibrant new voices for the stage. We consider all submissions for the Heideman Award-a $1,000 cash prize given out each January-as well as for production in the Apprentice/Intern Tens and the Humana Festival of New American Plays.

An annual event that takes place in January, the A/I Tens consist of a bill of 8-10 world premiere ten-minute plays, fully produced at Actors Theatre of Louisville and performed by our Apprentice Company of young actors. Award: $1,000

MAP Grant
Deadline: October 28th

Open submissions to the MAP Fund are accepted in the first stage of our three-stage review process.

Stage 1: Register on the MAP Fund website for the Online Letter of Inquiry. This is an open call requesting written information about your project and the lead artists involved.
After a review by field evaluators and MAP staff, those proposals that most closely align with the MAP Fund goals are invited to make a full application through email notification.

Stage 2: Full Application (by invitation). Also online, the full application requests a complete project budget, statements from lead artists, and work samples, in addition to the information submitted in the LOI. Full applications are reviewed by field evaluators and, based on these scores, a selection moves forward to the on-site peer panel.

Stage 3: A nationally composed peer panel meets on-site in New York City to review the applications. The panel recommends which proposals will be funded. Final recommendations are subject to approval by the Creative Capital Board of Directors.

Proposals are evaluated on the basis of the following criteria, which are weighed equally:
How well a project aligns with the MAP Fund’s goal of supporting live performance projects that embody a spirit of deep inquiry. MAP is particularly interested in supporting artists that question, disrupt, complicate, and challenge inherited notions of social and cultural hierarchy across the current American landscape.
The artistic strength of the proposed project. The viability of the project, based on the applicant’s professional capabilities as demonstrated in the project narrative, bio and artist statement, and work samples. Letter of Inquiry and Full Applications must come from organizations based in the United States that have current nonprofit federal tax status (501c3). Unincorporated artists or ensembles may apply to MAP through a fiscal sponsor.

Organizations and artists must demonstrate at least 2 years professional experience.
MAP supports only projects that contain a live performance. Eligible projects must not have premiered anywhere in the world before the first date of the current grant activities period.
The touring or documentation of work that has already premiered is not eligible for funding.
Current employees or board members of Creative Capital, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation or the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, or immediate family members of such persons may not apply for a MAP grant. Artists who receive a MAP grant two years in a row are asked to sit out the next year before reapplying.

MAP does not support straight adaptations from one medium to another, remounting of past work, traditional re-staging of classic works, educational projects, youth programs that do not achieve as high an artistic standard as competing professional works, festivals, or contests.

MAP supports most direct costs related to the conception, creation and premiere of a new work. These include but are not limited to commissioning fees and artists’ salaries, research costs, rehearsal and workshop expenses, promotion, and audience outreach and production costs up to and including the premiere run of the work.

Up to 40 grants per annual cycle, ranging from $10,000 to $45,000. The average award amount is $25,000

Bay Area Playwrights Festival
Deadline: October 15th

Bay Area Playwrights Festival Submissions
Five-six plays will be chosen for the annual Bay Area Playwrights Festival. Winning playwrights are paired with an artistic team comprised of a professional dramaturg, director, and actors. They will receive two weeks of rehearsal and two rehearsed staged readings, each one separated by five to six days for rehearsals and rewrites. Local and national producers, theater artists and the general public are invited to the festival to see the staged readings, participate in special events and meet the playwrights.
How to Apply: Submissions opened on July 15th, and will close October 1, 2016.  To submit your play, please visit and sign up for an account, or log in when prompted, if you do.  Please contact our Literary Manager with further inquiries at literary (at)

It is primarily through our open submission process that Playwrights Foundation’s artistic staff gets acquainted with the work of a wide range of contemporary writers. Playwrights Foundation’s programs are open to all playwrights living in North America and writing primarily in English.

Plays must be full-length, between 60-120 pages, unproduced and original. Submissions must be in PDF form. We do accept adaptations, but not translations. Only one submission is allowed per playwright. Plays that have previously received a workshop or university production are considered unproduced. At this time, we cannot accommodate musicals for our programs unless permission is gained in advance to submit.

