Saturday, November 30, 2019

Bloomberg 2020: Wealthy Asshole Tax

There's a new Michael Bloomberg video on Youtube. "Bloomberg: Taxing the Poor is Good Because They'll Have Less Money to Hurt Themselves."

It's a good title for causing outrage, but it's misleading. Bloomberg is using the example of the sugar tax which helped reduce the amount of soda consumption in poor neighborhoods...which is good b/c soda leads to high rates of obesity and diabetes.

Still, it is surreal that a billionaire is talking about regressive taxes as a way to stop poor people from harming themselves...and he is NOT talking about progressive taxes to stop billionaires from destroying the economy as they did in 2008 or a progressive real estate tax to stop urban blight which is what's going on in NYC and many other cities around the country that have blocks of empty storefronts because of greedy landowners. Or bringing back the inheritance tax to stop one of the most dangerous aspects of wealth...that most of it in this country has not been earned, but passed down. Inherited wealth unbalances a society, leads to stagnation of growth and ideas, triggers class inequality, corrupts the wealthy, and leads to social decay. That was the purpose of the inheritance was a penalty to stop rich people from acting in a way that harmed society.

I'm all in favor of a good penalty tax to discourage sociopaths, predators, and bad actors. But is there any doubt that a billionaire acting in bad faith can do A LOT more damage to society than a poor person who will mostly hurt themselves through bad lifestyle choices (soda, smoking, drinking alcohol, etc)? Therefore shouldn't most social-based taxes be aimed at people like...Bloomberg. Now that would be a great platform for a billionaire. The wealthy asshole prevent sociopathic behavior in uber-wealthy irresponsible, dangerously corrupt ppl who wreck cities, markets, and the economy.

Bloomberg, I just gave you something to run on that the avg person could support: the demise of you and your kind.

Friday, November 29, 2019

AOC Gratitude

It is amazing to think that 2 yrs ago Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was a bartender... no trust fund, no relative-hookups to Goldman Sachs, no billionaire backers, and no obvious pathway to the most elite club in America. She ran for Congress, won in a miracle, and immediately galvanized a movement. She speaks her own mind, asks whip-smart questions in committee, pays her staff better than most, rallies progressive causes, promotes progressive candidates, and terrifies Fox News so much that they're obsessed with one millennial Latinx woman trying to make a difference.

If you ever think that one person can't make a difference look at AOC, the squad, and the hundreds of first-time women and POC office-seekers who have leapt into the fray without golden parachutes or corporate cash.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Random White Wine Thoughts: The Crown

THE CROWN is still amazing. My God! Worth the price of Netflix. So many nuanced emotions, passions, fears, and disappointments. And no one has to throw a plate or scream about adultery or find hidden letters by secret lovers, or resolve issues with schmaltzy hugs or 'victory montages' that wrap everything up. It's so incredible to see a drama without the crude hacky tricks. All Peter Morgan does is resist the typical shortcuts, forcing audiences to look deeper; like a jazz musician that rises to a crescendo and then goes UNDER the signature note, catching the audience by surprise, making them aware of how programmed they are to the lazy cliche pop music endings. Some without patience will think it's boring or there isn't enough devious plotting and smacking and screaming. And they're right. There is almost none of the hysterics. The show risks losing its audience because it knows that some will look deeper...deeper under the surface...and actually feel something indescribable.

I wish more American tv dramas could emulate this model...some times less is more. Some times silence speaks volumes. And some times it's the minutiae, the mumbling and fumbling for significance that's devastating, tragic, ironic, absurd, and transcendent.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Race GPS: Levels of Looks

I was introduced to someone and got 'the look.' Every black person knows this look. It's the slightly shocked 'ah! the presence of a person of color.' You play along, exchanges pleasantries, nod, while thinking 'this person is probably racist AF.' I walked away from the exchange and resumed my you do. Usually I reserve some doubt in my mind: maybe they had something in their eye, maybe they got a sharp jabbing pain in their stomach the moment they saw you.' Whatever. This has happened to me hundreds of times and I keep living. A few days later my friend (white) sent me a frantic text about the person he introduced me to b/c they had found out some disturbing news. Turns out... the person I was introduced to was racist AF. Surprise! After a few drinks, 'the looker' openly expressed his disgust for black people in very vivid details. Shocked my white friend, asked me 'did you know this person was racist?!?' Um...yes. I figured he was. My friend asked...'but how? How could you know from one brief conversation? And why didn't you say anything?'

