Saturday, August 29, 2015

When Falsely Accused....

He is homeless and people think he stole money from a community center donation envelope so they want to ban him. He is my friend so I bought him groceries and we took refuge from a tropical storm in an empty Miami parking garage. He is my lesson so I remembered the Buddhist perspective of what the mind goes through when it feels 'persecuted.' 

I remember a few incidents of being 'falsely accused' and how awful it feels, like you want to scream but you know no one will believe you because an opinion has been formed that is largely independent of your actions. In the second grade at Highland Oakes Elementary lunch table I was accused of stealing someone's lunch. I became conscious of being the only black person at a table and not being anywhere near the alleged crime. It was my first odd experience of 'wait, what? Who is this person you speak of who steals white girl's lunches and lies?' 

For my inability to confess the crime and produce another lunch I got yelled at in front of other students and detention. She later found her lunch, which she had misplaced. Even though I wasn't near her, she assumed I must have stolen it. There was no apology issued. It was the first significant schism when I realized 'wait, people think I did something despite no evidence. And they are going to punish me based upon an opinion which is not proved in anything.' 

Everyone has these moments throughout their lives whether they are black or white, male or female, rich or poor. It is a test. It is an awful trial.. I reacted badly and told the girl 'I wish I would have stolen your lunch' before knocking her bag to the ground. Since that time I have been given many more opportunities to react in different ways to new and strange accusations. I hope I have shown my character in not letting false accusations drag me out of my centered self. I told my friend that -no matter what he has done and no matter how people treat him- I hope he doesn't let these accusations bring out the need for revenge, hatred, or -even worse- the final surrender of thinking 'maybe I should be as bad as they think I am.'

The storm passed. We hugged and he walked off into the light drizzle.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Saying Goodbye to South Beach

Construction and the stench.
Sulfur everywhere on South Beach. 
Turned down one street and it was blocked:
an enormous pump drilled through the asphalt,
pulling up dark water next to Whole Foods. 

South Beach -and Miami Beach- is being swallowed.
The swampy perfume of rotting limestone 
as the sea rises up through the ground. 
Barricades around enormous pumps screaming 
full force into the night as they fight the Atlantic. 
Floods on dry days and the soaked earth below the surface
cracking the roads open, a pustulating omen. 

Yuppies are still running into Whole Foods,
 swerving their luxury sedans around the signs of demise,
holding their nose against the hell rot of sulfur
rushing to get their $20 kale shampoo
their vegan cold-pressed virginal quinoa hemp yogurt. 
Conspicuous consumption right up until the apocalypse. 
The 'boiling lobster' affect, dying by degrees. 
And now a hurricane creeps toward muddy ruins.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Baby's Feet (a short play of embarrassment)

(Setting: Pilates Class. Wednesday Morning. An Elderly Woman walks up to me.)

WOMAN: You have beautiful feet

ME: ....hhhhhthanks.

WOMAN: They're like a baby's feet.

ME: (*welp, that unsolicited 'compliment' is gonna burn*)....mmmm...


WOMAN: So smooth...

ME: (*Doors opening. Basement floor: Hell*)...ah....

WOMAN: Beautiful

ME: (*what man doesn't like their body being compared to a baby's?!*)...

(Me dies. Slowly. Lights fade.)


THE END

Monday, August 17, 2015

Stood Up (Again)

I could see this one from a mile away. I agreed to go out on a date with a guy from okcupid who messaged me a few days ago. The message complimented me on my looks, interests, and spirituality. I replied with similar compliments. A dialogue began about faith, religious practices, and our beliefs. At a certain point the conversation grew stagnant and he turned it toward the physical. This is an area I'm just not good at on the phone. via text, or even in person. After six months of celibacy that was preceded by a few years of chastity in increments of 6 months or a year, I don't have the palette for dirty talk. I can write it in my plays and joke about it, but I have no sense of how to place myself in XXX world. I give the needed information, throw in a few jokes, and try to ease the conversation on to other topics without making it seem obvious. I did this and the conversation dried up.

