Saturday, December 15, 2018

The Ethos Echoes

I come from an artistic, religious, and life-training school of thought that can be summarized in 3 words: get over yourself!  As a high school student, playing football and wrestling, co-captain of debate, writing for three local newspapers and two online publications, there wasn't time to be super-precious or pontificate on the editor's couch about my worth. The rule was simple: you write or you're fired. A deadline is a deadline. No one cares about your wrestling tournament or debate prep. One editor told me to just slap some shit together and crank out something, b/c anything is better than wallowing in pageless pity.

When I started practicing Buddhism, I took vows that entailed some pretty daunting goals, vows, and lifelong commitments. I didn't know that it would be this detailed when I started. When faced with this list, I gulped. How is this going to get done? The text of ancient saints and masters was clear: just fucking do it. Just do something. Take one step, then take another, then take another, now go! People are waiting, people are suffering. Buddha or God or magic space angels aren't going to save you: you are going to save yourself...and maybe others. So get over yourself and get out there! A decade later I look back at my first nervous step as I continue to stumble along the path, knowing that it's not perfect. I can fall, get up, fall again, and keep moving.

This week I worked on 3 projects and made the deadlines. Hundreds of pages written, revised, formatted. I complained to a director about these deadlines, heard myself whining, and told myself: STFU. Nobody cares, people need pages to work. Then I laughed, opened up my laptop, and started writing. And I finished. In the midst of writing, I took a break to go to a friend's play. When he saw me at the theatre, he panicked. "What are you doing HERE?!?" he whispered. His play wasn't done, it was in previews, he wasn't ready, this was a workshop and...I held up my hand. I know the play is a workshop and in previews. I know this isn't the perfect final draft. I'm here. The audience is here. The lights are set. Get over yourself. I write bad plays. Everyone writes a bad play and yet look at Neil LaBute. He out here! If the play is bad, we will just boo and hate you forever ...I'm kidding! If the play is bad, we will applaud, say something polite, leave, and get a compensatory gift for our unease (mine was strawberry shortcake in a cup). Then you can sit down with your bad play and get down to the business of rewriting it. I have periods where I mourn, complain, whine. And then I say those three words, stand up, and dive back into life. Pages are due, printing presses are humming, people are waiting.

Monday, December 10, 2018

The Threat of Being

Imagine you're a single working mother. You need to work as an office cleaner to support your child and your daycare voucher has been rejected. You need daycare because if your child is unsupervised you will be arrested and charged with being a bad mother. So you pack up your diapers, bottles, 10-20 lbs of supplies, your baby, and maybe a stroller. You head down the social service office. Your baby just turned 1. This is a work day, but you have no other options. The office is small and packed with irritable people. There are no open seats, and no one offers you there. So you sit on the floor with your baby, your bags, etc. You're not blocking the door, you're out of the way. You wait for 1 hr, 2 hrs. You wait 4 hours in the office. No one tries to expedite your wait in consideration for your 1-year-old child or the fact that you're sitting on the floor. The security guard demands that you stand with your baby, your bags, your supplies, and other things while waiting for another 1, 2, 3, or 4 hours? You're not sure how long you will have to wait, but standing is not really a good option. You refuse. No one offers you a seat, no one tries to speed up your paperwork, or offer aid. Instead, the security guards call the police on you for sitting on the floor with your baby and baby supplies. The police threaten you and say you have to leave. But you just spent half of the day sitting on the floor in the hopes of seeing someone. And you need to work. And you need those vouchers to work. And you just want to see someone who can help you out. But now people are shouting at you, trying to rip your baby out of your hands, cell phone cameras are filming you as you scream for help. But no one helps you. You are arrested. Your baby is taken away from. You end up at Riker's Island...for sitting on the floor so you could get daycare vouchers so you could work. You are stripped of your clothes, given a prison uniform, and number. You get a cell. Bail is impossible and you can't afford an attorney. You are charged with felonies and spend several days in prison. You are no longer allowed to see your baby. If you had a cleaning job, you have probably lost it by now. You will have a record. It all seems absurd and impossible.

Now imagine you're a black woman. And this situation isn't absurd. It actually happens all the time. It happens on the same day a Black nurse had the police called on her for checking on a patient...while wearing hospital scrubs and a stethoscope. Imagine you are a black security shot and killed by the cops without any excuse. Imagine you're a black soldier home from Afghanistan who gets caught in a mass shooting by a white male and you end up getting killed by the cops, and the armed mass shooter goes free. Imagine you're a black woman who goes down to Texas for a job interview, and you end up dead in a cell for a traffic violation.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Self-Care Exchange at the LGBTQ Center

Last Wednesday there was a talk at the LGBTQ Center about Self-Care Exchange. Lobsang Chunzom hosted the talk and it was produced by Limitless Health Institute. The talk was based on a lot of the principles from the ancient text THE GUIDE TO THE BODHISATTVA'S WAY OF LIFE by Master Shantideva (c. 6855-763).

As we close out this year, leave you with the bullet points of Master Shantideva:

