Wednesday, October 25, 2017

How to Survive Exile

His Holiness the Dalai Lama asked Jewish rabbis
how their ppl survived in exile?
The wise heads pontificated
over mahogany tables on nature,
God, and the spirit of man.
No definitive answer was reached
from the committee, while I heard an answer
on a NYC-FLT flight from LGA:

U look lovely. U interested in meeting a nice young man?

Well...

It's my son. How old are you, dear?

...23

He's 24. Do you want to exchange...

I...I'm seeing someone.

Okay. I'd make a great mother-in-law. 


Tibetans take note.



Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Perot Predecessors and Successors

In my day, the lying, racist, xenophobic, white billionaire 'for the common man" was H. Ross Perot.  He had charts which meant he was truthy. He hated the elites and had phrases like 'not too smart' and 'giant sucking sound' of jobs leaving the country which were easy enough for a squirrel to remember. He leveled with the people, and by people I mean poor whites who loved him b/c he had a Texas accent, which meant he was salt of the earth, aka racist, Evangelical, homophobic, and not about that feminist shit of women getting healthcare. Therefore he was an honest man who surely knew about the American economy, even though he actually told stories about fighting Latin drug cartels, North Vietnamese, and the Black Panthers who were trying to stop his daughter's wedding. His rich white man paranoia fetishized any minority group into these ninjas who were out to get 'good ol' Perot.' He would tell stories about dangerous, wild bands of darkies trying to kill him.  Seriously. And this guy was LOVED...b/c he had his bullshit pie charts, accent, overt racist, notorious liar. And he was on his way to winning the presidency...in 1992. Perot's achilles heel was his own paranoia (he dropped out in the middle of his campaign b/c he thought the GOP and drug cartels were out to get him), his lack of party infrastructure by running as an independent, and not having social media to send his zombie-conservative msg out directly to his ppl in bite-sized doses of crazy.

In my dad's day this crazy ass white rich guy con man was John Birch. And there's a long live of rich white con men that go all the way back to the signing of the Constitution, and then further back to serial liars and genocidal murderers like Christopher Columbus. Trump's unhinged paranoia and lying is baked into the system. 

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Supporting the Troops vs. #supportingthetroops

ME: We have this blind and unquestioned admiration of the military, and in history that's usually a warning sign of a republic coming to an end.

WRITER #1: It's a internal rot to think that soldiers and generals are perfect. And the only people who believe that they shouldn't be question are people who didn't serve. People who serve know how much the military is mundane, filled with bureaucracy, and makes mistakes all the time. 

ME: It's easier to put all responsibility on the military than to make an informed decision or rely on the people. It's easier to just surrender all responsibility to figures of power.

WRITER #1: it's looking for daddy. 

WRITER #2: We just need someone like Obama.

WRITER #1: No, because that's just a nice daddy. But you're still serving someone else and giving up power.

I support our troops...by wanting them to come home, opposing wars conjured from lies to support corporate interests and oil looting, through using my first amendment right to speak out for our protected freedom if I choose to kneel/stand/raise a fist/pop a squat while someone sings our pro-slavery national anthem, by protecting gay officers and women serving from being harassed and killed, and wanting all of them to get a decent wage and proper health care. I support our troops in holding the bad officers accountable so their actions don't taint the vast majority of good people, by wanting troops used rarely and only as a last resort after all peaceful means have been exhausted. I support our troops by not using them as a political shields, cheap hashtag heroes, and one-dimensional GI Joe props.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Subway Harassment: A Triptych

A few yrs ago on a BK-bound subway, an older black woman offered me the seat next to her. I declined, she strongly insisted, so I sat down. She said was riding this train a few years ago and she didn't offer a seat to a man...so he slashed her face. She showed me the thin razor mark across her chin. By sitting down I was assuaging her fear but also serving as a shield from someone else who might be more threatening. I felt sick.

A few months later a deranged man was on the subway car yelling in people's faces. He started picking on a black woman who was just trying to read her book. I stood up and began walking across the car. I waited for other people to join in or voice disapproval at the harassment. No one said a word, so I continued walking. I was angry that everyone was silent, angry at all the people pretending to check their phones, angry at the last few months of creeps and old black women with slashed faces. I started to feel like I might literally kill this guy. I have only felt this a few times in my life. The last time I had this strange rage was in college. I broke a guy's leg...who also happened to be harassing women (it was during a snow football game). I saw this guy on the subway car and I could see myself punching through his heart, snapping his spine, wrapping his body around a pole. I caught myself. I just grabbed the guy from behind, threw him to the ground, and put my foot on top of him. He yelped that he was just playing. I waited until the next stop when the woman ran off the cart. I left afterward and realized I couldn't entertain my rage-filled fantasies any more. It was too toxic and dangerous. I meditated.