A day later the conversation began with the suggestion of meeting. I knew this was probably meant as a pass for sex. Instead I invited him to dinner the next night: my treat. I picked out the restaurant so that it would be in his neighborhood, he agreed. My day went along as planned: I went to boot training fitness class and then yoga. I wrote an article for TPM, edited a short play I finished the previous night, answered emails, and fought off the sneaking suspicion that I had made arrangements with a 'flake.' When it came time to drive, I left late, but still managed to arrive at the restaurant early. It was a quiet Thai food place in gay hub of Ft. Lauderdal: Wilton Manors. The host looked at me and I said "two...we'll see.'

I was sat down with two menus and two glasses of water near a giant fish tank teeming with colorful fish. At a few minutes past our planned meeting I ordered an appetizer. When the appetizer came, I ate it quickly, and considered pigging out on meat as punishment for being gullible enough to be a 'man of my word' and fulfill a promise, even when I was sure the other person was going to flake out. Instead I ordered an entree of noodles with mushroom. As I looked around the restaurant, I noticed that I was the only person sitting at a table alone .Everyone was paired up in couples. There was what appeared to be a mother and son and a straight young couple sitting next to me taking selfies of themselves. Perched by the window, an elderly gay couple sat in relaxed smiles. A short Asian man was there with a tall blonde transexual. Mercifully, the waiter placed me off in a corner so that I didn't feel like I was being watched by all the happy couples. As I paid the check there was that flash of a voice I recognize all too well...

You're never going to find anyone.

You're going to die alone. 

I took a selfie of the date: me sitting in a booth. Even the joking selfie depressed me: who is this sad-looking man? I looked at my eyes curved down by the gravity of low expectations. I pushed the rising din of forecasting voices aside and paid my bill. I checked my email and my inbox had from a journal that wanted to publish one of my plays, while a indie book company sent me cover graphic for an upcoming printing of one of my plays that is about finding love. I replied to the book publisher about how simple, clean, and exciting this new idea seemed to me in this moment.

Outside the restaurant, a steroid duo walked their dog. I drove down Wilton Manors Drive and caught the sign for the Dairy Queen. Yes, this sounds like a good pity stop. U-turning the car around, I parked and went up to the window. I hadn't been to Dairy Queen in years. I stared at the options. Everything seemed a disgusting concoction of colored corn syrup and dairy powder. Places like Dairy Queen used to be a tried and true coping mechanism so I ordered a brownie batter Blizzard. Large. I planted my red spoon in the mud brown goo and started shoveling. I drove and caught the eye of a single muscular guy in a tank top walking his dog. He stopped in his tracks and waited for my car. A fantasy flew by of stopping the car and pretending to be lost. Instead I kept driving and slurping up the fast-melting blizzard of diabetes in my cupholder.

 A few minutes later I found myself at a gas station refilling the tank and chucking the half-eaten mass of brownie byproduct into the trash. I read an email from someone else on my phone who annoyed me in the past. I imagined calling them a 'stupid cunt' and pointing out the flaws in their life. After a minute this vision past and I was back to me.

I drove past old haunts where I used to pick up guys in another era of reckless sexual immolation. These places existed for the anonymous, easy, numbing palaver of encounters I fed off of in my 20s.  It began to rain which added to the overall mood of the evening. I chanted a few mantras and remembered my day: exercise, writing, taking care of my Dad, two publishing opportunities, and now this. This minor slight which avalanched so many insecurities and coping mechanism. I observed how my mind ran through all of these thought so smoothly. The road had been traveled many times before and the trajectory of thoughts flowed with ease. The only difference is that now I'm aware of these emotional swings. A calm settled over me. I couldn't tell whether the existential shroud of silence that blanketed my thoughts was funereal or zen-clarity. Maybe both. As I drove home it occurred to me that this was something I should journal.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Remembering Ben Wesley

It was a year ago when I heard the news on the way to a meeting and then rehearsal. I was in a daze and then on a plane. While taking your dog to a vet in the early morning, a truck hit your car and you were gone. With no other witnesses, no charges were filed. And then a blur of condolences. For some reason I was asked to speak at your funeral and your sister -my mother- was not.