There is a $20 submission fee. For Alumni of Playwrights Foundation programs and students the fee is automatically waived. If you are under financial strain, write to us and we will negotiate fee waivers on an individual basis.

Dates: Bay Area Playwrights Festival activities will occur in July of 2017 at our home theater, Custom Made Theatre on Sutter Street, in San Francisco. Exact dates for the 2017 BAPF are TBA.

Retreat: A pre-festival weekend retreat prior to rehearsal brings together artistic teams and playwrights to share work, thoughts and feedback with other festival participants. It is mandatory for playwrights to be in residence for the entire retreat (2-3 days in early July) and festival period.

Financial arrangement: Minimum $500 Stipend, travel, housing.
Award notification: Playwrights invited to programs other than the annual Bay Area Playwrights Festival will be contacted on a rolling basis. The playwrights selected for the Bay Area Playwrights Festival will be notified by or before April 1st, 2017.

Deadline: Oct 15th

The Great Plains Theatre Conference offers playwrights the opportunity to interact with and have their work seen by top writers, directors and actors from across the country. In addition, playwrights work directly with these professionals in hands-on writing and industry workshops, participate in daily panel discussions and attend evening performances with master playwrights and theatre practitioners. Past panelists, workshop leaders and respondents include: Edward Albee, Doug Wright, Emily Mann, Mac Wellman, Arthur Kopit, Marshall Mason, Mark Lamos, Theresa Rebeck, Constance Congdon, Erik Ehn, Will Eno, Lee Blessing and David Lindsay-Abaire among others.
Plays submitted are reviewed by a 100% blind reading process and considered for the following categories...
Five plays are chosen for the MainStage Series and recognized with the Holland New Voices Award. For the playwright, this includes a $500 honorarium, travel, room and board, Conference registration and preferential admittance to all special WorkShop sessions and Conference events. MainStage playwrights also receive a script rehearsal period with local and national directors and actors. Near the end of the week, the GPTC features a staged reading of each script for Conference attendees and the general public. A panel of top theatre professionals serve as respondents to the work. The five MainStage plays are published in “The 2015 GPTC Reader.”
Playwrights whose scripts are chosen for MainStage readings must attend the GPTC for the entire week.

Approximately 25 plays are chosen for the daily PlayLabs. For the playwright, this includes room and board, Conference registration and preferential admittance to all WorkShops and Conference events. Local and national directors and actors rehearse in preparation for a staged reading of each script. Conference attendees and the public attend these readings and a panel of select theatre professionals serves as respondents
Playwrights whose scripts are chosen for PlayLab readings must be available to attend the entire conference.

The GPTC will accept both full length and one act scripts.
Playwrights may submit a maximum of one script.
Scripts co-written by multiple playwrights may be submitted. If chosen, the benefits outlined above will be provided for ONE playwright only.

Plays that have received an Equity production, plays for young audiences and musicals will not be accepted.

All selections will be finalized by March 15.
There is a $10 fee for each submission. Submissions will not be considered without payment. The entire fee is applied toward the costs for readers.

Jewish Play Project
Deadline: October 15th

Looking for new, full-length plays and musicals with significant contemporary Jewish content. We don't work on WWII or Holocaust material, or on mid-century Jewish immigrant stories, but the rest of the field is wide open. We encourage submissions from all writers - it is not necessary that writer identify as Jewish.

The full RFP for both our nationwide playwriting Contest and our New York-based workshops is attached.
the full submissions guidelines:
the submissions page:
the Facebook Event:
Please feel free to reach out to David Winitsky with any questions, or to his Literary Associates (Noah Mitchel and Justin Halle). The deadline is 10/15/16.

Blackboard Reading Series
deadline: Oct 31st

Between September 1 and October 31, 2016 Blackboard Plays will be accepting short plays (30 minutes or less), concerning HIV/AIDS within the Black community.

