Monday, July 24, 2017

Marlton House Memories

On Thursday I have a meeting at Marlton Hotel. I am excited to be back on my old stomping grounds, but on very different terms. A decade ago I lived in the same building when it was a scuzzy, partial-dorm for New School University. I was a grad student and RA for the students. Marlton housed both students as well as old-time pimps, drug dealers and chess hustlers who worked Washington Square Park for money (and couldn't be kicked out b/c of NYC tenant laws). No one thought anything of putting up hayseed freshmen in a building where prostitutes would ride the rickety elevator after a long night of work. I remember finding little baggies of cocaine spilled across the stairs to the student lounge, presumably from a late-night of debauchery. I remember a Swiss student going on a coke bender b/c I was the RA on duty that had to 'bring him back down to earth' and tell him he had 24 hrs to immediately leave the dorm forever. There was another student who was starring in porn movies while still in school.

Every room was a tiny studio with a bed, desk, closet/dresser combo, and a minifridge/mini-microwave. Old wiring and dusty circuit breakers meant that almost all excessive electronics were banned so -of course- everyone had hot plates in their room, DJ turn tables, and video game consoles that would short circuit a floor and plunge everyone into darkness. Each floor had a shared bathroom at the end of the hall and the pipes would knock and scream. The Hell's Angel bikers would hang out down the block at Grey's Papaya, a 24-hr hot dog stand where you could get the greasiest 99 cent hot dog smothered in stinky sauerkraut and spicy mustard. Students, bikers, homeless, and hookers would be there late into the night scarfing down dogs with the obligatory pina colada drink that was just flavored sugar water dispensed by the gallon. Hell's Angels would then go roaring by the Marlton Dorm at around 2 or 3 am during the week and back to their HQ in the East Village.

You couldn't keep the windows open during the day because the wind might change directions and blow black chimney smoke from a nearby building into your room, covering everything in black soot.

Electric Lady Studios (where Jimi Hendrix recorded) was across the street. Manhattan Theatre Source (great little theatre) was also across the street and near the legendary TLA Video Store. There was one laundry mat for the entire block and it was run by a pervy, ruddy-faced Russian guy who would ask me over to his place while I washed my clothes. I would smile and pretend like I couldn't understand what he was saying b/c of his thick accent until he would get embarrassed and drop the matter. I found out later that he would ask many of the students over to his place, so maybe he was just trying to be friendly...or maybe he was going to chop us up into little pieces and make love to the severed parts; I guess we will never know!!

This was NOT NYC in the 1970s or even the 1980s. This was in the 21st century. This was Marlton House 10 yrs ago. The property was sold, gutted, and turned into a luxury hotel. Grey's Papaya is gone and is now a high-end juice bar. TLA Video has been closed for over 10 yrs and nothing is in its place. The entire block smells like french bread and fruitty soap. Oh well.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

A Course in Miracles and Diamond Cutter

I am listening to an audio book of the ACIM-inspired book "The Disappearance of the Universe" while reading Geshe Michael Roach's "The Diamond Cutter." Over the last few years I have returned to both sources again and again. I think they represent part of my trinity: science, spiritual, psychology. Disappearance takes care of the psychology while Diamond handles the spirituality. And then for science I have been interested in "The Physics of Miracles." and some other quantum mechanics texts. It seems like there is a link of pure non-duality between the material science of the West, spirituality of the East, and the point where the East and West meet in the creation of modern psychology and our understanding of the mind.

There are still discrepancies between the three branches in my mind. But the gap between the three is closing as I continue to review the material. ACIM doesn't claim to be a religion, but it's a psychological practice of forgiveness that can be performed by atheists. Christians, Buddhists, anyone. And while "Diamond Cutter" originates from Lord Buddha, the principles of the ultimate wisdom can be practiced by anyone as well.

I feel like I'm getting closer to understanding the mind-body duality of the world and the journey toward pure non-dualism. According to ACIM most religions of the world deal in duality. Buddhism is considered a step above because it is -at least- addressing non-duality. For me, the issue that I have been thinking about for years can be boiled down to a few discrepancies.

1) hypothesis that Buddhism connects us back to the oneness of the mind, but that there is still one more step after that: connection back to God.  Conversely ACIM states that it is seeking a reconnect with God and would rather skip that intermediary step.

2) In Buddhism the issue of God is never fully addressed, probably because it is hard to prove the existence or non-existence of a changeless Being in a world that is changing. Instead Buddhism focuses on interdependency and the indivisibility. Interdependency is the positive or shifting image based upon karma. Indivisibility or suchness or emptiness is the foundation or screen that karma is projected on to every moment. But to be clear that screen doesn't exist from its own side. It only exists with the object and it has no levels of change according to scripture. Emptiness of a pen exists and it is changeless and then when that pen is destroyed the emptiness goes away immediately, as oppose to karma which deteriorates. Of course higher levels of Buddhism says that even karma is destroyed every single moment, even though it appears to grow.

In ACIM they claim that anything entangling with matter isn't real or the ultimate and so the world is a byproduct of my neurotic mind. So even studying the highest form of interdependency doesn't result in the ultimate, because it's still about my mind. Granted, the mind being addressed is the quantum mind that is out of time and space. And according to ACIM this is the mind that Buddha got in touch with and that it's still very powerful, but still one step removed from God. ACIM also claims that once someone has attained a mastery of self to reconnect with that ultimate quantum timeless mind then it's very easy to reconnect with the God that stands outside of time and space as well.

3. Extension vs. Creation. ACIM differentiates between masters and angels. Angels were never born, masters were born. Masters came into the world and corrected themselves. They were created through a mistake of duality, just like all bodies. Angels couldn't be created because God doesn't create. Therefore angels are an extensions of God. This seems like splitting hairs but I do wonder about that difference of extension vs. creation. And if angels are an extension and I have to rejoin with God through forgiveness, is there a part of me that is also that 'God extension' which is buried underneath my worldly mind as well as the quantum mind out of time.

4. Forgiveness = emptiness = quantum wavicles.

If forgiveness is the psychological process and emptiness is the scholastic and meditative quandary to consider, is quantum wave/particle split the physical embodiment in the world. According to science all is energy and it is just waves of energy. And then when my focus is pulled toward something that wave condenses or seems to condense into a particle or point. This becomes matter. In Buddhism there is a Master Kamalashila meditation which posits the questions: if you can't see atoms with the eye, how could you ever see an elephant since it's made out of atoms. Now, of course we can see an elephant but the question is 'how?' Elephant is a mental image or a point, but technically an elephant is just waves of energy that has no form. It's condensed into form when I focus on it and think 'elephant.' So quantum physics claims that there is a wavicle: something that is both a wave and a particle at the exact same time until it's forced into a point by mental awareness. And this creates the separation between 'me' and 'them.'

So I am wondering if there is any way to combine the Master Kamalashila meditation of mental images with the forgiveness practice of ACIM and the study of wavicles?

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Driving into Overtown

We missed our exit off the highway. My mom wanted to use the HOV lane which was blocked off from normal traffic, so when it came time for our Wynwood exit we were trapped. Once the lane ended I got off in downtown Miami. I turned the car around and we found ourselves in Overtown. The buildings were still crammed together along tightly packed streets of fluorescent tropical colors. The main area of Overtown was two blocks of buildings. I saw a fenced-in field where some cocks were feeding.

Driving through the old neighborhood rekindled my mom's memories. She said that in the 1960s you could walk from Overtown to the beach. This was before the highways and walls blocking in the vibrant neighborhood that used to be called the Harlem of the South. The segregated beach was Virginia Key and it was a hidden gem. My mom said white seemed to prefer the stretches of uninterrupted white sands. Blacks ended up with the beaches with palm trees and blue crabs hiding in the grass. She said there was a toy locomotive that would snake along Virginia Key beach. Beachgoers would ride the locomotive in between the bushes and at various points. There was a dance floor, and snack bar.

The groceries stores were owned by the Chinese, although my mom couldn't remember whether they were Jamaican Chinese or Chinese. Each grocery store had a ledger and you would buy things and it would be put in your ledger and subtracted from the paid amount. When a customer's ledger reached 'zero' they had to put more money down.

There was a restaurant called Nasty Man's, that had flies in the window (this I actually know because I've used this detail in one of my plays). She said the whole vibe befitted the establishment's name so she stayed away. 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Fire in the Sky

it seemed like there were hundreds of different fireworks going off in the Miami sky on the 4th of July. Some of the explosions were a part of an 'official' display, but most were individuals setting off rockets, flares, and other explosions. I know that it's dangerous and ethically questionable for everyone to have their own fireworks but I was in awe of this rambunctious archaic un-zoned, communal celebration that turned the night into pyrotechnical anarchy. As I drove back across the bridge and up I-95 I was surrounded by rockets, roman candles, flares, shooters, and the deafening boom of cherry bombs and whistlers being set off on both sides of road. Each neighborhood was lit up with these dangerous (and possibly illegal) displays of reckless expression. From Miami Beach, to people on the bridge and then across the bridge, to Overtown and Liberty City, up through Little Haiti and North Miami, in Opa Locka, Carol City, and Miami Gardens there was halos of smoke and fire. When I got back to my parent's place were kids crowded in the street with an arsenal of rockets. They were setting off bombs and glowing neon green and red missiles. I watched them from the porch before I got scared that I would be shot or catch a rocket fragment. America: you are terrifying, reckless, homicidal, beautiful, irresponsible, free, and always living on the edge of chaos.

