*** PLAYWRIGHTS OPPORTUNITIES ***
The Parsnip Ship is always looking for new plays and new voices, but for our third season, especially as we experience the current administration’s policies, we are incredibly interested in plays that address the modern world or are written by playwrights whose voices are underrepresented in it. As a play series who believes there are as many distinctive styles and voices as there are playwrights, we remain open to a wide range of plays that will engage audiences in an intimate setting and on a podcast format.
Distilled Theatre Company is excited to present our fifth season of dtc radio! dtc radio curates and produces new story-based radio plays that air for free on iTunes and are available through any podcast app. The dtc radio team will work with you on script development and when a final draft is complete, the team will find a director, actors, a sound designer, and produce the script. There will be 5-6 new plays in Season five, all around 20min in length.
End of The Road New Short Play Festival and Beach Party
South Baldwin Community Theatre of Gulf Shores, Alabama is seeking submissions for the third annual End of The Road New Short Play Festival and Beach Party. The End of the Road New Short Play Festival will be held July 14,15 and 16 2017 in beautiful Gulf Shores, Alabama located on the Gulf of Mexico. It will con- sist of three staged readings of the nine winning ten minute plays. By submitting your play you are agreeing to participate in the production of the play. Attendance by the playwright is a requirement for winning scripts.
*** FOR MORE INFORMATION about these and other opportunities see the web site at http://www.nycplaywrights.org ***
*** FIRST FORAYS ***
My First Foray as a Playwright
I’ve always enjoyed the freedom of expression that words give to a writer, especially in circumstances in life that feel beyond your control. It is an essential quality to be able to express yourself, but my latest foray into writing was in a sphere outside of my usual comfort zone. That sphere was playwriting. In the past, I have written short stories and started a few novels that will most likely never see the light of day, but playwriting is an entirely different beast altogether.
After Hours at Rosie’s Pub was written by all the female members of the Brelby Theatre Company core ensemble. I was overwhelmed at first by the idea of contributing my own words to a play. The ladies of the company were very supportive during the whole process and were happy to answer any questions I had. We had a Facebook group to share information related to the historical figures in the show and inspirational quotes to help us hurdle through any writer’s blocks we may encounter along the way. Shelby was excellent in keeping us on track and organizing us into smaller groups to write certain scenes.
Getting Your First Play Produced
If your name is Neil Simon or Jon Robin Baitz or Theresa Rebeck, getting your new play on the stage is fairly easy. But for the hundreds of emerging playwrights looking for their big break every year, simply getting their play in front of an audience is a much bigger challenge. "It is really hard to get that first play produced Off-Broadway," says Randall David Cook, author of Sake With the Haiku Geisha and Fate's Imagination.
"You need to stay focused on the work and not compare yourself too much to what's going on around you," says Mark Snyder, author of As Wide As I Can See, which had a recent production at HERE, and A Decent Stretch, which is being produced on April 28-29 by [the claque]. "Just like every writer is different, I feel that one of my big revelations is that every path to getting your work produced is going to be different."
Indeed, there are many different routes to take, from blindly submitting your play to a major producer and hoping it gets rescued from the slush pile, to hooking up with an established theater company willing to work with young writers, to sending your work to the country's major festivals, including the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center Summer Festival and the Humana Festival.
No matter which direction you choose, Michael Barra, artistic director of the Gotham Stage Company -- where Cook is now the resident playwright -- asserts that it's about getting onto people's radar. "There are only a few companies in New York that are willing to take chances on emerging playwrights," he says.
Do you remember the first time?
There’s nothing quite like the first time you see a play. That’s part of the thinking behind our On Demand. In Schools programme, a free service that offers every school in the country the opportunity to show National Theatre productions in the classroom and gives every child the opportunity to experience the magic of theatre.
To celebrate On Demand. In Schools, we asked members of the current company about the first play they ever saw and the effect it had on them.
Hope Davis (The Red Barn)
I grew up just outside New York City and I remember my whole family climbing into the car one Saturday morning when I was about 14. We were taking the day off from chores and errands to see a matinee of The Fantasticks, a long-running musical. The theatre was tiny. The set was bare bones simple. The story, about kids growing up and falling in love, cast such a spell over me, that when it ended, and small squares of coloured paper rained down over the small cast and audience, I scrambled to the floor and gathered up all that I could. I put them in a box of keepsakes at home. I have them still.
“The first play I ever wrote was a Hip Hop adaptation of Macbeth (Heir to the Throne HHTF 2001).” Dyalekt never viewed his limited training as an obstacle, but instead chose to use his background in music as an avenue to explore and share Shakespeare’s work: “I’ve taught several Hip Hop/Shakespeare classes, basically about their similarities and how to use the rap-ear the radio gave you to listen to Billy in a way that’s easier to understand. Two summers ago my band (Deathrow Tull) performed at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival where we had freestyle rap Lincoln-Douglas debates about Shakespeare with local MCs and poets.” In Dyakelt’s mind, Shakespeare is far more accessible than people assume.
Stage Shows Are Most Alive at the First Preview
Of all the nights to go to a show, the first preview is my favorite. The energy in the room is high, and whatever surprises the performance holds won’t yet have been spoiled by reviews written by people like me.
Sure, the audience will be packed with friends of the company, as biased in favor as the opening-night crowd. But others will be there out of curiosity, hungry to experience the production as soon as they can. I’m one of those.
The performances might not be all the way there. Technical elements may well be rough. There’s a good chance the script will change before opening night. But whatever ails a show, there is still — theoretically, anyway — time to fix it. To me, that feels hopeful. And dynamic.
Habitual theatergoers, like journalists, are voyeurs: We wouldn’t do what we do if we didn’t like to watch. And at those early previews, there are a lot of artists in sight. It’s not just the cast and musicians sharing the space with the audience, the way they do once the show has opened. It’s the playwright, the director, the designers, maybe a gaggle of producers, all of them in the house.
The Chip Woman’s Fortune is a 1923 one act play written by American playwright Willis Richardson. The play was produced by The Ethiopian Art Players  and is historically important as the first serious work by an African American playwright to be presented on Broadway. Although Broadway had seen African American musical comedies and revues, it had never seen a serious drama.
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