Since 2008, Blackboard plays has been devoted to the Black Playwright throughout the African Diaspora.   Blackboard is a resident series @ the cell, where the series has been incubated.

If you are familiar with Blackboard @ the cell, you know that a usual Blackboard community night is similar to a poetry open mic where playwrights bring up to 10 pages and have their work cold-read.  This December 2016 curated community night will be a little different.

Writers will be notified in November and your piece will be cast.

The final selections will be read on Monday, December 12, 2016 beginning at 7:30pm.

Submission Guidelines
The file you submit should contain:
1) Your Bio
2) Play Synopsis
3) Title Page w/ Character Breakdown
4) Your short play
Any questions:
Submission Page including Form and Upload Link:

Deadline: November 1st

The EST/Sloan Project commissions, develops and presents new works delving into how we view and are affected by the scientific world. These plays examine the struggles and challenges scientists and engineers face from moral issues to the consequences of their discoveries.

The Project is designed to stimulate artists to create credible and compelling work exploring the worlds of science and technology and to challenge existing stereotypes of scientists and engineers in the popular imagination. The Project commissions and develops new works throughout EST’s developmental season, including one Mainstage Production, as well as workshops and readings in an annual festival called FIRST LIGHT.

Commissions will be awarded to individuals, groups and creative teams for full-length and one-act plays and musicals. Commissions range from $1000 to $10,000. Commission amounts are determined on a case-by-case basis, as are deadlines for drafts, finished work, and research support (if appropriate). Extant, full-length works may be submitted and are judged on a script-by-script basis by the EST/Sloan Project staff. Rewrite commissions for existing scripts range from $1,000 to $5,000.

Commissions are also available for regional theaters who wish to sponsor a local project focused on science and technology, either by commissioning a new script or developing an extant piece. Regional commission amounts are determined on a case-by-case basis, ranging from $2,000 - $5,000.

The EST/Sloan Project is open to a broad range of topics related to the issues, people, ideas, processes, leading-edge discoveries, inventions, and/or history of the "hard" sciences and technology. Check website for specific types of science that are allowed and those that aren’t:

Reva Shiner Comedy
Deadline: Oct 31st

We are currently accepting submissions for the 2017-18 Reva Shiner Comedy Award (deadline Oct. 31, 2016). The top 10 finalists and the winner of the 2016-17 Reva Shiner Comedy Award will be announced at the end of March 2017.

"Full-length" plays will have a complete running time of between 1 hour 15 minutes (75 minutes) to 2 hours 15 minutes (135 minutes).

Plays submitted must be unpublished at the time of submission. Plays that have received developmental readings, workshop productions, or productions at small theatre companies are acceptable. No scripts with previous productions at major regional theaters will be accepted. Once entered, subsequent activity does not change the acceptability of the script.

Each submission must include a synopsis (1 page or less) including the cast size. A separate page should include a brief bio of the playwright, and production/development history if applicable.

Each submission must include a cover letter with contact information and a $10.00 reader fee. Agent submissions require no fee. The fee will be waived for Dramatist Guild members with an enclosed photocopy of a membership card.

Make sure to note with your submission that you have paid the reader fee online.
It is preferable for musicals to include a demo CD. The complete score is not necessary but may be included. All plays are read by BPP's literary personnel led by and including the Literary Manager and Artistic Director.

We do not accept e-mail submissions. Scripts will not be returned. Blind submissions are not necessary. Please include all contact information. Plays submitted in previous years will be accepted.

The BPP reserves the right not to name a winner and/or name a winner but not commit to a reading or production.

