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Welcome
John William Tuohy lives in Washington DC

*** PLAYWRIGHTS OPPORTUNITIES ***


Little Fish Theatre is accepting scripts for our 15th Annual PICK OF THE VINE short play production to be presented in January-February 2017. There will be a $50 flat fee royalty payment to playwrights per play produced.

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Submissions are now open for full-length plays! Long one-acts, two-acts, three-acts if you think you have what it takes. Full-length submissions will be considered for our 2018-2019 regular theatre season (not for THEATRE ROULETTE. Information on THEATRE ROULETTE submissions can be found by clicking here). Bring it on, playwrights. We want you! 

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Owl & Cat Theatre seeks immersive plays
We are now accepting play submissions for our 2nd season of work. We are looking for 5 Immersive plays to produce:
Submission Guidelines
1. Scripts must be able to be performed in an ‘immersive’ environment.
2. Scripts must be set in Australia or be able to be relocated to an Australian context.
3. Scripts should be pdf formatted.
4. Musicals and ten-minute-plays are not accepted.
5. Successful playwrights will receive payment of AUD$100.

*** FOR MORE INFORMATION about these and other opportunities see the web site at http://www.nycplaywrights.org ***


*** THE THEATER MAGAZINE ***

Theatre served as the most popular form of entertainment during the early 1900s. The American Theatre was still in development during this time. From the 1880s to the early 1900s, Americans would experiment with multiple styles and forms of theatre. One magazine to capture this delicate process was Theatre, later renamed Theatre Magazine. Frank Mott in A History of American Magazines calls Theatre Magazine “quite the most ambitious attempt in American theatrical history to present adequate representation of the stage in a periodical.”

History

Our Players’ Gallery, first published in 1900, was renamed Theatre in 1901 in New York. In August of 1917, it was renamed again as Theatre Magazine. This change may have been to set the magazine apart from a new theatre magazine that started about the same time called Theatre Arts Magazine. The last issue of Theatre Magazine was published on April 1931. By 1925, this monthly magazine sold for 35¢ an issue and for $4 for a yearly subscription. Lois and Paul Meyer founded the magazine, with Arthur Hornblow serving as editor from 1901. The magazine had two other editors by its end: Perriton Maxwell and Stewart Reach.

In the first issue of the magazine as Theatre, the editors described the purpose of the magazine as being to win “favor among the great general public” in hopes that the public will become “always interested in the doings at the theatre and its people.” They also promised to only support that which would “elevate the tone of the stage and add to the dignity of the profession of the artiste”(V.1, n.3, pg 1). On April 26, 1925, a celebration was held in honor of Theatre Magazine’s 25th anniversary. This celebration, held at the Hotel Waldorf-Astoria, had over 1,000 guests including actors, actresses, playwrights, and critics. The magazine itself included an article in the June 1925 issue that covered this celebration. This celebration is proof of its acceptance by the theatre community as a whole and as the accomplishment of the magazine’s goal

More…

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MAY 1901

AN ENDOWED THEATER
Discussed by MR. E. H. SOTHERN and MR. A. M. PALMER.

Mr. Andrew Carnegie was reported recently as saying that if he knew how to conduct a theatre as well as he understood how a library should be managed he would not hesitate to provide the means for the establishment of an ideal theatre with aims above the box-office standard. It has been denied since that Mr. Carnegie said this, but whether he said it or not there can be little doubt that all who see in the theatre more than a place of idle amusement and recognize its immense power as an educator and as a moral force; in short, all students and lovers of the Drama and of the art of acting are deeply interested in the present discussion regarding a proposed Endowed Theatre, and that sooner or later some wealthy man, or body of men will come forward in the absence of State or national aid and make this city the home of such a theatre, one that will become the central point of the dramatic arts in America and an object to us of civic pride. Meantime, let the discussion go on ; it may be fruitful. Let the cost be computed and a scheme of administration prepared. 