A few months later on a frigid blizzard night, I was heading back from rehearsal. An old guy entered into the subway car and started to leer and make sexual noises at a woman. She was dressed in sweat pants, rubber boots, hoodie...so clearly she was asking for it. He moved closer and closer to her. I didn't want to have to toss an old dude...so I started laughing. At him. Then she started laughing at him. He froze. A man and a woman teaming up to laugh at his leering was...emasculating. Our laughter said 'yes, yes. We are cutting your dick off with our giggles, snickering, and pointing.' I took out my phone and started snapping pictures of him. 'We are laughing as we cut your dick off and I am recording it.' He shriveled, edged away, and ran out of the subway car. We both stopped laughing and went back to our corners. I felt tired. I kept the picture to remember that maybe there are other ways.

Monday, October 16, 2017

I Believe You

I was naive.

A few years ago I wrote an essay about sexual harassment in the arts, using personal examples and stories from friends. I didn't use real names, only aliases. I didn't have any identifying info about the theatre companies, but the stories still had teeth to them b/c they were raw and from the front lines. I took the story around to a few publications. I still have the rejection emails giving me all the reasons why they were scared of lawsuits. But I was assured that if I wanted to write about race-based issues again, the editors would be more than willing to listen. Around that time I was invited to New World Trade Center for a big meeting: The New Yorker. They wanted me to pitch stories, and I guess they thought I would bring them some raw #blacklivesmatter stuff or personal black trauma. If I cared for my career I would have fed them the 'race stuff' and -just to be clear- the 'race stuff' is still important to me. But I was still thinking about misogyny and sexual harassment, so I pitched them a story about rape and systemic sexual harassment within AA meetings. The editor was nervous but agreed to give it a go. I interviewed women who were raped and harassed, spoke with professors and psychologists, brought up specific cases where women -at the most vulnerable in seeking recovery- were stalked by predators, raped, and murdered while in the throes of their addiction. I even had a dramatic twist at the end of the story. I emailed it into the New Yorker and...radio silence. After a month, the editor said she couldn't print it. Legal stuff, needs more research, good luck in life, etc. I thought I failed. Surely if I did more research, focused, got more interviews then this story would get out there.

I interviewed more women, cited examples from documentaries, connected with more therapists, kept a bibliography of the real names and contact info for the fact checkers, wrote out timelines of abuse from various women testifying so that the stories didn't have any holes in them. One publication said this story could be an investigative piece. I got complete strangers to trust me with their story, to open themselves up. I assured them that there voices would be heard, that this might help change things. After months of editing and fact checking, the first publication backed away: legal issues, no way to verify, etc. I was paid a 'kill fee' to spike the article. I went to other publications. I have the initial emails of interests, concern for getting the story out, and then...silence. I was in a panic. I made a promise to so many women. I was letting them down. My literary skills, my research, my passion, my objective reports, interviews with psychologists, none of it was not enough. My experience with the 'wall of silence' happened during my last semester at Juilliard, so it was about 5 months. Some women experience this wall of silence their entire life and it is personal. I sat with that, meditated, and my righteous anger subsided.

Some people wonder why women don't speak out?

I believe:

-Anita Hill
-Lara Logan
-Amanda White
- and you
-83 female officers and 7 male officers raped and assaulted in the Navy Tailhook Scandal
- Fox News accusers
- Bill Cosby's accusers
- Donald Trump's accusers
- Bill Clinton's accusers (some, all, most, a few?)
- Harvey Weinstein's accusers
- Marilyn Monroe
-Roseanne Barr
- and you
- Oprah Winfrey
- Hillary Clinton
- Queen Latifah
- Gabrielle Union
- Fiona Apple
- and you
- Maya Angelou
- Vanessa Williams
- Teri Hatcher
- Missy Elliot
- Rosie Perez
- Billie Holliday
- Mary J. Blige
- Eve Ensler
- and you.

I hear you and I see you. I will do better.


Thursday, October 12, 2017

National Coming Out Day (Oct 11th)

I came out when I was 18. I told my parents and two sort-of close friends. At the time I was a freshman in college. In high school I was captain of the football, wrestling, and debate team. I was an honors student, all-state wrestler and football player, tournament-winning tennis player, NFL citizen's scholar, freelance writer for three local South Florida newspapers, reporter for two online blogs, and the MVP athlete of the year for my school. I was also miserable. I had very simple goals: avoid close friends, keep my head down, power through life, and stay away from any conversation about love or sex. I thought I could do it.

