Thursday, April 30, 2020

Light Brigade's Sacrifice

Our 7th grade english teacher assigned each student a poem to research and create some inspired derived art. My assignment was Sir Alfred Lord Tennyson's "Charge of the Light Brigade," a poem about British light cavalry charging into Russian artillery during a battle in the Crimean War. All the British died. Tennyson wrote a heroic poem about their sacrifice and the galloping meter is meant to sound like charging horses...or firing guns (depending upon your perspective).

My derived art was a t-shirt with the poem's opening lines stenciled in black alongside abstract images of horses running into plumes of smoke, and a red trail of blood. I also remember that the cavalry charge was due to the British military command's miscommunication. They sent the wrong cavalry to the wrong position. It was a tragic and stupid accident that killed hundreds in a few minutes. The French press called it madness. The Russian soldiers thought the British cavalry were drunk b/c the charge was so stupid. But after Tennyson's romantic poem... everyone fell in love with the idea of the light brigade as a symbol of Christian martyrdom mixed with nationalism toward the British Empire. The media forgot about the gross incompetence of the stupid old leaders. It's easier to focus on the young, beautiful corpses. The British population felt that these young men sacrificed themselves for their freedom and backed the government even more. Nevermind that the Crimean War had nothing to do with citizen's freedom and had everything to do with real estate and capital.

It was the first time I realized that many of the everyday heroes promoted by the media were victims created by incompetence, greed, stupidity, and sloth of the higher-ups. There are so many preventable tragedies where the working class are sacrificed and cheered on from the sidelines by the media and elites. "Go boy go!' I think about that misguided hero worships a lot. As half of the states re-open their economies tomorrow, I wonder how many more of us will join the ranks of the light brigade. How many Americans will be sent to their deaths while being cheered on by the wealthy. Maybe someone will write a poem about our economic heroes at the Tyson Meatpacking Plants or the MTA workers. Their preventable deaths will make many people into tragic heroes.

“Forward, the Light Brigade!”
Was there a man dismayed?
Not though the soldier knew
   Someone had blundered.
   Theirs not to make reply,
   Theirs not to reason why,
   Theirs but to do and die.
   Into the valley of Death
   Rode the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
   Volleyed and thundered;
Stormed at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of hell
   Rode the six hundred.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

1:30 AM Thoughts

My call for my mom dozens of times every day. Some times it's a gasp, other times it's a moan or a plea.


This is the only word he can say now. He's bed bound, partially paralyzed, mostly blind. He needs some one to feed, bathe, clothe, and tend to his every need. And the only word he can still access is my mom's name.


My Dad is trapped in a sinewy, emaciated body. His arms are stiff and the muscles have curled themselves into question marks. His thin legs are also stiff.

He calls out at 5 am, 7am, 7:30am...the calls go on throughout the day and into the night. He's calling out now. It's 1:30 am. I help when I can, but my mom is doing it mostly on her own. I'm just visiting for an extended stay due to the coronavirus quarantine.

My mom has gotten used to changing him a dozen times a day...even with nurses here intermittently. She's gotten used to sleeping only a few hours. For most of the year, it's just him and her in this big yellow house. There are pictures of me and my sister, our school awards, diplomas, and certificates. Several family portraits grace different rooms. The photos were taken when me and my sister were kids. Our family looked like a healthy, prosperous, black, loving foursome. I think about that now as my dad grasps the last word left in his mind and flings it out into the blind darkness.


COVID-19 and Capitalism

MEDIA: what are ppl going to do if they live paycheck to paycheck? They stay home and they go broke. They go out to work and they catch the 'rona.

ME: you could just raise taxes on the rich, create a temporary $2,000/month UBI so that non-essential workers can stay home for the next 2-3 months without having to worry about rent or paying their mortgage.

MEDIA: It's a damn pickle. If only there was some way out of these 2 awful choices!!

ME: Other countries are paying citizens to stay home. Those ppl will spend that $2,000 and help keep the economy going. You just have to raise taxes on the rich.

MEDIA: Damn shame there's nothing we can do about it.

ME: Just raise taxes on billionaires. They already got 80% of the $2 trillion stimulus package. They have more money than ever. The rich aren't going to go broke paying 10% more taxes for a few months, it will save the economy, and offer some sense of calm to the 20% unemployed and indie contractors who want to stay home but need money.

MEDIA: Well, you want to get back out there middle-class America? Yeah, this will cause the infection rate to go up, many of you will die unnecessarily, and make everything worse but...there's just no other way around drinking the poison. We have to save the stock mar- I mean the economy. So drink up! We salute you 'economic heroes.' 


Despair is a natural feeling in the middle of a disaster. It's been the condition of black people in this country for hundreds of years: realizing that your gov won't help you, your boss may betray you, your friends may leave you. It's the same condition for other people of color, gays, lesbians, transgender. Now on a mass scale people are experiencing that black n' blue despair...the stress, heightened blood pressure, anxiety. If we don't rush 'to fix it' or 'fake it' something can rise out of this agony. That is also the condition of black people. The blues, the rage, the howl. It doesn't have to lead to a poem or a new song.  it doesn't have to lead to anything....getting to the blues is enough.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

A Season in Hell

Friends in other countries want to know what it's like here in America? It must be terrible, right? Well yes...and no. We left terrible a long time ago. Terrible was 49,000 deaths ago. Terrible was January, February, and March...a slow statistical tidal wave heading toward us, numbers so large that they became abstract...until 100 people starting dying every day. And then 200, and then a 1,000. Then it was no longer numbers. It was faces and names attached to numbers, and mothers and fathers and teachers and police officers.

Now we are just here...a 9/11 every day. Remember when we thought 2,000 Americans dying in one day was a gamechanger? We are in the midst of mass graves and there is no strong father figure or trusthworthy voice. America does not have a consoler in chief. We don't even have a human being with a functional level of empathy. And...there is a serenity in this. There is a calm in realizing that no one is coming to save us, the cavalry won't arrive. We are on our own, garbage bag PPE's, scarf masks, gofundme funerals, and all. I think under normal circumstances there would be this anxiety in wondering when the gov is going to get around to helping and protecting you. There is this anticipation of 'right prevailing.' But there is none of that here. We no longer expect the right thing or the humane decision to be made. We no longer expect the truth to be spoken unless all the lies have been exhausted.