Okay, here's the thing: most poc encounter microaggressions, negative body language, and 'looks' every day. Racism usually doesn't come in the form of someone screaming 'N-word, AHAHAHA' in an elevator or burning a Colin Kaepernick jersey in front of us. The form is non-verbal and a slow-release capsule dripping out poison into the bloodstream throughout the day. If you're a POC you become an expert at differentiating between plain negative body language (which does happen a lot) and that subtle shift in non-verbal communication that is...something else: the kind of warning sign sets off your alarm. Just like how gay people have gaydar, people of color have 'race GPS' and it pings...usually quite accurately. If I start flagging and posting about each one of my 'pings,'  then it's like handing out speeding tickets at the Indy 500. Exhausting. Pointless. Furthermore, a white ally usually doesn't possess the same race GPS so they don't believe you or they just don't see it in the same way straight friends say 'I never knew about (file in the blank celebrity). But he was a woman! I just thought he was sensitive.' With race GPS, you just file away the ping with notes: never get drunk with this person, never talk about politics, make sure to never reveal any personal info. The non-verbal takes its form on several levels from subtle to outright hostile....

1.  the bemused 'hmmm...ok' - the person has low-level racist thoughts, maybe they just had a conversation where they said something 'problematic.' They can be changed b/c they clock themselves when they see you. They almost laugh about the irony. Fuck this person but...okay, we can work with this. Maybe you will be their 'Greenbook' story years later that they'll tell at an MLK meeting you changed them. This person may write an article or book or movie about how the 'one respectable POC" transformed their lives and they went home for Thanksgiving and cussed out their racist parents...or had sex with a black person...and they are so proud of themselves for their bravery. That person they reference might be you. You might be a bit 'magical' in their retelling. Ugh, fuck this person...but also I guess they can be helpful.

2. the 'ah, ok' racist look - It's clear, it's strong, it's probably been unchallenged. BUT they possess enough social etiquette to hide it. The 'ah ok' will only happen first contact. You will never see it again. They will get nervous around you b/c they know what they believe. You can usually co-exist with this person. Not friends, not buddies, but you can be in the same space and be pleasant for a set amount of time. The person will only change their views if a truly traumatic event happens that causes them to doubt past assumptions. Cancer and getting treated by POC doctors who save their lives. It has to be something huge to move this boulder.

3. the 'sigh....ok' - this person is barely concealing their annoyance at your presence. Barely. The sigh may come with a slight frown. They have social etiquette but the racism is just overflowing enough that they can let you know 'I don't know you, but I already don't like you, fyi.' Depending upon how deep the sigh, it lets you know their passive-aggressiveness.

4. the 'eyeroll introduction' - Now this is open hostility. They will deny it, gaslight you into thinking its something else. But you GPS is pinging too strong. But usually, they will walk away first.

5. the 'grimace/frown'- there is almost no entry point here. Do not talk to them. How do you know it's racist? They are fine and smiling with everyone except you...and you're the only POC in the area. Yes, this happens. Most other white ppl don't notice it.

6. the 'physical hello' - I've gotten this. The clutched purse, the 'ahhh' with a strong sharp physical gesture like we're about to get into a fight or robbery situation. In the more aggressive physical hello, someone (always a white guy) will jostle me physically, jab me. Some have spat on the floor in front of me and I have never seen these people before. They are itching for a fight with a stranger. They might be armed. They might be an off-duty cop or security guard. They might be Liam Neeson. Walk away. Not worth it.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

2020 Warning Signs

Despite corruption, racist policies, 40+ sexual assault allegations, environmentally devastating policies, record rates of resignations/firings and criminal conviction of official, impeachment, various acts of treason committed to enrich the Trump family, exploding deficits, student loan crisis, and worldwide hatred...I still think Trump is on track to be re-elected in 2020. Call me a pessimist, realist, catastrophist, whatever, I still think it's harder to kick out an incumbent president in an economically stable year than anything else, especially when the opposing party is lackluster, class-blind, and lacking a cohesive message.

