Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Troll Patrol

Alt-Rt Troll Culture. I have shared this story before but...a few yrs ago, I was at an after-play reception at La MaMa. Wine, crackers, etc. There was an old white woman who was trying to pick a fight about some political issues with the cast, who were not having it. So she started talking to me about 'immigrants taking over the country'  or 'blue lives matter.' I happened to be in a whimsical mood...maybe it was the wine. She would say these things to me, perhaps trying to troll my outrage. I would repeat exactly what she said, tilt my head up as if I was thinking about it, maybe take a sip of wine, smile, and then ask her 'now do you REALLY believe that?' She would go 'oh yeah oh yeah' and add more detail. I would ask her with sincere curiosity 'who told you that?' When we got down to the foundation of every one of her beliefs there was absolutely nothing there: pure fiction or rumor or ugly old superstitions. Btw, I also saw these views gave her a sense of identity and community. Anyway, she would start to react in a cagey fashion as the questions got more and more specific. Then she would quickly switch to another topic realizing that she wasn't making sense or winning. This went on for some time as she jumped from issue to issue. In some cases she would pre-bate the argument by saying 'well you probably think (blank)' as a way to goad me. But her beliefs about me were so far off-base that I had an easy time shocking her. I simply would say 'no I don't believe that. Who told you I believe that?' I reminded her that she just made up an entire story in her head about me...when she could have just asked me what I thought. I asked her 'now how many stories did you make up in your head about Trayvon Martin? Or immigrants taking your jobs?' Her eyes widened. I reminded her that the stories in her head are just that. By this time she had gone from being a loud troll to completely meek and actually listening. I concluded our conversation with a possible overreach: I told her to not watch so much cable news. I have had conversations like this again and again with people. I'm not trying to convert. I am just trying to listen and get at the heart of hatred or rage b/c when you dig down really deep there is nothing there that makes any sense. It's the craziest thing. The world runs on this anger/hatred and not only is it illogical, but it's based on nothing. NADA. ZIP. We are destroying ourselves over something that doesn't even really work. It's like burning down a house to fight a ghost...and a ghost that's in my head. Sheer lunacy. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Ugly Truth about Democratic Politicians

There's a Dem prez in office when a right-wing Supreme Court justice dies suddenly. The GOP first argue that they should get a conservative nominee, before deciding they won't even allow a hearing on the president's justice. The Dem prez could use the open seat as a rallying cry for liberals and progressives by nominating another female justice or a POC. Instead, Dem president nominates an old white conservative guy. A nice guy, but still very conservative. Dem supporters are confused and dispirited by the selection. Dem president has managed to not only capitulate to GOP in offering a conservative, but has split his own base. Smelling blood in the water, GOP capitalizes on this by both refusing to hold a hearing on the potential justice, and then saying they might hold one after the election if Hillary gets elected in order to prevent her from withdrawing the conservative justice. So the GOP, in effect, plays both sides of the issue to their advantage. Conversely, the Dems play no sides. They do not rally their base, they do not galvanize supporters, they try an inside the Beltway media campaign to shame the GOP. The strategy fizzles after two weeks b/c Dems do not reach out to their base and -once again- the person nominated is an old white Republican who does not inspire enthusiasm. GOP shamelessly runs hard to their base, lies about prez, lies about the Supreme Court nominee, reframes the argument, and then wins. Dems whine. Two yrs later, it's 2018 and there's still no strategy, still no rallying cry, still no attempt to inspire the progressive base, Dems react to bad news but let the GOP set all terms and rules of engagement. When a slightly progressive Dem Congresswoman tries to inspire the base to protest where ever they can, the Dems quickly divide, argue, and dissipate amongst themselves. Smelling blood in the water, GOP aims right for the weakness in their opponent's inability to speak to their base or even rally behind their own officials. They attack Dems for being uncivil, making the Dems more fearful of the GOP's wrath. Sorry, but Bill Clinton started this mess with welfare capitulating, Obama continued it, and the GOP are finishing it. Wash, rinse, repeat. One of these days someone is going to talk to the Dem party base in a plain simple message of what they want the nation to look like in the future. This person will win easily b/c the base is something Dems run away from, while the GOP builds.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

POCs at the Pride Parade

The view wasn’t brilliant for Gayville that day:
The outlook was overcast, with a chance of a rain delay,
And when a Twink death dropped, and a Bear did the same,
A pall-like silence fell upon the throngs of thongs on Pride day.

A straggling few got up to go in deep despair. The rest
Clung to the hope which springs eternal in the human breast;
“If only Citibank and Fannie Mae could get another float
We’d put up money for a Chipotle's Technicolor gay coat.

Chase dykes preceded Pinkberry fairies, and the Frosted flakes,
And all the corporate hoodoo sponsors baked a rainbow cake;
So upon that stricken multitude grim melancholy sat,
There seemed but little chance of authenticity getting to the bat.

But Cynthia Nixon marched, to the wonderment of all,
And mayor, though much despis├Ęd, opened a LGBTQI ball;
And when the dust had lifted, and men saw what had occurred,
There was safe space on 8th and a swelling crop top herd.

Then from five thousand throats and more there rose a lusty yell;
It rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell;
It pounded on the mountain and recoiled upon the sight
For Blk gays and Latinxs were advancing toward the light.