This is a full-blown kakistocracy backed by alt-right racists and white fundamentalist Christian terrorists who never pass up an opportunity to hurt, belittle, demean other citizens (apparently it's what Jesus would have wanted.) There is no lie too small, no theft too petty for the most powerful man in the world. His minions slither over every apparatus of gov and media. They pick at the 50,000 dead bodies like grave robbers looking for pocket change and talking points. Some in the media still try to make the false equivalent link between this and Hillary's missing emails or the weakness of Dems. Some of these people are rationalist, who are the worst kind of creatures in a one-sided catastrophe.

A rationalist will sit there and try to balance the scales of wrongs because it's impossible to fathom the bottomless despicable nature of men. Rationalists look for the pony in the pile of shit. The rationalists are trying to balance the mass graves against Biden's malapropisms or past errors. And one is coming to rescue. We are all we have. Families huddle in their quarantines together, chat on Zoom, bake the banana bread and take pictures of it. It becomes easy to settle into the inferno when the temperature is increased incrementally. The heat creeps up on you like the 16,000 lies told in 3 years or the 50,000 dead Americans in 5 weeks. And so we bake, and cook, and exercise. It's not callous. We have to hold on to something. If you close your eyes and focus, you might be able to pretend that it's a sauna or a very long artists hell.

We binge, we purge, we scroll. 

Monday, April 20, 2020

Covid Cognitive Dissonance

2020 is the year....

- oil went down to $0/barrel.

- toilet paper went up to $20/roll.

- pro-life movement advocating mass death.

- Andrew Cuomo is apparently a hero.

-270 new coronavirus Kentucky patients after GOP-driven 'Reopen Protests.'

-With a mortality rate of 2-4%, that equals 5-10 dead Kentucky residents on behalf of Trump's re-election campaign.

-expect the same spike in new infections in Michigan, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

- you can do the math and estimate how many ppl Fox New is going to kill in your state with every Reopen Protest.

- covid-19 pandemic is

A) media-exaggerated flu created to hurt Trump AND ALSO...

B) a catastrophe that is the fault of the Chinese for lying AND ALSO...

C) the disaster that is the fault of the WHO for not warning Trump AND ALSO...

D) the fault of Obama for not coming up with a cure for a disease that didn't exist when he was president AND ALSO...

E)  the fault of governors for not preparing better for a global pandemic AND ALSO...

F) a triumph for Trump who is doing a great job by only letting 60,000 Americans die in 6 weeks.

All these reasons are valid at the same time with equal weight.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

COVID-19: Pandemic Politics

-40,000 dead Americans due to covid-19 by Sunday. That's in a period of 5 weeks.
- Republicans and Fox are sparking massive protest to disrupt the efforts of health experts trying to reduce the death count.
- the main focus of the GOP is not the body count or the almost certain double peak of deaths public protests will spark. Their main concern is Trump's poll numbers which continue to plummet in swing states. They are calling on protest in Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin to hurt the state governments by ramping up the health crisis.
- they know Trump fucked up, they know they're screwed unless they find a way to blur the issue with politics. And they're willing to do that with human lives.
- this is not hyperbolic or hysterical. We are watching in real-time a party intentionally set out a policy that they know will kill thousands of Americans, prolong the quarantine, cripple hospitals, and do even more damage to the economy.
- it will be 50,000 dead Americans by next weekend.
#MAGA #deathcult #democrathoax

Friday, April 17, 2020

Tiger King in Quarantine

TIGER KING starts off slow, but the hype is warranted. There is just so many batshit awful people. I know this is a meme, but I actually did think as I was watching it ' glad black ppl ARE NOT represented here, LOL.' It's awe-inspiring madness. I think these are the kind of people you want to watch but would never want to be in their actual circle.

Unpopular take: I actually like doc's alleged femme fatale, Carol Baskins. She's flawed and has darkness but all the people associated with tigers collection are EXTREMELY fucked up. In fairness though, she's dealing in a world of toxic male egos where her life is jokingly threatened every day. I can imagine she's dealt with the rape/kill threats since she was a girl, when she was actually raped. How would any man react if every day society teased them about anally raping their butt and slicing their throat? Probably not well. The average woman/animal rights activist would probably have to build up a very strong reserve of strength and fortitude to operate in the exotic animal world. And in the doc she is it...the lone island amidst a sea of madness. Now granted some of those 'crazy waves' have probably lapped up on her shores, but I would rather deal with a strong woman the only one And I think that's the Netflix doc sweetspot. Finding a weird angle (exotic animal collectors), connecting it to a specific crime (usually murder...almost always murder), having bizarre sex involved (double points for alternative gay sex) and then diving into the makeup of the community and realizing how extremely fucked up ppl are. I watched WILD WILD COUNTRY a few days ago about the cult in Oregon. At first you think 'crazy, cult' and that holds to be true overall. But then there's these parts where you realize American society is like a cult battling with this cult...and in some ways the Oregon cult is probably better than the American one.

WILD COUNTRY crawled so DON'T FUCK WITH CATS could walk so TIGER KING could sprint like a naked clown streaker through a farmer's market. 

In other streaming tv developments, I've actually started watching THE SOPRANOS and...I get it. I get why it's loved. At the same time, it's not a series built for bingewatching. It's constructed like old TV narratives that were designed so you take a break for a week, so psychologically I don't feel the need to speedwatch like it's visual crank. I noticed the same thing about THE GOOD WIFE. When I finally watched it for prep on THE GOOD FIGHT I found the quality to be extremely high, but I had a hard time bingewatching. It felt like binging would be the equivalent of chugging wine. The palate needs a cleanser. So it took me several months to get through THE GOOD WIFE as oppose to THE GOOD FIGHT which was made for visual chugging.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

COVID-19 Emergency Grants and Resources for Artists/Creatives

Extraordinary circumstances require extraordinary effort. I'm breaking my once-a-month rule to send out some links for emergency grants and assistance for creatives during the COVID-19 Outbreak. These are the major pipelines/platforms that have dozens of listings.






Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Santa Claus Capitalism

Santa Claus Capitalism: when the extremely wealthy engage in systemic exploitative practices to undermines unions, hurts pensions, wrecks healthcare and/or makes life worse for ppl involved in their business and then sprinkle some good deeds for PR...