The funeral home had a slide show of your life running above you at the viewing. I wanted to be there for hours but the smell of embalming fluid was so strong that I couldn't stay for longer than a few minutes without getting a headache. At night, your sister -my mother- told me about your childhood in South Carolina and Miami.

On the day of the funeral I folded up my poem and your sister -my mother- came up to the lectern. She spoke about your life. Afterward I read a short poem and sat down. I zoned out for the rest of the funeral. The singers were performing like they were on "American Idol" and the preacher hollered and growled some words of salvation that seemed both irrelevant and sacrilegious to your personhood. I ignored him.

I joked with Piper on the drive from the funeral home to the cemetery about the singers' vocal gymnastic routine, the reeking embalming smell, and the blasphemous charlatan sweating and shouting over your body. We vowed to open up our own funeral home for black families tired of being disrespected in death as much as they are in life. Then I rushed home to take care of my Dad, so that your sister could go back to your wife's house and be with your people.

The next day I was back on the plane to go back to Juilliard for the rehearsals of "Obama-ology." The director had some notes and questions. The dramaturg had some suggestions. I absorbed it all. I edited and revised the script in a haze. It felt like life kept speeding along and there was little time to reflect and grieve. Now a year later, I am still absorbing and reflecting. This is not a quick process. 

Friday, August 7, 2015

Backlash against "Stonewall"

The trailer for "Stonewall" made me feel disgusting and depressed. While I reserve judgment on the actual feature, the 2 minute clip I saw that is supposed to highlight the movie gave me that sinking feeling of 'here we go again.' 

Gay people of color already got erased from AIDS movies, plays, tv. And when we do appear -a la Angels in America- we are literally magical servants and sassy queens with no character arc. I mean - fuck- how hard is it to give a brother a character arc? Here: black sister wants a bike and it has some childhood "Rosebud" meaning...and by the end...she gets the bike (or not). Was that so fucking hard to do, Hollywood? And no, she isn't magical and she isn't a nurse pushing someone in a stroller or wheelchair. She just has a basic human need embodied in a physical object. 

"Akeelah and the Bee" was held back in development for so long because movie executives wouldn't greenlight it unless they changed the teacher to a white woman. Why? Well cause I guess people can't look at a lil' black girl learning how to spell a goddamn word without wondering 'is this some sort of radical black agenda?" No, she's just learning how to spell. She isn't a maid, she doesn't have special powers, she's a human being who isn't here to be a servant to white privilege. And that last point is what made it radical and problematic. 

When people of color are unfettered by obeisance to white patriarchy there is a problem. When POC don't act in deference default mode it becomes alarming both on and off screen. Whether it be toward a cop in a traffic stop or the actual history of radical movements like Stonewall, an inability to filter oneself through a white lens leads to violence, death, or getting erased. Either way it's an excising of humanity.

My experience is that many well-intentioned liberal gays in theatre and Hollywood are white upper-middle class ppl who almost exclusively hang out with their own kind. And you know what: that's your choice. But how can you bring an honest lens to complex history and the richness of characters when you exist in a world that -by its intrinsic design- reduces the existence of people of color in the conversation? That's the question I had as I watched this trailer and many other things. Not saying i'm boycotting but when do we get some aesthetic relief from this very narrow group defining what it means 'to be.'

The storytelling choice of writing in a white male twink as the lens for the most important shift in the gay rights movement that was triggered by trans people and people of color comes across as a woefully ignorant of the historical context of people of color being erased in American movies. And it's not helped that director Roland Emmerich's trailer looks like a sepia-toned goop of nostalgia posing as Oscar historical (a la The Patriot). I reserve final judgment, but I am aware of the macro-level of context (including who made it, and other movies in this genre) that this film exists within. 