If you think American voters can't disappoint you two times in a row, then remember the certainty ppl felt in 2004 that there was NO way the incompetent, barely-literate, lying Bush could be re-elected. And remember the shock-silent streets of NYC the day after Kerry lost. Bush lied about a war, he was hated around the globe, his tax cuts did NOT work, he exploded the debt, and his minions were ransacking the nation. But evangelicals still loved him, the GOP found wedge issues for certain states, and the mushy-centrist Dems decided that the best platform...was the quietest one. A safe, conservative, 'we're the adults in the room' appeal to America's reason and sense of justice. AHAHAHAHA, yeah the election became about the GOP finding ppl to lie about Kerry's "Vietnam record and the idiotic media chasing after the non-story instead of the disastrous president right in front of them. If you don't notice some of the themes between then and now, you're not paying attention. The parallels between 2004 and 2020...

1. The economy is good enough...for the wealthy and they will back him up. Right-wing media -which has even more of a hold on smaller markets thanks to Sinclair Media- will just pound the same story of 'fear the socialist' that will convince white voters in the middle of the country.

2. Unless Dems unify and go hard as fuck with a clear vision of a new American dream, they will propose unsatisfyingly bland policies to satisfy Pelosi and Schumer centrists. The platform will be blah, but propped up by 'diverse-looking' array of speakers which already sounds utterly boring and pandering.

3. The media will chase a bullshit #butheremails/Swiftboating story for the Dems. The GOP with the help of Fox News and Sinclair, will send out trial balloon scandals throughout 2020 to see which one hits the salacious buttons. And then they will pump up the volume on that story to an incredibly loud level. The more nonsensical the better: Pizzagate, child sex rings in DC, Illuminati sacrificial offerings. It no longer matters when 49-50% of the country no longer cares about facts. They will listen to the loudest and ugliest voice. Mainstream media outlets will feel the need to respond to the noise and, thus, report the fake story about Hunter Biden being Lucifer or Elizabeth Warren being a Trotskyite terrorist, or whatever bullshit. The conversation about Trump's abhorrent record will fade into the background of faux outrage against the Dem candidates controversy.

4. Around October 2020 will be the last great push. Trump is hated by about 60% of Americans. But the media will get bored with that story and the GOP will save an explosive Dem scandal (10% truth weaved together with 90% bullshit allegations) for an October surprise. The goal will be to scare Evangelicals with one great push AND to depress Dem voters into staying home or splitting to a third party.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

The Devil Next Door

"The Devil Next Door" is a powerful doc series about the Israeli gov prosecuting a Ukranian autoworker in Detroit for being a Nazi concentration camp guard. One of the things that stuck out about the series is that so many Americans neighbors kept saying they didn't believe the accused could be a Nazi because he was a nice grandfather who lived nearby. No way a Nazi could be a nice grandfather.

As a person of color, I can relate to the dominant culture's disbelief in 'pleasant evil'; because they do not code-switch they think that 'niceness' is the same as goodness. And evil is the same as abhorrent-horns-in-head villainy. But if you are a person who has to code-switch in your life -i.e. a person of color, woman, LGBTQI, repressed religious minority- you are VERY VERY aware that ppl switch etiquette and behavior...all the time. Someone acting 'nice' is simply a collection of signifiers and manners.

How many times do we hear the next-door neighbor of a killer act surprised b/c 'he was so nice.' Ted Bundy was a clean-cut, nice looking white man you would take home to your mom. He was also a serial killer. Many rapists, racists, and truly awful ppl can be 'nice.' In fact, our inability to see the difference between 'nice' and good' is what allows evil to thrive b/c awful ppl only have to code-switch into 'nice mode.' In fact, sociopaths and psychopaths depend upon this loophole. Rapists aren't just hunchback ghouls...they're Stanford swimmers, Hollywood moguls, presidents, glamorous people. Their ability to put on a suit does not excuse their acts. And the same is true with evil political movements.

Fascism never comes at you cackling and covered in the blood of your children. Fascism arrives at your door clean-cut, smiling, maybe a grandfather or grandmother filled with nostalgia. Evil movements can speak politely or sway you with that feeling of honesty, 'he's just speaking what we're all thinking.' Restore German strength, return to simpler agrarian times of Cambodia, restore the strength of the Japanese emperor in the face of Western imperialism and, yes, make America great again (and btw, Trump is not the first time this slogan has been used to imply racial degradation) Fascism promises to make things better for you, often insinuating ever so slightly that a certain group of people is responsible for your pain...wouldn't it be better if they were gone...or in camps? Evil movements smile, speak charismatically.