From benches black with people, up went a muffled roar,
the beating of the storm-waves on a stern and distant shore;
“Kill him! Kill the umpire!” shouted Koch Bros in the stand;
"They are unsponsored and unbought" boys in no one's band.

With a smile of Christian charity great queer visage shone;
they stilled the rising tumult, and bade the parade go on;
they signalled to the twinkling twinks, and the flag still flew;
And ignored rolling eyes of Mean Girls screaming “Strike two!”

“Fraud!” cried the chiseled thousands, “Fraud, fraud, fraud!”
But a 'bitch please' look from QPOC and all were awed.
Their faces grew stern and cold, muscles popped from strain,
They knew that these Qweens wouldn’t let this ball go by again

Sneer is gone from their lip, but teeth are clenched in hate,
They pound their air with the cruel violence of the state
And now the DJ holds the needle and now he lets it go,
And now the air is shattered by the force of Posing vogue.

Oh, somewhere in this favoured land the sun is shining bright,
The DJ is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light;
And somewhere men laugh, and somewhere drag queens shout,
But there is joy in Gayville—the POCs have not sold out.

- this is is a riff/homage/satirical take on "Casey at the Bat" I composed while eating a salad after Sunday yoga class.


Saturday, June 9, 2018

48 Hrs in DC (give or take a few hrs)


Wednesday started off with an early-morning workout at my gym in Brooklyn, hopping on an Amtrak to Washington DC, talking to my Lyft driver and co-passenger about "The Diamond Cutter" and planting mental imprints for success, going to the popular Founding Farmers for lunch, walking up Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House, talking with the Rastafarian protestor posted up across the street from the gates, meeting up with Javier after work to check out the gospel/folk group The Campbell Bros at the Kennedy Center for a free afternoon concert, swinging over to Studio Theatre for the fantastic "The Remains," hanging out afterward with the play's co-star Maulik Pancholy as well as Ryan Spahn at Logan's Tavern, touring around the Dupont Area, going to another gay bar, getting into a 'passionate discussion' with one of the Christian proseltyzers who come to DC during Pride month to convert sinners, arguing about the meaning of the Prodigal Son story, talking about art and interdepent origination, and walking back through the empty streets of DC. Javier's dog -Jason Bourne- ate the cornbread leftovers I brought back from Founding Farmers for my human friend, but it was in a doggy bag, so....(I'll see myself out!).


Two great meetings with Studio Theatre and Wooly Mammoth. That was the bulk of my day and before I knew it 5 hrs had passed by. I walked up and down the National Mall, saw the provocative/profane/raunchy "Botticelli in the Fire" at Woolly Mammoth, exit out of the theatre to throngs of Washington Capital fans and the jumbotron set out in the street, Caps win, DC wins, the curse is broken, hallelujah, and...I'm sorry, what sport is that? I met up with Javier at a McDonald's. He was playing in a volleyball tournament. His team lost so he was hanging out with his other volleyball loving losers. We came back to his apartment and Jason Bourne had ripped through the garbage. Trash and coffee grounds were strewn all over the living room. After cleaning up, Javier took Jason for a walk. I went to sleep for a few hours, got up, and left on an early Friday morning train. Back to NYC. 

Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade: Suicide and Renunciation

On Wednesday I had a quiet moment of reflection before the lights went down and "The Remains" started. I guess I was thinking about Kate Spade. I turned to my college friend and asked if he knew how special we were. He didn't understand. I explained that we have known each other for 20 yrs and we're still here. We have problems, but nothing crippling, no trauma, finances are fine, love life is ok, professional life is moving along, parents aren't crazy, we have siblings and relatives who aren't leeches or trying to create drama, we went to a great school, had opportunities, and managed not to make the wrong decisions in a million different ways. A million different decisions we made as teenagers, mostly in ignorance or by guessing or just remembering what our parents said. But we didn't really know.

My friend said he thought that was most people: that they had their stuff together, a circle of friends, and stability. I scoffed at that idea. Maybe even if I did believe that the vast majority of humanity is all right (which I do NOT) the window of good fortune in this life is so short. The time in adulthood when our shit is together and we still have a relatively young body and mind is really short in comparison to the rest of life, when things are either on the upside of the hill or the long downside. I wanted to acknowledge that because circumstances could change at any moment. Or the next decision I make in regard to finances, professions, love, or friendships could result in catastrophe. 

Yesterday was a Buddhist holiday. I was on an early morning train from DC to NYC when the news popped up about Anthony Bourdain's suicide. I arrived back in NYC, changed, and went to the gym. My trainer seemed morose. As it turns out, he was Bourdain's sparring partner in jujitsu. They had just spoken a week ago. He shows me some pictures of him and Anthony in their martial arts uniforms. I am reminded once again of renunciation. Master Dharma Rakshita's "Wheel of Knives" comes into my head. I search my phone for the opening verse of renunciation. I find a text I sent to a friend a few weeks ago during the last Buddhist holiday:

"Peacocks wander in the midst
of a forest of poison trees;
a garden of healing herbs and plants
may be something lovely,
but peacocks have no love for them-
They live off poison itself.

Bodhisattva warriors are the same:
a garden of comfort and pleasure
may be something lovely
But the warriors have no attachment for them-
They live off a forest of pain.