GET WHAT YOU WANT: 7 yrs of lists!!

Get What You Want started seven years ago. It was a list of grant opportunities that I sent out to Freedom Train Production's 4 Black LGBTQ playwrights. I had about 6 contests listed and it was no bigger than half a page. I figured someone might benefit from having a list of opportunities. I was always told that information is power, and sharing information gives people agency. After FTP dissolved in 2011 I kept sending out the GWYW list to about a dozen black playwrights in NYC and storing it on my wordpress blog (now defunct). And then I added a few more writers to the monthly emails and then a few more. When the monthly list hit a hundred subscribers I remember thinking that this far exceeded what I had envisioned. And then it hit 200, 300, 400 people. And then New School started using the list to send to its student, and then Pace, and then a few other institutions picked up the list. I started to keep this list on my very low-tech blog ( I can see how many hits it gets. A few thousand people connect to it every month, which ends up being tens of thousands of links every year. Over the years I have gotten emails from people telling me that GWYW helped them win them a commission or grant. It is surreal. Seven years ago this summer, Get What You Want was a half a page of content sent out to 4 people. We were the outsiders and the artists overlooked in theatre. We were tired of complaining about being mistreated. We wanted to take action. And this small step was the beginning of a strange journey. Happy summer bday GET WHAT YOU WANT.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Get What You Want: July 2017

**NEW DRAMATISTS RESIDENCY** (new addition to the list)
Deadline: July 31st

New Dramatists pursues a singular mission: To provide playwrights time, space, and resources to create work, realize their artistic potential, and make lasting contributions to the theatre. We offer our playwrights an artistic home and self-guided laboratory for seven years, free of charge, in the company of their most gifted peers. Our playwright company consists of emerging and mid-career writers collectively embodying an artistic, cultural, ethnic, and geographic diversity rarely found in the American theatre.

What do we offer?
 Playwright led, and authority over, seven-year residency.
 A company of playwrights and a vibrant extended artistic community.
 An organization where playwrights are the host artist.
 Support for the individual and collective interests of the resident playwrights.
 Flexible playwright-driven artistic development opportunities through 1-2 day readings and extended working
sessions as part of The Playwrights’ Laboratory.
 Flexible working spaces in our studio, theatre, and classroom.
 Flexible writing spaces in classroom and library.
 Private writing studio (the Russell Room).
 Meeting space in the classroom and library.
 Temporary residence rooms in 7
th Heaven, which can also be booked as writing space.
 Casting, director, and other collaborator assistance.
 Dramaturgical, career, and artistic advisement.
 National playwright and new play advocacy.
 Supervision over what unpublished plays are kept in New Dramatists’ Library.
 Grants, Awards, and In the Works Bulletin of Playwright Opportunities.
 Retreats.
 Web-based resources, including your own profile page on ND’s website and the opportunity to host podcasts.
 Complimentary script photocopying.
 Complimentary theatre tickets.
 A one-year free membership to the Dramatists Guild during the first year of residency.
 Wi-Fi.
 Bottomless coffee, tea, and water.
 Washer and dryer.
 Childcare reimbursement for playwrights through the Howard Gilman Foundation and the Lilly-Ruhl Fund.
All these services are provided free of charge.

BMI Musical Workshop 
Deadline: August 1st (for composer/lyricists)

The Workshop runs September through May in New York City. Prospective members must make their own living arrangements in the city or be able to commute weekly.

During the first year, composers and lyricists are paired off and are asked to create appropriate songs based on scenes from various sources. The writers perform their assignments, which are then discussed by the other writers and the moderators. There are analyses and discussions of current and past musicals, with an eye to understanding form and structure. Every effort is made to insure that each writer retains his or her individual style.

In the Workshop’s final phase (Second Year), teams work on a musical. The Workshop functions as a forum and a sounding board for works in progress, as music and lyrics are critically evaluated and open dialogue is encouraged.

At the end of each Second Year, the Workshop Committee determines which writers from the group are invited to join the Advanced Workshop. Not everyone is asked. This Workshop is intended for writers of professional caliber who are expected to contribute to the vitality of the musical theatre scene.

The Librettist Workshop reads and critiques its members’ work in a moderated roundtable discussion format, with material going through various drafts from on-one synopses to fully scripted scenes. There are occasional cold readings of an entire project.

Application Materials:
Composer: Three contrasting compositions - uptempo, comedy song, ballad. Please include copy of score which includes lyrics.

Lyricist: Three contrasting lyrics in PDF format - uptempo, comedy song, ballad.
Composer/Lyricist: Three contrasting songs - uptempo, comedy song, ballad. Please include copy of score which includes lyrics.

Librettist: A script sample of at least ten consecutive pages. Material written for the stage is preferred, but screenplays or teleplays are acceptable. Material need not include songs. Please include a sample of comedy writing.

Note that if you apply as a composer and a lyricist, you will be accepted as one or the other (that is, as either a composer or a lyricist) and you will be assigned different collaborators over the course of the year. If you apply as both a composer/lyricist and a librettist and are accepted as both, you will spend your first year as a composer/lyricist only, as the two groups meet at the same time.

Select applicants will be invited to audition in early September. Librettist are accepted on the basis of their written materials and are not required to audition.

At the auditions, composers and composer/lyricists will be asked to perform at least two contrasting theatrical compositions; lyricists will be asked to recite samples of their theatrical lyrics. All auditions must be done live, using a piano.

Schedule & Fees
The First Year Workshop meets Monday at 6:15 p.m. The Second Year Workshop meets Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. The Advanced Workshop meets Monday at 4:00 p.m.

There is no fee to apply for or participate in the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop.

EWG Public Theatre
deadline: August 31st

The Emerging Writers Group is a component of The Public Writers Initiative, a long-term program that provides key support and resources for writers at every stage of their careers. It creates a fertile community and fosters a web of supportive artistic relationships across generations. 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.

 Deadline: August 15th

The Yale Drama Series is seeking submissions for its 2018 playwriting competition. The winning play will be selected by the series' current judge, Ayad Akhtar. 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’s Claire Tow Theater. The prize and publication are contingent on the playwright's agreeing to the terms of the publishing agreement.

There is no entry fee. Please follow these guidelines in preparing your manuscript:

1. This contest is restricted to plays written in the English language. Worldwide submissions are accepted.

2. Submissions must be original, unpublished full-length plays written in English. Translations, musicals, and children's plays are not accepted. The Yale Drama Series is intended to support emerging playwrights. Playwrights may win the competition only once.

3. Playwrights may submit only one manuscript per year.

4. Plays that have been professionally produced or published are not eligible. Plays that have had a workshop, reading, or non-professional production or that have been published as an actor’s edition will be considered.

5. Plays may not be under option, commissioned, or scheduled for professional production or publication at the time of submission.

6. Plays must be typed/word-processed, page-numbered, and in Yale Drama Series play format.

7. The Yale Drama Series reserves the right to reject any manuscript for any reason.

8. The Yale Drama Series reserves the right of the judge to not choose a winner for any given year of the competition and reserves the right to determine the ineligibility of a winner, in keeping with the spirit of the competition, and based upon the accomplishments of the author.

The Yale Drama Series Competition strongly urges electronic submission. By electronically submitting your script, you will receive immediate confirmation of your successful submission and the ability to check the status of your entry.

Electronic submissions for the 2018 competition must be submitted no earlier than June 1, 2017 and no later than August 15, 2017. The submission window closes at midnight EST.

If you are submitting your play electronically, please omit your name and contact information from your manuscript. The manuscript must begin with a title page that shows the play's title, a 2-3 sentence keynote description of the play, a list of characters, and a list of acts and scenes. Please enter the title of your play, your name and contact information (including address, phone number, and email address), and a brief biography where indicated in the electronic submission form.

If you would like to submit an electronic copy of your manuscript please go to:

The Yale Drama Series Competition strongly urges applicants to submit their scripts electronically, but if that is impossible, we will accept hardcopies.

Submissions for the 2018 competition must be postmarked no earlier than June 1, 2017 and no later than August 15, 2017.

Crystal Ruth Bell Residency (Beijing)
Deadline: July 17th

For the fourth edition of the Crystal Ruth Bell Residency, Red Gate & China Residencies are inviting people to apply for a funded residency in Beijing for the months of November and December 2017. We are calling for people of all types of creative practices, of all passports, ages, gender-identities, abilities, and interests to send us proposals for projects to pursue in Beijing this winter around the principle of"care" - in any way the term makes sense to you.