Send to:
Reva Shiner Comedy Award
Bloomington Playwrights Project
107 W. 9th Street
Bloomington, IN 47404

Scripts must be postmarked by October 31, 2016, and received no later than November 10, 2016. We are not responsible for postal delays, and recommend you not choose to send Media Mail unless you are submitting several weeks in advance.
For further information, write BPP, Attn: Literary Manager, 107 W. 9th Street, Bloomington, IN 47404. For faster replies, please e-mail us at

Soros Justice Fellowship
Deadline: Oct. 12th

The Soros Justice Fellowships fund outstanding individuals to undertake projects that advance reform, spur debate, and catalyze change on a range of issues facing the U.S. criminal justice system. The Fellowships Program is part of a larger effort within the Open Society Foundations’ Justice Fund to reduce the destructive impact of current criminal justice policies on the lives of individuals, families, and communities in the U.S. by challenging the overreliance on incarceration and extreme punishment, and ensuring a fair and accountable system of justice.

Advocacy Fellowships
The Soros Justice Fellowships Program’s Advocacy Fellowships fund lawyers, advocates, grassroots organizers, researchers, and others with unique perspectives to undertake full-time criminal justice reform projects at the local, state, and national levels. Projects may range from litigation to public education to coalition-building to grassroots mobilization to policy-driven research. Advocacy Fellowships are 18 months in duration, may be undertaken in conjunction with a host organization, and can begin in the spring or fall of 2017.

Media Fellowships
The Soros Justice Fellowships Program’s Media Fellowships support writers, print and broadcast journalists, bloggers, filmmakers, and other individuals with distinctive voices proposing to complete media projects that engage and inform, spur debate and conversation, and catalyze change on important U.S. criminal justice issues. The Media Fellowships aim to mitigate the time, space, and market constraints that often discourage individuals from pursuing vital but marginalized, controversial, or unpopular topics in comprehensive and creative ways. Media Fellowships are 12 months in duration, and fellows are expected to make their projects their full-time work during the term of the fellowship. Projects can begin in either the spring or fall of 2017.

Guidelines and Application
Download and review the complete Advocacy guidelines here and the complete Media guidelines here. Applications must be submitted by clicking on the appropriate "Submit" button below.  Please Note:  The "Submit" button will be active and viewable starting on August 11, 2016.
Applicants who are uncertain whether some aspect of their proposed project fits within the parameters of the Fellowships Program guidelines or whether the project is otherwise likely to be of interest to the program may submit an email inquiry before proceeding with the full application. The email should provide a brief (no more than 500 words) description of the proposed project, as well as some background information on the applicant, and should be sent to:

NYTW 2050 Fellowship
Deadline: Oct 17th

The 2050 Fellowship is named in celebration of the U.S. Census Bureau’s projection that by the year 2050, there will be no single racial or ethnic majority in the United States.
This projection provokes thoughts at New York Theatre Workshop about the transformations that will take place in the American landscape – demographically, technologically, environmentally, and artistically. They are a catalyst for broader questions about our moral and artistic future. How do we define diversity? Whose stories aren't being told? What lies ahead for our world?

In response to these questions, NYTW has expanded and renamed our longstanding Fellowship program to support the diversity of voices and aesthetics that will make up this new minority majority.

Details of the 2050 Fellowship

NYTW will accept up to six 2050 Fellows for the 2016-17 Season. These fellowships will entail a commitment from June 2016 to June 2017. Playwrights and directors are eligible to apply.

NYTW’s 2050 Fellowships consists of five basic components:
1)    Monthly fellowship meetings where fellows meet with each other and artists from the New York Theatre Workshop community to discuss craft, aesthetics, and artistic development;
2)    Access to rehearsal space and two opportunities to share works-in-progress with the NYTW Artistic staff and entire fellowship cohort;
3)    Mentorship from the NYTW Artistic Staff and contemporary theater artists;
4)    An invitation to participate in the artistic life of the theater by attending staff meetings, developmental readings, dress rehearsals, and other NYTW functions;
5)    A 3-day weekend retreat at the start and end of the fellowship

2050 Fellows are awarded a modest stipend and an artistic development fund to support Fellowship projects, see work, research, and travel.

What makes a competitive applicant?

The 2050 Fellowship supports emerging artists who exhibit outstanding artistry and whose voices are underrepresented in the theatre. We encourage applicants with a unique cultural perspective inclusive of race, ethnicity, gender, class, disability and sexual orientation.