-they buy 5,000 Christmas trees for poor families
-or send a boatload of presents to coal miners
- buy groceries for old ladies
-or take a bunch of dying kids to NYC to see a Broadway show.

 The Santa Claus'ing represents a tiny fraction of the taxes they avoided paying, or the pension they could be supporting. But pensions are boring, and dropping down for random acts of philanthropy is good for publicity, saves them money, and fools the media.

Corporations and capitalist barons LOVE Santa Claus'ing during  the holidays, in the midst of disasters, or when a grassroots story goes viral. It distracts ppl from the taxes they should be paying or the gross class inequality that is growing in this country.
PS: most of those Santa Claus actions are tax write-offs for them.

Pandemic Notebook: Dealing with Monotony

Quarantine Q&A...

Hey Siri, what's the difference between a Becky and a Karen?

"Here's an article I found on The Root."

Nice! Quick on the draw too. Hey, Siri... what's the difference between a Becky, a Karen, and an Amber?

*I'm not showing any results*

Clever move...Amber!! I see you flexing and deflecting on to Becky and Karen. But you too shall be exposed. I see through you like the clear-heels you wear.



*doorbell* UPS package
Me washing hands after opening

*doorbell* FEDEX package*
Wash hands after opening

*doorbell* regular ass mail with packages
Wash hands

*doorbell* lunch and dinner food delivery
Wash hands

*oops I just touched bag on floor*
Wash hands

*hands scream, wash hands, and drown out the screams*


Prepping myself for Biden's disappointing VP pick b/c Dems selecting an underwhelming VP is a tradition that goes back half a century. Let's see... we can lower the bar and raise groans w/...
-Tim Kaine: didn't work before but that's never stopped the DNC.
- Joe Lieberman: just to get someone older than Biden.
- Karen from HR: ugh, she's always asking for the manager.
- Mr. Magoo: makes Biden look virile in comparison.
- Ghost of a Confederate General: reaching across the aisle to working class voters and psychic mediums.
- melted carton of Ben & Jerry's ice cream: probably too progressive.


Random 'Rona Roll: Vol. 2

My sister is a doctor down here in Miami, so I asked her how things were going?
SISTER: There are people coming into the hospital with fevers, dry coughs, severe symptoms...and I can't get them tested. Last week three of my patients passed out... one lost consciousness in the bathroom, faceplanted and knocked out five teeth. Another woman was 30, severe body aches, pneumonia, shaking...I couldn't get her tested.
ME: So what happened to her? Is she alive?
SISTER: I don't know. She left the hospital against our advice.  She's out there, wandering.
ME: I'm trying to optimistic here and I hope NYC is the worst of it because of the heavy use of public transportation and population density.
SISTER: That's true. There is less people packed together here and most people have cars. Maybe that will mean something.
*we walked outside and smelled the hickory smoke from two houses down. The neighbors were hosting a big cookout with bouncy room, music, and bbq.  Cars were packed in the driveway and spilling out onto the street...a bright, beautiful day.*



I am still thinking about Gerald Fergy's death. He was a family friend who was more like an uncle. There's no space for mourning or coming together so we are left with our own thoughts. I woke up the next morning to the sound of a weed whacker.

The lawn crew was mowing the grass outside this morning, which was a bit surreal. I put on my mask and went outside. They were smiling and going about their business. My mom told the crew 'hey you should wear a mask' and they thanked her for being concerned. We went back inside and one of the gardeners was talking to another employee, laughing it off... 'my mom is a nurse and she said back in '81 there was the same's not that big a deal...' and they continued mowing the lawn.
-around the block, residents were holding a slip n' slide party in their front yard, playing hip hop, dancing around, and bellyflopping over slicked-down tarps. They waved to me. I crossed to the other side of the street and waved back.
-Fergy was someone who was always working and helping other people, but had very little regard for his own safety and health. He took my cousins on field trips, was at every Christmas and Thanksgiving the last decade.
-I remember one time he asked me for a small favor and he looked mortified. Despite helping us out for decades, he was worried I was going to say 'no' or that it would be an inconvenience to do a small task.
- he was among the small group of ppl: the givers. There are other people who take, ask, beg, and bemoan their lack of help at every turn. And then there's the 2-5% like Fergy who never ask for anything, give, never celebrate their birthday, don't accept gifts.
- I know so many givers who do so much for others that they don't take care of themselves. My friend David worked with a school teacher who coached multiple teams, worked as a counselor, drove people to school, never had a day off. The teacher had a heart attack and died.
-how come so many of the givers, don't give to themselves? You won't be able to help anybody if you're gone.
- and as I look at the death count (up to 5,000), I make a note to also look at the recovery count: 10,000.
- thank you for the well wishes and concern. I'm fine. Just remembering a good man. Rest well, Uncle Fergy.
- oh, and STAY HOME! Save the slip n' slide parties for July...or August!


My sister is a doctor down here in Miami, so I asked her how things were going?
SISTER: There are people coming into the hospital with fevers, dry coughs, severe symptoms...and I can't get them tested. Last week three of my patients passed out... one lost consciousness in the bathroom, faceplanted and knocked out five teeth. Another woman was 30, severe body aches, pneumonia, shaking...I couldn't get her tested.
ME: So what happened to her? Is she alive?
SISTER: I don't know. She left the hospital against our advice.  She's out there, wandering.
ME: I'm trying to optimistic here and I hope NYC is the worst of it because of the heavy use of public transportation and population density.
SISTER: That's true. There is less people packed together here and most people have cars. Maybe that will mean something.
*we walked outside and smelled the hickory smoke from two houses down. The neighbors were hosting a big cookout with bouncy room, music, and bbq.  Cars were packed in the driveway and spilling out onto the street...a bright, beautiful day.*


More sister MD advice...
ME: masks for walking around?
SISTER: unless it's an N95 it won't stop the virus.
ME: so no mask?
SISTER: no, everyone should wear a mask.
ME: But you said it won't stop me from getting it?
SISTER: Yes, but a regular surgical mask will stop you from spreading it to others. Since a lot of people who have coronavirus are asymptomatic, if everyone wore a mask it would dramatically reduce the spread...b/c the carriers wouldn't be able to breathe it out on to others. So yes, please wear a mask.