I went away to college and the first person I met asked me 'so...are you going to have sex?' I felt myself turning bright red. 'No, I'm here to study.' When I got to my dorm I threw my bags down and ran up and down the hall with another freshman. Then we went downstairs to check out the lounge. When I turned on the dorm computer, the first image on the screen was of a naked porn actress lathered up in grease. I turned off the monitor, stood up, and continued walking around. When I introduced myself to students, the conversation would quickly turn to how much sex we were going to have. The first suite mate I met was a devout Republican who kept inviting me into his room to talk about his girlfriend in Canada (seriously, no joke), offer me drinks, and ask me about my future sex life (yes he was a closet case). I dodged the issue with jokes, asking about his fictional girlfriend, and talking about how excited I was to study-study-study. After about two days of this non-stop sex talk, I went to a campus LGBT meeting, came out, showed up, and the red boiling tension in my chest subsided. I didn't have the stereotypical gay affectations so some times I felt like every year, month, week in college was a Coming Out Groundhog's Day. But I was grateful for the growth, friendship, and love. I guess that was one of the biggest parts of my college experience: learning to be honest. I am still learning.

I am uncomfortable with talking about my private life in any explicit way. It's a defense mechanism. It protects me from the shame of other people....or so I thought. What my silence really does is re-enforce my own internalized homophobia. I can convince myself that I have come out again and again and again, so I deserve a break. I can rest of my past laurels.

I wrote "The Gospel According to F#ggots" as a way of getting out of my comfort zone. I made the lead character in "Obama-ology" a gay Black man. When I was challenged on the necessity of him being both black and gay, I knew the subtext of the inquiry: I was cutting into the commercial viability of the work that a lot of people really liked. Would I be willing to make this one change for the sake of people's comfort? My answer was 'no.'  I agreed to be the director of new play development for a LGBT theatre company as way to help other LGBT writers develop their voice.

I am still learning and still coming out. Thank you for your patience.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The Trump Plague: Hysterical White Blindness

Hysterical White Blindness: not acknowledging someone else's humanity out of a sense of laziness, hatred, and/or unexamined comfort. HWB is highly contagious and is not cured with bed rest. It will often lie dormant for many years and flare up in family gatherings, holidays, protests, alone in a voting booth, or in the presence of 'the woke.'

If untreated, HWB will result in the following symptoms: Fox News Cognitive Dissociation, 'My Black Friend' Token Schizophrenia, Nostalgic Brain Fog, Map Blindness, Reverse Racism Dyslexia, "Blue Lives Matter" Diarrhea, 'I once made out with a darkie' Sexual Aphasia, Head-in-Ass Herpes (also known as 'Trumpese'), Poverty Alzheimers, Frat Boy Tourettes, Restless Troll Syndrome, and White Fragility Bitch-Assness. The following statement is from a patient by the name of Mike Ditka. Ditka was a football coach in the NFL who worked right next to and with black people for decades. But after retiring he was infected with HWB, and now it is terminal. The disease has spread from his eyes, through his spine, and has metastasized in his ass.

"There has been no oppression in the last 100 years that I know of. Now maybe I'm not watching it as carefully as other people."

"I don't know what social injustices have been," Ditka said. "Muhammad Ali rose to the top. Jesse Owens is one of the classiest individuals that ever lived. I mean, you can say, 'Are you (saying) everything is based on color?' I don't see it that way. I think that you have to be color blind in this country. You've got to look at a person for what he is and what he stands for and how he produces, not by the color of his skin. That has never had anything to do with anything."

"I mean, I don't see all this, the social injustice that some of these people see. I don't. I know my dad worked in a steel mill and he brought home a paycheck and we ate dinner every night together. We didn't have anything, but we didn't need anything because we had a family. That was a good time in America. I would like to see us get back to that."

Monday, October 9, 2017

Being Black in White People's Imagination

Today is the one-year anniversary of those fateful presidential debates. Looking back, it's amazing how black people are seen as a political and socio-economic problem. To both candidate and white conservatives as well as liberals, "Black issues" are crime, death, and poverty. On the national stage, when blackness is brought up it is if someone is shot, someone is dying, someone is committing a crime, someone needs something. Hell is black, and heaven is a gentrified suburb with high walls. If you have anything critical to say about the dehumanization of 20 million Americans, the knee-jerk alt-right response is simple: "why aren't you saying anything about Chicago? Aren't black people dying in Chicago? Fix Chicago!" They don't really care about Chicago any more than they care about 'blue lives' or 'all lives matter.' They know that Chicago can never be "fixed" (whatever that means) by just the black residents, because the crime is being committed out of a sense of disempowerment, anger, and hopelessness. The people demonized are the ones who have no control over their economic system, police force, or education. And no one on the left ever screams back 'well Fix Flint," or "Reparations for Black Wall Street" or "remember when we created 90% of American music, poetry, culture, civil rights movements, modern medicine and surgery, and the struggle for justice and fulfilling the promise of the nation's founding documents," or "remember that we fought in every single war for freedom, even though we were denied our own, and that most of the country as well as the nation's capital was not only built by black hands, but designed by black architects and engineers, and you're welcome."