1. We are all equal.
2. But how are we all equal? We have different talents, intelligence, looks, etc. Human beings are as different as grains of sand. So how could we be equal?
3. We are equal in ONLY this way: we want to avoid pain and we want happiness. That's it. That is the only way human beings are equal. Therefore it is okay to want happiness. It is okay to want to achieve your goals and dreams. In fact, it is the only thing that makes us equal as human beings.
4. But I don't really think my happiness is the same as your happiness. I think it's better. I think it's more special. I think this is true because I can feel my happiness and pain. I can viscerally feel it. I can not feel your pain and happiness. So even though, I intellectually understand that we are equal...I don't really believe it. Truly, almost no one really believes it because we cherish our own happiness over others...because we can feel our happiness. It is more real to me, than what you want.
5. Conversely, you can not bear your pain because you are grasping on to yourself. You see yourself as more real than other people and you cling to this. Your pain feels more real. I always deal with my pain first and then -if there's time and I'm feeling good- I might get around to your pain.
6. We think that we can't conceive of other ppl's pain and happiness but that is a lie. You keep a savings account and have investments for a FUTURE ME. This future me is not real, it does not exist, it is not presently in front of you. FUTURE ME is a concept of another person you are choosing to relate to right now. And yet, you are 100% capable of planning, caring, nurturing this concept (as you should, btw). You study for FUTURE ME, you go to college for FUTURE ME, you make all these elaborate plans for a FUTURE ME. This person has not appeared yet and you can not feel its pain BUT...you can imagine it. You can very viscerally and in great detail imagine FUTURE ME's happiness and sorrows. And you imagination about FUTURE ME is what drives you to move heaven and earth to get your goals.
7. If you can relate to concept of FUTURE ME through your imagination then you can certainly extend that imagination toward others.
8. Futhermore there's an analogy of stepping on a nail and your hand removing the nail from your foot. Why did the hand remove the nail from a foot, when it can't feel it? Well you see the hand and the foot as parts of you. These are parts, but the hand does not feel the foot's pain. You have decided that these parts are 'ME.' But you can also do that for your wife/husband. You can extend the parts of you to your child, your loved ones. Your ability to extend ME is infinite. Your ME can be multiple friends and family and it is even a FUTURE ME.
9. What's messed up is that I will ignore other people's present suffering to take care of a FUTURE ME. I will look around someone who is really in front of me to take care of FUTURE ME that is a concept. And this action, ensures that FUTURE ME will not be taken care of when it's needed. By not helping someone in front of myself, I am planting a seed for a FUTURE ME to not get help.
10. The best way, the only 100% fail-proof way to help FUTURE ME (that is a concept and not real) is by helping the people around me right now. It is the way to plan, it is the way to achieve your goals, it is the way to look at the world that will improve every facet of your life. This radical way of thinking IS your retirement plan. It is your health insurance, it is your dream board, it is a way of protecting and helping yourself down the road.
11. The people around you are quite literally wishing wells to achieving your goals. They are the key every thing and that's great because people are everywhere!! Every person is key to your FUTURE ME.
11. The true Self-Care Exchange is to do what is most effective for the FUTURE ME in 2019 and beyond. And the best way to take care of your future goals is to help someone else out. It's what plants the seeds for success. You take care of someone in a deliberate, consistent, systemic way. You will be forced to see someone helping you out. You will be forced to see a FUTURE ME surrounded by collaborators, grantmakers, funders, and supporters. And that is a real Self-Care Exchange.
12. Exchange yourself with others is the Self-Care Exchange. 

Saturday, December 1, 2018

George Bush: An Obituary

George Herbert Walker Bush Senior was born rich and he died rich. In between those two points, he made the rich richer and the poor poorer. Sired by Nazi sympathizer and treason plotter Prescott Bush, George was a legacy baby. His life was dedicated mostly toward supporting racist, and corrupt power structures. Bush was head of the CIA, a House Rep, VP, and president. In each of these positions, he failed to distinguish himself in any way except for death tolls and suffering. As CIA director and later VP he made Osama Bin Laden as well as dictators like Noriega and Hussein the best pals of the USA, thus allowing henchmen to torture and murder millions on behalf of US power. Ironically, as president, he turned against the very dictators he helped create by saying they had become corrupt. As commander in chief, he presided over two wars in four years, as well as hundreds of riots against police brutality after the Rodney King trials, and the mismanagement of the worst natural disaster in American history (at the time), Hurricane Andrew. In both manmade crisis and natural disaster, he was mostly MIA. He died as he lived: feckless, unremarkable, and privileged. His career was littered with racist moments in which he not only never spoke out against, but encouraged the worst tendencies in the Republican party: Willie Horton race-baiting, the GOP Southern Strategy, vetoing civil rights legislation, and appointing sexual predator Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court. He did vote for a law protecting the American flag though. The key distinguishing trait of his life is that he was the father of George Bush Jr. Dubya went on to exceed his father in recklessness and incompetence within the Oval Ofice, and he also mismanaged a Hurricane crisis with cronyism and incompetence. His son also botched two wars that resulted in millions of deaths and casualties. The father-son legacy has led many Americans to swear off anyone with the Bush name ever being in the White House again. Despite never speaking truth to power, he extended his family line with legacy babies who were born rich and will -odds are- die rich while supporting the rich. Rest in Wealth.

GET WHAT YOU WANT: December 2018


1.
SESAME STREET WRITERS' ROOM FELLOWSHIP
Deadline: Dec. 3rd
website: https://sesamewritersroom.org/

Let's bring more voices to the table!
Sesame Street Writers’ Room is a writing fellowship opportunity from the creators of Sesame Street. And we are looking for YOU! Fresh new writing talent from underrepresented racial backgrounds. Emerging storytellers who are selected to join the Writers’ Room fellowship will receive hands-on writing experience guided by Sesame Street veterans and other media industry leaders. Learn about the 2018 fellows and speakers HERE.

Applications for the 2019 Fellowship program are now open! The application period closes December 3, 2018. Select APPLY HERE at the top of this screen to begin your application.
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2.
BELLAGIO ARTS & LITERACY ARTS RESIDENCY
Deadline: December 3rd
Website: https://bellagiocenter.fluidreview.com/

The Bellagio Arts & Literary Arts residency is for composers, fiction and non-fiction writers, playwrights, poets, video/filmmakers, dancers, musicians, and visual artists who share in the Foundation’s mission of promoting the well-being of humankind and whose work is inspired by or relates to global or social issues. The residency is for artists seeking time for disciplined work, reflection, and collegial engagement with a diverse community of academics, practitioners, and artists.

The Center has a strong interest in proposals that align with The Rockefeller Foundation’s efforts to promote the well-being of humanity, particularly through issues that have a direct impact on the lives of poor and vulnerable populations around the world. These issues include but are not limited to health, economic opportunity, urban resilience, as well as food and agriculture.