Some of my friends have already metaphorically told the creators of this movie to 'fuck off' while others are organizing boycotts. I find it depressing that the attempt to dramatize a galvanizing moment in history can cause so much rancor and bile from people who are chronically erased from public awareness. The backlash is sad, dismal, and understandable. 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Baked Apple and Sugar Cravings

Me:  I have a sugar craving.
Mom Why don't you bake an apple?
Me (looking up wikihow): Okay I have to pre-heat oven, core apple...
Mom: We don't have any baking apples so just use this small one.
Me: ...Stuff apple with raisins...
Mom: We don't have raisins, but use the blueberries.
Me (using blueberries): Okay I need to sprinkle sugar on top.
Mom: We don't have any sugar.
Me: I found some brown sugar (expired).
Mom: How long do you have to bake it?
Me:...one hour.
***one hour later***
Me: You know...I don't even have a sugar craving any more. Apple tastes good though. 

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Get What You Want: August 2015

1.
Dixon Place and The Institute of Prophetic Activist Art Lab
Deadline: Aug 15th
website: http://dixonplace.org/

Dixon Place announces the sponsorship of The Institute of Prophetic Activist Art, a laboratory for activist artists and their projects. The Institute is looking for 12 activist artists who would like to build their projects during the semester-long seminar, beginning August 30, basing their work Tom Block’s manifesto/handbook of art activism: Prophetic Activist Art: Handbook for a Spiritual Revolution. 

The eight session seminar will introduce artists to the specific ideas of the model, including co-opting political, business and social energy; partnering with non-profit groups; making liaisons with other artists; utilizing unusual exhibition and outreach methods; “Machiavellian” activism; how to build a project from inception through completion; how to imagine and successfully attain quantifiable activist goals and other specific aspects of a Prophetic Activist Art intervention.

To apply: please send a cover letter outlining your activist idea, plus any activist art experience you have had; a link to a website or portfolio of images and a resume to: thomasablock@gmail.com 


2.
National Playwrights Residency Program (NPRP)
Deadline: July 15-Sept 15th
website: Mellon Foundation


The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, in collaboration with Howlround, A Center for the Theater Commons at Emerson College, established the National Playwright Residency Program (NPRP) in 2013.  The pilot round, which was on an invitation-only basis, has provided three years of salary, benefits, and a flexible research and development fund for American playwrights at 14 selected theaters.  The goals of the program are to:
Advance the state of playwrights in the American theater by providing them with space, time, and resources, and greater access to the institutions in which they work;
Influence the working environment of theaters by embedding playwrights in them;
Generate public value through the interaction of playwright with local artistic and civic communities; Document and disseminate the findings to help benefit the field.

As we approach the end of the pilot phase of the program, the Foundation intends to issue an open call for Letters of Intent from theaters and artists, which must apply jointly.  The application will be available here by July 15, 2015 and due no later than September 15th.  We anticipate that the basic structure of the program will remain the same, with artist compensation based on the salary structure of the host institution.  Upon review of the LOIs, a peer review panel will recommend a group of potential theater and playwright partners for consideration, and the Foundation will then issue invitations for them to submit full proposals.  If approved, residencies could commence as of July 1, 2016.


As you consider whether you wish to apply, we have listed below the minimum requirements to submit a Letter of Intent:

CRITERIA FOR THEATERS

US-based 501(c)(3) with a minimum of five years in operation
Full-time staff of at least two paid employees
Minimum operating budget of $300,000 (an average of the past three years)
Demonstrated capacity to manage payroll and benefits processes
Must have produced at least one play by the partner playwright
Commitment to produce at least one play (new or existing) by the partner playwright during the residency

CRITERIA FOR PLAYWRIGHTS
-Residency in the same city or town of the theater and commitment to remain there for the full three years.
-At least two professional productions completed—with one at the co-applicant theater

CRITERIA FOR BOTH
-Only one application per playwright and theater allowed; both parties must apply together
-Required attendance at two convenings during of the residency
Commitment to establishing and carrying through a plan for documentation of the residency
-May not have participated in the previous round of the NPRP


3.
InspiraTO Theatre
Deadline: Dec. 1st
website: http://www.theatreinspirato.ca/participate/play?utm_source=July+29%2C+2015&utm_campaign=May+27%2F15&utm_medium=email


1.This year's creative challenge: Shift. The play must show that a "shift" has taken place or is about to take place in the play.

shift:  Move from one place to another, especially over a small distance. Change positions. Adjust. Correct. Lift. Land, people, buildings, structures or objects repositioned. Distruption. Swerve. Pivot. 