Friday, April 3, 2020

Pandemic Propaganda: The Lie Machine Does Not Stop

Once you start the lie machine, you can't just flip the off switch. If you watch Fox News you are viewing a real-time, 24-7, lie machine. There is less news in Fox News than any other channel, less fact less objective reporting than any media outlet. In the food terms, it is grape drink: less than 1% real but packaged under the guise of being news-like. It is without question that Fox News is going to get people killed during this global pandemic.

The catastrophe of the coronavirus is the perfect storm of misinformation, lies, and propaganda combined with bad pandemic preparation. Since the early 1990s, scientists have been warning that we were entering the age of viruses that were going to come in waves. Usually governments follow the same pattern of reaction: they set up these pandemic response teams, no visible pandemic occurs that year, and then disperse the funds and scientists to other fields. Trump followed the same short-sighted thinking of many leaders. The greater threat is that we are living in an age of disinformation promoted by leaders.

It's not just the Republican party and Fox News. There are alt-right strongmen in Brazil, China, and many nations who depend upon a steady stream of Orwellian propaganda to brainwash the public. The danger is that when a crisis arises like a virus threatening to kill millions, it's almost impossible to get an honest assessment of what is going on. In China, the initial whistleblowers of the corona virus were punished and forced to apologize. The gov policy is to project strength and positive energy. The approaching Chinese New Year is a boon to businesses and nobody wanted to hear about a deadly virus. This trickles down to the province officials who are told that their careers might be harmed if they don't project positive energy. This same policy reaches the local officials, hospitals, and officers: project positivity. Any negative energy is Western decadence and trying to undermine the government. The Chinese gov is notorious for lying about numbers but by the time the coronavirus exploded they could not get an accurate read, even if they wanted to get truthful. The lie was soaked into the system. No one wanted to be the first to tell the truth, so numbers are suppressed, claims are underestimated, experts trim the rules to reduce the deadliness of the virus. And then the Chinese president assures the rest of the world that this will 'die down in the spring because it's like the flu.' The American president picks up on this lie because it's what they want to hear. He repeats this lie over and over again, through January and February. All the way into March, his policy men and media sycophants repeat the lie that this is another attempt to weaken the president.

A virus which could have been stopped in January flows into the America unchecked. The death count could have been in the dozens with immediate action, or in the thousands with quick steps taken within the first month. Now we are looking at 200,000 deaths due to neglience and lies. A week ago, when the Trump administration truly saw that their actions have led to the next Great Depression, they tried to switch gears and warn Americans about the seriousness. But the lie has soaked down through hundreds of levels of government and media.

Once the misinformation, his followers take to it because they have been well-trained in the methods of brainwashing. Anything negative is an offense against Trump and he -and only he-  is what is most important to preserve in the nation. So the death count is fake news, the hospitals are exaggerating, the left-wing media is doing a red flag operation, the deep state is plotting to hurt...Trump. Even as the body bags pile up in hospitals and the death toll surges to a 1,000+ every day, there are still conservative pundits who demand evidence. But no evidence will satisfy them because -if it doesn't fit within their worldview- they dismiss it as fake news. So the virus spreads more rapidly in conservative states because the brainwashed refuse to believe anything that conflicts with their hardened view. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Pandemic Loss: Gerald Fergy

The ambulance lights are flashing through the windows as I write this. A hospital helicopter buzzes over the block, making the ceiling lights shudder and shake as I sit at the dining room table with my laptop. Maybe the surreal lights show is a tribute to the 1,000 lives loss today in America because of the coronavirus. I know at least one of them.

Gerald Fergy passed away yesterday from COVID-19. I knew Fergy for over 15 yrs. He was one of my parents' closest friends. My Dad and he used to go to the Waffle House for long conversations. I met him in 2005, right before my Dad started having strokes. Fergy stopped by the house at least once or twice a week. When my grandmother passed away and I had to fly the day of the funeral, Fergy was the one who picked me up at the airport and drove me directly to the funeral. He was also the one who sat with my Dad on Sunday's when my mom was at church. He didn't stop by the house for the last two Sunday's b/c I've been here to look after Dad and church is now online. But the last time Fergy stopped by the house my mom didn't let him in (family rules)...but handed him a meal while he stood on the porch and then -as per usual with all guest- she went back inside, took off her mask, and washed her hands. By fate or chance, I happened to be out of the house during that time because I was running a quick grocery errand (also with a mask on). He went into the hospital on Monday and was gone on Tuesday.

Please stay as safe as you can. Fergy probably got sick from being in a home with someone who tested positive for the coronavirus. The positive person didn't quarantine, didn't lock themselves in a room, continued cooking, and acting as if it was just the flu. It was a tiny apartment. Maybe the luxury of paying for a hotel wasn't in the budget, but now a funeral is... or maybe they didn't think it was that big of a deal. The person who tested positive never got deathly ill. They are still around, Fergy is not, and we are stunned. It happened so quickly.

Love you Uncle Fergy


Deadline: April 1st

The Theater J Trish Vradenburg Jewish Play Prize will award $15,000 to an established playwright in honor of a new play that celebrates, explores, and/or struggles with the complexities and nuances of the Jewish experience.

The Prize is dedicated to the memory of philanthropist, playwright, and Alzheimer’s research advocate Trish Vradenburg, who served on Theater J’s Council for 13 years. Plays are eligible whether or not they have been produced, but any professional premiere must have occurred since July 2018. To be eligible for the prize, playwrights must have had at least three productions at LORT, Broadway, or off-Broadway theaters (multiple productions of the same play can be counted). Submitted plays will be read by a committee of Theater J staff and collaborators. A winner will be announced in the fall of 2020.

Deadline: April 1st

The Theater J Patty Abramson Jewish Play Prize will award $3,000 and a stage reading to a promising emerging woman, trans, or non-binary playwright in honor of a new play that celebrates, explores, and/or struggles with the complexities and nuances of the Jewish experience.

The Prize is dedicated to the memory of philanthropist and venture capitalist Patty Abramson. Plays must not have been produced, but a future professional production (outside of the DC metro region) may be scheduled. Eligible playwrights must not have had more than two productions at LORT or off-Broadway theaters (multiple productions of the same play will be counted) but may have been produced at other professional theaters. Submitted plays will be read by a committee of Theater J staff and collaborators. A winner will be announced in the fall of 2020.