The kings of cowardice who pursue
comfort and pleasures find themselves
transported instead to pain.
Those mighty warriors who pursue
pain for others find themselves,
forever surrounded by bliss
by the power of their courage."

- opening excerpts of "The Wheel of Knives"
by Master Dharma Rakshita and passed on to Lord Atisha (982-1052)

Every day we are balancing on a razor's edge of good fortune and love. And I guess it makes me want to be more kind to other people because we are all there. On the edge.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Great Plays after "Angels in America"

The NYTimes posted a list of the best plays since ANGELS IN AMERICA. It's a fun thing to do because a) everyone likes lists b) everyone wants to know who made it c) people love fighting about their favorite plays that didn't make the cut and d) then everyone makes their own list to dialogue with the paper of record.


Topdog/Underdog 2001
An Octoroon 2014
The Flick 2013
Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play 2013
Clybourne Park 2010
Ruined 2008
How I Learned to Drive 1997
Seven Guitars 1996
Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 1994
The Designated Mourner 2000
The Humans 2015
This Is Our Youth 1996
Three Tall Women 1994
Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train 2000
Eurydice 2006
House/Lights 1999
The Laramie Project 2000
Yellow Face 2007
August: Osage County 2007
The Vagina Monologues 1996
Underground Railroad Game 2016
The Wolves 2016
The Realistic Joneses 2012
The Apple Family Plays 2010-13
The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity

It's a great compilation: some obvious choices, some radical ones, some plays that I almost think are there to troll my outrage (I'm not going to say which ones), and a lot of narrative experimentation. Of course, I gotta have my own list....


1. Skeleton Crew by Dominique Morisseau
2. The Pillowman by Martin McDonagh
3. Queens by Martyna Majok
4. Thom Pain by Will Eno
5. Dinner with Friends by Donald Marguiles
6. Hand to God by Robert Askins b/c comedies don't get enough respect.
7. The Whale by Sam Hunter
8. Betty's Summer Vacation by Chris Durang - laughed so hard I thought I was going to pass out.
9. This by Melissa James Gibson - one of the quietest and most deceptive plays that sneak up on you.
10 The Story by Tracey Scott-Wilson
11. Fabulation by Lynn Nottage
12. In the Continuum by Nikkole Salter and Danai Gurira
13. No Child by Nilaja Sun
14. Vietgone by Qui Nguyen
15. The Hill Town Plays by Lucy Thurber
16. Charles Francis Chan Jr's Exotic Oriental Murder Mystery by Lloyd Suh - FAN-fucking-tastic. Funny transgressive, imaginative, epic, American.
17. Booytcandy by Robert O'Hara
18. Eclipsed by Danai Gurira
19. Indecent by Paula Vogel
20. Metamorphoses by Mary Zimmerman

Friday, June 1, 2018

The Drive of Hungry People

Last night I saw "Dan Cody's Yacht" at MTC and one of the themes is about that ineffable thing that drives ppl: hunger for more. The appetite almost seems to be bigger than the person. Some ppl have it and some ppl don't. I went to the play with Ghazi Albuliwi, who is a Palestinian stand-up comedian and playwright. Afterward, we went to a bar to watch the NBA Finals and talk about the work.

 I was fascinated with that idea of psychological hunger. Ghazi said that his family came from Palestinian refugee camp in Jordan. Millions of people without any legal rights to move or relocate. Millions of people just stuck in this limbo for generations. The prospects in these camps are so bleak that most ppl resort to stealing, hustling, finding different ways to rip off others. The chances of getting out of one of these camps is very very small. On a strange hunch/hunger, his father got into the merchant marines and was able to get some rare US visa 20 years ago. And his father brought him over to the United States. They arrived here by the grace of bureaucracy and the sheer hunger of a father not wanting to die in bleakness.

Ghazi said that every day in NYC he realizes there's another version of him who is still back in that refugee camp: fat, balding, with six kids, maybe working as an auto mechanic or blackmarket trader, drinking, and miserable. Every day he wakes up in NYC and he is aware that he escaped through the eye of a needle. That awareness is what keeps him hungry and awake.

It got me thinking about my own hunger and how fortunate we are to be still on the path toward something unknown, and bigger than us. And we saw that play and sat in a bar in midtown because we were able to tap into those unknown and invisible forces that surpass what our minds can conceive for ourselves.

Get What You Want: June 2018

BMI Musical Workshop
Deadline: June 1st for librettist
                 August 1st for composers and lyricists

A new prologue to the established Librettists Workshop, Bookwriting Basics explores the fundamentals of writing book for the musical theatre through a series of lectures and assignments. This is a one-year course.

Fall Semester

Award winning bookwriter Adam Mathias unlocks the toolkit for musical theatre librettists. Through lecture, discussion and assignments students learn how to apply the fundamentals of playwriting to the craft of creating musicals.

Spring Semester

David Spencer, award winning bookwriter/lyricist and author of The Musical Theatre Writers’ Survival Guide, leads exploration through a series of masterworks to uncover what makes them work...and through analysis of promising source material for unsuccessful shows that had the potential to work…in which the class endeavors to solve inherent challenges that the original creative teams didn’t.

Librettists Workshop
After completing the Bookwriting Basics program, writers may apply to join the established Librettists Workshop group. Not all writers who apply will be invited to join.