To most effectively integrate the important voice of the arts throughout residency cohorts at the Bellagio Center, we are now holding one annual open call for residencies. The program will continue to welcome the same volume of high caliber artists to Bellagio, reinforcing the Foundation’s commitment to the arts and demonstrating its perspective that the arts are integral to the discourse around complex global challenges and critical to the well-being of humanity.

To further strengthen the reach of the program and ensure high geographic and disciplinary diversity among residents, we are also working with a range of new arts organizations to surface promising candidates. We have established outreach collaborations with four organizations: Khoj International Artists’ Association in Delhi, Fundacion Jumex in Mexico City, Africa Centre in Cape Town, and United States Artists in Chicago. These collaborations will extend our networks to attract a greater number of geographically diverse, highly distinguished artists working in Asia, Latin America, Africa and the United States.

The call for applications to the Arts & Literary Arts residency program is now open. The application period begins October 1, 2017 with the deadline of December 1, 2017 for residencies in 2019. Applications are available on our online application portal along with detailed instructions and further information on applying to the Bellagio Residency Program. We strongly recommend that applicants carefully review this information prior to beginning an application.



3.
MINY Writers Room Fellowship
Deadline: Dec. 9th
Website: https://www.wgaeast.org/miny-writers-room/2018-fellowship-guidelines/

We are pleased to share that once again the Writers Guild of America, East will be partnering with The City of New York to renew the Made In New York Writers Room Fellowship. this year with the participation of ReelAbilities Film Festival. The goal is to bring more writers rooms to NYC and to ensure that those rooms include underrepresented perspectives.  The Fellowship itself will begin in June 2019.

The Made in NY Writers Room identifies emerging NYC-based episodic comedy and drama writers, with diverse backgrounds and viewpoints, to receive career development training from seasoned writer-producers and other hiring professionals in the television industry. The program is a partnership of the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE), NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) and the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME)

Through a competitive application process, up to 12 writers, either applying as an individual or a writing team of two(each individual and team referred to as a “writer”), will participate in a six-month fellowship during which they will be assigned a dedicated mentor who is a New York City-based writer-producer.  The goal of the Fellowship is for the mentors to help propel the careers of under-represented writers.  Selected fellows will receive professional development opportunities and industry feedback to develop either an original drama or comedy pilot.   Writers selected for the fellowship will be matched with mentors based on their career interests. During the six-month fellowship period, fellows will have access to educational and professional development programs offered by the WGAE, industry feedback and guidance from their respective mentors and the opportunity to produce a live scene reading from their script by professional actors.

Application Requirements:
Writing submissions entered for consideration must be either a comedy or a drama pilot written for television in standard screenplay format. Submissions must be original works by the writer(s) and capture the writer(s)’s unique tone, style and perspective.

Each writer must submit an essay (no more than 500 words) detailing how he/she or the writing team is reflective of the mission of the fellowship to bring new and diverse points of view to television. It is expected that strong essay submissions will reflect the writer’s personal narrative(s)and his/her or the writing team’s ability to make unique contributions to a writers’ room. Writing teams should submit an essay for each member of the team.

Each writer must submit an up-to-date resume (no longer than one-page in length). Writing teams should submit a resume for each member of the team.
Applications must be completed by the writer(s) and not a representative.

Only online submissions with attachments in PDF format will be accepted. A receipt will automatically be sent to the email address of the entrant upon successful completion of the submission process. Email or mail submissions will not be accepted.

Pilots must be registered with the WGAE at the time of submission. WGAE will provide a discount code on November 8 to waive registration fees for up to 300 applications for the program. Applicants should allow for 3 business days for their Script Registration to process, and not apply until they are in receipt of a Script Registration Number.  To register, applicants should visit www.scriptregistration.org.

Dates of Fellowship:
The six-month fellowship is expected to begin in June 2019 and continue through December 2019.

Stipend:
Fellow and fellow writing teams will be paid a stipend of $10,800 disbursed in two installments and will be contingent upon meeting fellowship requirements. Writing teams will receive a shared stipend.



4.
DRAMA LEAGUE: NEW YORK DIRECTING FELLOW
Deadline: Dec. 11th
Website: http://dramaleague.org/programs/directors-project/fellowships/Fall-Directing-Fellowship

The New York Directing Fellowships bring extraordinary emerging stage directors into an extended program of creative advancement, industry-focused development, professional assistantships, and an opportunity to present their work to the field as part of the Off-Broadway festival DirectorFest, the nation's preeminent festival highlighting rising directorial talent.  The Fellowships nurture artistry, open doors, and usher in a maturation of skills and talent, preparing a director to work professionally at the highest levels the field can offer.

COMPONENTS

1) PROFESSIONALS WEEK

May 13-17, 2019: Professionals Week is an intensive immersion in the professional theater. Fellows will attend performances, participate in seminars and workshops with prominent industry professionals, and participate in discussions designed to prepare you for the demands and expectations of the field.

2) RETREAT WEEK

July 28-August 1, 2019: Fellows will participate in the Regathering Weekend and the Master Directing Retreat, an extended directing workshop under the guidance of a master director and teachers. Regathering Weekend will focus on practical skill acquisition, while the Master Directing Retreat will be held at a retreat center. Professional actors will join the directors for an immersive exploration of a specific text or playwright.

3) ASSISTANTSHIP ASSIGNMENTS

The New York Directing Fellows will assist on productions at major regional and/or New York theaters with leading theater artists. Each Fellow completes one or two assisting assignments depending on length and availability. These are designed for each director’s needs and curated by Drama League staff.

4) DIRECTORFEST

January 2020: The New York Directing Fellows stage one-act productions as part of DirectorFest, The Drama League's annual festival dedicated to the art of professional directing in the United States.  The festival takes place in New York City for an audience that includes artistic directors, producers, interested industry professionals, and others. DirectorFest is fully produced using professional casting directors, designers and production personnel. Post-production, the directors meet with theater professionals for an in-depth discussion of their work.

5) STIPEND

The stipend amount will be determined in April 2019.  For the 2017 cycle, the Stipend was $7,225 for the 17 active weeks of the fellowship (between late May and late January), paid in equal installments. The amount of the Stipend will be disclosed prior to acceptance.