Berkeley Rep Ground Floor
Deadline: Nov. 1st
Application page:

 Berkeley Rep invite artists to apply with projects that would benefit from a residency in Berkeley for 1–4 weeks. Berkeley Rep will provide transportation, housing, rehearsal space, technical support, and a modest stipend. Applicants must be available for residency between May 31 and June 26, 2017. Previous applicants may re-apply. There is no limit on the number of projects an artist may apply with. We do accept applications from international artists.

Projects may be anywhere along their development path: from an idea without anything on paper yet, to a complete draft of a text. Whether you are a writer simply needing a room in which to write or an ensemble wanting intensive rehearsal time, we encourage you to apply. Artists from other disciplines interested in creating theatre pieces also welcome. If your project is ready for a small audience, we are happy to provide that, but there is no requirement for any kind of culminating event. Past participants have held events that were open to the public, no final presentation at all, small closed readings, and everything in between.

This is a developmental residency. Projects looking for a full production are not eligible. If you are applying for an adaptation, please have the underlying rights already secured. We do not accept scripts along with application forms. If a proposed project makes it to the second round, we will then request more information, including whatever may already be written.
To apply

Complete the application form below.
We suggest you download and complete the application as a Word document and then cut/paste your answers into the application form below. Please note that the online form does not allow you to save the application mid-way through and that you must hit the “submit” button at the bottom to finalize the form submission process. Do not submit the Word document via email.

Only electronic submissions will be accepted.
Please do not submit any materials beyond those required in the application.
Only complete applications will be considered.

Please do not call or email Berkeley Repertory Theatre to check the status of your application.
For questions regarding the application process, please email:

Sundance Theatre Lab
Deadline: November 15th

After a successful Lab in North Africa last season, the annual Theatre Lab returns to its traditional home in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah in July 2017. Projects will be selected from both US and MENA theatre artists. This is an innovation of our centerpiece Theatre Lab that directly champions our notion of community. We are now offering a single Lab that brings together artists from the United States and the MENA region.

For those of you who are acquainted with the Sundance Institute Theatre Lab in Utah, there is a structural change happening at our 2017 Theatre Lab (a one-year change). This year the Lab will run for 17 days (instead of 21) and each play will rehearse daily (instead of the customary day-on, day-off schedule. Please note that each project will receive as many days of rehearsal as in past Labs. Each project will work with its own dedicated cast, so creative teams will have their first choice of actors. Actors will not be double cast this year. Fellows (playwright, director, etc) will arrive on the mountain a few days ahead of the acting company, to have time to bond with each other and to hear and learn about each other’s work. The acting company arrives on Day 4. Fellows will also have two days as a group on their own after the actors depart.

The Theatre Lab welcomes applications for projects at any stage of development. Submitted work cannot have been previously produced, but may have received prior workshops or readings. In addition, projects scheduled to start rehearsals for a professional production before October 30, 2017 are not eligible for the Lab due to our agreement with Actors' Equity Association. Commissioned work is eligible for submission; however, playwrights must obtain written permission from their commissioning organization prior to applying.

Playwrights, directors, composers, ensembles, performance artists, or choreographers may submit applications. Playwright/director teams are permitted to apply together; however, Sundance reserves the right, in some cases, to propose alternate directors. If you do not have a director attached to your project, and your play is selected for the Lab, Sundance Institute is positioned to connect you with an experienced director.

Sundance Institute is interested in both established and emerging theatre artists, as well as artists making a transition from areas outside of theatre. We also welcome solo performers. NOTE: Artists may only submit one application. Previous applicants may apply again, but not with previously submitted material.

Through open submissions, we consider an estimated 800+ projects. Sundance Institute looks for original, compelling human stories that reflect the independent vision of the theatre artist. We are interested in supporting a diverse and daring group of theatre artists who tell unique stories, present material in a new form, or conceptualize existing material with an innovative vision. We look for writers and collaborators who are interested in genuinely exploring their material. You should not think of the Theatre Lab as a place to “rehearse”; it is an environment that encourages and supports risk-taking, experimentation, and rigorous re-writing and re-imagining. In order for Sundance Institute to fully evaluate your submission, we require a 1-2 page artistic statement as part of the application (see below for additional information).