THE THEATRE will spare no efforts to foster and encourage the establishment of such a theatre, and our columns are open to anything that may further that object.
Below are presented two thoughtful articles bearing on this important subject. Representing as they do the opinions of two men prominently connected with the stage one a gifted and successful actor,the other the dean of our theatrical managers and a man of culture and experience - their views are peculiarly instructive.

Mr. Sothern’s Opinion

I have not the leisure just now to enter into this question of an Endowed Theatre with the detail its importance deserves for, of course, there ought to be such an institution. I may say, indeed, that I am personally deeply interested in the matter as every man must be who loves the Drama and regards acting as an art.

The object aimed at in seeking to establish such a theatre is, I take it, the
continual presentation of the standard plays by a company as nearly perfect as can be procured. Such presentation of the classic Drama would surely result in the elevation of public taste which would then demand a better class of entertainment than is now generally provided. It would also result in the cultivation of higher ideals in our writers for the stage and also in the actors who would graduate at this theatre and, indeed, in all those actors who would be able to witness the performances given there, for when an actor sees a fine production of a Shakespearian or any other play he is at once filled with the laudatory ambition to "go and do likewise." That our actors have so few opportunities of inspiration is to be deplored.

A theatre where the best plays in the language would be finely presented during each season, a theatre which did not have to depend on public caprice or expediency for its existence, but which would hold up the finest and the best in the Drama to constant view, would lift the art of acting in this country to a position of unexampled excellence and would enhance the artistic and social value of the actor's calling to an extraordinary degree.

If Mr. Carnegie and other wealthy men can be brought to recognize the educational value of the acted Drama, they may be induced to take a serious interest in the Endowed Theatre.

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JULY 1911

A PIONEERING WOMAN PLAYWRIGHT

CLEVER women are today writing for the stage everywhere, and some of them are making large fortunes with their plays, but even among the most successful none can match the extraordinary productiveness of Mrs. Inchbald, that remarkable actress-playwright of the beginning of the nineteenth century, of whose work Dickens wrote : "Mrs. Inchbald's 'Animal Magnetism' will go with a greater laugh than anything else. ... I have seen people laugh at the piece until they hung over the front of the boxes like ripe fruit." This was thirty years after her death. 

Elizabeth Simpson was born on a farm in Standingfield, near Bury, in 1753. Her father died when she was a child, leaving the family with very narrow means. The mother, a warmhearted but irresponsible woman, had little love for domestic drudgery, and day after day the farm was deserted, and she and the children went off to the theatre at Bury. Elizabeth was thus steeped in plays and play acting from babyhood. Having a natural thirst for information, she also devoured all the books of every sort that came her way. In spite of a stammer, which in later years was considered one of her many attractions, her ambition was to become an actress, and with the eagerness and energy that stood her in good stead all her life, this serious, determined little girl studied hard to improve her enunciation, going off to the fields to practice certain difficult words by the hour. 

From a child of twelve her plaint was, "I would rather die than live any longer without seeing the world." This dislike of country life never left her. She could enjoy the solitude of a London garret, but she dreaded the forced loneliness of fields and woods. 

In her later years, a friend suggested that she might live more cheaply, and be more comfortable, farther away from London.  Shuddering, she answered : "Never! Nothing happens in the country. There's such a noise of nothing in the country." 

Before she was sixteen, she had written, quite unknown to her mother, to the actor-manager of the Bury company, Mr. Griffiths, asking for an engagement. Letters passed between them, yet nothing else came of iZHJBhgvbt. After visiting one of her married sisters in London, and feeling the glamor of the city theatres and public gardens, life on the farm was duller than ever, and the young girl, full of determination, took her destiny into her own hands.

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Animal magnetism, a farce: in three acts, as performed at the Theatre Royal, Covent-garden By Elizabeth Inchbald

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JANUARY 1912

WHY I DON’T WRITE PLAYS

I am, or rather I was, a dramatic critic a modern Brutus in my special field. I
have been a prominent and much feared member of the dreaded theatrical "death watch." I have assisted at many dramatic obsequies, and with Brutus I have repeated those immortal words: "I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him."have been a prominent and much feared member of the dreaded theatrical "death watch." I have assisted at many dramatic obsequies, and with Brutus I have repeated those immortal words: "I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him." 