6) HOUSING AND TRANSPORTATION

Fellows are provided with housing in New York (if needed) during Professionals Week, Regathering Weekend, DirectorFest and the Master Directing Retreat; round-trip transportation to, and housing for, their assistantship assignments (if needed).

5.
MCKNIGHT NATIONAL RESIDENCY AND COMMISSION
Deadline: Dec. 13th
Website: https://pwcenter.org/programs/mcknight-national-residency-and-commission

The intent of the McKnight National Residency and Commission is to support an established playwright from outside of Minnesota who demonstrates a sustained level of accomplishment, commitment, and artistic excellence. Recipients of the Residency and Commission will spend the year creating a new play script over the course of several residencies in Minnesota, including opportunities to engage with the Twin Cities and Playwrights' Center community. Benefits include:

A $15,000 commission
At least two U.S. round-trip airline tickets
Housing during the residency period
Up to $5,750 in workshop funds to support the development of the play
A public reading of the commissioned play
Past recipients include: Kia Corthron, Erik Ehn, Idris Goodwin, Karen Hartman, Daniel Alexander Jones, Sibyl Kempson, Craig Lucas, Taylor Mac, Dan O’Brien, Betty Shamieh, Mfoniso Udofia, and Mac Wellman.

Applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States. Applicants must be nationally recognized playwrights who have had at least two different plays fully produced by professional theaters at the time of application. Minnesota-based playwrights are not eligible for this fellowship. Recipients of 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19 McKnight Artist Fellowships in any discipline are not eligible. Full-time students are not eligible. Staff and board members of the McKnight Foundation and the Playwrights' Center or their immediate families are not eligible. Recipients may not receive any other Playwrights' Center fellowships, grants, or Core Writer benefits during the grant year. If a recipient is a Core Writer, their Core term will be extended by one year. Applicants may only apply for one McKnight Artist Fellowship each year in any discipline. Recipients commit to spending up to four weeks in residency in the Twin Cities (not necessarily consecutively). Recipients must create a new play according to the terms set forth in the contract.


6.
SAMUEL FRENCH OFF-OFF BROADWAY SHORT PLAY FESTIVAL
Deadline: Dec. 13th
Website: http://www.oobfestival.com/

The Samuel French Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival offers a prize of publication and licensing for six short plays in the notable OFF OFF BROADWAY FESTIVAL PLAYS series.   The application period for the Festival begins in in late fall and lasts for four weeks.  Playwrights may submit one unpublished play or musical that may be up to 15 pages in length and a max run time of 20 minutes (ideal run times are between 8-13 minutes).  All submissions are read by the Festival’s staff, and 30 semi-finalists are chosen to present their play during Festival week.   Festival week starts with four nights of performance sessions that are presented in front of a judging panel comprised of professionals representing various parts of the theatre industry.  At the end of each session, the judges deliberate and one to three plays are selected to move on to the Festival Finals.   During the Finals, the Festival staff will watch the final 10 to 12 plays and select six authors to be a published in the Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival series, which is published and licensed by Samuel French, Inc.   The author is responsible for securing a producing company (or self-producing) their work in the event that the work is selected as a Festival participant. The responsibilities of the Author and/or Producer include, but are not limited to, the casting of non-equity actors; the appointment of the director, designers and technical personnel (If needed); rehearsals; transportation; costumes, hand properties and special effects (if needed); and for all fees and expenses attendant thereunto.   Samuel French will provide a theater space will include a basic lighting plot with limited pre-set general light cues and basic sound equipment. A limited number of basic set pieces will be available at the theatre.  Additional props, set pieces, etc. may be brought by the producing companies; however, we strongly advise that productions be kept as simple as possible. Samuel French, Inc. will further provide all front-and back-of-house personnel and a board operator if needed.

ELIGIBILITY:
-Short plays and musicals can be no longer than 15 pages and have a max run time of 20 minutes (ideal run times are between 8-13 minutes). If submitting a musical the page limit should reflect the libretto.
-Writers may submit only 1 play, including plays they have co-authored. Producers (writer’s groups, theatre companies, universities, etc.) may submit up to 15 plays accredited to their organization, but can only submit one play by an individual playwright.
-Script submissions will be accepted in digital format only, via Submittable.
-Each nomination must submit a separate application form. Conglomerate entries on one application are not acceptable.
-Plays must be written in English (non-English words or phrases within the context of the play are allowed).
-Plays must be typed, and in no less that 10-point type, in conjunction with formatting listed in the Samuel French Submission Formatting Guidelines. Note that cover pages or additional cast size pages are not required and will not be counted against the 15 page limit.
-Playwrights previously published by Samuel French, Inc. or their subsidiary Baker’s Plays are not eligible for submission into the Samuel French Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival. This includes winners of previous Samuel French Festivals.
-Plays presented in previous Samuel French Off Off Broadway Festivals are not eligible for re-submission.
-Poetry and short story readings will not be accepted.
-Festival submissions will be open from Tuesday, November 13 to Thursday, December 13. No submissions will be accepted after 11:59pm EST on December 13, 2018.



7.
HUNTINGTON PLAYWRIGHT FELLOWSHIP
deadline: Dec. 13th
website: https://www.huntingtontheatre.org/season/new-work/playwriting-fellows/Apply/

The Huntington is now accepting applications for the 2019-2021 Huntington Playwriting Fellow Cohort. To be eligible, writers must be live at least nine months of the 12-month calendar year in the Greater Boston area. Meetings will be held monthly, with some deference to writers’ schedules and production commitments. As we desire participants who can take full advantage of the program, all conflicts that will require applicants to leave the Boston area for an extended period of time, such as upcoming residencies or productions, will be included in consideration of an application, but do not preclude applying. Please contact us with any specific residency situations or questions.

Writers have been admitted at all career stages, from unproduced to veteran; we believe a strength of the program is intergenerational dialogue between working playwrights.

Admission to the program is based on the strength of the writer’s voice and theatrical vision, along with an alignment between the writer’s current goals and the Huntington’s ability to work in service of those goals.