We are calling for people of all types of creative practices, of all passports, ages, gender-identities, abilities, and interests to send us proposals for projects to pursue in Beijing this winter around the principle of"care" - in any way the term makes sense to you.

Performers, filmmakers, poets, writers, researchers, photographers, choreographers, chefs, designers, developers, activists, scientists, architects, and all kinds of visual artists are encouraged to apply with a project proposal that reflects some of Crystal's interests and driving forces: generosity, loyalty, friendship, justice, and bikes.

The Crystal Ruth Bell Residency covers:

- Live/work space in Beijing
- Funding for travel and visa expenses
- Airport pickups, welcome dinner and orientation upon arrival
- Project support and coordination
- Artist talk & studio visits (optional)
- USD $1,000 research stipend (enough to cover meals and daily living expenses in Beijing)
- Materials & production stipend (variable based on proposed project)
- Open studio exhibition

The Pier Commission – £8,000 artist commission (London)
Deadline: July 14th

The exchange invite proposals from practitioners to transform London’s longest pier into a piece of art for the period of Totally Thames. We are looking for artists, designers, architects, performers, curators, and other creatives to propose an ambitious contemporary arts installation that will shine a spotlight on one of Erith’s greatest assets.

This opportunity is sponsored by Orbit and Wates.

£8,000 commission available to develop a site-specific work based on Erith Pier throughout a three-week period in September 2017 coinciding with Totally Thames. This is a unique opportunity for practitioners to present work as part of this world-renowned festival.
Deadline for submissions: Friday 14 July 2017
Private View: Tuesday 5 September 2017

Blueproject Foundation (Barcelona, Spain)
Deadline: July 24th

Blueproject Foundation opens yearly a call for artists-in-residence, a public programme open to all types of formats, ideas, artistic and cultural proposals.

The residency programme at Blueproject Foundation is one of the main focuses of the foundation, its objective being to offer support in the production of new projects and give visibility to emerging artists.


The artists will be judged according to the quality and professionalism of their projects by an external international jury along with the foundation’s team. The artists or collectives that were selected will enjoy a one-month residency in El Taller followed by the exhibition of their work in Sala Project.


The opening period for the open call varies annually, usually oscillating between May and July, while the development of the winning projects takes place during the following year. The exact dates of the Open Call will be announced on the web, together with the requirements and registration/application form.

Nashville Ingram New Works Lab
deadline: July 24th

The Ingram New Works Project was launched by Nashville Repertory Theatre in 2009 thanks to the generous support of Martha Ingram. With the mission to support the creation of new works for the theatre, Nashville Rep created a project that includes the New Works Lab.

The Ingram New Works Lab is intended to be an artistic home for early career playwrights to share and develop new work, hone craft, receive support, and springboard themselves into the next phase of their writing career.

Applications are open for the 2017/18 Ingram New Works Lab residency. Selected playwrights meet monthly in Nashville to develop a new play during the course of the residency. It's a year of dynamic developmental support for your new play, radical hospitality, and a great excuse to come play with us in Nashville. Travel and Housing provided. Submission deadline is July 24, 2017. Submission guidelines and more info at the link

EST Youngblood
Deadline: July 17th

EST/Youngblood is currently accepting applications for membership beginning in the 2017-2018 season. Applications are open to New York City resident playwrights under 30 years old. Membership includes attendance at all weekly meetings, monthly (or more frequent) performances, readings and retreats. There is no set term of membership, and members often stay through the season that includes their 30th birthday. If you have any questions, please contact

Application Requirements:

WRITING SAMPLE - up to 25 pages. This can be part of a longer piece or a one-act. Send whatever you think best represents where you are as a playwright right now.
LETTER - The "why Youngblood" letter. Tell us about yourself and why you are interested in membership in the group.
RESUME - Your current playwriting resume.
FULL-LENGTH PLAY - A completed full-length play in its entirety. Note: this can be the full play from which the initial 25 pages was excerpted, or an entirely different piece. In most cases, this additional material will only be read if you are selected as a finalist.

Blue Ink Submission (American Blues Theatre)
Deadline: August 31st

Submissions will be accepted July 1, 2017 through August 31, 2017 @ 11:59pm. The winning play will be selected by Producing Artistic Director Gwendolyn Whiteside and the Ensemble. The playwright receives a monetary prize of $1,000 and a developmental workshop or staged reading at American Blues Theater in Chicago. Cash prizes are awarded for finalists, and semi-finalists too.

There is a $5 administrative fee. All proceeds of the fee are distributed for playwrights’ cash prizes.

David Calicchio Emerging American Playwright Prize
Deadline: July 30th

Norton J. “Sky” Cooper established the Emerging American Playwright Prize award at Marin Theatre Company in 2007 in honor of David Calicchio’s lifelong career as a playwright and in support of Marin Theatre Company’s commitment to the discovery and development of new and emerging American playwrights. The Calicchio Prize will be awarded annually to a professionally unproduced playwright for a new work that shows outstanding promise and a distinctive new voice for the American theatre. The play selected as the Calicchio Prize winner will receive 2 public staged readings at Marin Theatre Company as part of the theatre’s annual New Play Reading Series. The playwright will receive a $2,500 award, as well as travel and accommodations for the MTC rehearsal period (25 hours).

Ars Nova Play Group
Deadline: July 23rd

This vibrant and eclectic group of emerging playwrights gathers twice a month at Ars Nova to share new work and get feedback. The group offers members the chance to develop their plays with peer support, form collaborative relationships and build a strong sense of community within Ars Nova. In addition, members receive dramaturgical support and artistic matchmaking advice from the Ars Nova artistic staff and development opportunities through public readings and workshops.

Play Group is a two year residency in which members become a part of the Ars Nova Resident Artist community. In addition to biweekly meetings where members share new work and receive feedback from their Play Group peers, members also receive dramaturgical support and artistic match-making advice from the Ars Nova artistic staff; invitations to Ars Nova shows, Resident Artists mixers, and to see the work of Play Group alums around the city; two Play Group writing retreats; and the opportunity to further develop and showcase one of their plays in a weeklong workshop that can culminate in a public reading.

All playwrights who identify as emerging are eligible to apply. In selecting new members, we will take into account the strength of the submitted play, what the writer stands to gain from membership at this point in her/his career and the overall balance of voices and styles within the group. Writers of all genders, races and abilities are strongly encouraged to apply.

Great Smoky Mountain Artist in Residence (National Park Service)
Deadline: mid-November 2017

Each artist donates a mutually agreed upon piece of original work, representative of their stay in Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP) within one year of completion of the residency. The artwork is donated to park partner, Friends of The Smokies (FOTS), a non-profit organization that supports the park by raising funds and awareness. FOTS may offer the piece for consideration in the park's permanent museum collection, or sell it to raise funds supporting the Artist-in-Residence Program or other park needs.

Artists agree to share all copyrights for artwork donated to Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, giving FOTS shared ownership and rights to reproduce it. The artist retains a non-exclusive use license and may make use of the artwork for personal and professional promotion using the language, "Produced under Artist-in-Residence Program at Great Smoky Mountains National Park".

Artist Participation as Volunteer-in-Park
Selected artists work with the Parkwide Volunteer Coordinator to develop a residency theme that makes it possible for the park to generate visitor awareness and enrichment opportunities. Artists are scheduled to facilitate three public programs tailored to their individual medium, experience and interests. These may be in the form of participatory workshops, hands-on learning, demonstration, performances, exploratory walks, outreach in classrooms and community, or another means of engagement that aligns with park protocol. Artists provide equipment and supplies needed to lead the programs.

When and How To Apply
Submit application materials and samples as indicated below. Insufficient or excess materials, may be cause for application rejection, as is proposed use of work already in progress through a residency.

A panel of professionals from diverse disciplines will choose up to 6 finalists. Selection is based on artistic merit, statement of purpose and appropriateness to residency at this national park.
Panel jurors give thoughtful consideration to each applicant's statement of purpose (proposal) regarding how their creative insight and offerings may be made accessible for park visitors, volunteers, staff and local community. Great Smoky Mountains National Park seeks to inspire people of all ages, backgrounds and cultures to connect and discover the meaning of national parks in their lives. Through our vibrant Artist-in-Residence program the park invites exploration, experience, innovation, education and stewardship.

Spring/Summer/Fall Residency mid-May through November 2017
All applicants must submit:
1. A Resume and Summary of Creative Works
2. Statement of Purpose: What do you hope to gain through time spent at Great Smoky Mountains National Park? How might you share your insight, experience and creative contribution with park visitors and people of the local community?
3. Three choices of beginning / ending dates for your stay. Residencies are a usually a minimum of 4 weeks, maximum of 6 weeks. Offer dates from mid-May 15 through November 2017.
Visual Artists: Submit six digital images at 300 dpi (jpg or tif) on labeled CD. Include a list of images with title, medium and image size (height and width). Images should show only the actual work - Backgrounds, frames or mats should not be included.