Show us. Leave your comfort zone.

2. The play must be a ten-minute play. The contest is open to anyone without geographic or age restrictions. You must submit online. Please fill out the submission form below and submit your play by December 1, 2015. There are no fees. Once you submit you will be taken to a page confirming that we have received your submission. You may only submit one play.

The story can be a comedy, a drama, a parody, absurd or anything in between (in English only). We accept any style except musicals.

The cover page should have the title of the play, the playwright's name and the list of characters. The pages should be numbered. The format should be easy to read. We accept previously produced plays (but not plays that have produced in InspiraTO before). The playwright must own the rights to the play up to June 12, 2016 (i.e. the script cannot be owned by a publisher).

We are particularly interested in scripts that aren't afraid to make bold choices: quality writing backed by imaginative staging. Only those playwrights whose plays have been selected will be notified by January 15, 2016.

The plays will be selected by a committee from the Toronto theatre community. If selected, your play will be performed in Toronto, Canada from June 2 - June 12, 2016. Between ten to eighteen, ten-minute plays will be selected and performed. 1st Prize: $500 CDN. Should your play be selected for inclusion in the festival, you are giving the non-exclusive right to Theatre InspiraTO to produce and perform the play in the 11th Annual InspiraTO Festival in Toronto (Canada's largest ten-minute play festival), in the June 2016. The InspiraTO Festival will find the cast, crew and market your play. Authors retain copyright and full ownership of their plays.

3. The submission must be a play. A ten-minute play is distinct from a sketch, or a skit; it is a compact play, with a beginning, middle and an end. You need a character facing obstacles in pursuit of some specific goal. You need rising action, conflict, and a climactic moment and your play must tell a complete story.

Generally speaking, scripts (including the stage directions, character names and dialogue) that are over 1,900 words are more than ten minutes long on stage. This does not mean that all plays under 1,900 words are under ten minutes, so be wise: use Word Count and read the play out loud while timing the length (including all pauses). You don't want your hard work rejected because it was too long. 

Get inspired. See your story come to life!


4.
UMass Play Lab
Deadline: Aug 3rd
website: https://www.umass.edu/theater/playlab.php



The Play Lab is a UMass Department of Theater mainstage production, running from March 20 – April 2, 2016. One playwright will be chosen for a two week residency during this period. These residencies are structured around a series of public staged readings directed and dramaturged by UMass Amherst graduate students and performed by undergraduate actors. The two week workshop term allows time for exploration in rehearsal and the generation of new material.

Our mission this year is to develop two exceptional new plays: one from our current visiting artist Kim Euell, and the other selected through this call. The Play Lab is process oriented, focusing on an experience that is educational, exploratory, and collaborative. The workshops will have minimal technical/design support, but the emphasis will be on presenting and responding to the text. The UMass Amherst Department of Theater's commitment to new play development is internationally recognized, from our groundbreaking work with New WORLD Theater to our recent collaborations with artists like MJ Kaufman, Michael Yates Crowley, Will Power, Marcus Gardley, and Constance Congdon. We approach new play development with rigor and sensitivity and we're seeking playwrights who are as passionate about this process as we are.

We offer a $750 honorarium per playwright. Accommodations will be provided. Playwrights are responsible for booking their travel arrangements, and will be reimbursed for a portion of the cost. The playwright may be asked to give a playwriting workshop to students for an additional honorarium.

The playwright is expected to be in residency for the full 2 week workshop period. During this time, the playwright may provide as many changes as desired. The playwright is expected to attend nightly rehearsals and the three readings. The playwright can choose to participate in audience talkbacks. Playwrights may be asked to meet or discuss the play with the team prior to residency as available.