Having an agent or manager is of no consideration in the application process.

To apply, please submit the following via email to submissions@huntingtontheatre.org no later than 11:59PM on Thursday, December 13, 2018. Early submissions are encouraged, and submissions are read roughly in the order they are received.

Application form with all information provided, including references
Professional resume – Please list all productions, residencies, readings, publications, professional affiliations, and other theatre background. If you work outside of theatre and/or the arts, we’d be interested to know that as well.
One-page artistic statement. Your one-page essay should be your succinct statement of why you are interested in participating in the Huntington Playwriting Fellows program. It may touch on any or all of the following questions:
What goals would you set for yourself during your residency at the Huntington, and how do these fit with your larger personal goals as an artist?
How would the HPF program contribute to your growth as an artist?
Why the Huntington?
What would your expectations be?
In light of the fact that the fellows program is primarily a writers’ collective, what sparks your interest in participating in one (or if you have before, what will you gain that is new)?
One completed, full-length play. Send us the play you have finished most recently. It is more useful to send a play that it is on its first or second draft than a play that you have been working on for several years. If this play is markedly different in tone, style, genre, or voice than your overall body of work, you are welcome to include a short paragraph contextualizing this play in conversation with prior work. Please do not send work that has been considered for prior application cycles of the HPF program, even if it has undergone revision. It is more productive for us to discover a new side of your voice than to learn about your ability to revise.



8.
MADISON NEW WORKS RESIDENCY
Deadline: Dec. 15th
Website: https://www.dropbox.com/request/ql4af62HUxDYmgNSM7Tt

Creative teams are given retreat during a two-week long residency while working on the development of their new musical or a one-week residency while working on a new play. During this residency, we provide opportunities for creators to take their new musicals/plays into the next stage of development and explore their work with a community of artists in the rehearsal room as well as in front of an audience. Connecting emerging writers with our students and faculty offers mutually beneficial opportunities for artistic growth in a safe and focused environment.


DETAILS
May 20 – June 1, 2019 Musical Theatre Workshop
The Musical Theatre Workshop will include two weeks of development with actors, musical director, and director, culminating in a reading at Forbes Center for the Performing Arts.

June 1– June 8, 2019 New Play Workshop
The New Play Workshop will include one week of development with actors and a director, culminating in a reading at Forbes Center for the Performing Arts."

Submission of Materials:
When submitting your application, please label the files with writer’s last name first; underscore; title of work (for example: Smith_Title of Muscial.pdf). If you have any questions, please contact us at madisonnewworks@jmu.edu

Musical Theatre materials submission link: https://www.dropbox.com/request/ql4af62HUxDYmgNSM7Tt
For all musicals, submit the following as a single pdf, where possible:
• A cover letter introducing yourself
• A show synopsis, no more than 250 words
• A working draft of your script, including song placement
• Statement of Purpose/Need. Identify three objectives you have for the developmental process at JMU
• Requirements. What is required for your work to be successfully workshopped (20 baby- grand pianos, or just 1)
• Demo recordings of at least 50% of songs in the show
• History of Development, if any
• Bios for creative team members. Your creative team of no more than 2 members
• Proof of rights (required for any material that is not your own)
• Optional material to include with your submission:
Video links of full songs, scenes or any promotional material from the show

Play materials submission link: https://www.dropbox.com/request/PWn8rqsxCbxMlyb9Auod
For all Plays, submit the following as a single pdf, where possible:
• A cover letter introducing yourself
• A play synopsis, no more than 250 words
• A working draft of your script
• Statement of Purpose/Need. Identify three objectives you have for the developmental process at JMU
• History of Development, if any
• Bio for playwright
• Proof of rights (required for any material that is not your own)
• Optional material to include with your submission:
Video links of full songs, scenes or any promotional material from the show
*When submitting please label the files with playwright’s last name first; underscore; title of work (for example: Smith_Title of Play.pdf).

If you have any questions, please contact us at madisonnewworks@jmu.edu.


9.
PREMIERE PLAY FESTIVAL
Deadline: Dec. 15th
Website: http://www.premierestagesatkean.com/play-festival

Premiere Stages, the professional Equity theatre in residence at Kean University, is currently seeking scripts for their annual Premiere Play Festival. The deadline to submit is December 15, 2018.

Premiere Stages is committed to supporting a diverse group of writers; playwrights of all backgrounds, ages, and experience levels are encouraged to apply. We are particularly interested in scripts that explore contemporary issues and challenge and connect with our audience. We encourage writers to view our production history for a better understanding of the types of scripts we have produced previously.

Submission Guidelines
Plays must be full-length and have a cast size of no more than eight.
Plays must be unpublished and unproduced (readings and workshops are okay).
Playwrights must have strong affiliations with the greater metropolitan area (New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Delaware).
Musical submissions, adaptations (of existing plays or other sources), and solo shows will not be considered at this time.
Please contact Premiere Stages to inquire about submitting a script that has previously been submitted to the Play Festival.
Playwrights must be available for the development of their script (see schedule).
Submissions are limited to one script per playwright.
Submissions are accepted September 15, 2018 through 11:59 p.m. on December 15, 2018. All plays must be submitted as a PDF via email to pfsubmit@kean.edu. Submissions sent early in the submission window are strongly encouraged. Hard copies will not be accepted.

Non-Agent Submissions
Premiere Stages will accept script samples & synopses from playwrights without an agent. Submissions must include:
Brief synopsis of the play (no more than half a page).
Character breakdown.
History of the play’s development (if any).
The playwright’s bio or resume.
Script sample from the play (no more than 10 pages).
Agent/Theatre Professional Submissions
Premiere Stages will accept full scripts from literary agents or theatre professionals affiliated with Premiere Stages.
Play Festival Schedule & Awards

From September 15, 2018 through December 15, 2018, Premiere Stages will accept submissions. All plays submitted to the festival are evaluated by a panel of professional theatre producers, directors, dramaturgs, playwrights, and publishers. Four finalists are subsequently selected for public Equity readings on March 14-17, 2019. Following the readings, one play is selected for an Equity production in the Premiere Stages 2019 Mainstage Season and receives an award of $2500. The runner-up receives a 29-hour staged reading and $1000. The two other finalists will each be awarded $750.