Writers: Submit no more than ten double-spaced, typewritten pages of manuscript or electronic file in either Microsoft Word or PDF format.

Musicians / Performing Artists: Submit CD or DVD indexed to identify a 5 - 7 minute segment for jury review. If submitting MP3 files, include CD or DVD as back-up in case there are compatibility issues.

Composers: Submit CD or DVD (sound collage, track or orchestral work) indexed to identify a 5 - 7 minute segment for review. If submitting MP3 files, include CD or DVD as back up in case there are compatibility issues.

Mail Application Packet / Notification of Selection: The Artist-in-Residence Program, Attention: Parkwide Volunteer Coordinator, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, 107 Park Headquarters Road, Gatlinburg, TN 37738 -- Due to the number of submissions, applicants do not receive confirmation that their submission has been received by the park. Artists selected for a Residency will be notified on or before April 14, 2017.

The Artist-in-Residence Program is supported by Great Smoky Mountains National Park, in partnership with the Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. Funding for the AiR Program is provided by Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Jerome New York Fellowship
Deadline: July 31st

The Lark’s Jerome New York Fellowship provides substantial artistic and financial support to an emerging writer of extraordinary promise and vision through an intensive two-year residency that provides resources and guidance to generate and develop a significant body of work.

Must be a New York City or Minnesota state resident (though the Fellow must commit to maintaining residency in New York City throughout the fellowship period); Must be a citizen or permanent resident of, and eligible to work in, the United States; Must self-identify as an "emerging" playwright; Must not have had more than two different works professionally produced at the time of application.

The Fellowship Period is January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2019.
In the first year, the Fellow will receive a stipend of $25,000, paid in monthly increments. In addition, the Fellow will have access to an “Opportunity Fund” of $5,000 for the purposes of travel, research, autonomous workshops, and so forth, for the duration of their fellowship and for up to one year after its completion. (The Fellow will request these funds in writing to the Artistic Director and no reasonable request will be refused).

In the second year, the Fellow will receive a stipend of $15,000, paid in monthly increments. In addition, the Fellow will continue to have access to any remaining balance in the Opportunity Fund.

Because the Lark's programs are philosophically designed to put artists at the center of their own process, all residency activities will be based on an initial Fellowship goal-setting meeting at the start of the term in January 2018.  The Fellow will be expected to work with Lark staff to design a regular schedule of program activities, including participation in several of Lark’s new play development programs, such as Roundtables, Playground, Monthly Meeting of the Minds, Winter Writers’ Retreat, New York Stage and Film Vassar Retreat, Project Residencies or Studio Retreats.  The exact structure is flexible based on the specific needs of the selected Fellow, who will participate in a range of these or similar programs throughout the course of the residency.

Lanseboro Jerome Artist Residency
Deadline: July 31st

The Lanesboro Jerome Artist Residency Program, located in Lanesboro, MN (pop. 754), aims to provide an immersive, meaningful experience for emerging artists from Minnesota and the five boroughs of New York City. The program is unique in that it provides an entire rural community and its myriad assets as a catalytic vehicle for engagement and artistic experimentation, with staff working with each resident to create a fully-customized residency experience. Lanesboro Arts’ goal is to be flexible and accommodating to the artists, allowing them access to local resources needed for conceptualizing and realizing their place-based work. Lanesboro Arts recognizes “place-based work” as work that is specifically inspired by and designed for the place in which the work takes place; it can be a new project, or an interpretation of the artist’s current work tailored to engage the community of Lanesboro. The emerging artist residency program was designed to align with and amplify Lanesboro Arts’ vision for communities–especially rural communities–to embrace artists as economic drivers, culture bearers, community builders, and problem solvers.

The application deadline for residencies taking place in 2018 is July 31st, 2017 at noon. Jury review will take place in August and applicants will be notified by September 15, 2017 at the latest as to the status of their application. Selected artists residents and runners-up for 2018 will be notified by September 29, 2017.

Artists must be residents of Minnesota or the five boroughs of New York City to be eligible to apply. To be considered, eligible artists must submit their application through an online webform on Lanesboro Arts website. Complete program details are below. Please contact Adam Wiltgen at 507-467-2446 or with any questions.

is inherently innovative and visionary
has a track record of success, and shows significant potential for growth
is informed by place and community
centers on public engagement; that is, the public’s interaction with the work is part of the process and the product
is accessible to people with diverse backgrounds

Lanesboro Arts defines “emerging artist” as an individual who has great potential in their artistic practice but has not yet received major recognition for their work. Each applicant’s resume will be thoughtfully reviewed by the panelists, who will consider the significance, scope, geography, and timing of artists’ previous exhibitions, critical reviews, commissions, performances, grant awards, residencies, fellowships, publications, and productions. (Generally, the best candidates are those who have no more than three of the major professional accomplishments noted above.) Current degree-seeking students are not eligible for the residency. Age is not a factor in determining an emerging artist.

Artists of all disciplines are eligible to apply.
Artists must be residents of Minnesota or the five boroughs of New York City.
Artists are paid $1,000/week and are provided studio and lodging space.
Artists are eligible to apply for 2 or 4 week residencies, and residency dates can be flexible (and split between two visits if that best suits your practice). Lanesboro Arts Residencies can be scheduled any time in 2018 except for May, June, or July. Residencies scheduled in March or August are preferred and would be most optimal, however Lanesboro Arts staff is interested in considering proposals with flexible and dynamic artists for the months of January, February, September, October, November, and December. Residencies begin on the 1st or 16th of each month and end on the 15th or last day of each month for periods of 2 or 4 weeks.
Lanesboro Arts does not cover material or transportation costs; these expenses should be factored into the $1,000/week stipend.
Artist groups are eligible to apply, but the weekly stipend is the same and must then be split amongst the collective.
Artists are required to list their top three choices of dates for their residency, but finalists will work with Lanesboro Arts to determine the best dates for all parties.
Lanesboro Arts will work with each individual artist to customize their residency, aligning resources and connections to make their time in Lanesboro as fruitful as possible.
Artists must submit their application through the online webform on Lanesboro Arts website.

Beijing Playhouse
Deadline: August 30th

Beijing Playhouse is looking to identify writers who have previously produced comedy stage plays who would be interested in having their works adapted for the Chinese market. Seeking modern comedies and farces with 6-12 cast size with a strong production track record.

For Beijing Playhouse’s 2019/2020 season we may be looking for modern comedies that are specifically about China and targeted to the Chinese market. We are also looking for playwrights who are interested in having their produced comedies localized for a Chinese audience.

We’ve localized other plays to great success by introducing Chinese characters and settings and jokes into these shows. Taking a tried and tested story, like Snow White or A Christmas Carol, and localizing it for the Chinese audience has proven very popular.

While these traditional shows have been successful, there appears to be stronger interest in localizing a very modern comedy. So we’re looking for authors who are interested in the Chinese market. Our goal is in keeping the gist of a playwright's story and tightly written script, but resetting it in a Chinese location, changing jokes to Chinese jokes, changing some characters to Chinese characters, and adding Chinese language.

Beijing Playhouse is the English theatre in Beijing; for the last 12 years the largest locally produced-in-English theatre in the country. We produce standard US theatre chestnuts like Guys and Dolls, Oklahoma!, Romeo and Juliet and Wizard of Oz. Last December we did an audience interactive pantomime version of A Christmas Carol. So theatre producers here are looking to us to bring and adapt good shows from the US.
The particulars around rights/royalties would be worked out with the playwright.
Send inquiry to

Friday, June 30, 2017

Left-Wing Christianity

Another immigrant friend who hated Clinton during the campaign and touted Trump's 'blow everything up' stance as a good thing, has fallen into a state of depression. Reason? He's facing an expired VISA and a merciless ICE. He though the GOP xenophobic talk just referred to the 'bad hombres.' Not him. Even though me and other people told him directly 'this is about you' he simply didn't include himself in the oppressed group under attack. Now he's depressed. Whenever I want to make him feel better I tell him that 'Clinton wasn't a very good candidate' and he perks up at that statement. With that cue, he's reminded of his hated target. He transforms and seems to relax because he has someone to despise...even at the expense of his immediate danger, Clinton hatred is a soothing drug. I am reminded of the Semantic Scale of Polling which states there are 3 dimensions ppl rate concepts on: a) good or bad? b) strong or weak? c) active or passive? Many ppl will choose a bad policy if it's strong and active over a weak policy that's good. Example? Open borders. Open border immigration policy really really works. Statistically it has made America wealthy. But it's seen as weak and passive: our borders are penetrated. The thought makes ppl angry, even if you try to explain all the stats. Many ppl -even immigrants- will support a destructive policy if it's framed as strong and active. Clinton's hatred was a strong and active thing...even if it was idiotic to one's self interests, it was favored over my kind of mild 'like' of Clinton based upon stats. My Clinton emotional 'like' wasn't strong...but it was consistent. But it's no match for strong and active hatred. So I wonder to myself 'how do we make love a strong and active thing to...well mostly men?'

