*** FREE THEATER IN NYC ***
ESPA Drills 2015 Reading Series
DannyKrisDonnaVeronica by Lawrence Dial
August 24 at 5:00pm
Graduation Day by Emily Daly
August 24 at 8:00pm
Round She Goes by Karina Richardson
August 25 at 12:00pm
This Sweet Affliction by Blake Hackler
August 25 at 3:00pm
All performances will be held at The Duke on 42nd Street and are free of charge.
Visit http://primarystages.org/espa/espa-programs/espa-drills to RSVP.
ESPA Drills is an annual new play development program providing extensive workshopping, a public presentation, and advocacy within the theater community for four new plays written at least in part at Primary Stages Einhorn School of Performing Arts (ESPA).
*** PRIMARY STAGES SCREENWRITING ***
You’ve written some plays, and now you’ve got a great idea for a screenplay, but you’re not sure where to begin. In SCREENWRITING at Primary Stages Einhorn School of Performing Arts (ESPA), you’ll learn how to write visually for the film medium and apply the concepts of character development, story, theme, and dialogue to both original works and adaptations. Regardless of prior experience, you can expect to leave this class with the foundation to tell a story successfully on the silver screen and be well on your way to a first draft. Class begins September 16. Payment plans available. http://primarystages.org/espa
*** SUBMISSIONS WANTED ***
Venus/Adonis Theater Festival 2016 ~ Our Eighth Festival Season
Acknowledgement in the form of excellent prizes: $2,500 for Best Play and $500 each for Best Actress, Actor and Director, as well as $300 for Best Musical and $200 for Best Original Play. This is more than any other U.S. festival that we know of. There is no question why Venus/Adonis has taken the world of playwrighting festivals by storm, becoming the second largest festival in the country in just 4 years.
It's because playwrights enjoy staging their plays with us! We are a group of playwrights who, after years of staging our plays in NYC festivals, said: "Why don't we create a festival that includes everything we dreamt of having while being part of others?" The result is beyond our wildest expectations. In just a few years, Venus/Adonis has caught fire as the number of submissions we receive continues to grow every year. Is this sheer luck or an acknowledgment of what we offer? Let's find out at: http://venusnytheaterfestival.com/
*** PLAYWRIGHTS OPPORTUNITIES ***
11TH InspiraTO Playwriting Contest
This year's creative challenge: Shift. The play must show that a "shift" has taken place or is about to take place in the play.
shift: Move from one place to another, especially over a small distance. Change positions. Adjust. Correct. Lift. Land, people, buildings, structures or objects repositioned. Distruption. Swerve. Pivot.
Leave your comfort zone.
The Bechdel Fest is a celebration of stories about women, utilizing the famous Bechdel Test (for more info on the Bechdel Test, visit http://bechdeltest.com/).
Ampersand Artists is seeking new 10-minute plays that feature:
(1) At least 2 female characters*,
(2) Who talk to each other,
(3) And speak about something other than a man,
(4) And that has a “Yes, and…” moment that changes the course of the story.
Cradle Theatre New Works Reading Series
Our New Works Reading Series is dedicated to producing dynamic, compelling staged readings of new plays and screenplays by up-and-coming young artists, giving new voices a chance to be heard.
The works we produce have never been seen before, and are inspired, either directly or in spirit, by works of classic drama.
*** FOR MORE INFORMATION on these and other opportunities see the web site athttp://www.nycplaywrights.org ***
*** THEATER ESSAYS ***
Prepare the Performer, Not the Performance?
By ROBERT BETHUNE
I recently directed a production that included a very wide age range–everything from young people still living at home to aged grandparents. Of course, the older parts were played by older actors–a stroke of pure casting genius never seen before in the theatre. (Or do I exaggerate?)
One really fascinating part of the experience was seeing the difference between actors who are rather of the old school and those with much more recent training and development. The older actors are very concerned with establishing the details of the performance and sticking to them. They are trained in elocution, text interpretation, character study and traditional actor’s craft. On this line I will move here; when I hear another actor’s line I will turn and look, and so forth. It is an approach to acting that requires a particular kind of teamwork, rather like the precise execution of a ballet. If you change any part of it, the whole elaborate apparatus gets thrown off kilter.
The younger actors are very much the opposite. They do not want to "pre-can" anything. They don’t want to do a "frozen" performance. They want to be free to change what they do from night to night, to surprise each other and be surprised. They are trained in improvisation and theater games, and they expect to bring the fresh, unstudied quality of that kind of work to performing a text-based play.