Deadline: April 1st

Seeking 10-minute plays for our upcoming season. Selected playwrights will receive an honorarium of $100.00. No restriction of theme or genre. Three (3) scripts submissions are allowed per playwright. Writer must identify as Af-Am, Black, or from the African diaspora.

Deadline: April 1st

The Alpine Fellowship is a group of writers, thinkers and artists who are passionate about learning and communicating with a view to better understanding themselves and others. We value a capacity for openness - being engaged in critically reflecting on firmly held beliefs; the courage to be vulnerable - speaking from a place of lived experience; the drive for curiosity - being truly able to receive and listen to others.

Awarded for the best piece of writing on the theme of the 2020 Alpine Fellowship Annual Symposium: Forgiveness and Retribution.

The winner receives a £10,000 cash prize and is presented with the award by the poet John Burnside. A £3,000 cash prize will go to the second place, and £2,000 to the third place runner up. The winner and two runners up are invited to attend the Fjällnäs symposium.

Rules: Open to all nationalities, aged 18 and above. All genres permitted. A maximum of 2500 words per entry. Limited to one entry per person. Text must not have been published, self-published or accepted for publication in print or online, or have won or been placed in another competition at any time (including the AF Academic Writing Prize). All entries are judged anonymously and no correspondence can be entered into.

Applications open: 1st January 2020
Applications close: 1st April 2020
Longlist (top 100 entries) announced: 15th May 2020*
Shortlist (top 30 entries) announced: 1st June 2020*
Winners announced: 15th June 2020*

Deadline: April 1st

Playwrights may be Latinx or of any other ethnic or racial background as long as the play’s subject matter and characters resonate with and accurately depicts the Latinx/Hispanic experience. The writer must be resident of the United States or Puerto Rico. No screenplays, one act plays, adaptations or translations will be accepted. New and un-produced plays preferred. Plays that have had readings or a workshop production are acceptable. All plays must be original and full-length (minimum running time: 75 minutes) and can be written in Spanish and/or English. Finalists will receive a staged reading at Repertorio as well as an award of $1000-3000.

The Latinx/Hispanic Community represents many nations and every corner of the United States. By the mid-21st Century, 1 in 3 people will identify as having raíces Latinx (Latin roots). we have journeys and histories that need to be heard and experienced on stage.

To that end, this competition and our theatre will prepare the way for an American Theatre that is reflective and representative of the Pan Latinx Community.

Deadline: April 1st

The Writing Residency Program will select four early-career playwrights and provide them with dramaturgical and professional support over a ten-month period, during which time they will each be required to complete a new full-length play.

Beginning in May 2020, selected playwrights will attend monthly group meetings to share and refine their works-in-progress in a collaborative, energized setting; meet individually with LTC’s Artistic Director and staff who will provide additional support for their artistic needs, concerns and process; and have the resources of a director and professional actors during a table reading as their play begins to take shape.

The Residency will conclude in February 2021 with public readings of each playwright’s finished play.

Upon successful completion of the program, each playwright will receive an honorarium.

Deadline: April 6th

It's the 10th Anniversary of our Short New Play Festival! We are looking for work with a classical inspiration. This year's theme? PRIVATE LIVES inspired by Noël Coward’s classic comedy.

Six brand new short plays will be selected from this open-submission process to be presented in staged readings alongside two new short plays by commissioned writers, JEREMY O. HARRIS (Slave Play, Daddy) and THERESA REBECK (Bernhardt/Hamlet, Seminar) on Monday, July 20, 2020 in New York City.

There is a $10 submission fee. These fees partially offset open submission processing costs, commissioning fees and travel stipends for selected playwrights. Thanks to the leadership support of the Noël Coward Foundation and other generous patrons, we have been able to substantially reduce these fees over the past two years, with the goal of eliminating them by 2023.


will receive a staged reading of their submission as part of the festival on Monday, July 20, 2020, performed by an ensemble company of some of New York's finest actors.

will receive a commissioning fee of $325.

will receive a travel reimbursement of up to $400 to attend the festival rehearsal and performance on Monday, July 20 in New York City (receipts required).

will have final script approval and will be consulted on choices for the shared ensemble cast.

will have the optional opportunity to have their play published and licensed by Stage Rights as part of our Red Bull Shorts series.

8. HALCYON ARTS LAB (for DC writers)
Deadline: April 8th

At the intersection of art and social change, this five-month residential fellowship is designed to provide support and resources to emerging artists working on projects which address issues of social justice, civic engagement, and community building. Arts Lab fellows strive to expand their practices and grow as leaders in their respective fields. Adapting the well-honed methodology of the Halcyon model, Halcyon Arts Lab fosters creativity through a supportive environment of space, access, and community. The program accepts six national and international fellows in each cohort.

Cohort 4- Fall 2020- Fellowship Dates: September 1, 2020 - February 14, 2021
Location: Halcyon Arts Lab, 1801 35th Street NW, Washington DC 20007

Who should apply?

Emerging artists who are interested in further investigating a socially engaged practice and creating lasting connections and partnerships in Washington, DC.Halcyon defines emerging artists as an early career artist has demonstrated promising artistic development and demonstrates dedication to their practices but is at a pivotal point in their career where they could benefit from further training and support.

Deadline: April 10th

We are offering a six-month residency to a writer who represents the LGBTQ+ community and/or explores LGBTQ+ topics in their work. The residency provides full-time (24 hour) access to both our Union Square and Williamsburg locations.(Runners up receive one-month residencies.) 2020 Residency will run from June 1 - December 1, 2020

We are seeking emerging LGBTQ+ writers who embody Jane’s values and are based in New York City. Jane was an early riser and was always one of the first people at our communal space every morning. Her fiction appeared in various literary magazines, and she published two novels, a novella and a non-fiction book.

Applicants should be writers of fiction, non-fiction, memoir, poetry, theatrical plays or screenplays who identify as LGBTQ+ and produce writing that challenges social norms and expectations regarding sexuality, gender, race, and/or class. Applicants will be required to submit a short sample of their work. Application deadline is Friday, April 10.


Between Feb 14 and April 10th, complete an application.

Submit a writing sample of 3-5 pages for prose, 3 poems or 5-7 pages for a play or screenplay in PDF of TXT format with your name in the header of each page. The writing sample may be a fragment of a longer work.