I think it's difficult to combine the typically liberal education with religious faith and political activism, but it's not impossible. A new 3-dimensional paradigm must be formed on the left so that religion is not laughed out of the room: gov policy + religious org + activism. The GOP uses and cons the religious right in the most craven way in combining these 3 things. I've read reports of Karl Rove herding religious figures into rooms and coming up with anti-gay policy. And then GOP advisors laughing at the same Christian leaders as 'idiots' after they leave the room and giving their marching orders of hate to activate their congregation. The Koch Bros organize pastors to speak out against environmentalists and to discount global warming (it's God's just let it happen). So the right has effectively figured out a way to rewire some christians into an Orwellian doublethink: praise Jesus and Christian values while simultaneously espousing hateful policies which are in direct contradiction to Jesus. Doublethink is very effective b/c in requires a sort of self-brainwashing that becomes air-tight in its illogic: whenever confronted by something difficult, the brainwashed individual shuts down critical thinking and pivots toward emotional rage at a perceived 'enemy.' If you show a contradiction to an alt-right they will rage and threaten to destroy and at the same time claim to be the victim being destroyed. A well-trained conservative Christian will both claim to represent the might and will of God and say 'they are under attack' or Christmas is under attack or they are being oppressed or there is a 'gay agenda' or patch together any number of deranged conspiracies to avoid confronting their own hypocrisy. They will engage in 'whataboutism' and false equivalency to return to attack mode. Can leftists create an effective way to engage in right-wing doublethink without creating a left-wing version of brainwashing? Is there a facile, smart, constructive, religious activism movement that can counteract the hate activism that's disguised as white christianity?

In this country's history there were two very strong Christian movements: Protestants in the North and the Baptists in the South. Northern Christians were the foundation of the abolitionists and the suffragists: these were passionate ppl who believed that God put them on the earth to be a good keeper of faith and justice. They went after anything seen as a grossly unjust like slavery or women's rights. In the South, Baptism tends to operate more like a Hindu caste system: explaining the wrongs of the world as the will of a higher power, and thus pacifying poor white people...and when that failed, finding a scapegoat in black people. This is where fanatic hatred is so effective when you can blame a weaker and smaller group for societal ailments and get poor white people to buy into that concept then they have a passionate and active choice of wrong-headed hatred rather than the slow deliberate process of progressive change.. The clash between white New Engalnders and Southerners reached its peak during the Civil Rights Movement. Southern Black Baptists were working with White Northerners to not only seek racial equality but to stop the Vietnam War, start unions, and pass a litany of progressive issues. And then in the early 1970s the Northern Protestants movement just died. Either they were satisfied with the end of Vietnam and the Civil Rights Act, or rife with drug use and decadence, or they were bought off by careerism and/or they splintered into a hundred tiny factions. But the New England churches that used to be so full of protestors were empty. Meanwhile the Southern churches surged and this idea of 'right-wing Christianity' was backed and supported by big money interests. There was no George Soros for left-wing progressive Christians. Marilynne Robinson writes about this in her book of essays 'The Death of Adam.' So history has shown us that it is possible to have left-wing progressivism, but it's just harder to maintain without strong leaders, organizing principle of what to fight for, and financial backing.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Do They Really Need a Wheelchair?

Fox News Commentator speculated that a lot of the excessive healthcare costs comes from unnecessary costs. The commentator then said about some patients 'do they really need a wheelchair?' Speaking as the son of someone whose wheelchair collapsed after two yrs, and was then denied coverage for a new wheelchair b/c it was an excessive and unnecessary cost, I think our healthcare system has gone from Kafka's 'Metamorphosis' to 'Mad Max: Thunderdome.' Trumpcare will take us into "Human Centipede" territory so that the Koch Brothers can watch the livefeed of poor ppl dying on the ER waiting room floor surrounded by medical bills and bankruptcy notices. Despite this horror, i think that over half of these dying, bankrupted, diseased patriots would continue to vote Republican b/c they don't want Mexicans to get free vaccines or are worried about black women having access to pap smears. Fox and the alt-right media train people in how to de-empathize. One of the most successful ways of getting people to de-empathize is to rile them up into a constant state of rage against an 'other.' That rage disconnects the wiring of the human conscience: the link between other people's suffering and our own. It's the reason why there are so many Trump voters who are surprised to find out that they would be harmed by immigration deportation, Trumpcare, allowing the EPA to loosen regulations. These are people incapable of seeing a society unless it involves their direct and immediate interests. They think 'fuck ppl in wheelchairs' until they themselves are in a wheelchair. They think 'fuck clean air' until they are inhaling dirty coal. This media, this party, and this movement is a bootcamp for sociopaths. If I react with my own rage then I am disconnecting my own wiring to empathy and -ultimately- the foundation to my conscience. Responding with clear and concise arguments grounded in compassion is the only way. And that is -despite their many flaws- I appreciate people like Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Joe Biden for their empathy...and humanity. They would never ask the question 'do they really need a wheelchair?' Instead I think they would ask 'how can I help?'

Friday, June 23, 2017

Dems Need New Blood

I think the Democratic Party needs new leadership. I'm not saying this b/c their candidates have lost recently. All four of these off-cycle elections took place in staunchly GOP districts and the Dems outperformed on a statistical level that bodes well for them retaking the House next year. The reason I think the Dems need new leadership is b/c of what happened during Occupy Wall Street. And Black Lives Matter. And several other waves of grassroots, youth-inspired activism that was met with the blowtorch of so-called centrism, which is really just Dems pivoting to the right while ignoring their most passionate base. We are facing a chaos candidate and party. Their main tactic involves sucking up all the media oxygen by finding enemies, riling up their base, and keeping them in a constant state of delirious rage that shuts down all coherent and constructive debate. I think you beat rage-a-holic snowflakes in 3 parts: 1) vivid bold messaging 2) grassroots fundraising and activism, 3) and political moralizing. Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi are very smart but they do not have the skill for any of these things: they are keen legislators who speak like wise lawyers. They fundraise through major corporations, display a skittish reluctance on working with young activists, and staunchly refuse to moralize. I don't blame their line of thinking. It makes sense b/c the older generation of Dems grew up in a time when hippies where condemned as immoral, the white backlash agains the civil rights movement was well-funded and in full effect. But these are new times and the panic party of delirious rage can't be contained by sensible language from DC old-timers. Furthermore not only did Bernie Sanders campaign prove that small donations, moralizing msg, and socialism can get out young voters, but Obama employed the same tactic. In 2008, Hillary Clinton was the clear favorite and hired the most experienced Dem advisors. Obama's team out-hustled, out-muscled, out-msg'ed the Clinton campaign. Obama stole the momentum through caucuses, kept the spotlight, framed the news cycles around their issues, and won by having a smaller more passionate group of believers whose tenacity wore down the larger but softer group of Clinton supporters. Passion wins over numbers in a long-term battle. And youth is the way for bolder messaging, connecting to activist, grassroots fundraising, and keeping the fire burning during these dark and cold times.  

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Philando Castille Verdict

# ppl shot and killed by cops in 2015: 991
# cops convicted = 0
# reasons cops will shoot a blk person: infinite

Philando Castile's death sentence was not an accident. The system did not make a mistake in freeing another cop who murdered an unarmed and innocent Black man. Our system was designed to work this way. It was designed to create a cognitive dissonance between what is written on paper and what is done in court. When faced with irrefutable and uncomfortable evidence it is easier for a jury of your peers to feign blindness than to demand change. The system encourages this inertia, helplessness, rationalization, blindness, silence, surrender, and death. Orwell called it Doublethink, Greek logicians named it paraconsistent logic, and Americans made it into the 13th amendment in the Constitution. Where some see the sword and scales of justice, others see barbed wire and caskets.