Lincoln Center Theater Blog
WATCHING PATTI LUPONE
Brendan Lemon | July 28, 2015
I first saw Patti LuPone, currently starring as the community-theater maven Irene in Shows for Days, onstage in Three Sisters. It was 1975, I was in high school, and the world was free of cellphones. LuPone was playing the youngest sister, Irina. The friend with whom I went insists to this day that the production, from The Acting Company, also featured Kevin Kline. It did not. Kline had played Vershinin when the Chekhov production was on Broadway in 1973-74, but had moved on by the time of the reprise, in repertory at the Harkness Theatre.
Of LuPone what I chiefly remember is the passion with which Irina insisted she was a grown-up. I also remember thinking that I wished I had seen her, as Lady Teazle, in The Acting Company’s earlier production of The School for Scandal. It had been presented, in 1972, at the Good Shepherd-Faith Presbyterian Church, which is on West 66th street and shares a city block with the Juilliard School, from which LuPone and Kline had graduated in the famous first class of the Drama Division.
THE ORIGIN OF THE HINDU DRAMA
This document was written by E. P. Horrwitz and originally published in The Indian Theatre: A Brief History of Sanskrit Drama. London: Blackie and Son Limited, 1912.
In the beginning was the Veda, and divine races peopled the earth. The RIG VEDA is the oldest portion of Indian poetry, and the most ancient monument of Aryan literature. The Rig hymns  extol the grandeur of nature and her forces, especially Indra the Thunderer, and Agni, god of fire celestial and terrestrial. The black-skinned aborigines of the Punjab were as ignorant of Vedic song and the polished Sanskrit in which it is embedded as the rude Anglo-Saxons were of the Chanson de Roland and the refined Norman tongue. But the churlish race that sprang from the enslaved Dasyus grew up in Aryan surroundings, and learned to speak Sanskrit. Still, there were excluded from the study of the Rig Vega, which remained a monopoly of the higher castes. The priviliged classes alone received Vedic instruction, and, by virtue of that knowledge, were admitted to the sacrament of a new birth. None else was to have the benefit of spiritual regeneration. But light fell into the darkness, and among the despised shûdras poets arose who composed out of the world-old nature lore, magic and exorcism, another Sanskrit hymnal for the use of the people. This is the ATHARVA VEDA, which had to struggle for centuries before the twice-born would reluctantly give it a place in their sacred canon. 
While the Rig Veda consists of prayers to the bright elements of nature, the Atharva spells are pervaded by a dread of her dark aspects, and a hankering after occult powers. The Atharva collection, though based on immemorial tradition, is chronologically younger than either the SÂMA VEDA, a book of chants compiled from Rig passages, or the YAJUR VEDA, which contains the Vedic liturgy appointed to be read at sacrificial services. 
Ugly Ducklings, Or How I Came to Write a Play Where the Lesbian Doesn't Kill Herself
By Carolyn Gage
Written for the New England Women’s Studies Conference, March 2005
There are many challenges in writing lesbian-feminist plays, and today I want to talk about two of them. The first is working without antecedents in the popular consciousness, without a canon of lesbian dramatic work from which to draw. The second is the particular kind of audience response to the work that generally results from this lack of a cultural context.Playwriting is an intensely compressed art form, taking place in a single location, over a two-hour period of time, with real human beings. Plays rely on narrative and dramaturgical conventions in order to work around these constrictions. Conventions area form of shorthand, based on common cultural assumptions. They involve familiar paradigms and archetypes, and also stereotypes. Unfortunately, the narrative and dramaturgical conventions I inherited came from two thousand years of theatre written by, for, about, and serving the interests of men. The lesbian character does not fit into the patriarchal paradigm except as an object of ridicule, pity, disgust, or prurient interest. The lesbian can be the superfluous spinster, or the male sexual fantasy, or the vampiric seducer of women all of whom would otherwise presumably become compliant heterosexual wives and girlfriends. And, of course, the lesbian character can be a tormented outcast who kills herself. Obviously, within this paradigm I could not tell the stories I wanted, the stories that reflected my truth.
How PC Is Too PC? A look at trigger warnings and audience overprotection in Little Black Dress INK’s 2014 ONSTAGE Festival
In 2014, Little Black Dress INK’s ONSTAGE festival lineup included a powerful little “rape comedy” by playwright Jennie Webb that both challenged and scared me. At ten minutes, Rebecca on the Bus, managed to make me laugh and squirm every time I read it, and yet I knew that it was going to be a hot spot in our festival lineup. In a bid to be responsible to audiences who may take issue with a play about rape using satire to deliver its message, I included a trigger warning in our program:
“This play deals with an account of rape that may be troubling to some people.”
Because we had presented the play in two earlier staged readings and an open dress rehearsal, I knew that the playwright’s raw humor and pathos worked. Unfortunately, the trigger warning seemed to serve as a muffler for our audiences during performance, as though it left them stifled with responsible notions of what is and is not allowably laughable, preventing them from indulging in the play’s humor. The result was an audience both quiet and uncomfortable before the play had hit the gut-punch point that was supposed to leave them squirming.