10.

PULITZER PRIZE FOR DRAMA *hey, why not?!?*
Deadline: December 31st
website: https://www.pulitzer.org/page/drama-submission-guidelines-and-requirements

Plays written by U.S. citizens and produced in the United States during 2018 are eligible. After submitting information and payment online, send six (6) copies of play scripts and one video recording (if available) to the address below. Packages must be postmarked by December 31, 2018.

Columbia University, on the recommendation of The Pulitzer Prize Board, annually awards a Pulitzer Prize in drama of $15,000 "for a distinguished play by an American author, preferably original in its source and dealing with American life."

ENTRIES FOR THE AWARD
Productions opening in the United States between January 1, 2018 and December 31, 2018 are eligible. Submit playscripts of productions to the Pulitzer Office for forwarding to the Drama Jury.  Entries should be made in advance of the December 31, 2018 deadline.

Please follow these entry procedures:

Complete the online entry form and pay non-refundable $75 entry fee by credit card. 

Send 6 copies of the playscript and video recording (if available) to:

The Pulitzer Prize Office

Columbia University

709 Pulitzer Hall

2950 Broadway

New York, NY 10027

Scripts must be postmarked by December 31, 2018.

A video recording of the production is strongly urged but is not required. If a video is submitted, it will be used only to assist the judging process and will be returned on request after the awards are announced.

Please note that a dramatic work need not be formally submitted in order to be considered by the Drama Jury. However, it must be produced and receive a press opening within the deadline dates.

ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE AWARD
Columbia University awards the Pulitzer Prize in Drama annually on the recommendation of The Pulitzer Prize Board, which acts on the nominations of a distinguished committee of Pulitzer Drama Jurors. The award is announced during the Spring.



11.
NEUKON AWARD FOR PLAYWRITING
Deadline: Dec. 31st
website: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSceMcQZuuK6Waz5qDyRUTup17x0vWMcgZp10lWcAcZfl56uqA/viewform

The Neukom Institute, the Dartmouth Department of Theater and Vox Theater have once again joined together for the Neukom Institute Literary Arts Award for Playwriting.

The award-winning play will receive a workshop and public reading in July 2019 at VoxFest at Dartmouth College followed by an additional workshop and reading in the 2019/2020 season at Northern Stage, a LORT-D theater in White River Junction, VT.

Plays should be written in response to the prompt: “What does it mean to be a human in a computerized, digital world?”

Each award comes with a $5,000 honorarium.

Submission Requirements:
Submissions must include a blind copy of the play, a resume/bio, a production history of the play and a one page statement of purpose that answers the following questions:
1. How does your play address the theme of exploring humanity in our computerized, digital world?
2. What are your goals for this play in its current form?
3. The winning play will receive two readings: one at VoxFest at Dartmouth College and the second in the 2019/2020 season at Northern Stage. How would you use this two-part development process to achieve these goals?

*Note that plays that have received a full production are not eligible for the competition.*


12.
SSB AWAY
Deadline: January 1st
website: http://someseriousbusiness.org/ssb-away/

SSB AWAY retreats provide crucial time and space for artists to germinate ideas that might otherwise be marginalized during the intensity of public life and artistic production. A network of residences and workspaces offers artists the agency to take time away from their habitual surroundings, to rest and inhabit a nourishing space of creative sanctuary with solitude, access to nature, and multivalent privacy. SSB offers residencies in Abiquiu, New Mexico and Podere Malabiccia, Tuscany, Italy.

PODERE MALABICCIA | TUSCANY, ITALY | Saturday, May 4–Sunday, May 26, 2018

On a 40-acre working olive oil farm just outside the tiny hamlet of Petroio, Some Serious Business and artist Carey Maxon offer artists a tranquil sanctuary: a small stone cottage set in the heart of the sensory delights of Tuscan country life. From this charming cottage artists have the opportunity for creative exploration in any direction.

The three-week residency is entirely self-directed. The resident must be self-sufficient and comfortable with solitude. Materials about the region will be provided in advance. However, it is up to each individual to structure their time, shop and prepare meals, and make arrangements for transportation and activities beyond the farm. SSB will also offer a $1,000 artist stipend along with this residency. Airfare and car rental are not included.

Tuscany’s iconic Val d’Orcia is a landscape of inspiration and wonderment. Unforgettable rolling hills; exceptional vistas, churches and towns; Piero della Francesca frescoes; romantic labyrinths of stone walls and walking paths; and deep, soulful culinary traditions make it an extraordinary destination for the senses. Petroio’s charming main road spirals up to an ancient hilltop town where 200 residents continue the vital and timeless traditions of rural Italian village life. It is here that the villagers invented the classic artistic design and technology of the archetypical terra cotta pot. The farm is 20 minutes north of Pienza—the spectacular utopia of Renaissance architecture and a UNESCO Heritage site.

Eligibility: writers, visual artists, composers, musicians, performance artists, architects, designers, activists, curators, and art workers of any kind; as well as thought leaders, spiritual teachers, and others working to foster mutual respect and understanding. Preference will be given to mid-career artists and those seasoned in their chosen field. Students are not eligible.

Applicants should take into account the retreat’s unique circumstances and historic location. Due to the limited size of the casina, applicants should also keep in mind that while the cottage is surrounded by a garden and 40-acre farm, this residency offers little indoor work space.

To apply, send query to info@someseriousbusiness.org.

DEADLINE: January 1, 2019

ANNOUNCEMENT DATE: February 1, 2019



13.
YADDO
Deadline: January 1st
website: https://www.yaddo.org/apply/guidelines/

Yaddo is a retreat for artists located on a 400-acre estate in Saratoga Springs, New York. Its mission is to nurture the creative process by providing an opportunity for artists to work without interruption in a supportive environment.

Residency: The January 1 deadline is for residencies starting May of the same year, through February of the following year.