Friday, June 16, 2017

The Art of Hate

I was having a philosophical discussion with a friend about the instinctive goodness of human beings that lurched toward the example of lynching. He thought it was just virulent racism and if you removed the racists things like that wouldn't happen. I said that while, yes, lynching in America was often about black people getting killed by a large group of white people, the idea of mob murder didn't start in America. The idea behind lynching is simple:it starts with a group of people who are 1) bored 2) angry but feel helpless and 3) want to focus their rage on something that is different from them (which often means race, religion, nationality, or ethnicity) 4) want something to rally behind. In Medieval Europe a group of people might be getting drunk and looking for something to do and they start doing what people do when they gather: gossip. And the most more outrageous, salacious, horrific gossip floats to the top of the cesspool, especially when it's about others in the community who are different. So a drunk might accuse a Jewish merchant of being behind the disappearance of kids. And then someone else might chime in that, speculate, elaborate into a horror scenario. The crowd gets lathered up and excited. They have someone to hate and possibly something to do. Over a series of nights the conversation may circle back to this one merchant as people get angrier and angrier. Finally someone makes the move: let's go throw stuff at this guy's house, break down his door, maybe drag him away. It becomes an event. Pitch forks, torches, a march from the pub to this poor guy's house picks up steam and followers along the route. People are swearing they saw this guy kill kids, drink their blood, do unspeakable horrors. Everyone is looking for an excuse to vent, rage, and be apart of something... even if they suspect the accusations aren't true. In America we just turned this kind of violence into an art form: picnic, carnival games, people traveling from miles around to enjoy a pleasant afternoon that will culminate in a black person being tortured and cut into pieces. People would take home souvenirs from that day: pictures in front of the desecrated body, a finger in a jar, or an ear. An event happened. That is what human beings are capable of, and we're not even talking villains or Hitler. Just 90% of humanity of a hot day or after too many drinks or just when they're desperate to be a part of something. 

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Holden Caulfield Syndrome

On a day when there were 3 mass shootings in America I sat in a theatre and watched "Six Degrees of Separation." One of the more remarkable parts of the play was Peter's thesis on why such a mild book as "Catcher in the Rye" became a manifesto for so many violent white men in the 20th century. Holden Caulfield's repeated mantra of labeling successful or ambitious people as 'phonies,' his sexual impotence as well as paralyzing fear around women, and his homicidal fantasies against anyone who threatened his masculinity reflects a boy's emotional understanding of the world. And yet this is NOT a manifesto used by men of color. It is a text linked specifically to white male killers who -regardless of political affiliation- represent the overwhelming majority of lone wolf terrorist attacks in this country. Today and many other tragic days feel like they are inexorably linked to all the Caulfield's of the world who bruise too easily, lash out too quickly, and seek to terrorize the world to compensate for their inadequacies. And yet they are still the most privileged demo in America who play the schizophrenic game of demanding the power of a master and the pity of a victim. To maintain such a fragile delusion requires a sociopathic level of narcissism. Those who win short-term gains through inequality end up rotting internally and raging externally. It is a unique disease: Affluenza. It has killed more people than cancer. No one is looking for a cure.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Trump: a Self-Incriminating, Self Immolating, Tornado of Subpoenas

Trump threatened an FBI Director with secret tapes of their conversation. The Secret Service is now saying that no such evidence exists and they're in charge of all White House recording (they were the ones who kept Nixon's tapes). Special Counselor Robert Mueller can subpoena Trump to turn over his imaginary tapes b/c they now count as evidence. If the evidence doesn't exist, Mueller or any Attorney General with a related case  can now go about serving subpoenas to every single person in the White House in regard to evidence, thus making their lives living hell by forcing people to hire lawyers, who will then advise their clients to protect their own interests and rat out any relevant info to save themselves. And then -after all that- if there are still no tapes, Trump is on line for witness intimidation by lying about tapes to bully a witness before their testimony. He has done this before so he has a legal track record of lying about tapes. That is how Trump's tweets are self-incriminating e-immolation. The lies since his inauguration have gotten worse and more egregious. He went from lying about crowd size (small stupid lie), to lying about Obama wiretapping Trump Tower (really stupid lie that burned all good will between him and the intelligence community), to now repeatedly lying about significant issues in the middle of an investigation that now is in the zone of perjury, obstruction of justice, collusion, and treason. If the GOP can not see the ever expanding legal tsunami he is creating then they deserve to go down with him. Oh and the ADs in Maryland and DC are now suing Trump for violating the Constitution and taking money from foreign investors so I suspect they will be looking around for evidence and handing out their own subpoenas. And this isn't even including NY AG Eric Schneiderman and what's going to happen once he starts handing out stacks of subpoenas for his RICO case.


Thursday, June 8, 2017

Comey Day Highlights (from Senate Testimony)

1. Attorney General Jeff Session is under criminal investigation on multiple fronts. He perjured himself and colluded with foreign agents.

2. every single thing Trump has done since the start of the Russian probe has exacerbated and hastened the investigation. If he did absolutely nothing he would be in a much better position; that means if he left Comey alone, didn't play 'Godfather' in the White House by arm twisting intelligence officials, and if he stayed off Twitter, he might have gotten away with colluding with Russians and being apart of an int'l money laundering network. The single biggest factor of chaos, corruption and disgrace in the Trump administration is the man at the top.

3. In some ways Trump's behavior seems like that of a guilty killer who keeps leaving clues for the detective. It almost seems like he wants to get caught and we're engaging in some judicial S&M role playing game with naughty president who sends out a tweet and then looks at his mistress and says 'oops, did I do a bad thing? Will I be punished?' Don't worry Trump: Mistress Justice has got the paddle in the form of sealed indictments.

4. Comey and the entire intelligence community have a deep, seething mistrust of the commander in chief. And given the demo of the dept heads (older white men), most of the IC probably voted for Trump and is now regretting it.

5. we have 3 equal branches of government. Even though the executive branch is underwater and Congress is compromised, the judicial wing seems to be plugging away at its job in tandem with the intelligence community.

6. but until the indictments get unsealed and the handcuffs come out, the GOP will continue their game of 'whataboutism' in asking about Obama and Clinton's email in order to stall things long enough to pass Trumpcare, tax reform, and loot the public coffers. Trump is a suicide vest strapped to the party, but they're still trying to grab all the cash before he detonates.   

Wednesday, June 7, 2017


Hillary Clinton PAC, Rahm Emmanuel organizing congressional strategy, DNC quietly surrendering entire regions of the country uncontested to the GOP, no media strategy, no attempt to address income inequality or corporate greed, no Howard Dean or Bernie Sanders progressivism infrastructural support, zero attempt to galvanize young and angry Dems, Corey Booker is the black version of John Edwards: it's like a 1990s political horror movie for the Democratic Party. The only thing that can save Dems from their gross political incompetence is....Trump. He is the only thing that might allow them to pull out a victory. And I fear that even a modest victory will result in the Dem leadership learning nothing and continuing to bask in their smug, feckless political impotence. The DNC's inability to address the problems of young voters and people of color continues as they hopelessly (and poorly) pander to so-called white 'working class' voters who are metaphorically and quite literally dying from the racial-rot of their own privileged fragility. America's body politics needs emergency surgery and the Republicans are offering assisted suicide while Dems are pilfering Flintstone band-aids and Hallmark cards.

I was talking with a frustrated progressive friend last night. At the height of his fury against mainstream Dems he started using an alt-right word to reference the weakness of leadership: cucks. I squirmed. He said he meant 'cuck' in the classical sense of a short-hand for cuckold which is also a synonym for a weak and foolish man. But I objected because cuckold in American culture is irrevocably tied up with one thing: white male ego. And when cuckold is used it's also meant to signify not just weakness and not just male weakness, but white male weakness toward 'all else.' This 'all else' category includes women, radicals, but it's deeply rooted in juxtapositioning white male weakness next to black male dominance. He agreed with me and told me there is a whole porn genre that is labeled 'cucks.' And it's mostly white men being humiliated and demeaned as their white wives have sex with a black dick. The fetish thrill (or sickness) of cuck porn is that the husband is forced to watch his wife get dominated by a BBC (big black cock). And this enrages the husband and castrates him. A quick search on my phone showed me that there was this whole sexual underbelly to the alt-right appropriation of 'cuck' because it plays into their socio-economic as well as sexual fears. It is impossible to address that bundle of horrors with facts and logic. When an issue penetrates the social as well as the sexual it becomes something that most American men can not even deal with in a direct manner, so people talk around it.

And at the same time the word does embody the awful and ridiculous fetish driving the alt-right's paranoia.  It also underlies the feeling that many people on the right and left are having: that the system is betraying them and their politicians are just pushovers for much more brutal violent forces. 

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Get What You Want: June 2017

New Orleans Writers’ Residency
Deadline: June 1

In every culture, writers have played an important role in both society and revolution by voicing unspoken truths. This July, the NOLA Writers' Residency will offer a small group of writers a four week writing retreat to focus on getting better at doing just that. The retreat will cover lodging, airfare up to $500, and a stipend of $200 per week to cover food and entertainment. During those four weeks, you will have complete freedom to plan your time in ways that best support your writing and build lifelong connections with other writers. You will also have the opportunity to receive in-depth personal mentoring in everything from writing routines to the details of your craft, by Kat, our resident mentor, career counselor, and editor extraordinaire.

Duration: July 10 - Aug 7th, 2017
Eligibility: Published and unpublished writers are encouraged to apply. Selection is based on quality of writing.
Support: This is a purpose-driven organization that offers material support (stipend, housing, and airfare) as well as community and an in-house editor.