Plays must be full-length. Musicals are not accepted. Submissions may have had a previous reading, workshop, or production; as a rule, though, the Play Lab exists to develop relatively new work, so unproduced material will be given priority in our selection.

This year we are specifically seeking plays and playwrights that:
offer something fresh, bold, or even dangerous in their form, style, or themes
center around issues relevant to a campus community
will benefit from a workshop with undergraduate performers and graduate student staff
may give voice to underrepresented communities (e.g. LGBTQA folks, people of color, women, etc.)

Submission Guidelines
Submit manuscripts to umassplaylab@gmail.com. All documents must be submitted in .pdf format; plays formatted otherwise will be disqualified. Please include a concise playwright’s bio and a short summary of how you think your play might benefit from a developmental reading. Submissions will be capped at 250 plays.


5.
Yale Drama Series
Deadline: August 15
website: https://yup.submittable.com/submit



 The Yale Drama Series is seeking submissions for its 2016 playwriting competition. The winning play will be selected by the series' current judge, distinguished playwright Nicholas Wright. The winner of this annual competition will be awarded the David Charles Horn Prize of $10,000, publication of his/her manuscript by Yale University Press, and a staged reading at Lincoln Center Theater.https://yup.submittable.com/submit
--


6.
Public Theatre Emerging Writers Group ( EWG)
Deadline: August 31st
website: publictheater.org/Programs--Events/Emerging-Writers-Group/Apply-EWG/



Time Warner is the Founding Sponsor of the Emerging Writers Group, and provides continued program support through the Time Warner Foundation.

Writers are selected bi-annually and receive a two-year fellowship at The Public which includes a stipend. Staged readings of works by Emerging Writers Group members are presented in the Spotlight Series at The Public. The playwrights also participate in a bi-weekly writers group led by The Public’s literary department and master classes led by established playwrights. Additionally, they have a chance to observe rehearsals for productions at The Public, receive career development advice from mid-career and established writers, and receive artistic and professional support from the literary department and Public artistic staff. Members of the group also receive complimentary tickets to Public Theater shows, invited dress rehearsals, and other special events, as well as a supplemental stipend for tickets to productions at other theaters.
The Emerging Writers Group, now accepting applications for its sixth cycle, targets playwrights early in their careers, creating an artistic home, support, and resources for a diverse group of up-and-coming playwrights.  Through an open application process, The Public Theater will select 10 emerging playwrights to join the Emerging Writers Group from January 2016 through December, 2017.
If you have specific questions, please email EWGquestions@publictheater.org after reading the below sections.  Please pay close attention to the Frequently Asked Questions section below. No phone calls please.


7.
Radcliffe Institute at Harvard Fellowship
Deadline: October 15th
Website: http://www.radcliffe.harvard.edu/fellowship-program/how-apply


Radcliffe Institute is accepting fellowship applications from the humanities, social sciences, and creative arts until 1 October.


Fellows receive office or studio space and access to libraries and other resources of Harvard University during the fellowship year, which extends from early September 2016 through May 31, 2017. Stipends are funded up to US$75,000 with additional funds for project expenses.Stipends are funded up to $75,000 for one year with additional funds for project expenses. Some support for relocation expenses is provided where relevant. If so directed, Radcliffe will pay the stipend to the fellow’s home institution.
We work with fellows who have families to help with relocation issues for a smooth transition.


Fellows receive office or studio space and access to libraries and other resources of Harvard University during the fellowship year. Visual artists and film, video, sound, and new media artists may apply to come for either one or two semesters. In the event that they come for one semester, the stipend is $37,500. Fellows are expected to be free of their regular commitments so they may devote themselves full time to the work outlined in their proposal. Since this is a residential fellowship, we expect fellows to reside in the Boston area during that period and to have their primary office at the Institute so that they can participate fully in the life of the community.
  

8.
Cullman Fellowship
Deadline: September 25th
Website: https://nypl.onlineapplicationportal.com/misc/guidelines/default.aspx



The Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers supports projects that draw on the research collections at The New York Public Library’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building (formerly the Humanities and Social Sciences Library). The Center looks for top-quality writing from academics as well as from creative writers and independent scholars. It aims to promote dynamic conversation about the humanities, social sciences, and scholarship at the very highest level — within the Center, in public forums throughout the Library, and in the Fellows’ published work. Fellows receive a $75,000 stipend.

