Bacchanalia 2017 New Play Readings Festival
One play from the festival will be selected for a full production
This year’s theme is Protest Plays.
Show us your discontent and artistic ire with the coming regime! All new plays adhering at least broadly to the theme will be accepted, but preference will be given to plays with:
Five or less actors required
Multiple speaking roles for women
Less than an hour running time
Four Quarter Theater, a NYC based theater ensemble, is currently accepting 10 minute musicals for our spring season Musicals.
In each quarter of the year, and aligning with the seasons, Four Quarter Theater aims to produce a new set of ten-minute plays. Each season is framed around a theme, which relates to the season in which the quarter falls. Each theme is open to artistic interpretation and is provided as a thematic framework to guide the playwright. The format of the performances will be staged readings in New York City.
The Headwaters program is the source of new plays of the West: plays set in the current, historic, or mystic western United States; plays by playwrights originally from or living in the West; plays that deal with themes connected to the real or mythic West; and plays that re-imagine what “West” means.
To be considered for the Headwaters New Play Festival, a play must never have had a professional production and the playwright must be available to attend the workshop week ( - Creede Colorado). Since 2015’s festival, our goal has been to more accurately reflect the diversity of human experience by reserving one of our two slots for a female playwright. We will continue this at this season’s festival.
*** FOR MORE INFORMATION about these and other opportunities see the web site at http://www.nycplaywrights.org ***
*** FROM PAGE TO STAGE ***
The challenge of teaching Drama: From page to stage
Many Drama teachers are grappling with the demands of the process of taking a dramatic text from page to stage. The prominence of theatrical text in new specifications appears to align the teaching of Drama with its sister subject, English. There are many advantages to this alignment of the two disciplines, including the opportunity to develop an understanding of narrative patterns as well as genres. A ‘play’ can mean both the written output of a playwright and the staging of their work. The verb ‘to play’ also references the element of anarchy and misrule latent in the imaginations of the spectators. The many genres of the theatre also reflect the socio-political and cultural movements of their time. From the morality plays of the medieval period to the comedies of the Restoration and the tragedies of the Jacobean periods, playwrights have sought to fashion text from the tapestry of life around them.
From Page to Stage
How a Play Goes From Concept to Production
The curtain falls. The audience applauses. The lights rise. Theatre patrons stream out the doors a buzz with discussing the performance they've just witnessed. But the performance is the end product of a long involved process beginning with the playwright.
Even the longest running play The Mousetrap, by Agatha Christie was at onetime a new play. Most theatregoers have at one time seen a world premiere of a new play. However, it is a select few that actually know how a play goes from concept to production.
The process of putting pen to paper (or hands to keyboards) varies from playwright to playwright. The idea for a play can come from a current event, something that has happened to the playwright in the past, or even just an overheard conversation on a train. From there, it can proceed in different directions. Some playwrights prefer to complete an outline before they write down a single line. Others go through drafts and drafts before they have their final product. And some playwrights sit down to write and do not stop until they have finished. Edward Albee (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?) was recently asked how many drafts does he write of a play. He answered, "I don't write drafts. A draft could give someone a cold. No, I think you should write the entire play down the first time, and then fix it with a few touches here and there."
INDEPENDENT LENS: FROM PAGE TO STAGE
Playwright: From Page to Stage is a cinema vérité documentary that takes an intimate look at the development of two new plays, showing how creative teams are assembled and collaborate, detailing everything from the intense rehearsal process to achieving one of theater's ultimate goals: the arrival on a Broadway stage in New York City.
The film follows two young playwrights, Rajiv Joseph and Tarell McCraney, as they burst onto the scene, bringing real-world perspective to create theater that is fresh and new. Their success ignites tremendous interest in their work, and we follow as one of the plays, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, reaches Broadway, with Robin Williams in the lead role of The Tiger.
From Page to Stage
Center Theatre Group Presents Of Equal Measure
Commissioning a play and mounting a new theater work onstage are two very different endeavors. In 2005, Michael Ritchie, artistic director of Center Theatre Group (CTG), commissioned a new work from up-and coming playwright Tanya Barfield. The commission was a milestone for two reasons. It is the first script Ritchie ordered via his New Play Production Program after taking over the Los Angeles theater consortium from its founder, former National Council on the Arts member Gordon Davidson. And second, Ritchie was backing only an idea in Barfield's head: a play about segregated federal offices in the Wilson administration.
"Once CTG decided to commission me, they let me develop my own structure for working on the piece," Barfield said. "They let me lead my development and agreed to produce it before it was finished. That's rare." But such an open arrangement can make fundraising for a new production difficult because so many questions remain unanswered: How long will it take the playwright to craft a script? What if the new play needs five workshops before it's ready for a full production? When will the finished product best fit into the theater's season?
From page to stage: tricks of the trade in adapting theater from books
“We express who we are not just by telling stories but by re-telling the stories of others, emphasizing different details, putting our own spin on things,” says writer/director Aaron Posner. “The re-telling of stories is a basic human need.”