Not so very long ago there was in this city a theatrical manager, a veritable despot, whose fleshy hand was greedily outstretched to grasp the entire theatrical world. I regarded him as a species of theatrical vampire and, virtuously indignant at this wrong done the drama, I felt it my duty to down him, and "down him" I did. 

As the season progressed, my attacks grew more furious, more venomous, and people who knew him came to me and said he was nearly at the end of his resources. His backers were withdrawing their financial support because my criticisms had opened their eyes to his many blunders. 

Today the dramatic art is becoming a serious matter with the public. Business men, who formerly opened their morning paper at the stock quotations or European cables, now eagerly seek their favorite dramatic critic and swallow his article with their coffee. And as to their wives, before the dear things thrust their  dainty feet into their slippers, and put their warm bodies into breakfast negligees, even before they look for the latest underwear sale, they eagerly seek the notice of the new "show." The drama has come into its own. It has won its place in the hearts of the people, "Allah be praised !" There is but one god the Show. And the critic is its prophet! 

One afternoon I was sitting in my private office, writing my regular feuilleton on the week's failures. I had asked for a little place for myself, for I have not the courage to designate that dimly lit corner a room. The editor and sub-editors were beginning to treat me with deference. My star was in the ascension. A card was handed to me. Upon it was the name of Manager , the despot who was under the ban of my displeasure. 

For a moment I was startled. What could he want with me? Greatly perturbed, I told the attendant to show him in. My embarrassment was not unnatural. At that time I was still young ; my conscience was not so hardened as it became later in life. Had I done this man an -injustice? Guiltily I thrust my "cppy" into a drawer. I was writing, for the -Sunday paper, a "roast" of his plays and his company, which everyone, who might have overlooked my. earlier attacks during the week, could not fail to notice. My, heart beat tumultuously with pride. Was I really, then, so important that this great theatrical Caesar should come to me ? Yes I was the tribunal! 

Quickly I outlined in my mind what my attitude should be, and what I would say. I would be very dignified, very stern, very aggressive. I must continue to be the Brutus who buries and does not praise. 

He entered. To my utter astonishment, his manner, instead of being hostile, was well, have you ever seen a poor old father welcome his long-lost son believed to be dead? Thusly was I greeted by Manager S . There were even tears of emotion in his watery eyes. He gave me no chance to speak. He poured out effusively how incomprehensible it was that we two congenial souls could have lived so long in the same city and not gravitated to each other before. He had felt irresistibly impelled to take the first step. He spoke of my family, he had known my father casually, as a boy, of my great talent, and my greater future. 

Not a word about my attack upon his theatre! 

More…


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JANUARY 1914

AS OTHERS SEE US

The statements printed below are extracts from an article written by the French actress, Madame Simone, for the Paris newspaper, Le Temps. The freely expressed opinions of a foreign "star," addressing her own countrymen, and not merely exchanging perfunctory commonplaces to a group of New York reporters, are likely to be frank, and therefore of more than ordinary interest. In the words of Burns: "Wad some power the gifties gie us, to see ourselves as others see us."

SCENE: Any Monday night on Broadway between May and October. It is eight o'clock. Split up among the seventy theatres, situated sometimes next door to one another, are five, six, eight or ten "first nights." There will be two or three tomorrow, and as many the following days. This is without counting the matinees when they try out the amateurs, the charity performances, or simply an offering of an unknown piece in four acts. Neither the critics, the actors or the public are ever out of work in New York. The shows are advertised to start at 8:15 8:20, 8:25, or 8:30. This time-table, which would make us smile in Paris, is rigidly followed in New York. There are many, many shows and they must all finish at  eleven o'clock. Everybody sups in New York, and supper takes some time; besides, it is necessary to find time to dance for a while after supper. 