Florida Theatrical Association:  New Musical Discovery Series
Deadline: June 1

Aspiring writers from around the country are encouraged to submit their new works, which will be reviewed by a panel of theatre professionals, including renowned directors, writers, producers and performers. The panel will select two works that will each receive a staged reading. One final winner will receive a workshop presented of their piece featuring local directors and talent. The Discovery Series will also include talkbacks for students and audiences with the playwrights and directors.

The deadline to submit musicals for consideration is June 1, 2017.

Submission Guidelines: All submissions must include: A cover letter A history of the musical’s development A synopsis Full script A CD or flash drive with at least six songs from the production (can be a very basic recording) *Please note that materials will not be returned.

Apothetae Fellowship at Lark 
Deadline: June 15

The Apothetae at Lark Playwriting Fellowship program is the centerpiece of a broad Apothetae at Lark Initiative, designed to provide a significant platform of support and advocacy for Disabled Artists and to promote the generation of new works with the power to revolutionize the cultural conversation surrounding Disability. The Apothetae, a theater company founded in 2012 and devoted to challenging perceived perceptions of the “Disabled Experience,” and The Lark, an organization founded in 1994 and devoted to the principles of equity, inclusion, community, and the power of an individual artistic voice, have been working in partnership to address the profound underrepresentation and oppressive misrepresentation of people with disabilities that persists throughout our cultural media.

The Apothetae at Lark Playwriting Fellowship is a critical component in The Lark’s acclaimed portfolio of fellowships. The portfolio is designed to engage a diverse community of extraordinary playwrights—at various places in their careers—who represent, collectively, a contemporary national vision. The Lark believes that targeted support to playwrights from underrepresented backgrounds is essential to a culture of equity, access and inclusion, and a national theater that represents the vibrancy of our collective cultural voices. The Apothetae at Lark Fellow will be in residence at The Lark as part of a community of artists from across the country and around the world, gathered to explore and illuminate the most important issues of our time.

The Lark is accepting applications for the pilot round of its Apothetae at Lark Playwriting Fellowship program, supported by the Time Warner Foundation. The Apothetae at Lark Playwriting Fellowship includes a two-year residency for a Disabled Writer. The selected Fellow will work on multiple artistic projects through an individually-tailored program of Lark play development programs, and develop relationships with other theatermakers at various career stages from all parts of the world. The Fellowship includes a cash award of $40,000, plus a $5,000 Opportunity Fund for project-related expenses, and control over a $10,000 Production Enhancement Fund, to be allocated to a producing theater in support of a full production of one of the Fellow’s plays. The Fellowship also includes access to a wide range of Lark and Apothetae resources, including artistic program participation, office and rehearsal space, and staff support. Up to 3 Finalists for the award will each receive a $5,000 honorarium.

deadline: June 15th

The Civilians R&D Group is comprised of theater artists from various disciplines (writers, directors, composers, performance, etc.) interested in exploring different strategies for making theater from their own creative investigations and being a part of The Civilians' community of artists.

The R&D Group is organized around the idea of investigative theatre, which we broadly define as any creative process of inquiry that feeds the creation of a work of theater. Methods may include research, a community-based focus, interviews, or other experimental strategies of the artist's design. The artists meet on a regular basis for nine months to share their methodologies and the resulting work with the group, facilitated by the leader of the R&D Program. The generative artists in the group (writers, composers, etc.) are expected to attend all of the sessions; regular attendance is critical and should be considered when applying.

Additionally, a group of directors are chosen to complete the group. Directors are invited to meetings, but not expected to attend all; the directors become more active at the end of the season, with the direction of the public readings.

The intention of the group is that each generative artist or team will finish a draft for public presentation by May 2018. Given the nature of the process, it is understood that these drafts will be in various stages of development when they are presented.

To apply for the 2017-2018 R&D Group all applicants must complete the online application below at:

Kampala International Theatre Festival (Kampala, Uganda) 
Deadline June 30

We are excited to announce the 4th edition of the Kampala International Theatre Festival that will take place from 22nd - 26th November 2017 in Kampala, Uganda. Artists from the disciplines of theatre are now invited to submit their applications. Next to full productions we also welcome staged readings or workshop productions.

Fred Ebb Foundation Award 
Deadline: June 30 

The Fred Ebb Award recognizes excellence in musical theatre songwriting, by a songwriter or songwriting team that has not yet achieved significant commercial success. The award is meant to encourage and support aspiring songwriters to create new works for the musical theatre. The prize includes a $60,000 award. In addition to the monetary prize, the Fred Ebb Foundation
will produce a one-night-only showcase of the winner's work.

Each applicant must be a composer/lyricist or composer/lyricist team wishing to create work for the musical theatre, and must not yet have achieved significant commercial success.

North Park Playwright Festival (San Diego, CA) 
Deadline: June 30

The North Park Playwright Festival provides a platform for brand new, short (ten minute), plays written by playwrights from around the world. Over the past twelve years more than 440 new plays have been produced.

We seek short new plays (no more than 12 pages, less is fine) that are easily staged and have casts with no more than four people. Our theater is very small and we normally use a minimal set concept in this festival. We have to be able to change sets in just a few minutes as we do six to seven plays each evening of the festival. We don't have space for large casts.

20% Theatre Seeking Submissions 
Deadline: Rolling Award

20% Theatre Company Twin Cities is open to accepting full-length plays any time (60 minute minimum performance time). Please complete this Script Submission Form and email with your script to

Due to the high volume of scripts submitted to us, we are unable to respond
to all submissions. If we are interested in producing your work we will contact you.

East West Players Submissions 
Deadline: Rolling Award

new works we workshop and produce revolve around Asian and Asian American characters and/or themes.

Please note that our mission focuses on the Asian Pacific experience, and the majority of the new works we workshop and produce revolve around Asian and Asian American characters and/or themes. We are interested in both plays and musicals. Works need not be issue-oriented, in that race/immigrant issues can be an unspoken component in the work. We are particularly interested in new comedies, musicals, and works that unearth the history of Asians in America.

Manuscripts are now being accepted via email. Scripts should be emailed to Emailed versions of scripts are preferred. If you have questions as to whether your work might be suitable for our theater, or if you are a playwright with multiple works and not sure what to submit, email for assistance.

Richard E. Sherwood Award (LA Playwrights)
deadline: June 5

We are pleased to announce that submissions for Center Theatre Group’s Sherwood Award are now open. Center Theatre Group annually awards $10,000 to one innovative and adventurous Los Angeles-based theatre artist. The application deadline is June 5, 2017 and letters of recommendation are due June 9, 2017 at 11:59 pm. There will be two recommended information sessions to provide tips and key application information (more information below)

Deadline: All applications must be submitted by June 5, 2017 at 11:59pm. Letters of Recommendation are due no later than June 9, 2017 at 11:59pm.

The application, eligibility guidelines, and information for the 2018 Sherwood Award are now available at

Since 1996, nineteen artists have received the $10,000 Sherwood Award, which was established in memory of Richard E. Sherwood as an endowed fund to support innovative, adventurous theatre artists working in Los Angeles.

 This past January, lighting designer, Pablo Santiago, was presented with the 2017 Sherwood Award at the annual Ovation Awards ceremony, which recognizes excellence in theatrical performance, production and design in the Greater Los Angeles Area and are produced by LA STAGE Alliance. Three finalists are announced prior to the Ovation Awards and all three Finalists are celebrated leading up to the Award Announcement, allowing each Finalist more involvement with Center Theatre Group’s initiatives. An honorarium of $2,000 is awarded to each of the two remaining finalists. Please note that artists can only be eligible for the Finalist Honorarium for two consecutive years, after which they must wait one calendar year before reapplying.

There will be two information sessions highly recommended for interested applicants with the Sherwood Artistic Program Coordinator, Miranda Wright and the Sherwood Award Fellow, Diana Sanchez. The information sessions will be held on Saturday, May 13 at 11:00 am (RSVP byWednesday, May 10 at 6 pm) and Monday, May 22 at 7:00 pm (RSVP by Thursday, May 18 at 6 pm) at the Center Theatre Group offices at the Music Center Annex, 601 W. Temple St., Los Angeles, CA 90012. To RSVP, please email

Deadline: submissions start on June 15th. The first 400 scripts accepted. 

ANPF’s flagship festival is an international playwright competition that culminates in the reading of four new plays chosen from hundreds of submissions by a cadre of volunteer readers.

This unique and much-loved five-day festival in Ashland, Oregon, features professional actors from Oregon Shakespeare Festival and the community. The event includes rehearsals and two staged readings of each winning play.

The winning playwrights receive a $1,500 stipend and local accommodations. There is a $15 submission fee.

Submissions close when 400 scripts are received or on December 31, 2017, whichever comes first. A running tally of submissions will be shown on our website. The ANPF 2018 Fall Festival will take place October 17-21, 2018.