Nancy Golladay, veteran Broadway literary manager and dramaturg, moderates a writers’ roundtable focused on developing the skills unique to musical theatre bookwriters. Members read and critique each other’s work as their material evolves from one-page synopses to fully scripted scenes — including occasional cold readings of an entire show. In a yearly collaborative project, the Librettists Workshop engages with the First Year Songwriting Class. Librettist Workshop members are also eligible to participate in Collaborator Connections events with members of the Songwriters Workshops.

The Sherwood Award
Deadline: June 1st (initial deadline)

Center Theatre Group's $10,000 Richard E. Sherwood Award for emerging theatre artists is given annually to nurture innovative and adventurous theatre artists working in Los Angeles.

The Sherwood Award nurtures emerging artists and invites them to engage in a professional relationship with Center Theatre Group. Sherwood Award recipients demonstrate leadership qualities, push existing boundaries, and are dedicated to improving the future of their respective artistic fields. Artists are not limited by title, role, or genre, but they must have a relationship to contemporary performance rooted in theatre.

The application for the 2019 Sherwood Award is now live. The deadline for the initial application is June 1, 2018 at 11:59 pm PT. Select candidates will be invited to submit full applications. Full applications, along with letters of recommendation and work sample material, will be due no later than July 27, 2018 at 11:59 pm PT. The winner will be announced at the LA STAGE Alliance Ovation Awards.

Sherwood Award Requirements
Applicants must be:
An individual artist (no groups or teams)
A resident of Los Angeles for at least two years
An artist who has developed/collaborated on at least two fully produced projects in Los Angeles
Emerging in their field and/or at a catalytic moment in their career (which does not reflect the age of the artists, but where they are in the trajectory of their careers)
Sherwood Award priorities:
Competitive candidates will demonstrate the following qualities:

Innovative—introducing new ideas; original and creative in thinking

Pushing boundaries—extending frontiers, experimenting, challenging the theatrical norm, finding new forms of artistic expression

Exceptional talent—the ability to capture the attention of the audience through pure skill and craft, a natural ability or aptitude in the selected field, translating passion and dedication into works of art, etc.

Effective communication—theatre artists who can passionately and effectively communicate their point of view and distinct artistic voice.

About the Sherwood Award Application Process
There are four phases in the Sherwood Award application process.

Phase One (June)
Initial applications are reviewed by the Sherwood Artistic Program Coordinator, the Sherwood Fellow, and Center Theatre Group's Artistic Development Program Manager (Sherwood Team). Applicant's submitted application, professional resume, and artist statement will be reviewed.

Phase Two (Late June – August)
Applicants who meet the requirements of the Sherwood Award and demonstrate qualities aligning with the priorities outlined above, or applicants who are nominated by an external nomination committee, are invited to submit a full application. Full applications are reviewed by the Sherwood Team and one external reviewer. In addition to the initial application, work sample material, one letter of recommendation, and written responses will be reviewed.

Phase Three (August – September)
Approximately eight semi-finalists will be selected. Semi-finalists will be reviewed by an external panel of professionals who will make recommendations to the Sherwood Team. These applicants will then interview with the Sherwood Team. Three finalists will then be selected.

Phase Four (October)
The three finalists will interview with the Sherwood Award Panel comprised of Dee Sherwood, the Sherwood Team, and additional Center Theatre Group artistic staff. By this point, all members of the Panel will have reviewed the candidates' work. Finalists will be announced in early October, and the Sherwood Award recipient will be announced at the Ovation Awards.

McColl Artist in Residency
Deadline: June 6th

McColl Center for Art + Innovation is a nationally acclaimed artist residency and contemporary art space in Charlotte, North Carolina. Its mission is to empower artists, advance communities, and contribute positive impacts to its broad public audience by introducing a range of current artistic practices. Located in the former Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Uptown Charlotte, McColl Center houses nine individual artist studios, more than 5,000 square feet of exhibition space, and multiple common-use spaces, including a studio for large-scale sculpture fabrication. We invite artists to take risks in their processes and explore their ideas within the context of Charlotte. We welcome the visiting public to connect with contemporary art and artists through exhibitions and public programs.
McColl Center annually awards residencies to approximately eighteen artists. Regional, national, and international artists are selected through a combination of open applications, invitations, and solicited nominations. The Artist-in-Residence Program is open to artists working in architecture, drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, film, video, new media, design, music, theatre, social practice, community organizing, urban agriculture, culinary arts, or interdisciplinary practices. The residency program provides a space for creative inquiry and exploration among a dynamic group of artists, thinkers, and practitioners.


● $6,000 living allowance
● $2,000 materials stipend (prorated for residencies shorter than three months)
● Furnished one-bedroom condominium with Wi-Fi
● Private workspace (230–819 square feet) with Wi-Fi
● Participation in a group exhibition on the second or third floor of McColl Center
● Photo and video documentation
● Technical and administrative services
● Reimbursement for one round-trip economy-class flight
● Opportunities to engage with McColl Center audiences via public programs


● Minimum 21 years of age
● Matriculating students are not eligible.
● Past artists-in-residence of McColl Center should wait five years before applying for another residency. Artists are limited to two residencies at McColl Center.


Applicants will be notified of their application status in July 2018, or as soon as possible, depending on the availability of the reviewing panelists.

DVRF Playwrights Program
Deadline: June 11th

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

Fred Ebb Award
Deadline: 6/30/18

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.