Some times I look at myself through their eyes. I see a black man who lives in the rough and tough inner city of West Hollywood and Williamsburg. I have worked on the violent streets of the Paramount Studio and CBS TV. I have 4 imaginary kids by 3 non-existent baby mamas. I have cop-killing superpowers every time I walk through white people's imagination.

Obama's Third Term

In many ways the Trump administration is giving Obama a third time in people's hearts and minds.
Another republican friend joked 'man, can we get four more years of Obama?' Hahaha. It's funny right? Now they feel regret for what they've done but -at the same time- will never admit it, apologize, or even commit to doing better in the future. It's just a backhanded 'oops, my bad, sorry about that rabid Tea Party, racist, sexist anti-fact hysteria that we fomented into the pustulating orange yeast of armageddon.' It's like if your partner cheats on you, steals your blender, goes off to live with their new piece, and then comes back a few years later laughing 'boy, did I mess up, huh? Hey, can I keep some of my stuff at your place?' It takes the compassionate strength of a hundred cat videos to resist the urge to punch them in the dick. Oh, now you want four more years?

Friday, October 6, 2017

Dance of the Lion

Last night at 3 Jewels we went through two meditations that used the senses as pathways out of our immediate desires. The first meditation was for a sense object that was or is pleasant, so a student put on "Harvest Moon." I sat there itchy, tired, aware of the AC droning on, in a room full of students, in the middle of NYC with a subway rumbling underneath...and then we just very slowly melted these senses down into the song. I was walking down the aisles of an empty grocery store listening to "Harvest Moon" and then my mind was following the guitar chord changes so closely that everything else faded away: the AC noise, the subway rumbling, my jeans bunched up behind my knees, and NYC dissolved, and we were just in the music. My mind 'noticed and examined' where it was traveling as it went inside the song. There was no past or future expectations, just the drowsy sliding chords. My attention toggled between the words and the sound, and then space in between the sound, and then just the silence in the music. I held my mind in that infinite expanse. Then we came back out of meditation with a dedication to someone we loved.

Next we picked an 'unpleasant object.' The AC. Going back in, we drifted toward the droning sound and then noticed that it wasn't actually one long noise but a small oscillating frequency. My mind went closer and closer to the sound until it sounded like a symphony of noises...and then I dropped down the small frequency of my heart beating, which was hard to hear at first, but slowly started arising out of the den of noises. And then we went into the body being supported by this heart beat. The beat continued and we were asked: what did we do to get this body. Just imagine what could I have done. I saw myself saving a drowning baby, I lifted them up and it was coughing and yelling. And then I washing a baby in a bath. Maybe the child was Baby Buddha or a Christian saint or just a really good person. I was taking care of this baby, washing them, preventing them from drowning...again and again. And I couldn't hear the AC or feel the sweat behind my knees, The baby grew up and I shrunk with age into a tiny speck, getting smaller and smaller, and then I was gone.

I came back out of 'unpleasant' meditation and dedicated that toward a loved one. We were told these two meditations are the gateways out of the desire realm and into the form realm, which then hopefully leads to the formless realm, and then even higher. Thank you Venerable Lobsang Chunzom for teaching, Lord Maitreya and Master Asanga for writing this down centuries ago, and 3 Jewels for hosting the "Dance of the Lion" teachings. 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

The Last Blue Flower (written at lunch)

On my left big toe there is one last speck of blue.
Hanging on after several months.
This is where the flower was painted and faded
through hundreds of miles jogging,
hours of zumba and boxing,
days of saunas and steam rooms.
This flower wiggled in downward dog
dug into wet earth
crushed in East Village throngs,
dragged from LA to NYC
to LA to NYC to Seattle to Miami to NYC
to Miami and back to LA
It has endured the ice pools at Century Spa,
 the scorching August beaches of Sunny Isles.
Sneakers, loafers, flip flops, argyle, black formal.

After a show and dinner,
cruising past the Times Square neon
in an unassuming Buick
w/ customized features.
Sharp and glistening interior of a crafstman
who keeps his best secrets for the inside,
he lectured me about the added features.
He said the best thing about self-customizing
is that subtle nod of validation.
It is the details that seem like they came from the dealer
but are the personal marks of class.
The leather lining swapped out,
wood paneling trimmed.
The curvature of speakers
adds that extra value
of a prideful secret.

The last trace of blue on my toe
is my customizing feature.
A faded ornament, a crumbling ruin
that seems like it came
from the dealer's lot,
but is remnants of painted flowers,
a Mona Lisa smile,
a secret shared between me and you.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Bursting the NRA's Bubble

It's almost like certain ppl have to face a massacre to understand why we should try to stop it...
-or face disaster before understanding FEMA's importance
-or get cancer to like Obamacare
-or have their own friends deported to see the maladies of our immigration system
-or see their child get poisoned to care about regulation
-or have their house destroyed in a freakishly powerful storm to understand the dangers of global warming
-or get enslaved to learn civil liberties
-or get abused by cops to understand Black Lives Matter
-or be unfairly accused to appreciate justice.