Submissions from MENA Theatre-Makers
The Sundance Institute Theatre Program remains committed to international exchange and exposure activities. We are currently engaged in a five-year initiative focused on theatre artists from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) - specifically artists who are creating new theatrical projects in Arabic (classical and dialects). Labs and workshops that take place in the MENA region (and in Berlin for MENA newcomers to Europe) are one reflection of this work. A simultaneous goal is the inclusion of Arabic language artists in our Theatre Lab programming in Utah and at other U.S. venues. To that end, up to two MENA projects will be part of the 2017 Theatre Lab at the Sundance Resort. In our experience, the inclusion of theatre from around the globe, generated in new ways and with new points of view, creates an extraordinary opportunity for the exchange of ideas and working methodologies, enriching the Theatre Lab experience for everyone.

Complete the online application form and upload your materials electronically.

NOTE TO MENA APPLICANTS: Materials must be submitted directly to Applications are accepted in Arabic, English and French.

NOTE: If you do not have access to the Internet, please call the Theatre Program at +1-646-822-9564 and we will work with you to submit your materials using alternative methods. Please make every effort to utilize the online application as it ensures the safe delivery of your application and supports the Sundance Institute’s environmental stewardship.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Trump and the Debates

Trump is the result of the Republican party efforts, not the exception. He talks incoherently, has no real policy, and fearmongers his way through any discussion. In tonight's debate, it was clear how little he actually had to say and how anemic our political process has become. 

The sad thing is that one-half of our two-party system has created a propaganda infrastructure to blatantly and consistently lie and bait the American public on their fears, stall all government procedures, pillage national assets, and create wars to acquire materials that go toward enriching the already sheltered and ungodly class of wealthy oligarchs. And then they find likeminded candidates on every level who are capable of selling things they know do not work and -in some cases- kills people for short-term profit. In short, it's a con game that depends upon constantly shifting and misdirecting people's anger toward new targets every year. Yes, this is the Republican party. In almost every single policy issue -economics, gun violence, income inequality, environment, defense- we have one party which practices the most Orwellian tactics of confusing an undereducated population of people and then finding a fear-trigger to get them to act irrationally. I'm not saying 'you have your opinion and i have mine.' I am saying that every Republican policy implemented has had catastrophic consequences on the avg person. Statistically. Trickle-down economics, getting rid of gun control, deregulating every gov oversight board, waging the war on drugs, reducing rehabilitation and treatment in favor punishment, destroying unions, privatizing utilities, increasing pollution of water and air. And this happens nationally, state, local and for every single facet of policy. Trump is merely the 40 yr nadir of repacking the same awful greed and destructive hate as patriotism and christianity. And the biggest lie is still the first one this nation: race. When Trump talks about inner cities without any awareness of the conservative policies that were created solely to isolate, disenfranchise, and kill its inhabitants he is speaking from the slickest and most pernicious form of American racism. He cares about the inner cities as much as I care about Xanadu. It's merely a way of speaking to racist whites who are blind to the systemic re-enforcement of their bias. When he mentions roving gangs of violent illegal immigrants, he is embracing the white fragility of supremacists who both claim to be evolutionarily better than others but at the same time are so delicate that they must be shielded from hordes of brown bodies. He is speaking in a way to justify white people's bleak view of black and brown life and communities: hellish, unbearable, and having nothing to do with whiteness. He is speaking to America's original sin without ever acknowledging the causes and just jumping to the worst-case nightmares in white people's imagination.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Emptiness: Giving without Staying

I've spent the last two weeks studying emptiness. Venerable Lobsang Chunzom has been out here in LA teaching classes on Master Kamalashila's commentary of Lord Buddha's DIAMOND CUTTER SUTRA. Prior to this I've read the DIAMOND CUTTER SUTRA (DCS) many times and studied a commentary by Choney Lama Drakpa Shedrup (1675-1748). This new commentary from Master Kamalashila (750) takes a different spin on emptiness. The past two weeks I've also felt extremely motivated by all the work I have to do to understand and apply these teachings.