Georgia Theatre Conference
Deadline: July 1st

The Georgia Theatre Conference, the official theatre organization for the state of Georgia, is now taking submissions for its annual One Act New Play Competition. The competition is open writers inside and outside of Georgia, however, playwright must be attend the reading (therefore, preference will be given to writers in the Southeastern United States). The winning playwright will receive a $450 prize, and the play will also be performed as a staged reading on October 13 at the Georgia Theatre Conference convention held at the University of West Georgia in Carrolton. Furthermore, the reading will be moderated by Georgia native Lauren Gunderson, whom American Theatre Magazine recognized as “The Most Produced Living Playwright of 2016.”  Guidelines are listed below:

Ø  Entries will be accepted until July 1, 2017.

Ø  One submission per playwright only.

Ø  Play submissions must be a one-act with a running-time between 30 minute sand one hour, and limited to 10 or fewer characters. Full length scripts, children’s plays, 10 Minute plays, and musicals are not accepted.

Ø  Plays must be unproduced (no professional, independent, college/university, or community theatre productions) and unpublished (including anthologies). Plays that have gone through readings and workshops are acceptable.

o   Plays may be submitted by email attachment in Microsoft Word or PDF format with the following guidelines
§  Text must be in a format supported by The Dramatists Guild of America, Inc. (Character name centered over the dialogue, 12-pt. font size, in Times New Roman or Courier New font style, etc.)
§  Script must include page numbers at the bottom of each page
§  The author’s name and contact information should only appear on the title page of the script
§  Do not include resumes, playwright biographies, or history of the play

The winner will be notified in mid-July. If the winner is unable to attend, a runner-up will be selected.

Please Email all entries to:

Edgemar Center for the Arts
Deadline: rolling 

Edgemar Center for the Arts in Santa Monica is a cultural art center designed by Frank Gehry, where theater, dance, music, visual arts, and our annual film festival, Cinema at the Edge, come together in one place.
Our Mission is to provide a physical environment that nurtures the creative process and encourages collaboration between writers, directors, actors, musicians, dancers, and visual artist; to create a learning environment for children and adults; and to invite the community to observe, engage, and interact to add its voices to our creative discovery.
We are currently in the process of reading and selecting new works for our 2018 season and we are seeking one-acts and full-length plays of all genres.
Scripts can be sent to Edgemar Center for the Arts 2437 Main St., Santa Monica, CA 90066, attn.: Literary Department or by email sent to If you have any questions, please contact us at (310) 313-0279, or visit our website at

Jerome New York Fellowship
Deadline: July 31st

The Lark’s Jerome New York Fellowship provides substantial artistic and financial support to an emerging writer of extraordinary promise and vision through an intensive two-year residency that provides resources and guidance to generate and develop a significant body of work.

Must be a New York City or Minnesota state resident (though the Fellow must commit to maintaining residency in New York City throughout the fellowship period); Must be a citizen or permanent resident of, and eligible to work in, the United States; Must self-identify as an "emerging" playwright; Must not have had more than two different works professionally produced at the time of application.

The Fellowship Period is January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2019.
In the first year, the Fellow will receive a stipend of $25,000, paid in monthly increments. In addition, the Fellow will have access to an “Opportunity Fund” of $5,000 for the purposes of travel, research, autonomous workshops, and so forth, for the duration of their fellowship and for up to one year after its completion. (The Fellow will request these funds in writing to the Artistic Director and no reasonable request will be refused).

In the second year, the Fellow will receive a stipend of $15,000, paid in monthly increments. In addition, the Fellow will continue to have access to any remaining balance in the Opportunity Fund.
Because the Lark's programs are philosophically designed to put artists at the center of their own process, all residency activities will be based on an initial Fellowship goal-setting meeting at the start of the term in January 2018.  The Fellow will be expected to work with Lark staff to design a regular schedule of program activities, including participation in several of Lark’s new play development programs, such as Roundtables, Playground, Monthly Meeting of the Minds, Winter Writers’ Retreat, New York Stage and Film Vassar Retreat, Project Residencies or Studio Retreats.  The exact structure is flexible based on the specific needs of the selected Fellow, who will participate in a range of these or similar programs throughout the course of the residency.

DVRF Playwrights Program
Deadline: June 19th

The Playwrights Program is an annual opportunity intended to help new and compelling full-length plays come to the attention of the greater public.

Each year the Dennis and Victoria Ross Foundation (DVRF) selects one previously unproduced play to receive an intensive development in New York City. This period is structured in dialogue with the playwright to best accommodate their needs and artistic goals for the piece. The program culminates in presentations to invited audiences featuring producers, directors, and other industry professionals.

Rules and Guidelines for Submission:
-We are seeking full-length plays only. While there is no strict minimum for length we suggest all submissions be at least 30 pages long.
-Submissions must be in English.
-No play that is currently under option, or has previously had a full, public production is eligible for selection. Submissions that have been developed previously or were under option must be accompanied by a brief summary of their developmental history.
-Please only one submission per playwright/playwriting team.
-The play must be original or based on material which the author previously was afforded the rights to.
-Playwrights must be residents of the United States and at least 18 years of age.
-This program is intended only for playwrights who will be able to attend at least a 1-2 week-long workshop and presentation in New York City in 2017/2018. DVRF will do its best to schedule this according to the selected playwright's availability. The selected playwright must be prepared to bear any lodging and travel expenses incurred while participating in the program. Please note we cannot compensate for time taken off from work.

21st Century Voices
Deadline: June 30th

American Stage is committed to producing powerful and relevant professional live theatre.  Our 21st Century Voices is an initiative dedicated to developing and presenting new works for the stage that speak to a contemporary audience in a fresh and compelling way.  21st Century Voices programming includes an annual staged reading festival, workshopping of new scripts, playwriting residencies and fully produced new plays receiving one of their first three professional productions at American Stage.

Submissions of new plays that promote the exploration of socially-conscious themes relevant to our world today will be considered through June 30, 2017.

Submission guidelines for American Stage’s 2018 21st Century Voices New Play Festival are as follows:
-Plays must be full-length in any genre: comedy, drama, musical, etc.
-Translations, collections of one-acts, children’s plays and any play that has received a full-scale, professional production prior to submission are not eligible.
-Plays that have had a workshop, reading or non-professional production are still eligible.
-Only one submission per playwright is allowed each year.

The Selection Process
American Stage’s competitive selection process consists of two rounds of selection. All play excerpts submitted during the first round are reviewed by a committee of theatre artists and patrons. Then, selected playwrights are asked to provide a full manuscript of their play. Finally, American Stage invites four to five playwrights to have their work included in 21st Century Voices New Works Festival in January 2018.

How to Apply
-Email your complete submission package to between April 1-June 15, 2017.
-Complete submission packages must include:
-Your contact information;
-Your playwriting resume;
-A concise paragraph describing the development history of the play you are submitting;
-A paragraph describing why your play is a good fit for American Stage’s 21st Century Voices’ mission to develop and present powerful plays that speak to a contemporary audience in a fresh and compelling way;
-Title of the play;
-Character breakdown and description;
-Time and place of the play;
-Synopsis; and
-A ten page sample of the play.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Sore Loser

The May weight loss challenge ended at the gym today. I didn't want to compete but I was talked into it. A trainer reminded me that I've lost 70 lbs without even having a great diet. Surely I can really kill it in a month if I combined diet with exercise. Well I came in 2nd place at -11 lbs. The winner dropped 16 lbs. Afterward I thought 'fuck it' and I went to Crossroads and scarfed down two veggie burgers (which is essentially bread between two slices of bread). As I drowned myself in carbs I was reminded that I was always a bit of a sore loser.

As a kid, whenever I really wanted to win a contest -which was almost everything I entered-  I would seethe, strategize, intimidate, figure out who I had to bump off, contrive Game of Thrones conspiracies. In the 2nd grade I was running for class office against 2 opponents. I got a standing ovation for giving a thoroughly memorized speech about why I would be the best class officer ever and I think I stopped just short of promising world domination and making everyone a lifetime winner (so much winning, you're gonna get sick of all the cookies). No one told me to do this but I remember giving my speech while glaring directly at my opponents the entire time with laser-intensity that could be read as a prison yard 'I will shank you in the shower' glare of death.  When it was their time to speak, both of my opponents dropped out of the race. I won uncontested. Spelling bees (won 'em), tennis tournaments (won every single won), wrestling (won district both times I entered), debate (won best speaker at every tournament). And I was not happy. When I won it wasn't enough. When I didn't win I would implode or lash out. I realized that if I didn't break myself out of this habit I would end up psychopath. For the most part I don't seethe, plot revenge, or implode these days. I meditate, laugh it off, try to learn from the experience. But every once and a while, the little boy comes out and wants to chop off a head or two or just say 'fuck it' and stomp away. And here I was thinking I had 'evolved.'

Oh well....minor observations about literally being a sore loser today (I ache all over). And back to the gym to train my body and mind to grow.