When I was a kid I read Ayn Rand and believed in rigorous independence...while living at my parent's house and getting free food, clothes, shelter, or education. I grew up and realized that my blindness allowed me to take a capricious and unreasonable stance. As a child I didn't have to worry about the consequences. I was given a little bubble to develop my adolescent mind, until the bubble popped one day and then it was bills, deadlines, relationships, bosses, taxes, risks, danger, opportunity, death, dying, healthcare, disease, love, horror, confusion, and a world that really didn't give a fuck about crushing my smarmy insulated opinions underneath the weight of reality. I realized that my standing in the world was very precarious and dependent on the kindness of millions of people. My advantages aren't God given or based upon me being an 'awesome guy,' or even protected by gathering up enough money. We are not these rugged and wild individuals who just need to worry about ourselves. To think and live the Randian way isn't a Republican utopia, or a vision of truth. It is a hell constructed of falsity, ego, and delusion.

My life is precarious and this society is fragile. My advantages are delicately balanced on a razor's edge. That is why I cherish my privileges. That is why I care about human life, and that's why I want others to have the same benefits as me. That is why tragedies like mass shootings and hurricanes don't have to directly impact me in order for me to care. Human life is a very gentle thing that is easily destroyed. There is no safe place to avoid a massacre. I could be next...or you.

Las Vegas: Massacre, Madness, and Message

Shooting 250 civilians in a microwave minute is not a 2nd amendment right. Las Vegas is the cruel result of the gun industry's blood money. Tweeted prayers, love platitudes, and ephemeral thoughts on grace are stalling tactics in the face of terror. Love of the American flag and anthem should compel us to protect our cities and citizens from this madness.

A Humanitas speaker said last spring that 'as artist we don't cure cancer or AIDS. The only thing we do is cure apathy...which is much worse than disease. Millions die every year simply because people don't care.'

While you're praying about Las Vegas here are a few things to do:

1. call the NRA's number at 800-672-3888. Select option #6 and then #2 to get to the Fairfax HQ. Then select 1 to hear directory to connect to specific ppl, 2 for legislative agenda, 3 to leave a message.

2. RESISTBOT is now on Facebook. Go to Resistbot FB page. You can fax and send letters to your Congressmen and Senators while checking your status. I just sent faxes to both of my Senators, and it took about a minute.


Sunday, October 1, 2017

GET WHAT YOU WANT: October 2017

OCTOBER 2017

1.
Eugene O'Neill Theater Center National Playwrights Conference 
Deadline: October 13 
Website: http://www.theoneill.org/summer-conferences/npc/

Each year a community of professionals gathers in the serene setting of the
Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in order to support playwrights and new works
for the theater.  The National Playwrights Conference strives to create a
supportive environment that empowers playwrights to their own process and
to experience the play with a professional company. There is a $35 submission fee.
http://www.theoneill.org/summer-conferences/npc/


2.
Acadia University Theatre- MiniFest Script Submissions 
deadline: October 15 
Website: http://theatre.acadiau.ca/minifest-script-submissions.html

MiniFest is a week-long festival of one-act plays featuring limited cast
sizes and scenographic demands.  Every year hundreds of plays from around
the world are submitted for juried evaluation.  A Play Reading Committee
creates a short list which is then submitted to an Executive Committee that
selects four to six plays for an actor-centered staging by members of the
Acadia Theatre Company.


3.
Great Plains Theatre Conference Call for Submissions  
Deadline: October 15th
Website: https://webapps.mccneb.edu/gptc/CallforPlays.asp

The Great Plains Theatre Conference offers playwrights the opportunity to
interact with and have their work seen by top writers, directors and actors
from across the country. In addition, playwrights work directly with these
professionals in hands-on writing and industry workshops, participate in
daily panel discussions and attend evening performances with master
playwrights and theatre practitioners. Past panelists, workshop leaders and
respondents include: Edward Albee, Doug Wright, Emily Mann, Mac Wellman,
Arthur Kopit, Marshall Mason, Mark Lamos, Theresa Rebeck, Constance
Congdon, Erik Ehn, Will Eno, Lee Blessing and David Lindsay-Abaire among
Others.

 We offers playwrights the opportunity to interact with and have their work seen by top writers, directors and actors from across the country. There is a $10 submission fee.


4.
The 2018 Van Lier New Voices Fellowship at the Lark 
Deadline: October 31 
Website: http://larktheatre.org/get-involved/submit-play/van-lier-
new-voices-fellowship-2018-application-guidelines/

The Lark is accepting applications for the third round of its Van Lier New
Voices Fellowship program, supported by The New York Community Trust?s
Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund.