AN ESSAY ON THE THEATRE; OR, A COMPARISON BETWEEN LAUGHING AND SENTIMENTAL COMEDY
by Oliver Goldsmith (1772)
THE theater, like all other amusements, has its fashions and its prejudices: and when satiated with its excellence mankind begin to mistake change for improvement. For some years tragedy was the reigning entertainment; but of late it has entirely given way to comedy, and our best efforts are now exerted in these lighter kinds of composition. The pompous train, the swelling phrase, and the unnatural rant, are displaced for that natural portrait of human folly and frailty, of which all are judges, because all have sat for the picture.
But as in describing nature it is presented with a double face, either of mirth or sadness, our modern writers find themselves at a loss which chiefly to copy from; and it is now debated, whether the exhibition of human distress is likely to afford the mind more entertainment than that of human absurdity?
Comedy is defined by Aristotle to be a picture of the frailties of the lower part of mankind, to distinguish it from tragedy, which is an exhibition of the misfortunes of the great. When comedy, therefore, ascends to produce the characters of princes or generals upon the stage, it is out of its walks, since low life and middle life are entirely its object. The principle question, therefore, is, whether, in describing low or middle life, an exhibition of its follies be not preferable to a detail of its calamities? Or, in other words, which deserves the preference,--the weeping sentimental comedy so much in fashion at present, or the laughing, and even low comedy, which seems to have been last exhibited by Vanbrugh and Cibber?
One hundred essays I don't have time to write*
*Please consider these essays as starting points. Consider them starting points for someone else to finish.
By Sarah Ruhl
(selected from Ruhl’s web site)
43. Can you be avant-garde if you are dead? The strange case of e.e. cummings and Thornton Wilder.
How is it that e.e. cummings and Thornton Wilder, who radically challenged form, were transformed by intellectual opinion into treacly sentimentalists for the masses? Is it because they died? Is it because people liked them? When formal newness becomes populist by sheer dint of its ability to communicate broadly in its new form, why is it prosecuted (and found guilty) after death? Will James Joyce’s Ulysses always and forever be avant-garde because only a certain kind of literary priesthood enjoys it? How to reclaim the dead and enjoyed-by-many and put them back in their proper place as radicals…
33. Don’t send your characters to reform school
Sometimes I think that American dramaturgy is not actually based on Aristotle’s Poetics, but instead on Pilgrim’s Progress…that is to say: what has your character learned, how has she changed, what is her journey? Which is all a subset of a morality play. I love morality plays because they are undisguised. And yet realism in the grips of a morality play is a strange genre to me—a morality play disguised as realism seems false.
And as we know, the pilgrims who founded our country hated the theater. (Have you ever wondered why Boston does not have the reputation for being a theater town?)
Try applying the generic question: “how complete is his or her journey?” or “what did Godot learn from having waited?” to Beckett, the questions fall short of illuminating the play.
And so I say: don’t make your play into a reform school. Don’t send your characters away.
32. On Theater as an inaccessible art form
I was speaking to a seventeen year-old playwright the other day, and he asked me how I felt about writing in such an inaccessible art form, in an art form that no longer meant much to most people. I thought what he said was true, and also untrue, and sad. Because there is no art form that is more accessible than theater at its roots. Nothing is required but people and space. Theater is the child’s first art form, when the child first imitates. A child clearly knows that all that is required for a play is some people to watch, and some people to do, and a place in which to do it. Perhaps we now live in a world in which real people and real space is at an odd premium. It is objects that seem accessible, because they are consumable.
I felt the non-objectness of theater keenly when trying to “move” a play of mine that had been in two different cities and now was in a third city. Because you cannot actually “move” the invisible. Or load the invisible onto a truck. This is why we are superstitious in the theater. The non-materiality of a material medium is vexing, but deeply accessible, precisely because its conditions are so simple and direct.
Film is bigger than we are—it flickers, like Plato’s cave, always out of reach. Do we like a thing that seems out of reach but we can actually buy? Movie celebrities seem out of reach but at the same time consumable. As opposed to the stage—where living actors are almost within reach but unpurchasable because they are real in that moment rather than being images. Is theater then one of the most radically accessible art forms we have, because it cannot be bought? If we could forget about ticket prices and go down into the basement with a flashlight and a bucket of water and a pulley made of string and could we slip into the garage with a broken old hat and our grandmother’s wedding dress and could we forget and could we…
Call for Submissions For 2015 Rahway Culture Crawl
The Rahway Arts and Business Organization is seeking submissions of artists and artwork for display and exhibition during Rahway NJ’s CULTURE CRAWL on Friday, October 9, 2015, 6-9PM. CULTURE CRAWL is a one-night celebration of arts, culture and community. Video, sound, spoken word, and other live, interactive art forms link downtown venues and sites where art, music, and other cultural happenings occur throughout the evening. The last CULTURE CRAWL featured 61 events taking place at over 40 locations, and this year we expect even more participating venues.