Deadline: April 13th

Emerging Writers’ Residencies at A Studio in the Woods invite local poets, playwrights, composers, and prose writers (fiction and nonfiction) to apply for one-week residencies at our Writer’s Cabin to support new or ongoing work.

Proposals are due April 13, 2020, and residencies will be awarded by June 12, 2020.

Residencies last one week, and will take place between September 2020 and May 2021. Flexibility in your dates is appreciated as we try to accommodate everyone’s schedules.

Emerging poets, playwrights, composers, and prose writers (fiction and nonfiction) living in southeast Louisiana—Assumption, Jefferson, Lafourche, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, and Washington parishes — are eligible to apply. Emerging is defined as having published no more than one full-length book or composition in the genre of application with a recognized press (not including self-published works or compositions). Applicants who have only published works in periodicals and who wish to apply to work on a new or ongoing manuscript are eligible. Students enrolled in full-time education (undergraduate and graduate), and applicants who have a second book or composition under contract at the time of application, are not eligible.

A Studio in the Woods particularly encourages applications from writers of color and indigenous artists.

SELECTION PROCESS A multidisciplinary jury will judge proposals on:

Evidence of a demonstrated commitment to one’s genre
The originality and creativity of the proposal
Skill and mastery in one’s genre for published writers, or evidence of potential for unpublished writers
The extent of the impact of the residency on the project (i.e. how much this residency will mean to one’s work)

Recipients will be provided $500 as a stipend. Depending on the needs of the project, we may be able to assist artists in accessing Tulane University faculty consultants or research collections. We provide full room and board including food, utilities for living and studio space to selected residents. Residents are expected to cover personal living expenses, additional materials and supplies, and any other expenses relating to the cost of producing work incurred while in the program. Travel and shipping expenses to and from A Studio in the Woods for the residency are also the responsibility of the artist. A Studio in the Woods will host a group sharing for all Emerging Writers Residents post residency period.

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES – Applications are due by midnight PST on April 13, 2020

Deadline: April 15th

Page 73 has two play development programs available to early-career playwrights through this application. Playwrights may apply for either or both programs as they see fit and are eligible (see below).

1. The Page 73 Playwriting Fellowship

The Page 73 Playwriting Fellowship provides a year of comprehensive support to one early-career playwright who has not received a professional production in New York City (please see eligibility requirements below). Through this program, Page 73 provides artistic and financial resources to this writer as they develop one or more new plays of their choosing. The Page 73 Playwriting Fellow receives an unrestricted award of $10,000 and a development budget, managed by Page 73 and the Fellow over the course of the Fellowship year, up to an additional $10,000.

The Fellow is encouraged to think creatively about using Fellowship resources to meet concrete goals that might not otherwise be possible. These goals may include, but are not limited to, development of one or more new plays, assistance in building relationships within the New York City theater community, research, and/or travel. Please note that funds from the Page 73 Playwriting Fellowship do not cover full-scale productions, nor does Page 73 commit to producing the work of the Fellow. The Fellowship incorporates at least one public presentation by the Fellow. Page 73 also helps the Fellow identify and connect with collaborators, including directors, designers, actors and dramaturgs, for Fellowship projects.

The Fellow is associated with Page 73 for the calendar year, from January 1 to December 31. After being selected, they work with Page 73’s staff to develop a plan for the year and establish a timeline for the development work to be done on the new play or plays. The Fellow may also be invited to participate in the Page 73 Summer Residency and, if eligible, Interstate 73 (described below) during the Fellowship year.

If the Fellow is not a New York City resident, they must be prepared to travel to New York during the Fellowship year in order to fully engage in the opportunities that the Fellowship provides.

2. Interstate 73

Interstate 73 is Page 73’s yearlong writers group. Consisting of eight playwrights and led by Page 73’s Artistic Director and Artistic Associate, Interstate 73 meets approximately twice monthly on weeknight evenings at our office in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. Each playwright receives a stipend for attending meetings. Participants bring in pages that are read aloud and discussed by the group. Each participating playwright is also given an opportunity for a reading of a completed work, which can be public or private, depending on the playwright’s interests and needs. Page 73's staff works with each playwright to craft the reading to be as useful as possible for the writer.

Interstate 73 begins each year in January, and meetings run through December; sessions are typically suspended for a period in the summer. Please consult the eligibility requirements below. Page 73 selects participants from individuals we meet through this application process as well as from individuals who have become known to the company through other means.

Note: While Page 73's staff may, from time to time, offer a spot in Interstate 73 to a playwright who meets the eligibility requirements but has not completed an application for the program, anyone who wishes to be considered for the 2021 Fellowship must submit this application.

Deadline: April 15th

The Lark is now accepting applications for our Open Access Program, Playwrights' Week. This program seeks to provide development opportunities for new and diverse voices for the theater by identifying and advancing promising plays that reveal unheard and vital perspectives. This annual, intensive, seven-day festival is designed to foster a peer-based community among a cohort of writers with new work in development. The five writers selected for Playwrights’ Week are provided with twelve hours of rehearsal and a public staged reading to address self-defined developmental goals for their plays, as well as opportunities to engage with fellow participants in a supportive group conversation.

Deadline: April 15th

The Lark is accepting applications for its Van Lier New Voices Fellowship program, supported by The New York Community Trust’s Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund and additional support from the Jerome Foundation.

The Van Lier New Voices Fellowship supports playwrights of color age 30 and under, who demonstrate financial need. During a year-long residency, Fellows will work on multiple artistic projects through an individually-tailored program of Lark play development programs, and form relationships with other theater makers at various career stages from all parts of the world. The Fellowship includes a cash award of $35,000, plus access to a $5,000 Opportunity Fund and to a wide range of Lark resources, including artistic program participation, office and rehearsal space, and staff support.

Deadline: April 15th

The Bogliasco Foundation is pleased to announce a new residential Fellowship for an American scholar in European art history. The five-week Fellowship, which will take place at the Foundation’s Study Center near Genoa during the Spring 2020 semester, includes full room and board and a travel stipend of $1000. The Fellowship is open to American art historians of all ages who are working on pre-modern projects (antiquity to early 19th century), and who are not currently in a degree-granting program.

For complete instructions and eligibility details, kindly consult the Foundation’s online application site at The deadline to apply is April 15th.