The Van Lier New Voices Fellowship supports playwrights of color under 30
who demonstrate financial need. During a year-long residency, Fellows will
work on multiple artistic projects through an individually-tailored program
of Lark play development programs, and form relationships with other
theatermakers at various career stages from all parts of the world. The
Fellowship includes a cash award of $15,000, plus up to $3,000 in health
insurance premium reimbursement, along with access to a wide range of Lark
resources, including artistic program participation, office and rehearsal
space, and staff support.

In the 2018 cycle, The Lark will award two Fellowships.
Applications will be accepted from August 15 to October 31, 2017.  Selected
fellows will be notified in early December 2017.
The Fellowship period begins January 1, 2018 and ends December 31, 2018.
http://larktheatre.org/get-involved/submit-play/van-lier-
new-voices-fellowship-2018-application-guidelines/

Award:* a cash award of $15,000, plus up to $3,000 in health insurance premium reimbursement, along with access to a wide range of Lark resources, including artistic program participation, office and rehearsal space, and
staff support. *Fee:* N/A. *Restrictions:* Be legal residents of New York
City; Identify as playwrights of color under the age of 30 at the time of
application; Not be enrolled in a college, conservatory or advanced
training program during the fellowship period;


5.
Dayton Playhouse FutureFest 2018 
Deadline: October 31 
Website: http://wordpress.thedaytonplayhouse.com/future-fest-2/futurefest-2018/

Dayton Playhouse has sponsored FutureFest, a festival of new and unproduced
plays for over twenty five years, put on by a community theater run
entirely by volunteers. Each year we bring you in one weekend six new
unproduced plays as chosen by the FF committee from the submissions entered
that year. Each play is dramatized as either a staged reading or a full
dramatization. Each play is a full length play and we do not limit the
subject matter. We bring the playwrights to the festival for the weekend so
you can mingle with them and we have talk back sessions with them after
their show. We bring in adjudicators from around the country to pick the
best play and give the playwrights a professional critique in front of the
FF audience. It’s a play lover?s dream come true, and an opportunity a
playwright can’t get anywhere else.

Award: *A $1000 honorarium will be awarded to the winning playwright; runners-up each receive $100. The Dayton Playhouse provides the six finalists travel (within the continental U.S.) to Dayton and housing for FutureFest weekend. *Fee:* $20. *Restrictions:* Entry must be an original work (NO musicals or plays for children) that has not been published or produced where admission was charged prior to FF 2018. Staged readings/workshop productions are not
necessarily disqualifying factors. http://wordpress.thedaytonplayhouse.com/future-fest-2/futurefest-2018/


6.
Ensemble Studio Theatre-Sloan Project  
deadline: November 1 
website: http://www.ensemblestudiotheatre.org/est-sloan/submissions/

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

The Project is designed to stimulate artists to create credible and
compelling work exploring the worlds of science and technology and to
challenge existing stereotypes of scientists and engineers in the popular
imagination. The Project commissions and develops new works throughout
EST?s developmental season, including one Mainstage Production, as well as
workshops and readings in an annual festival called FIRST LIGHT.
http://www.ensemblestudiotheatre.org/est-sloan/submissions/
Award:*Commissions range from $1000 to $10,000. *Fee:* N/A. *Restrictions:* N/A.



7.
Target Margin
Deadline: Oct 16th
website: http://www.targetmargin.org/our-season/institute/

 A year-long fellowship (January – December) that provides five diverse artists space, support and a $1,000 stipend to challenge themselves and their art-making practice. There is no curriculum or “teaching” structure. There is no final result or project. The core goal is rigorously to question our own assumptions about what the theater is, what it could be, and what we would like it to be.

WHO SHOULD APPLY?
Artists who have demonstrated a serious commitment to their practice and an interest in TMT’s principles, and are ready to move in a radical new direction. Fellows should be poised to embrace the open-ended questioning that guides the Institute. Applicants may emerge from any theatrical discipline (actors, designers, writers, directors, producers, stage managers, administrators, etc.). We also accept applications from other artistic fields (music, visual art, literature, etc.) as long as the connection to performance is clearly articulated.

The Institute is NOT a project development opportunity, nor is it a professional development service. There is no curriculum or “teaching” structure. There is no final result or project. The Institute values form-breaking work, artistic originality and process over production. The core goal is rigorously to question our own assumptions about what the theater is, what it could be, and what we would like it to be.


8.
Tofte Lake Residency
Deadline: Nov. 30th
Website: http://www.toftelake.com/residency-programs-0

Tofte Lake Center winds down its last month here in the Northwoods of MN, we’re gearing up for next year - our 10th Anniversary Season! Here’s how YOU could be part of our 10th Anniversary Season:

Our application window for all residences is September 1- November 30, 2017.
Applicants will be notified by February 1, 2018.
To apply is easy! These are your options for available weeks:

The Emerging Artists Program
June 25 - July 1, 2018
August 27 - Sept 2, 2018
September 10 - 16, 2018

The Gaia Fenna Memorial Fellowship
Sept 17 - 23, 2018

The Individual and Group/Organizational Residencies
June 11 - 17, 2018
Sept 24 - 30, 2018

You can find links to all the residency information and applications here: http://www.toftelake.com/residency-programs-0

Apply now - we hope to see you at the lake to celebrate our 10th anniversary!