Artistic Disciplines
Five admissions panels consider applications to Yaddo in the following disciplines:

Literature, including fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama, translation, and librettos
Visual Art, including painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, photography, mixed media, and installation art
Music Composition, including instrumental forms, vocal forms, electronic music, music for film, and sound art
Performance, including choreography, performance art, multi-media and/or collaborative works incorporating live performance
Film & Video, including narrative, documentary and experimental films, animation, and screenplays
Applicants should apply to the Admissions Panel that best represents the project they wish to undertake should they be invited for a residency. Applicants may apply to only one admissions panel, and in one genre, at a time. Artists working in new disciplines or on projects that do not fit easily into the above disciplinary categories are encouraged to contact the Program Director about which category is most appropriate for their project.

Collaborations
Small groups (2 to 3 individuals) of artists wishing to work collaboratively are encouraged to apply. Each member of the group will need to submit an individual application under “Collaborative Teams.” Support personnel or interpretative artists, such as computer programmers, instrumentalists, set and lighting designers, and dancers, cannot be included in a residency as part of a collaborative team.

Work samples must represent previous collaborations. Artists who do not have a collaborative history but who wish to be in residence at the same time should apply to the admissions panel most closely connected to their individual artistic discipline, rather than Collaborative Teams. Concurrent dates of residence may be requested. Each application will be considered on its own merits.

Specific questions should be directed to the Program Director before submitting an application.

For More Information and To Apply: https://www.yaddo.org/apply/guidelines/



14.
CAPITAL FRINGE
Deadline: January 2, 2019
website: www.capitalfringe.org/fringeartist/fringe-festival/curated-series


For the 2018 Capital Fringe Festival we began a project, the Fringe Curated Series, where we commissioned three new plays derived from folklore or myth from non-western cultures.  In exploring these narratives, we brought different perspectives to life.  We commissioned scripts from Matthew Capodicasa, Farah Lawal Harris and Stephen Spotswood and it was very well received!

Always looking to grow, develop and take risks, in our second year we are choosing a different focus to commission from.  For the 2019 Fringe Festival, we are seeking to commission and produce work that explores key issues currently facing humanity:

Forgiveness, trust and how time can either unearth or leave covered progress

In 2018 the request for proposals was invite only, as we wanted to limit the scope of what we were taking on while we created the program from scratch.  For 2019, we are looking to expand the pool of playwrights that are encouraged to submit proposals.


15.
BUFFALO STATE COLLEGE 10-MIN PLAY
Deadline: Jan 3rd
Website: https://theater.buffalostate.edu/

Call for Submissions for an evening of ten-minute plays at Buffalo State College. The program will run two nights during the Spring 2019 semester.
 
Submission Guidelines:

*The play must have characters in 18-25 range, no exceptions. If needed, you may include ONE (1) character not in that age range, but we are looking for plays that will resonate with the diverse young actors playing the roles, as well as the diverse college students in the audience; changing the ages on a generic play probably isn't going to work.

*Playwrights may submit one or two plays, but if you submit two, please do so in separate emails.

*All plays must be no longer than ten minutes, which may actually mean fewer than ten pages. If you’re not sure, please read it aloud.  No exceptions, no matter how brilliant the extra minutes may be. We mean it.

*All plays must have minimal set requirements. Plays chosen will receive full productions at Buffalo State’s black box theater, but with eight plays being performed, there is no time for elaborate set changes.

*Please email ten-minute plays with minimal set requirements to buffstateshortplays@gmail.com in standard format in Word or PDF.

*Email subject line should have your name and title of your play, e.g. MARY BROWN/MY AWESOME COLLEGE AGE PLAY.

*Body of email should contain contact information (including email and phone) and the play’s production history ONLY. You don’t have to write a cover letter, so please don’t. Anything other than the requested information is only going to give us a bad first impression (i.e. you don’t follow rules).

*Submissions that do not adhere to these guidelines will not be considered.

The Deadline:
Submissions must be received by January 3, 2019. We prefer earlier to later, as we read and cull as the submissions come in.

You will receive a confirmation email when we receive your play. Finalists will be notified by email by mid-March. We are sorry we cannot respond to each individual playwright.

The Producer:
Buffalo State will provide directors, actors, designers, and technical crew for the run of the show.  We will encourage directors to be in touch with playwrights throughout the process. For more information about the theater department at Buffalo State, please visit our Web site: theater.buffalostate.edu.

The Production:
Plays will be presented together as an evening of theater.  Chosen playwrights will receive a copy of the program, four complimentary tickets to be used any night of the run, and a $25 royalty.

If you have questions, please email buffstateshortplays@gmail.com with QUESTION in the subject line.


16.
NYFA  ARTIST FELLOWSHIP
Deadline: January 23rd
website: https://apply.nyfa.org/submit

The New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) is excited to announce that the 2019 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship application cycle is now open. NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowships are $7,000 unrestricted cash awards made to individual originating artists living and working in the state of New York. These fellowships are not project grants and are intended to fund an artist’s vision or voice, regardless of the level of his or her artistic development. In 2018, NYFA awarded a total of $623,000 to 89 artists throughout New York State.

Applications close Wednesday, January 23, 2019 at 11:59 PM (EST).

2019 Award Categories
Fellowships are awarded in 15 different disciplines over a three-year period. The 2019 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship Categories are:

Architecture/Environmental Structures/Design
Choreography
Music/Sound
Photography
Playwriting/Screenwriting
Eligibility Requirements
To be eligible, applicants must meet all of the following requirements by the application deadline:

25 years old or older
Current residents of New York State and/or one of the Indian Nations located in New York State. Must have maintained New York State residency, and/or residency in one of the Indian Nations located therein, for at least the last two consecutive years (2017 & 2018)
Not enrolled in a degree-seeking program of any kind
Are originators, not interpreters of the work, i.e. choreographers or playwrights and not dancers or actors


17.
MAP FUND GRANT (starts on Dec. 3rd)
Deadline: February 15th
website: https://mapfund.submittable.com/submit

The MAP Fund invests in artistic production as the critical foundation of imagining — and ultimately co-creating — a more equitable and vibrant society. MAP awards $1 million annually to up to 40 projects in the range of $10,000 – $45,000 per grant.