As a POC some times it feels like I'm the crazy guy trying to convince white allies that the smiling nice guy is actually up to no good b/c of his actions, or that the other POC artist or politician who claims to represent the people is actually just a low-level sociopath who has found the loophole. It makes me feel crazy, like the world is gaslighting me. I begin to think 'maybe...I'm overreacting...they are so bad could it be? Okay, maybe he raped a little bit...but that was the past. Okay, he didn't kill but maybe he incited people to kill...but he didn't really mean it. He was just talking. Okay maybe he also a few. But he's not killing right now. He's just smiling at me. Okay maybe it's bad...but is it really that bad? They seem so nice."

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Bloomberg 2020


BEZOS: Dems are attacking me as an elitist so me and Bill think you should run for a man of the people?
BLOOMBERG: How am I a man of the ppl?
BILL GATES: Well you only have a few billion dollars. I mean, don't take this personally MIkey, that's not like...real money.
BEZOS: Absolutely. You are salt of the earth, a simple apple, a used diaper rolling across the floor of an Amazon Prime warehouse, like a tumbleweave of working-class anxiety and incontinence.
BLOOMBERG: Guys, I have over $50 billion. I have money like you. I...I...
BILL: -you're like a Pabst Blue Ribbon beer cap floating in the clogged sink of Middle America. Cheap, dirty, but resilient.
BLOOMBERG: *crying*: I have real money!! I am not made out of wood! I AM REAL BOY-
BEZOS: -you're like a worn grain of sand at Coney Island, covered w/ insulin syringes, oxycodone pills, and hobo pee.
BLOOMBERG *runs off in tears*
BILL: Oh come on, don't cry, Mike. Do you need a tissue? I got a billion dollars you can wipe your eyes with....we just gotta show the ppl how we're common folks like you.
BEZOS: So...should we just vote for Trump again or what?

Play Submission Advice

 Oct-Nov is the time of year when I get a lot of emails from ppl applying to certain programs and fellowships. A few years ago someone was asked me to read their play b/c they wanted to get a fellowship. So I read it.  The play was...fine. I told him the play was steady, sturdy, well-made and something he shouldn't submit. He was upset. Was I implying that he wasn't a worthy writer? No. The play was good but it was also a work that could have been written by 100 other middle-of-the-road guys. There was nothing distinctive about it. It was the sort of play you might see from a mid-career writer who was coasting off reputation. It was okay. As someone who has been reader for various fellowships, the 'okay' play usually gets either a mild grade or a pass from me.

What a lot of these fellowships and contests want is a confident voice: this means unique dialogue, distinctive characters that have a certain intimate connection to the writer, and a world-building/mythology. Usually, a writer who has all 3 will stick out, but 2 out of 3 is still very good. Someone with an uneven but unique voice will win 99% of the time over a well-made writer cranking out work that could have been written by a committee.

Usually, a writer's style leans one way: either more toward world-building/mythology OR toward crackerjack dialogue and characters that pop from personal experience. When you pick out your submission play consider these question: could this play have been written by anybody but me? If so, why? Is there any work in my repertoire that is so 'me' in tone, world, characters that I am the only one who could have written it? Then that's the play to submit.

Monday, November 4, 2019

Drowning in a Dark Room

As a child, this what I thought adulthood was going to be: shelves of books in my apartment, stacks of New Yorkers, dense layered works of art, NYTimes crossword puzzles in the bathroom. I would pour all the work on to my bed and drown myself in language...dense, thick, obtuse waves of words, Baldwin-esque sentences strung together for half a page with semicolons and jazz riffs.

Well some days, adulthood works out like the fantasy. I got to see two incredibly rich pieces of staged literature with THE SOUND INSIDE and THE UNDERLYING CHRIS. Much like THE FLICK, I don’t consider them plays. They are novellas of ideas staged and acted out by alchemists who are able to make ‘the inside churn’ an external expression of sound and light. And then I came back to my apt and found an Amazon Sunday delivery (Sunday delivery?!?) of two brilliant voices. INTERPRETER OF MALADIES is the best collection of short fiction since Flannery O’Connor. Even though I’ve read it twice from friendly lenders, I wanted my own copy to review these stories again and again. Edwidge Danticat is in a class by herself and I don’t know why it took me so long to get this book.

Autumn is officially here. It’s jacket weather. I have my stack of books and my days of theatre are lining up. Leave me alone and let my introverted child drown in the word. He’s been waiting for #hotwhateversummer to be done with so he can wear a fall sweater and walk around the city with a book under his arm, as he is on his way to sit in a dark room and drown.