Liz Engelman, Director
toftelakecenter@gmail.com
609-865-1139 (Oct - May)
218-365-7769 (June-Sept)
www.toftelake.com


9.
Obama Fellowship 
Deadline: October 6th
Website: https://www.obama.org/fellowship/apply/

Artists have a new opportunity to network and develop projects aimed at civic good, courtesy of none other than Barack and Michelle Obama, via their foundation.

Twenty “community-minded rising stars,” among them “organizers, creators, educators, artists, entrepreneurs, and journalists,” will be selected for the first round of the Obama Foundation Fellowship. They will enjoy expense-paid trips to confabs with all the other fellows. The two-year, non-residential fellowship invites applicants from around the world.

The Obama Foundation specifically seeks artists who are at a turning point in their careers, but who currently lack access to the networks that can help take their work to a bigger stage.

There’s an uncommon opportunity for the first class as well. The foundation’s announcement points out that the inaugural group of fellows will be able to help shape the program for future participants. Additionally, a representative of the foundation told artnet News via email that the Obama foundation will consult with experts in the field to select fellows, adding that the foundation sees art and culture as integral to the social sphere.

N.B.: The announcement of the fellowship specifies that it’s open to “good humans” with a “strong moral character,” hinting that especially edgy or challenging applications may not find favor.

The open call for applications closes at 6 p.m. Central time on October 6th; the chosen few will be notified in February 2018; the first fellowship gathering takes place in April of next year in the Chicago area, where the foundation has its headquarters.


10. 
The Cultural Diaspora: African-American and African Playwrights Creative Residency at the Camargo Foundation
deadline: October 19th
website: http://camargofoundation.org/apply/current-calls/

The program welcomes applications from black playwrights who are citizens of the United States or of an African country. Eligible applicants have an interest in the African diaspora as an influence and factor on their craft, work, and thinking. Eligible applicants have had at least three different texts/plays fully produced for public audiences.

Each of the eight participants will receive plane fare, local transport to and from the home airport and Camargo, and both a stipend of $1,000 US and an honorarium of $1,000 US (making a total of $2,000 US per playwright/text creator) to participate. Each artist will be provided a furnished apartment.

The Camargo Foundation, with generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Jerome Foundation, is excited to announce a four-week residency program for mid-career/established African-American and African playwrights. Four participants from the United States and four from the African continent, all of whom are interested in the intersection and interaction, whether historic or contemporary, between the United States and Africa, will be hosted at the Camargo Foundation in Cassis, France, from May 28 to June 25, 2018.


11.
Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation 
Deadline: October 7 
Website: http://americantheatrewing.org/program/jonathan-larson-grants/

The Jonathan Larson Grants are intended to honor and recognize emerging
musical theatre artists. Composers, lyricists, and librettists who work in
musical theatre are the focus of the grants. ATW is committed to serving
artists who are creating new, fully producible works for the theatre, and
advancing the art form. The grants do not honor a specific piece or project.
Awards range from $2,500-$15,000.


12.
InspiraTO Playwriting Contest
Deadline: November 20th
Website: http://www.theatreinspirato.ca/submit-a-play

The play must be a ten-minute play. The theme "all about her" must be an integral part of the play. The story can be a comedy, a drama, a parody, absurd or anything in between (in English only). We also accept musicals. The contest is open to anyone, in any part of the world, without geographic or age restrictions. Scroll to the bottom of the page to submit your play.

Please note: Just because one of the characters or all the characters are female does not necessarily make the theme “all about her”. Ensure that the play highlights a distinct female/feminine voice about the way she engages with the world or how she views the world.

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 at InspiraTO before). The playwright must own the rights to the play up to June 17, 2018 (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.

What will happen

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 1 - June 16, 2018. Between eighteen to twenty four, 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 13th Annual InspiraTO Festival in Toronto (Canada's largest ten-minute play festival), in June 2018. The InspiraTO Festival will find the cast, crew and market your play. Authors retain copyright and full ownership of their plays.

Only those playwrights whose plays have been selected will be notified by January 1, 2018 (more likely by mid-December).

What does a good ten-minute play need?

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.


13.
MAP Grant
Deadline: October 30th
Website: mapfundblog.org/the-program/

Proposals are evaluated on the basis of the following criteria, which are weighed equally:
How well a project aligns with the MAP Fund’s goal of supporting live performance projects that embody a spirit of deep inquiry. MAP is particularly interested in supporting artists that question, disrupt, complicate, and challenge inherited notions of social and cultural hierarchy across the current American landscape.