Application Materials:

A CD, flash drive, or electronic file of up to four songs from one or more musical theatre pieces, with typewritten lyrics and a description of the dramatic context for each song; and
A completed application form.
We will code the applications as they arrive. Because all submissions will be reviewed blind, please do not place name(s) of writer(s) on the CD, flash drive, electronic file names, lyric sheets, or description of dramatic context. Only musical theatre work will be considered. Please do not submit live recordings. The applicant(s) must have written all the songs included in the submission. For example, a composer cannot submit one song with her own lyrics, and a second song with lyrics by another writer. No individual may appear on more than one application. You cannot apply as an individual and again as part of a team, or as part of more than one songwriting team.

Submission Deadline and Award: Applications will be accepted from June 1st – June 29th.

Please mail or deliver applications to:

Fred Ebb Award, Roundabout Theatre
231 West 39th Street, Suite 1200
New York, New York 10018

Mailed submissions must be postmarked not later than June 30.

The winner will be selected in November and will receive $60,000. The Foundation will also produce a one-night showcase of the winner’s work.

PEN Writing for Justice Fellowship
Deadline: July 1st

PEN America’s $10,000 Writing for Justice Fellowship will commission six writers—emerging or established—to create written works of lasting merit that illuminate critical issues related to mass incarceration and catalyze public debate.

The PEN America Writing for Justice Fellowship aims to harness the power of writers and writing in bearing witness to the societal consequences of mass incarceration by capturing and sharing the stories of incarcerated individuals, their families, communities, and the wider impact of the criminal justice system. Our goal is to ignite a broad, sustained conversation about the dangers of over-incarceration and the imperative to mobilize behind rational and humane policies. As an organization of writers dedicated to promoting free expression and informed discourse, PEN America is honored to have been entrusted by the Art for Justice Fund to engage the literary community in addressing this pressing societal issue.

The Writing for Justice Fellowship is open-genre, and proposed projects may include—but are not limited to—fictional stories; works of literary or long-form journalism; theatrical, television or film scripts; memoirs; poetry collections; or multimedia projects. The most competitive applications will demonstrate how the proposed project will engage issues of reform, fuel public debate, crystallize concepts of reform, and facilitate the possibility of societal change. As part of our mission to stimulate discussion, emphasis will be placed on proposed projects that show strong promise for publication. Fellows must commit to contribute actively to bringing attention to their work and that of other Fellows. The Fellowship is open to writers at any stage of their career. Currently and formerly incarcerated writers are highly encouraged to apply, and special provisions will be made for incarcerated writers to participate through alternative methods.

Fellows will receive an honorarium of $10,000 and may request up to $5,000 in additional funding for travel and research. In addition to financial support, Fellows may choose to be paired with a mentor to serve as a source of guidance for the project, and the cohort will convene in person twice during the course of the Fellowship. PEN America will draw on the Writing for Justice Advisory Committee as well as its network of agents, editors, publishers, partner organizations and outlets in order to assist efforts for publication and dissemination of the work of the Fellows. Opportunities for sharing the created work through public forums will be organized in New York City at the PEN World Voices Festival, in the Fellow’s home community, and possibly additional locations.

The first eight months of the Fellowship are designed for Fellows to research, create, and connect with mentors and the cohort, working toward submission of a polished final product that is ready for publication. The final four months of the Fellowship will focus on placing the works for public dissemination and opportunities for Fellows to present their work publicly.

July 1, 2018: Deadline to apply
September 2018: Successful applicants notified
September–May 2018: Fellows work on their projects, meet with mentors
October TBD, 2018: Cohort meeting #1 (NYC)
February 8–10, 2019: Cohort meeting #2 (Location TBD)
April 2019: PEN World Voices Festival event featuring works in progress
May 2019: Work completed and submitted for publication
May–August 2019: Placing work and public presentations

To be eligible for this Fellowship, the applicant must be

21 years of age or older.
An individual writer. Collaborative projects are acceptable, but only one project lead may apply and participate in the Fellowship’s activities.
A United States resident.
Available to participate actively in all dimensions of Fellowship programming, including mandatory gatherings and public programs. (The Fellowship will cover costs associated with these events, separately from the Fellowship honorarium and travel/research budget.) Currently incarcerated writers and formerly incarcerated writers on parole will participate through alternative means.
Able to demonstrate a track record of successful projects brought to completion on time.
Membership in PEN America is not required. Please see FAQs below for more information.

Fellows will be selected on artistic merit, the project’s approach and potential for impact, and the feasibility of project to be fully completed and in polished, publishable form within the given time frame. Applications will be reviewed by PEN America and expert advisors through an anonymous process.

Applications close July 1, 2018. Fellows will be announced in September 2018.

The Civilians R&D Lab
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 theater, which we broadly define as any creative process of inquiry that feeds the creation of a performative work. 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 R&D Program Director. The generative artists in the group (writers, composers, etc.) are expected to attend all 12 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 2019. Given the nature of the process, it is understood that these drafts will be in various stages of development when they are presented.

Mabou Mines SUITE/Space
deadline: July 2nd

Mabou Mines' new performance initiative SUITE/Space provides artistic mentorship, rehearsal space, and public performances in our 99-seat theater to artists that reflect NYC’s rich cultural landscape and share Mabou Mines’ commitment to breaking new ground in form and content.