15. FESTIVAL OF 10 (at SUNY-Brockport)
Deadline: April 15th

The Department of Theatre and Music Studies at The College at Brockport is pleased to announce its 12th Biennial Festival of Ten-Minute Plays.

Brockport’s Festival of Ten began in 1999, and every two years since then audiences have enjoyed these performances consisting of 10 ten-minute plays. Our Festival of Ten has grown over the years and now has an international reputation, with playwrights from as far away as Australia. For each festival we accept 500 submissions, ultimately selecting ten to produce. Plays can be submitted beginning February 15, 2020 until April 15, 2020, or until we reach 500 submissions.

Submission Guidelines:
All plays will be submitted online. Submitted plays should have the name of the playwright removed.
Each script must have a running time of 7–14 minutes.
Only original scripts allowed.
Maximum of two scripts per playwright.
Plays that have been read or performed in any manner for a paying audience prior to submission are not accepted.
Plays written by current  Brockport Department of Theatre and Music Studies faculty and staff (full and part-time) are not accepted.
Entries will be acknowledged via email.
Only the first 500 scripts received will be considered.
The top ten scripts will be produced in fully realized productions as part of the SUNY Brockport’s Festival of Ten XII (February/March 2021).
Finalists will be notified by November 30, 2020.
If you are unsure how to format your play, view this website for an example. If you have questions or need more information please email

Deadline: April 30th

It’s not just abortion that is stigmatized in our culture, but the entire lived experiences of people who seek to fulfill their promise as autonomous human beings, realize their own dreams, raise their families in safety and peace, pursue their ambitions, and maintain control over their physical and reproductive lives.

The subject of Reproductive Justice is one too often simplified by our current dialogues, and too often the voices and perspectives of the people most affected by restrictions, legislative prohibitions, and cultural prejudices are excluded from our artistic institutions.

A is For seeks to change that. We believe the theatre is an especially powerful platform with which to share stories, debunk myths, and disempower fears. We believe the theatre can transform. We want to amplify voices which can reframe the conversation, to support and promote artists who can dispel myths and misconceptions. We want to change the way people think about abortion and reproductive justice. We want to hear the stories you want to tell.

In that spirit, the stories we hope to bring to the fore will be diverse in perspective as well as imagination. These plays may be personal and realistic, or they may be allegorical. They may be fantastic, sprung from dreams, or they may be grounded in naturalism. Whatever form or shape they may take, we hope to receive a wide range of works from all over the country, reflecting the great variety of experiences that Reproductive Justice demands we all recognize.

In highlighting these stories, we’re broadening the emotional vocabulary of the American audience, and opening up our theaters to a fuller and more honest exploration of the human experience.

-Submit one-act plays about Reproductive Justice, including (but not limited to) the topic of abortion.

-You may not edit your entry after submitting.

-You may submit as many plays as you wish.

-Plays must be no longer than 60 minutes (typically about 60 pages, double-spaced.) Plays longer than 60 minutes will automatically be disqualified.

-Plays do not have to be as long as 60 minutes. They can be shorter. They can be as short as a single page if you feel that’s sufficient to tell your story.

-Please submit your files in PDF only.

-Plays in languages other than English will be accepted as long as an accompanying English translation is also provided.

-Plays should include a cover page that includes the name of the playwright, and all relevant contact information, including representation, if applicable.

Grand Prize will be awarded to one play which will receive $5,000

Two runners up will receive $1,500 each

All three plays will be presented in whole or in part (depending on length) as rehearsed readings in a single evening (date tbd in the fall of 2020) at a theatre in New York City.

Deadline: April 26th

In his cartoons for The New Yorker, James Stevenson told stories about the human comedy with energy and economy. Returning for its third consecutive year, Playing on Air’s Stevenson Prize will honor three original comedies that perpetuate Mr. Stevenson's spirit and wit, bringing the finest new American short plays to a national audience.

The Prize is made possible through the generosity and vision of Josie Merck, James Stevenson's wife. For submission details, read on below.

$6,000 award, plus a Playing on Air recording of the winning play for radio and podcast distribution

 $3,000 award

 $1,000 award

Playing on Air invites writers to submit a short comedic play of 10-25 pages (not counting title page).

One submission will be accepted per entrant. Additional entries will disqualify the writer.

All entries must be original, unpublished, and unproduced plays. For more information about our working definition of “unproduced,” scroll down to our STEVENSON FAQs section. 

Even in revised form, plays that have been previously submitted to the Stevenson Prize competition or to Playing on Air are ineligible.   

 Please submit your script as a PDF with title page (with no author information), 12pt font, 1 inch margins on every side, and numbered pages.

All submissions will be judged "blind."  Uploaded scripts should not include the author's name, representation, or any identifying information. All author information should be provided via submission form, linked below. 

Submissions will be judged for literary merit, originality, and humor.  2020 Guest Judges will be announced after submissions have closed.

We’re particularly excited about plays that embrace the creative possibilities of storytelling through sound and language.  Your play may include brief moments of music, but it shouldn’t be a musical.  We’re unable to accept any supplementary tracks or audio files.

Special consideration will be given to the script’s suitability for audio recording and public radio broadcast. 

Single-character monologues and plays that rely on the extensive use of a chorus, stage directions, or visual elements are discouraged.

Please do not include sound design cues or instructions beyond standard stage directions. 

We strongly encourage you to listen to recent Playing on Air episodes by subscribing to the Playing on Air podcast on your favorite app. Two of 2019’s winning plays, HUMAN RESOURCES by Jason Gray Platt and THE CLAM by Amanda Quaid, will premiere as part of the Spring 2020 podcast season. You can also hear two of our 2018 winners here:

*Why this new system?                                                                                                                                                                      As the Stevenson Prize competition grows, we’re committed to keeping this opportunity accessible to all playwrights. We’re also committed to paying every reader, judge, staff member, and intern involved, as we have in previous years. $5 submission fees in the Extended Period will cover a small part of that fair compensation for the artists who make the Stevenson Prize possible.

Entrants must be at least 21 years of age by May 15, 2020.  By entering, playwrights consent to Playing on Air’s recording and distribution of any winning plays.

Deadline: April 14th

The Bret Adams & Paul Reisch Foundation-- for playwrights, composers, librettists and lyrics who have had a full professional show cancelled, closed, or indefinitely postponed due to COVID-19. Please share widely!