The artistic strength of the proposed project. The viability of the project, based on the applicant’s professional capabilities as demonstrated in the project narrative, bio and artist statement, and work samples. Letter of Inquiry and Full Applications must come from organizations based in the United States that have current nonprofit federal tax status (501c3). Unincorporated artists or ensembles may apply to MAP through a fiscal sponsor.

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

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

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

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


14.
Reva Shiner Comedy Award
Deadline: October 31st 
Website: http://newplays.org/submit-a-play/reva-shiner-comedy/

The Reva Shiner Comedy Award presents an unpublished full-length comedy with a cash prize of $1,000, a full production as part of the Bloomington Playwrights Project’s Mainstage season, along with travel reimbursement. We are currently accepting submissions for the 2018-19 Season. Scripts must be postmarked by October 31, 2017.

Previous winners have gone on to enjoy productions around the world and to garner additional honors such as the National Play Award.

We are currently accepting submissions for the 2018-19 Reva Shiner Comedy Award. The top 10 finalists and the winner of the 2018-19 Reva Shiner Comedy Award will be announced at the end of March 2018.

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

Plays submitted must be unpublished at the time of submission. Plays that have received developmental readings, workshop productions, or productions at small theatre companies are acceptable. No scripts with previous productions at major regional theaters will be accepted. Once entered, subsequent activity does not change the acceptability of the script.
Each submission must include a synopsis (1 page or less) including the cast size. A separate page should include a brief bio of the playwright, and production/development history if applicable.

Each submission must include a cover letter with contact information and a $10.00 reader fee. Agent submissions require no fee. The fee will be waived for Dramatist Guild members with an enclosed photocopy of a membership card. The BPP only accepts U.S. checks or money orders (Make check payable to "BPP"). No international checks or money orders will be accepted. If submitting internationally or if you want to avoid paying by check, pay online with your credit card here:

Make sure to note with your submission that you have paid the reader fee online.

It is preferable for musicals to include a demo CD. The complete score is not necessary but may be included. All plays are read by BPP's literary personnel led by and including the Literary Manager and Artistic Director.

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

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

Send to:
Bloomington Playwrights Project
107 W. 9th Street
Bloomington, IN 47404
For further information, write BPP, Attn: Literary Manager, 107 W. 9th Street, Bloomington, IN 47404. For faster replies, please e-mail us at literarymanager@newplays.org


15.
Berkeley Rep Ground Floor
Deadline: October 15th
Web: https://www.berkeleyrep.org/groundfloor/summerresidency.asp#tabbed-nav=apply

We invite artists to apply with projects that would benefit from a residency in Berkeley for 1–4 weeks. Berkeley Rep will provide transportation, housing, rehearsal space, basic technical support, and a modest stipend. Applicants must be available for residency between June 5 and July 1, 2018. Previous applicants may reapply. There is no limit on the number of projects an artist may apply with. We do accept applications from international artists.

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

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


16.
NYTW 2050 Fellow
Deadline: October 16th (5pm)
Website: https://www.nytw.org/artist-workshop/2050-fellowships/

For 20 years, NYTW has honed an inclusive fellowship program for emerging theatre makers with a multiplicity of perspectives. These fellowships have taken many forms, supporting playwrights, directors, designers and administrators.

In its current iteration, the 2050 Fellowship is a yearlong residency for emerging playwrights and directors. The 2050 Fellowship provides a space for experimentation, artistic and administrative support, and mentorship. The 2050 Fellows are emerging artists who, with their unique voices, give us perspective on the world in which we live; and who challenge us all to contend with this changing world.

The 2050 Fellowship is named in celebration of the U.S. Census Bureau’s projection that by the year 2050, there will be no single racial or ethnic majority in the United States.

This projection provokes thoughts at New York Theatre Workshop about the transformations that will take place in the American landscape – technologically, environmentally, demographically and artistically. They are a catalyst for broader questions about our moral and artistic future.

NYTW will accept up to six playwright or director 2050 Artistic Fellows per season. These fellowships will entail a one year commitment from June to June.

NYTW’s 2050 Fellowships consists of five basic components:

-Monthly fellowship meetings where fellows meet with each other and artists from the NYTW community to discuss craft, aesthetics, and artistic development
-Access to rehearsal space and two opportunities to share works-in-progress with the NYTW artistic staff and entire fellowship cohort
-Mentorship from the NYTW Artistic staff and contemporary theatre artists
-An invitation to participate in the artistic life of the theatre by attending staff meetings, developmental readings, dress rehearsals, and other NYTW functions
-A three-day weekend retreat at the start and end of the fellowship
-2050 Fellows are awarded a modest stipend and an artistic development fund to support fellowship projects, attend performances, research and travel.