SUITE/Space is open to artists of color from historically underrepresented communities, especially those from the outer-boroughs of NYC, who exhibit a commitment to experimentation and a collaborative creative process. Multimedia, music, dance, theater, and cross-disciplinary projects are accepted.

Proposed projects should be either near production-ready or previously produced.

What SUITE/Space Artists Receive:
A $ 3,000 stipend and a 50-50 box office split.
30 hours of rehearsal space in Mabou Mines’ sunlit studio in the East Village.
Technical and administrative support.
Studio visits with the program’s artistic advisors.
10 hours of technical rehearsal in the theater.
Three SUITE/Space performances in a festival-like setting at Mabou Mines.

The 2019 SUITE/Space Program will run from September 2018 – January/February 2019. Submissions open on June 1, 2018 and proposals are due by July 2, 2018. Four artists will be selected and notified in July/August 2018.

Deadline: June 30th

Every 6 months, up to two filmmakers will be awarded this production grant of up to $30,000 in production funds. We announce the winner(s) 6 weeks after each final deadline. See Application Guidelines below for all deadlines and more info.

We are accepting applications from around the world (in English). Whether you have a simple screenplay or a film that’s already in production, we want to consider it for our grant program. We consider a range of projects, from standalone screenplays, to fully packaged projects seeking finishing funds.

If your aspirations are solely to become a produced screenwriter, you can rely on ScreenCraft and BondIt to package the winning script with a talented director and in-house production resources with up to $30,000 in cash financing, judged on a case-by-case basis, depending on each project’s budget and needs as determined by our internal jury of industry professionals.

In partnership with BondIt Media Capital, a film & media fund based in Beverly Hills, ScreenCraft is offering two production grants per year to talented filmmakers for narrative features, short films and TV pilot series scripts and documentaries that display originality, vision & exceptional potential. Grant amounts will vary from $10,000 to $30,000 depending on the scale and merit of each project. This program includes creative development from the ScreenCraft team and production guidance and resources from BondIt Media Capital and Buffalo 8 Productions.

Deadline: June 30th 

The Propulsion Lab, our bi-weekly playwriting lab for Queens based playwrights, is opening submissions again this year! This is a 2 year residency with Mission to (dit)Mars, with the option for renewal at the end of your term. The lab meets every other Monday night in Astoria, and includes opportunities for Launch Pad readings, industry meet and greets, Queens based events, individual attention, and the opportunity to create amazing new plays.

Our guidelines are simple: you must be a playwright who lives in Queens at the time of application, with no immediate plans to relocate. The reason for this is simple: we want artists who live in Queens to be able to work on theater in Queens. If you have any questions at all, please feel free to email us. Members of the Propulsion Lab have included Mac Rogers, Tori Keenan-Zelt, Mariah MacCarthy, Gus Schulenburg, and more!

Guidelines and submission details can be found here. The application closes on 11:59 pm Saturday, June 30th.

Kampala International Theatre Festival
Deadline: June 30th

We are excited to announce the 5th edition of the Kampala International Theatre Festival that will take place from 23rd – 25th November 2018 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. Applications are accepted until 30th June 2018.

You are requested to submit the following information:

A completed entry form (downloadable here)
A short biography (max. 800 words) with a recent headshot.
A one page statement clearly stating why you want to participate in the festival with the production you are proposing.
A presentation of your work: a copy of the script and a short video of its production if available or any other visuals that speak to your work. Please ensure 2-3 high resolution images and a 1-2 minute video for promotional purposes are included in your submission.
A technical rider/data sheet that includes everyone expected to participate in the production.
Please email your submission materials to by 30th June 2018

We will confirm receipt of your submission and assess your application. By the end of August 2018 you will be informed about the status of your application. Please note that we will be offering very limited rehearsal time. Therefore, your production needs to be ready for staging should you be selected to participate in the festival.

What we offer:
A modest performance fee to participating artists.
For artists from outside Uganda, ground transportation, modest accommodation and modest per diem. You are encouraged to source for support to cover travel, visa incl. insurance. Artists selected will receive a formal invitation to facilitate the solicitation for such support.
We thank you for your interest in participating in the Kampala International Theatre Festival and look forward to welcoming you to Uganda in November 2018!

James Stevenson Prize for Short Plays
Deadline: July 1st

Submissions are now open for Playing on Air’s inaugural James Stevenson Prize for Short Plays.  In his editorial cartoons for The New Yorker, James Stevenson told stories about the human comedy with energy and economy. Playing on Air, a theater podcast and public radio show, will award three major prizes for short comedies that perpetuate Mr. Stevenson's spirit and wit, bringing the finest new American plays to a national audience - for free.

First prize is $7500 plus a podcast. Second prize is $2,000. Third prize is $1,000.

 Playing on Air invites writers to submit a short comedic play of 10-25 pages (not counting title page).
- All entries must be original, unproduced plays. Scripts may not be adapted from the playwright’s published or previously-produced work.
- Submissions will be judged for literary merit, originality, and regard for the spirit of James Stevenson.
- Special consideration will be given to the script’s suitability for audio recording, as well as public radio broadcast.  Single-character monologues and plays that rely on the extensive use of a chorus, cast doubling, stage directions, or visual elements are discouraged.
- Please do not include sound design cues or instructions beyond standard stage directions.