Previously I knew the main teaching on emptiness being that it's a negative unchanging stuff joined in the nature of all phenomena. It's what allows a pen to be a pen to me and a chew toy to a dog. It's the blank screen karma is loaded into or onto every moment. And in the DCS there's this constant mention of giving without staying. I know that phrase to be in reference to karma and emptiness, and the positive action of giving must be done with the awareness of emptiness in order for one to call themselves a higher level Buddhist actor in the world. Giving without staying in my belief of all the different lists of karmic principles: the four steps, the 3 spheres, the 3 cocoons, 3 types of karma, four step purification, 3 karmic results. All these lists upon lists are re-enforced with that emptiness, including the belief in karma itself which is empty,

What I never considered was the emptiness of the emptiness. It's been mentioned before in other sutras and my mind gets vague on it. I intellectually understand: yes even emptiness has emptiness to it. I understand that in a hazy way. Master Kamalashila uses the metaphor of a fountain that spews out water in a certain pattern. That pattern is unchanging like emptiness. But the water is constantly changing and shifting. Emptiness is unchanging like that shape, but my perception of it and interaction with it is like the water flowing through that shape: shifting constantly. So emptiness has emptiness to it b/c of my perception/interaction. So as I try to understand more of emptiness, that too will shift. And as I give with emptiness, I can't stay in the act of giving, nor stay in my understanding of 'not staying' at the moment. It shifts.

So in the 3 sphere of giving -subject doing the act, object receiving act and the object(or verb) that flows between then each sphere has an emptiness to it. My past habits load each sphere with what I'm used to seeing and expecting. It's making me rethink all my previous understandings of emptiness.

Contemplating and meditating this morning on a Buddhist holiday. I write these notes down for my own review later on. And -like the sutras say- I rejoice in this act (without staying). 

Monday, September 19, 2016

The Clinton Error of Personality

I'm voting for Hillary Clinton. One of the most frustrating traits about her, though, is her ability to make the same mistakes again and again. A year ago, David Plouffe and other Obama aides warned the Clinton campaign that they were about to mess up again like they did in 2008 when they built a presidential campaign around the concept of how cool it would be to elect someone like Hillary Clinton rather than finding a big issue. Obama beat her because his slogans were about the crowd, while her slogans were about joining her team, which meant you had to like Hillary Clinton. As a person, she has always had high negatives for her personality but is given positive marks for her ability to tackle particular issues. The logical choice would be to then pick an issue and not make the campaign about 'liking' or trusting Clinton.

Then the Clinton campaign went with the slogan 'I'm with Her' and proceed down the same path.  Her operatives have based a campaign around Hillary Clinton, who now has extremely-high negatives facing an opponent whose entire platform is built on all personality and no substance.

Clinton can't separate herself from Trump in the polls because the news cycle is focused on the individuals and what they're saying, instead of the issues. She's playing into Trump's hand on this. It's as if instead of 'Hope" and "Change," Obama ran with the slogan 'Back in Black' or "Go Cool.'  He would have made the campaign about himself rather than inspiring young people to get involved in the campaign and fit in where they could get in.  The best elements of the most successful Democratic presidential campaign in history incorporated others, and used the youth.

The youth feel stuck on the outside of the Clinton campaign and the only tool they have is to make voters so scared of Trump that they'll be motivated to go to the polls. This is a really really shitty strategy for young left-leaning voters because they are less motivated by fear than older people and conservative people.

Despite all these missteps, Clinton still has a fairly good chance of winning. But because her campaign has not staked out any issue and created an entire slogan about their candidate's gender, we have watched an entire election cycle get squandered. The DNC also lost a chance to recapture the House and maybe even the Senate. And everyone suffers because Clinton camp continues to misunderstand what motivates people.