Friday, November 1, 2019

GET WHAT YOU WANT: November 2019

Deadline: Nov 1st

The Sundance Institute Theatre Program provides a catalytic process of artistic development for independent theatre-makers in the U.S. and globally, using a range of artist-driven engagement opportunities that connect, support, and sustain artists and their projects across their careers.

Led on an interim basis by Director Christopher Hibma, the Sundance Institute Theatre Program emphasizes intensive short-term interactions with creative mentors, held within the context of retreat settings removed from commercial pressures and other demands of contemporary life.

The Sundance Institute Theatre Program has a long history of supporting the development of U.S. and international new work for the stage, including projects such as Appropriate, Fun Home, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Taha, Circle Mirror Transformation, An Iliad, The Lily’s Revenge, Happy New Fear, The Good Negro, A 24-Decade History of Popular Music, The Light in the Piazza, Passing Strange, Spring Awakening, Boredom, The Laramie Project, 36 Abbas Street, I Am My Own Wife, and Night. To explore more projects that the Sundance Institute Theatre Program has supported, click here. The Theatre Program’s international activity supports mentorship and cross-cultural exchange, focusing now on artists from Arabic-speaking countries based in the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe.

Deadline: Nov. 1st

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

Commissions will be awarded to individuals, groups and creative teams for full-length and one-act plays and musicals. Commissions range from $1000 to $10,000. Commission amounts are determined on a case-by-case basis, as are deadlines for drafts, finished work, and research support (if appropriate). Extant, full-length works may be submitted and are judged on a script-by-script basis by the EST/Sloan Project staff. Rewrite commissions for existing scripts range from $1,000 to $5,000.

Commissions are also available for regional theaters who wish to sponsor a local project focused on science and technology, either by commissioning a new script or developing an extant piece. Regional commission amounts are determined on a case-by-case basis, ranging from $2,000 - $5,000.

The EST/Sloan Project is open to a broad range of topics related to the issues, people, ideas, processes, leading-edge discoveries, inventions, and/or history of the "hard" sciences and technology.

Physics (geological, nuclear, theoretical, etc.)
Biology (evolution, zoology, animal behavior, ecology, molecular, genetics, etc.)
Chemistry (industrial, biochemistry, etc.)
Anthropology and Archaeology

Computer Science
Software Development, Computer Development
Engineering (civil, chemical, mechanical, electrical, aerospace, vehicle design)
Space Research

Science Fiction
Medical Conditions and/or Victims of Disease
Psychology and Human Behavior
Individuals, creative teams and theatre companies interested in receiving an EST/Sloan Project commission should submit the following as their application for a grant:

A one- or two-page description or a simple outline/synopsis of the project. This document should describe the actual story being explored and include in the description of the story how the science being portrayed would be inherently dramatic in the piece. Focus on plot and character development, and, as it ideally will in the finished play, how the science comes out through plot and character.
A resume or biography of each collaborator involved.

Deadline: Nov 1st

The Richard Rodgers Awards were created and endowed by Richard Rodgers in 1978 for the development of the musical theater. These awards subsidize full productions, studio productions, and staged readings by nonprofit theaters in New York City of works by composers and writers who are not already established in this field. Applications from individuals as well as collaborators are accepted. The term "musical theater" is understood to include musicals, plays with songs, thematic revues, or any comparable work. The submission of innovative and experimental work is encouraged. The work submitted must be of significant length to fill an evening; it may consist of a group of smaller, related pieces but only completed works will be considered.

4. ACP
Deadline: Nov 14th

The Artist Commissioning Program (ACP) awards Queens-based choreographers, playwrights, and composers $10,000 each towards the creation of a new, original work. This program democratizes the traditional commissioning process, which has historically been reserved for a privileged few. The ACP supports projects that add to the canon of American art by telling an untold story of underrepresented person(s) relevant to the neighborhoods in Queens. Two things make ACP unique: 1) its aim to fill gaps in American culture, and 2) its format of pairing artists with a cohort of "Art Commissioners."