Formatting requirements: title page (with no author information), 12pt font, 1 inch margins on every side, and numbered pages

Pen American Writing for Justice
Deadline: July 1st

PEN America’s $10,000 Writing for Justice Fellowship will commission six writers—emerging or established—to create written works of lasting merit that illuminate critical issues related to mass incarceration and catalyze public debate.

The PEN America Writing for Justice Fellowship aims to harness the power of writers and writing in bearing witness to the societal consequences of mass incarceration by capturing and sharing the stories of incarcerated individuals, their families, communities, and the wider impact of the criminal justice system. Our goal is to ignite a broad, sustained conversation about the dangers of over-incarceration and the imperative to mobilize behind rational and humane policies. As an organization of writers dedicated to promoting free expression and informed discourse, PEN America is honored to have been entrusted by the Art for Justice Fund to engage the literary community in addressing this pressing societal issue.

The Writing for Justice Fellowship is open-genre, and proposed projects may include—but are not limited to—fictional stories; works of literary or long-form journalism; theatrical, television or film scripts; memoirs; poetry collections; or multimedia projects. The most competitive applications will demonstrate how the proposed project will engage issues of reform, fuel public debate, crystallize concepts of reform, and facilitate the possibility of societal change. As part of our mission to stimulate discussion, emphasis will be placed on proposed projects that show strong promise for publication. Fellows must commit to contribute actively to bringing attention to their work and that of other Fellows. The Fellowship is open to writers at any stage of their career. Currently and formerly incarcerated writers are highly encouraged to apply, and special provisions will be made for incarcerated writers to participate through alternative methods.

Fellows will receive an honorarium of $10,000 and may request up to $5,000 in additional funding for travel and research. In addition to financial support, Fellows may choose to be paired with a mentor to serve as a source of guidance for the project, and the cohort will convene in person twice during the course of the Fellowship. PEN America will draw on the Writing for Justice Advisory Committee as well as its network of agents, editors, publishers, partner organizations and outlets in order to assist efforts for publication and dissemination of the work of the Fellows. Opportunities for sharing the created work through public forums will be organized in New York City at the PEN World Voices Festival, in the Fellow’s home community, and possibly additional locations.

Deadline: August 15th

The Yale Drama Series is seeking submissions for its 2019 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, adaptations, 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 professional 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 2019 competition must be submitted no earlier than June 1, 2018 and no later than August 15, 2018. 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:

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.

They are currently in the process of reading and selecting new works for their 2019 season, so they’re seeking one-acts and full-length plays of all genres.

Pint-Sized Showcase (UK)
Deadline: July 1st

Each Pint-Sized showcases 5 pieces of new writing from the best in emerging talent, wrapped up with a live band playing tailor-made tracks written about the pieces involved, all with a sold-out audience and discounts at the bar.

We’re committed to supporting emerging writers at every level, and we publish a longlist of our favourite submissions. We’ll offer these writers feedback and advice throughout the year, and free entry to private sessions with our mentors, so if your script isn’t chosen for the show, it doesn’t mean we can’t offer you help in any other way.

This will be the first of our annual week-long festivals, with high-profile events and speakers during the day, and five brilliant pieces of writing performed every night!


Email your piece to by 11pm on July 1st.

Pieces should be 10-15 minutes, either stand-alone shorts or excerpts from longer work.

Only one piece submitted per writer.

No need for pieces to fit a particular theme or genre; if it’s good writing, we’re interested in it. We’re unable to accommodate huge sets or technically complex shows, but we’ll always do our best.

No need to sell yourself in a cover letter - we read the plays separately from your emails.

Everything we offer is free; if you’re trying to submit and come across a page asking you to pay, you’re looking at Pint-Sized Plays, based in Wales, who are lovely and good people, but aren’t us.


£150.00 fee paid to writers whose work is selected.

A mentor to give feedback on your work

Lanesboro Artist Residency
deadline: June 29th

The Lanesboro Artist Residency Program, located in Lanesboro, MN (pop. 754), is supported by the Jerome Foundation and 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 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 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 residency is generally focused on studio time and community engagement. Ideally, scheduled events are balanced so that a mix of intentional and small-scale events, informal and formal events, and events larger in scope and open to the general public take place. Depending on the artist, outreach could engage community members in the topics and issues raised by or inspired by their project, the process of art making, or both.

Artists of all disciplines are eligible and encouraged to apply.

Artists must be legal residents of Minnesota or one of the five boroughs of New York City and have been residents for at least one year prior to the submission of an application.

Artists are paid $1,000/week and are provided studio and lodging space.

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.

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.

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 2019 except for May, June, or July. Residencies scheduled in April 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, March, September, October, November, and December. Residencies generally 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. If selected for a residency, Lanesboro Arts staff will work with you to determine the exact dates best for all parties.

Artists are required to list their top three choices of dates for their residency. If selected for a residency, Lanesboro Arts staff will work with you to determine the exact dates best for all parties.

The primary goal of eligible artists must be to generate new works, as opposed to remounting or re-interpreting existing works.

CORE Summer Reading Series
Deadline: June 21st

Core Artist Ensemble is currently accepting script submissions for our upcoming 2018 Summer Readings Series. This season, we are fully embracing the resurgence of audio storytelling by focusing on that form as our primary medium.