Broadway is always full of people. It is the Boulevards a boulevard without trees, ploughed up by little yellow tramcars, from which descend well-dressed, bare-headed ladies. While going to see a show, and all along the way, you can read the illuminated advertisements over the doors of the theatres. In letters, alternately red and green, you will learn that "The Siren" intoxicates, or that "The Enchantress" is the most irresistible musical comedy of the year, also "The Garden of Allah" is the most beautiful piece ever offered since the world's creation, etc., etc. Six stories high you will notice the portraits of the celebrated actors who are playing in New York at the moment. 

These portraits are reproduced very much bigger than life-size and are lit by electric reflectors in the same way that we light pictures of the old masters in France. The wording beneath the pictures is not lacking in exaggeration, either in the size of the letters or the statements made. It is rare to find an actor who is not "the greatest," or, at least, "eminent." Does this candid and far-fetched advertising deceive anyone? They tell me it does. I can hardly believe it. 

You enter the theatre. The smallest is as big as the Porte St. Martin and the biggest as big as the enormous amphitheatre of the Paris Sorbonne. The auditorium I mean the orchestra stalls is on a level with the streets. The vestibule is immense, carpeted and marble lined. The seats are comfortable, the theatres are steam-heated and the corridors are wide. There are neither boxes or loges. On each side of the stage a part of the orchestra is raised. Here are placed six large armchairs. These are used by the "Four Hundred." On a typical "first night" the auditorium is full of critics who have chosen one out of perhaps ten other shows offered them. Compared with a Paris "premiere" there are present few actors, and even fewer dramatic authors. A few friends of the author and the actors and the public that's all. 

New York does not know the "repetitions generales" and the dressmakers' rehearsals." As soon as the words are learned sometimes before the piece is produced. The curtain rises. The public is extremely attentive. The proximity of the street so reassuring for people who fear an outbreak of fire and the absence of doors to separate the auditorium from the vestibule, are little inconveniences. You hear the tramcars pass, the sirens of the automobiles, the newspaper boys shouting the news, the noise of the overhead railroad. In the heart of the winter, when the gilded pipes of the warming apparatus start working, there is the noise of the steam to be added to the noises above mentioned. But nothing troubles Americans. They are used to it, so I'm told. 

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JANUARY 1916

STAGE WHISPERS

CONSTANT theatregoer, the other day, remarked that he thought he was growing deaf. He had been to see a number of plays and in almost every instance had experienced great difficulty in hearing all that was spoken from the stage. The physician he consulted declared his Eustachian tubes were in perfect shape. It was not his ears at fault but the careless, indifferent speech of the actors that made the playwright's words inaudible. 

There is absolutely no excuse for this palpable affront to the playgoer who has paid his good money to see and hear. Sometimes it is the stage manager's fault. In this effort to secure that intimate reserve of polite conversation he so tones down the dialogue that it becomes entirely confidential. But for the well-paid player, too lazy to exert himself, too ignorant to train himself in the art of intelligent and refined diction, there is no excuse. From those in front "Speak up ! Louder ! Louder !" would be a fitting and just rebuke. 

MRS. LANGTRY (who objects by the way to being called Lily Langtry) is talking about writing her memoirs. She has been offered $2,500 a week for a year, to write one spasm for every day in the year, she says. A stupendous figure! They will be written, it is said, in the form of letters from a Court Beauty to her most intimate friend. A gossamer veil of fiction will serve to satisfy the prudish and the exact. 

AT present Mrs. Langtry is playing in vaudeville a sketch by Sydney Grundy called  "Ashes." Although her author remains unchanged, the piece, the manager and the scene of her return are sadly different from what she expected. She came over to play in "Mrs. Thompson," drama version of a novel by the son of Miss Braddon, made by Grundy. Two young managers took her as their first great venture, and when they cabled over to Mrs. Langtry for a copy of Grundy's play the Jersey Lily cabled back: "Grundy's plays are made to act, not to read." This play was evidently not made to act long for it turned out to be a monologue and lasted almost a week. 

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