But one particular way of re-telling stories, turning literature into theater, is especially tricky. In some ways, classic and popular novels provide ideal source material for plays — familiar titles, characters and settings, thoroughly developed stories, proven appeal. But the two forms work by different rules and reach us in different ways. The love a reader has for a book quickly can turn bitter if the stage version doesn’t fit the version in her imagination.
Such are the promises and pitfalls in a project such as Seattle playwright Kevin McKeon’s adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s “Anna Karenina,” which has its world premiere at Portland Center Stage.
From Page to Stage – the Making of a Musical
This holiday season the Arvada Center produced a brand-new musical work – the first in our 41-year history. Arvada Center Artistic Producer of Musicals Rod A. Lansberry and I’ll Be Home for Christmas co-creators, David Nehls and Kenn McLaughlin offer their perspective to what it takes to build a new musical from the ground up.
Describe what it feels like to create a new musical like I’ll Be Home for Christmas from concept to completion?
Rod Lansberry (RL): The idea to have a world premiere on the Arvada Center stage is something we have worked on for many years, and we are happy to have this chance to bring something new and fresh to our audience.
Kenn McLaughlin (KM): It is a very hard thing to describe! Rod and (director) Gavin Mayer have been champions of the work from the start and have offered great direction and feedback that have helped shape where we are.
FROM PAGE TO STAGE: TAKING YOUR STUDENTS THROUGH THE THEATRE PROCESS
We can’t tell you everything we know about putting on a school play in a single blog post, but we can try to hit some quick highlights. Here’s the basic process of taking a play from the script you’ve selected to that first public performance, as smoothly and enjoyably as possible.
FIGURE OUT THE TECH FIRST
You can do most plays, especially when the scripts are geared towards school plays and educational theatre, without any serious set building. There are plenty of plays that have minimal costume and prop requirements, too—and plenty that can definitely benefit from a little extra assistance in the technical department.
A bumpy transition from page to stage for ‘Confederacy of Dunces’
On one level, “A Confederacy of Dunces’’ is ideally suited to adaptation for the theater.
After all, there are few fictional protagonists more theatrical than Ignatius J. Reilly, the bellowing, supercilious, misanthropic, lavishly eccentric, morbidly obese man-child who lurches through the pages of John Kennedy Toole’s picaresque novel as if in perpetual search of a stage.
Yet the Huntington Theatre Company’s world premiere of “A Confederacy of Dunces,’’ starring Nick Offerman as Ignatius and directed by David Esbjornson, ultimately adds up to less than the sum of its sporadically entertaining parts.
In Leap From Page To Stage, UK's Take On 'Catch-22' Gets It Right
Catch-22 is widely considered a great novel; until now, it has been a disaster as a play. Though Joseph Heller adapted his work for the stage decades ago, every production had been a failure. Now, however, a new production of his play seems to have broken the curse: It is touring the UK and receiving strong reviews.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
"Catch-22" is one of those rare books that's so successful, its title has taken on a meaning of its own. As in, catch 22 - a no win situation - damned if you do, damned if you don't. The novel has sold more than ten million copies since it was published half a century ago. The play has been much less successful, until now. NPR's Ari Shapiro has the story from London.
ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: In one sense, "Catch-22" feels made for the stage. The World War II novel is intensely verbal. One reviewer in 1961 famously complained the book did not seem to have been written, quote, instead, it gives the impression of having been shouted onto paper. Even the audio book sounds like a movie without the sound effects.
From Page to Stage : the hero’s journey
Writing is a superpower, and it comes with its own high stakes.
It was hard for me to imagine that words on a page—mostly written for my private entertainment—would be projected on the stage of Symphony Hall, a gorgeous theater with high ceilings and velvet cushioned seats. I had no idea what it would feel like to see the characters that I had written four months ago strut around stage, taking audiences on an emotional journey. I couldn’t fathom what it would be like to be transported into the setting I had scrawled on a piece of paper. And I was definitely not prepared for the overwhelming sense of pride I felt as applause, whoops, and cheers filled the house.
Nero Wolfe: From Page to Stage
Joseph Goodrich talks process for his new stage adaptation of The Red Box.
My adaptation of The Red Box, the fourth novel in Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe series, just had its world premiere at Park Square Theatre in St. Paul, Minnesota, this June. It marks the stage debut of Stout’s corpulent, orchid-fancying crime solver and his irrepressible Man Friday, Archie Goodwin. Moving the inhabitants of a certain brownstone on West 35th Street from the page to the stage was a process that’s taken, from first thought to lights-up, three and a half years.
The initial part of that process reminds me of the great lyricist Ira Gershwin, who was once asked, “Which comes first? The words or the music?”
Gershwin’s answer: “The contract.”
Before I set pen to paper, I needed permission from the Stout estate to dramatize one of the Wolfe stories. It turns out that Rex Stout’s younger daughter Rebecca Bradbury manages the estate, so we were soon corresponding. Obtaining the dramatic rights took the better part of a year, and I understand why. It was not a small decision to make. Legal documents do not grow overnight. But they do grow, and eventually terms were agreed upon, and a contract was signed.
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