We are excited to begin development of an anthology-style podcast, which will feature a new audio play every episode. Each story will explore the influence that technology has on our relationships and individual identities — the rapidly shifting and evolving shape of human connection as a consequence of modern advancements.

Let’s face it, modern communication technology now touches every part of our lives, from the nuances of our everyday interactions to its extreme influence on the culture at large, including national politics and storytelling. At Core Artist Ensemble, we’re looking for stories that investigate these changes and make vivid the ramifications of entering this brave new world.

If you’re looking for topical inspiration, there are several excellent non-fiction technology- and culture-related podcasts that might stoke your imagination. Reply All and Note to Self are a couple of our favorites. has put together a comprehensive list of others you might might find idea provoking.

This year, writers will not be constrained by page limits. Take as much or as little time as you need to tell your story effectively. Anything from a short play to a series pilot to a full-length audio play is welcome.

As always, the Summer Reading Series will serve as a chance to workshop material for potential future production. This year, we will select a handful of scripts from the reading series to record as fully produced audio plays.  Our hope is to curate a diverse collection of stories that exist within the same alternative present or not-so-distant future.

These stories should be told purely with dialogue and sound effects, with setting and ambiance indicated by sound cues. Keep in mind that during the reading series sound cues will be read like stage directions, but plays chosen for audio production will be fully produced with sound mixing and effects.

Other technical specifications:

  •   On your cover page, please include your name and contact information.

  •   Email your script to by Thursday, June 21st.

  •   Label your script document with your name as follows: last_first_script title

Selected plays will be given public readings during our upcoming summer development festival, taking place in the 99-seat TBG Theatre at The Barrow Group over three weekends in July and August. It's possible we may organize a writers room / development workshop prior to the readings, as an opportunity for selected writers to further polish their plays in a collective environment.

If you have any questions regarding the prompt or the reading series itself, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We look forward to reading your submissions!


BRIC Intimate Eye: Black Box Filmmaking
Deadline: June 10th

BRIC is seeking short 5-8 minute scripts to be produced as part of an innovative new program. The scripts will be staged by a professional acting and directing team, then turned into a film by a group of media artists at BRIC.

Whether you are an experienced and produced playwright or screenwriter, or a first-timer, BRIC wants your short scripts.

Writers House Residences
Deadline: June 17th

The Writers House offers two residencies per year in an historic cottage in downtown Spartanburg, S.C. The program is open to emerging writers in the United States who have completed a college degree (BA, BFA, MA, MFA, PhD) in creative writing within the past five years or are pursuing a graduate degree (MFA, MA, or PhD) in writing. Residents receive lodging, utilities, and a stipend; they are responsible for their own transportation and meals. The residencies include a community service component of 15 weeks with the Hub City Writers Project, and offer a stipend of $650 a month.

The next residency opportunities are:

• A 15-week Fall residency from September 3, 2018 to December 17, 2018

• A 15-week Spring residency from January 7, 2019 to May 2, 2018

The program is targeted at early-career writers, preferably without a published book. In addition to uninterrupted writing time, the residencies offer opportunities for service at Hub City Press and Bookshop, for presentation of workshops or readings, and for literary projects of your own in Spartanburg, where there is a vibrant literary community. The ideal candidate is self-motivated, outgoing, interested in multiple aspects of the literary field, and has a desire to engage with the Spartanburg community. They accept applications from writers in the following categories: fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, screen- and playwriting.

The submission deadline is June 17, 2018

Deadline: June 21st

The Videocamp Film Fund is among the largest of its kind in the world. The winning project will receive US$400,000 to produce a movie on Inclusive Education.

What are we looking for? Well, definitely not movies that simply trace the history of the topic, or analyse what makes an inclusive classroom. We are seeking a curious and sensitive director with the creative vision to make an important film that breaks down barriers related to attitudes, pedagogy, architecture, or communication.

This film is also sensitive to interpersonal relationships that emphasise diversity, as well as collaborative strategies and inclusive support networks. Finally, this is a film that will broaden social perceptions about how all students, with and without disabilities, benefit from an education that is founded upon inclusive citizenship, and which fosters community through a commitment to diversity.

Films should be in development.


Must be either unfunded, or: if previously awarded other funds, they must comply with the terms of the Videocamp Film Fund, if these other funds are granted/received prior to the date of submission of your project to this Fund.

May be in production, or not

Can be documentary, fiction or animation

Entrants must have: a) all the exclusive rights to the related work; b) I have the total artistic, budgetary and editorial control of the work; c) complete authority to sign up for Videocamp Film Fund

All crew candidates should be 18 or more

Applicants must provide:

Crew bios

Film title, type (documentary, fiction or animation), length

You always need a Film Business Plan to get funding from investors.

Project history (2100 characters words on stage of development), list of locations

Summarising sentence

Synopsis (3000 characters)

Treatment (10000 characters)

Why the project matters to them/how it originated (3500 characters)

Whether it refers to or is based on another work (300 characters)

Strategic plan (based on the model of The Impact Field Guide & Toolkit of Doc Society, max 20MB),

Marketing and distribution strategy (3000 characters),

How they plan to engage their audience (3000 characters),

Work plan/schedule

Budget spreadsheet,

Misc: Any extra files (e.g. script)

Grant Deadline: 21 June

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