ACP's priority is to support artists who present a fresh perspective by creating work that defies the cultural mainstream, privileges underrepresented identities, and/or speaks to the cultural diversity of Queens by telling an untold story of underrepresented person(s). Artists’ projects should highlight the stories of individual protagonists (e.g. heroine(s), hero(s), characters) in their proposed works to give underrepresented people a vision of themselves as leading characters. The new work should be replicable, capable of being interpreted and produced for dance, music, or theatre by other artist(s) or third parties throughout the borough, city, and country (e.g. if a high school or off-broadway theatre wanted to produce your work, they could do so - think Summer Stock or Swan Lake). By commissioning artists to materialize such works, the ACP aims to fill gaps in American culture by actively adding to the art historical canon. In doing so, the ACP aims to create a more democratic cultural sector that is more inclusive of the diverse narratives, cultural backgrounds, and values associated with our borough and nation.

Deadline: Nov 15th

The Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program offers a one-year graduate-level fellowship. You may be invited to continue your studies through a second academic year, thereby completing a total of 52 credits for the two-year fellowship period and earning an Artist Diploma (AD) in Playwriting. The Playwriting Program is tuition-free and typically accepts 4-5 fellows per year.

It is preferred that you hold an undergraduate degree; however, you will also be considered if you have advanced training equivalent to a bachelor’s degree or exceptional artistic accomplishments.

International students are welcome to apply, however, play submissions must be in English.

While there is no limit to the number of times you may apply to this program, you are encouraged to critically consider your personal and professional development between applications. If you reapply, you should submit a new play with each application, unless it is a previously submitted play that has been significantly re-written.

The $60 application fee is nonrefundable and must be paid through your application status page upon submission of your application. Your application is not considered complete until the fee has been received.

Deadline: Nov 15th

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

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

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

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

The next application period for Arts & Literary Arts residencies will begin August 16, 2019, with a deadline of November 15, 2019.

Deadline: November 18th

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 16–July 12, 2020. 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 very 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 a work sample, which may include whatever is already written, if applicable.

To apply:

All applications and corresponding résumés are due by 11:59pm on November 18, 2019.

Deadline: Nov 29th

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

Writers are selected bi-annually and receive a two-year fellowship at The Public which includes a stipend. Staged readings of works by Emerging Writers Group members are presented in the Spotlight Series at The Public. The playwrights also participate in a bi-weekly writers group led by The Public’s New Work department and master classes led by established playwrights. Additionally, they have a chance to observe rehearsals for productions at The Public, receive career development advice from mid-career and established writers, and receive artistic and professional support from the literary department and Public artistic staff. Members of the group also receive complimentary tickets to Public Theater shows, invited dress rehearsals, and other special events, as well as a supplemental stipend for tickets to productions at other theaters.

Receive stipend of $7,500

Participate in a biweekly writers group led by The Public’s New Work Department

Receive at least one reading at The Public in the Emerging Writers Group Spotlight Series Reading Series

Participate in master classes led by established playwrights

Observe rehearsals for productions at The Public

Receive an additional stipend for theater tickets to productions at other theaters

Receive complimentary tickets to Public Theater shows, invited dress rehearsals and other special events

Receive artistic support and professional development guidance from the literary department and artistic staff

Requirements for Eligibility

Cannot have professional representation for playwriting including, but not limited to, agent, manager or lawyer.

Cannot be a full-time student at any point during the duration of the program.
Cannot be enrolled in any academic playwriting course during the duration of the program.
Must not have had productions in New York other than those using the showcase code or in an off-off Broadway theater with 99 or fewer seats. (If your New York show used a higher contract tier than the showcase code, you are not eligible to apply. If your New York show received a festival production in a theater with more than 99 seats and did not use an Equity contract, you are eligible to apply.)
Must live within 90 minutes to The Public Theater via car or rail.
Must be able to attend evening meetings at The Public Theater every other week in 2020 and 2021 as well as other events throughout the year, such as master classes, retreats, observerships and other special events at The Public.
Regular attendance is mandatory and therefore applicants should view the program as a two-year-long commitment.
Must be available for an in-person interview in early March 2020.

Deadline: Nov 30th

Artist residencies are interdisciplinary in nature, and balance group activity, personal work time, facilitated conversation, with the exchange of work and performance. We strive to include artists from diverse backgrounds and communities. Residencies are structured around the artists’ specific  project needs. Days are self-directed, and could include individual/team work, afternoon excursions or on-site activity, dinners and evening gatherings with resident artists.

Access to dramaturgical conversations and feedback with TLC Director and Dramaturg Liz Engelman in available to any artist who is interested.