MAP supports original live performance projects that embody a spirit of deep inquiry, particularly works created by artists who question, disrupt, complicate, and challenge inherited notions of social and cultural hierarchy across the United States. Funded projects address these concerns through the processes of creating and distributing live performance to the public, and/or through the content and themes of the work itself. MAP is committed to intersectional anti-racism, and does not support cultural appropriation or oppressive project language, structures, or content.

The program pursues its mission by annually welcoming applications for new live performance projects. Each year, MAP hires a different cohort of peer reviewers who recommend the projects they believe most align with MAP’s goals through a rigorous, facilitated review process.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Money in the Arts

MONEY! It's the dirty secret in the arts that nobody wants to talk about, but everyone knows is there in the room. Ever since I was 18, money has dictated most choices I have made. Northwestern gave me full financial aid that was 2/3 scholarship and 1/3 loans I took out on myself, while my first choice school of Trinity University offered me $3000... via work study (gurl, bye). New School University won out over other MFAs b/c I got 90% scholarship and the rest I covered by being an RA. The Juilliard fellowship was FREE with a fellowship stipend (hallelujah) and I still worked side jobs and committed to three other paid fellowships to stay afloat.

I'm super grateful to institutions like Northwestern, New School, and Juilliard. Thanks to tremendous support, my loans are manageable. They don't give me nightmares, unlike some of my colleagues who have six-figure debt.

I have been asked 'why did you get into TV writing' and I resist the urge to scream 'BITCH, I NEEDED MONEY.' Instead, I usually give some well-crafted answer about the freedom of TV writing and how we're in the golden age. Btw, the golden age is being driven by playwrights who jumped into TV b/c, well... 'BITCH WE NEEDED MONEY.'

If I didn't have money as the primary deciding factor in my life, I wonder if I could have written a great decalogue of plays or started up my own theatre company, or self-produced off-broadway, or traveled to Europe or traveled to some place that required me to get a passport before the age of 30. In fact, I was up for a foreign fellowship in my 20s, but one of the main requirements was that I needed a passport. I didn't have one b/c the idea of foreign travel seemed 'high-class.' When the theatre offered me a fellowship slot, I was too embarrassed to say that I couldn't afford it and that I didn't even have a passport. I turned it down and stayed in Brooklyn. I ended up writing a short play for a few hundred dollars...and I was very happy to earn that money.

I still get antsy about not getting paid on time. Even if it's only a few hundred dollars from a small company, I have a startle reflex. It's an instinct that goes back to a time when I would have to hunt down payments, politely stalk clients, repeatedly ask for money in a way that was incessant without seeming desperate, even though the rent was due and someone might be taking their sweet time in writing a check. I still remember being paid a few thousand by the National Museum of American Jewish History in the same week that another client decided to renege on a deal and not pay me my last $300...just cause they didn't feel like it. And they knew I didn't have any power. And I obsessed about the $300, when I should have been celebrating the bigger payment. I still remember companies like Theatre for the New City that dangled off-broadway production opportunities for a year if I could get matching funds, had me run around and actually get $10k, and then renege on a signed deal just b/c they felt like it. I was a hustling artist whose primary focus was money and, therefore, I was disposable. I still remember having to smile, bite me tongue, wipe my brow from the hustle and sweat of working to please their needs, and saying 'thank you' b/c we all know that appearing rude is worst than someone just not paying you or lying or yanking money or an opportunity away at a whim.

I still get nervous every time payroll is a bit late. I'm trying to change. To be more forgiving, to not be so mistrustful of other people when it comes to money. I am trying to offer financial support to others when I can because I have been very fortunate. I am trying to let go the tiny slights and 'what if's.' It's a process. I still check my bank account daily.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

2018 Midterm Reflections

Before the 2018 election, I thought the institution of American democracy would change when white ppl put more passion into loving their kids than the hating black and brown people; and then voting with that drive. The main question isn't if, but how to get this portion of the electorate to care? Progressives have made inroads into getting tribal and fearful sector of the US population to look at the big picture. Due to that work, there has been progress: Dems flipped over 300 state and national legislative seats last night, appear to have a 30 seat gain in the House which they now control, won 7 governorships, and triggered a wave of 100 women elected to Congress. But despite the good news, this wasn't a Blue Wave.

Under the current system, a true revolution is impossible. It's frustrating, but a real political wave doesn't happen in one election cycle or with a few charismatic figures. A national party is like an intricate web which means you can't just pay attention to the big webs (President, Senator, Governor). The power depends on the thousands of little interlocking positions (state rep, councilmen, commissioner, sheriff). Sadly, the Dem party has been in decline for a generation in the South, rural America, and the Midwest.

In the last 3 election cycles (before 2018), the Dems lost over 900 seats in state and city governments. They don't excite or speak to their base, but spend their time fundraising, speaking in bland phrases, and managing the decline, managing the widening inequality, managing the injustice. Since Occupy Wall Street and #blacklivesmatter, the Dem party has taken a detached view of what excites the base. Yes, Pelosi and Schumer decline to speak out against gov abuse at home or abroad, but Obama was also silent. Obama saw the rise of Occupy Wall Street and sat on the sidelines. The poisoning of Flint, Michigan happened under the last administration, which gave everyone a pass. Eric Holder was AG and chose not to prosecute anyone on Wall Street. #Blacklivesmatter was barely tolerated among Dem candidates. The hottest Dem party ideas and movements were squashed and the youngest thinkers were excluded, and the party has been dying as a result. On Tuesday, the Dem party won back hundreds of seats around the country. That's a start but they have lost 3 times as much in the past decade. It's going to take more than one spurt of rage in an election cycle to rebuild a party. We can't keep depending upon Clinton/Obama cult of personality figures. It takes infrastructure and I hope that it will be rebuilt with the activists.