The link to the form to enter the lottery is here:

You are eligible to enter the lottery for a grant of $2500 from the Bret Adams & Paul Reisch Foundation if you are:
1) A playwright, composer, lyricist, or librettist
2) Have had a full professional production (defined for these purposes as a LORT, Off-Broadway, or Broadway full production, not a reading or workshop) of which you are a writer that was cancelled, closed, or indefinitely postponed due to the COVID-19 closures.

We will be keeping the form open until April 14th, and after that date we will be doing a random selection, to make sure the process is totally impartial.

Each artist may only submit ONE time, even if you have had more than one production cancelled. If you submit more than once, your entries will be removed.

We expect to offer up to 40 emergency grants of $2500, but this is subject to change. If you are selected, we will be in touch using the contact information you provide below.

These grants are only open to writers (playwrights, composers, lyricists, and librettists). Writers are not salaried workers and therefore are not eligible for unemployment for a cancelled production.  Unionized theatre artists can expect some relief through their unions; however, playwrights have no such protection. Sometimes a writer spends years writing and preparing for an opening; and when that opening is cancelled, the emotional devastation is as great as the financial impact. We recognize that writers are at a unique disadvantage after a show's cancellation or closure, so we are using this year's entire grant budget to provide emergency assistance to those writers who have been impacted by the COVID-19 theatre closures.

Deadline: April 30th

After the success of the inaugural Bonnie and Terry Burman New Play Award in 2018, we are proud to announce the second round of the Burman New Play Award in 2020. Barrington Stage seeks an original, emerging new voice in the American Theatre. The winning playwright will receive $25,000, a staged reading and a possible full production. Two additional $5,000 awards will be given to playwrights who will each receive a staged reading at Barrington Stage.

The 2018 Grand Prize winner was Stacey Rose for her play America v. 2.1: The Sad Demise & Eventual Extinction of The American Negro; and the additional awards were given to Brent Askari for his play American Underground and Christina Quintana for her play Citizen Scientist. Both Rose’s and Askari’s plays received world premiere productions at BSC in 2019.

Submissions will open on January 2, 2020 and will close April 30, 2020. There is no fee for entry.

The play…

must be a new full length play that has not been produced professionally
must be available for its official world premiere production
must be unpublished and not yet licensed
must be free and not attached to any producers
must be able to be performed with 8 actors or less
must be wholly original and not an adaptation or translation of an existing foreign language play
must be a play that has not already been sent to Barrington Stage Company for consideration
The playwright…

must be a U.S. resident
can only submit one play
cannot be an immediate family member of a BSC staff or board member.
A brief letter of endorsement from a professional theatre, commercial producer or literary agent must accompany the script. Each endorsing organization/person/agent can only endorse one play.
A PDF of the script that does not include the author’s name, agent info, developmental/award history or year written anywhere within the script; please number all pages.
150 word bio of the writer
150 word synopsis of the play (that does not contain the writer’s name)
150 word developmental history of the play, if any
Any special needs of the play (live animals, on-stage pool, three children, etc.)

Deadline: April 30th

The Carlo Annoni Award is for theatre plays on gay themes and on diversity in love. The plays can be written in Italian or in English. The prize is € 1000 for texts for each language (Italian and English).

Two plays (one in English and one in Italian) will be awarded the amount of 1.000 Euros each.
Special Mentions:

BEST COMEDY: for a play on relationships
BEST SHORT PLAY: a special mention will be given to a short play or video of a maximum of 10 minutes length
BEST MUSICAL: must be submitted in audio+ score version
BEST WORK ON ASYLUM SEEKERS: for a play on the topic of asylum-seeking for those persecuted for their sexual orientation.
Plays, Audios and/or Videos must be submitted via email at by 30th April 2020

Carlo Annoni Prize is dedicated to the promotion of LGBTQ topics, with a particular interest on ‘love and diversity’

Deadline: May 6th

Jerome Hill Artist Fellowships support Minnesota or New York City-based artists, early in their careers, who generate and create bold, innovative and risk-taking new work that explores and/or challenges conventional artistic forms.

Fellows receive $50,000* over two consecutive years ($25,000 each year) to support self-determined activities for creation of new work, artistic development and/or professional artistic career development. Fellowship funds support grantees for taking creative risks, exploring new ideas, and pursuing professional and artistic activities.

Fellowships are offered in six fields: Dance, Media (including Film/Video and New Media), Literature, Music, Theater/Performance Art/Spoken Word, and Visual Arts. The Foundation expects to award a total of 60 Fellowships (ten per field).

Jerome Foundation recognizes that many artists today are working across disciplines. Though each applicant must apply in one of the six specified disciplines, there will be the opportunity to identify any additional disciplines in which the artist is working. Artists are invited in the application to share in their own words how they categorize their work.

Artists may apply either as an individual or as part of an ensemble/collective/collaborative—but not both. Artists may submit or be part of only one application: any individual named in more than one application will be ruled ineligible, and all applications in which that individual is named will be removed from consideration.

Fellows will be announced in 2021. Fellows must pursue their self-determined Fellowship activities between mid 2021–mid 2023. After this current cycle, the program will open again for application in 2022 with awards announced in 2023. This program is offered in alternating years.

Artists may receive only one Jerome Hill Artist Fellowship during their career. Fellowships are awarded and funds are issued only to individuals, members of an ensemble/collective/collaborative, or to single-member LLCs. Applications are not accepted from, nor are payments made to, fiscal sponsors, management companies or producers, multi-owned LLCs, consultants or 501(c)3 organizations other than those applying as an ensemble/collective/collaborative.

Deadline: May 18th

The Studios offers a residency program for emerging and established artists and writers designed to encourage creative, intellectual and personal growth. The program grants nearly 35 artists each year the time and space to imagine new artistic work, engage in valuable dialogue and explore island connections.

The Studios’ residency program is community-based and built upon the hope that visiting artists will take inspiration from Key West’s rich artistic past and present, and will engage with — and be inspired by — the remarkable people and culture that surrounds them.

Key West’s official motto, “One Human Family” reflects our commitment to living together as caring, sharing neighbors dedicated to making our home as close to paradise as we can. To that end, we encourage artists of all races, nationalities, gender identities, sexual orientations, and abilities to apply.

Residencies are almost a full month, and run from the 16th of the month through the 14th of the next. There is a $40 application fee.

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