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

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

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

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

The Cullman Center will not accept dossier letters in place of new letters of recommendation.
Fellows must be conversant in English.
Completed applications and supporting materials — research proposal, Curriculum Vitae, letters of recommendation, and art work sample or creative writing sample — must be submitted by 5 p.m. EST on September 25th.

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

9.
Blue Ink Playwriting Award
Deadline: August 31st
website: American Blues Theatre 


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


10.
Marin Theatre Company’s Sky Cooper American Play Prize
Deadline: August 31st
Website: marintheatre.org/productions/new-plays-program/new-play-awards/



Norton J. “Sky” Cooper established the New American Play Prize at Marin Theatre Company in 2007 to celebrate the work of the American playwright and to encourage the creation of bold, powerful new voices and plays for the American stage. The Sky Cooper Prize will be awarded annually to either an established or emerging playwright for an outstanding new work. The play selected as the Sky Cooper winner will receives a $10,000 award and a developmental workshop as part of the theater’s annual New Play Reading Series. The winning play will also be considered under option for a full production at MTC as part of the theater’s annual main stage season.

Sky Cooper New American Play Prize Guidelines
• Submissions will be accepted from August 1 – 31, 2015
• Submissions must be unpublished, original full-length plays in any genre.
• Musicals, translations, individual one-acts, and any play submitted in a previous year for the Sky Cooper or David Calicchio Prizes are not eligible.
• The submitted play may not have received or be scheduled for a full-scale, professional production prior to submission (plays that have had a workshop, reading, or non-professional production are eligible).
• Playwrights must be citizens of the United States.
• Only one submission per playwright is allowed each year; you may submit the same play for both prizes.
• For the Sky Cooper prize, the submission is required to include a professional recommendation.

PHASE I: Submit a completed online submission form and 10 pages of consecutive sample dialogue. Agents may submit full scripts of their client’s work. Please do not send full scripts for Phase I unless via an agent or professional representation; unsolicited scripts will not be read.
We prefer sample pages attached to the online submission form in .pdf format, with last name, first name, (title of the play) as the document title. For example: Wilson, August (Seven Guitars).pdf.
PHASE II: Selected submissions will be invited to send full scripts for Phase II. All full scripts that have been solicited after Phase I will be read by a member of the Marin Theatre Company artistic staff.
All scripts will be read by a member of the Marin Theatre Company artistic staff. Please do not send more than the requested materials. Do not send videos, CDs or DVDs. Incomplete submissions will not be considered. Due to the high number of submissions, not every playwright will receive a response to their Phase I submission. No materials will be returned. Winners will be chosen from among submitted and solicited scripts; final selections are made by Jasson Minadakis, Artistic Director.
For questions or concerns, please contact literarymanager@marintheatre.org. Please, no phone inquiries.


11.
Bad Theatre Festival
Deadline: Aug. 15th
website: http://www.badtheaterfest.com/home/


Established to encouraged artists to make eye-catching, anything-goes theater, the Bad Theater Fest has hosted 200 short plays with the participation of nearly 500 playwrights, directors and actors. Past projects have ranged from plays from first-time writers, projects written specifically for Bad Theater Fest. to workshops for future performances.

The annual flagship event takes place at Chelsea's Treehouse Theater, 154 W 29th St (between 6th and 7th), 2nd Fl New York, NY 10001 over multiple weekends in October 2015.

The deadline to submit is Sat, August 15, 2015 at Midnight EST and the process is 100% free.

Projects may be entered through the form available at http://www.badtheaterfest.com/home/2015-bad-theater-fest-submission-form/.

Interested playwrights should include a short bio, short description of the play, length (35-40 minutes max) and a list and links of similar projects (if applicable).

More information is available at http://www.badtheaterfest.com on Twitter @badtheaterfest and Facebook at facebook.com/BadTheaterFest.