The theme for CULTURE CRAWL 2015 is “Homegrown.”
We are currently seeking: Video (Live action and animation), Sound, Two-Dimensional Art (painting, drawing, photography, prints, and mixed media), Sculpture and Installation (Indoor and Outdoor), Live Performances (including music, spoken word, live artists, etc.), and Other Artists (e.g. henna tattoo artists, jewelry makers, caricature artists, etc.).
Submissions for consideration should be submitted via website by September 18, 2015 toCultureCrawl.org
Artwork will be reviewed by a panel of jurors and will be considered based on the artwork’s relation to the theme “Homegrown”; strength of concept and the nature of the work; and available space. Submissions will be reviewed on a rolling basis. All proposals must be submitted by Monday September 14, 2015.
For informationplease visit www.CultureCrawl.org.
The Rahway Culture Crawl Awards recognize excellence in various categories, including Visual Art, Performance Art and Musicianship. The competition prominently recognizes winners with a personalized plaque presented by Rahway’s Mayor Samson D. Steinman, a highlight in the Rahway Review and on the City of Rahway and Rahway Arts and Business Organization websites.
The Best of Show Winner and Outstanding Achievement winners are featured in an issue of The Review with an in-depth article that showcases the award-winning designs and designers alike.
• Visual Art (Sculpture, 3D Art, Murals and Paintings, Street/Pavement, Multimedia/Motion,etc.)
• Performance (Dance, Spoken Word, etc.)
• Music (Single or Group Performance, original Music only, no covers)
Due to the nature of the event, many artworks are on display for one evening only. Set-up and breakdown time is limited to the day of the event. Set-up begins as early at 8AM and ends by 5PM. The event takes place from 6-9PM. Breakdown begins at 9PM.
IU Press seeking submissions for crowdsourced book
By Bridget Murray andCassie Heeke
Blues society established in southern Indiana
Sloths, Love Moon to bring haunting tracks to The Bishop
IU Press is currently seeking submissions for their crowd-sourced book, “Undeniably Indiana.”
The book will be published in 2016 to concur with the Indiana state bicentennial, and it will be IU Press’ first crowd-sourced book.
“It was an opportunity for us to try a new publishing model that collaborates with our readers in a way that we’ve never done before,” said Laura Baich, IU Press electronic marketing manager, in an email. “Through this project, Hoosier residents are taking ownership of writing the story of our state.”
Submissions should be “fun facts or stories that celebrate what makes Indiana unique,” according to the IU Press website. Submissions are accepted from “anyone who considers himself/herself a Hoosier.” Baich said IU Press is in need of more stories about Bloomington and student life.
Submissions must be sent by Sept. 1. The best stories will be chosen for publication in the book.
While various regions of Indiana have been covered, IU Press is still searching for stories about Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Evansville, South Bend, Fishers, Terre Haute, Noblesville and Lafayette along with Bloomington.
The entire list of regions to fill can be found on the IU Press website, iupress.typepad.com.
New releases also published by IU Press include memoir “Leave the Dogs at Home” by IU alumna Claire S. Arbogast and Fork River anthology “Winesburg, Indiana,” edited by Michael Martone and Bryan Furuness.
Stories can be submitted through the book’s Facebook page,facebook.com/UndeniablyIndiana, or by email to Baich at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I hope people inside the state of Indiana will feel a sense of pride about being a Hoosier when they read the book,” Baich said.
Bridget Murray and Cassie Heeke
Calling all artists: Eau Claire looks for submissions for sculpture tour
Posted: Wed 9:46 AM, Aug 19, 2015
By: Media Release Email
• Sculpture Application
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Sculpture Tour Eau Claire is seeking local and regional artist submissions for consideration in the 2016 tour. Sculpture Tour is a free year-round exhibit of outdoor public art. The 2015 exhibit featured 34 sculptures from across the U.S. and Canada, and included 3 local pieces.
All pieces must be available for sale. In the past 5 years, over $300,000 worth of art has been purchased and remains in the Eau Claire area. Over a half million dollars’ worth of art is on display in the 2015 exhibit.
Sculptures must be durable enough to withstand the elements, as well as some handling by the public. Artwork is on display mid-May through mid-April of 2017.
Selection is done by a committee that considers the subject matter as well as the medium used. The group looks to offer variety—steel, ceramic, stone and bronze pieces that appeal to a broad range of spectators. Local artists are paid a $500 stipend for delivering their work, and it is basically on loan for the year. Artwork must be available for sale, and is fully insured while featured on the tour.