Tofte Lake Center is family-friendly. If you are interested in a family-focused residency, please check out our inaugural Family Artists Residency. This residency is grant dependent. For our Individual Residencies, artists are welcome to bring their families when space allows and when agreed upon in advance.  For these residencies we cannot guarantee child-care, though we are happy to help resident artist parents find part-time childcare for their stay, should this make their residency possible.

2020 Individual Artist Residency Weeks Available: June 15-21 (depending on grant funding, this week could be dedicated to our Family Artists Residency Program),  June 22-28, June 29-July 5, August 3-9, August 10-16, and September 21-27.

Deadline: Dec 1st

Through the Premiere Play Festival, Premiere Stages has developed many plays that have gone on to have successful productions in New York and at regional theatres throughout the country. We strive to facilitate relationships between writers and theatre professionals who we think will respond to their work, in hopes that plays developed at Premiere will go on to subsequent productions. We offer Play Festival winners the option to retain the coveted “World Premiere” brand on their plays. Additionally, Premiere’s productions are consistently reviewed, scouted by major publishing houses, and honored by the American Theatre Critics Association.

Submissions due DEC 1 2019

Premiere Stages will accept submissions of unproduced plays written by playwrights affiliated with the greater metropolitan area from September 1, 2019 through December 1, 2019. All plays submitted to the festival are evaluated by a panel of professional theatre producers, directors, dramaturgs, playwrights, and publishers. Four finalists are subsequently selected for public Equity readings in March 2020.


Following the Spring readings, one play is selected for an Equity production in the Premiere Stages 2020 Mainstage Season and receives an award of $2500. The runner-up receives a 29-hour staged reading and $1000. The two other finalists will each be awarded $750.

Premiere Stages is committed to supporting a diverse group of writers; playwrights of all backgrounds, ages, and experience levels are encouraged to apply.

Submission Guidelines

All plays must be submitted as a PDF.
Plays must be full-length and have a cast size of no more than eight.
Plays must be unpublished and unproduced (readings and workshops are okay), with no productions and/or publication currently scheduled through September 2020.
Playwrights must have strong affiliations with the greater metropolitan area (New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Delaware).
Musicals, adaptations (of existing plays or other sources), and solo shows are not eligible.
Submissions are limited to one script per playwright.
Please contact Premiere Stages to inquire about submitting a script that has been previously submitted.
Playwrights must be available for the development of their script (see the 2020 schedule table).
Submissions are accepted September 1, 2019 through 11:59 p.m. on December 1, 2019. Submissions sent early in the submission window are strongly encouraged.
All plays must be submitted as a PDF to: Hard copies will not be accepted.

Deadline: Dec. 12th

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

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

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

Deadline: December 31st

Shortly before James Baldwin passed away, he told close friends in Saint-Paul de Vence that he dreamed of seeing his beloved house made into a writers' colony. This medieval village, with its uncommon light, its majestic mountaintop placement and surrounding countryside, has for centuries attracted artists, architects, alchemists and thinkers, great minds intent on changing the world. Here is where Baldwin wrote some of his most enduring books, including If Beale Street Could Talk, Just Above my Head, and his sole book of poetry, Jimmy's Blues.

Writers in residence are offered a room in the village center to pursue their current creative project. While in residence, they will contribute to the literary culture of Saint Paul de Vence by offering a community event or creative public program.

They are hosted at La Maison Baldwin Residence for Writers, a house in the historic center of St. Paul de Vence located directly across the street from the village church. The home features a 3rd-floor bedroom suite with a sunny terrace overlooking the tiled roofs of the village and the valley beyond.

Residents also stay in a charming artist cottage made available to the program through a partnership with the city of St. Paul de Vence.

Lunch every day is offered to the resident writers through partnerships with local restaurants and host families. The fellowship includes a $700 travel stipend.

Eligibility and How to Apply

This fellowship is open to emerging writers working in the spirit of James Baldwin. Eligible to apply are poets, playwrights, essayists and fiction writers with no more than one published book or staged production.

The review committee will select ten fellows for residencies of 2 to 4 weeks in fall 2020 (Sept 15 to Oct. 31) or spring 2021 (April 1 to May 15).

To apply, send a cover letter, a brief bio and writing sample of ten pages to with the subject line "residency application." The deadline is December 31, 2019. Please indicate your preferred residency duration and period.

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