Phoenix Theatre seeks plays & musicals for the 2019 Festival submission period, beginning May 1, 2018, we are accepting the following works:
Full-Length Plays, both dramatic and comedic
Plays should be original, un-produced, full-length scripts.
Plays that have received more than two development processes (i.e. festival participation) are not eligible.
No screenplays, please.
No Theatre for Young Audience pieces will be accepted.
Cast size must be limited to five actors or fewer (actors may play more than one role).
The LezPlay Contest is open to playwrights and screenwriters who identify as women.
We want stories that elevate and celebrate us, refine and redefine us. We want to introduce audiences to writers whose work reflects, resonates with, and is relevant to their lives. We want stories that have a broad appeal, stories that will enable us to reach individuals of all ages and in all stages of life.
Write Now New Plays Competition and Workshop seeks scripts for young audiences
The purpose of this biennial workshop is to encourage writers to create strikingly original scripts for young audiences. It provides a forum through which each playwright receives constructive criticism and the support of a development team consisting of a professional director and dramaturg. Finalists will spend approximately one week in workshop with their development team. At the end of the week, each play will be read as a part of the Write Now convening.
*** FOR MORE INFORMATION about these and other opportunities see http://www.nycplaywrights.org ***
*** HAIR ***
It all started in 1964, when actors James Rado and Gerome Ragni were cast in an off-Broadway revue called Hang Down Your Head and Die. The show closed after one performance, but the two performers struck up a friendship and decided to collaborate. “I had wanted to write a musical since I was a teenager,” says Rado, still fit and feisty at 77. He and Ragni (who died of cancer in 1991) knew exactly what they wanted to write about: the young people who were hanging out in the East Village, growing their hair and dodging the draft. “Music was an organic part of their lives,” Rado says of the hippies, “and we felt it was a natural [opportunity] to create something new.”
Although Rado had written music for his own pop band, he and Ragni decided to concentrate on lyrics and dialogue and find a composer to set their words to music. After several false starts, they met Canadian-born Galt MacDermot, a conservative-looking husband and father who had never heard of a hippie when he met the shaggy-haired duo. He had, however, released an influential album called Shapes of Rhythm, and Rado realized immediately that MacDermot was the man to help bring his characters to life.
“Galt was very much a rhythmic composer,” explains Rado. “His use of chords was very fresh and soulful. He had his own take on the elements of pop music, and his melodies were always a surprise to us.” Now 80, MacDermot remains active, and played keyboards with the pit band during Hair’s 40th anniversary concerts in Central Park in September 2007, which featured many of the actors now headed to Broadway. Why did he respond to the work of two aspiring lyricists? “I thought it was funny; it just amused me,” MacDermot recalled in the documentary film Hair: Let the Sun Shine In Alive Mind DVD.
In a year marked by as much social and cultural upheaval as 1968, it was understandable that the New York Times review of a controversial musical newly arrived on Broadway would describe the show in political terms. “You probably don’t have to be a supporter of Eugene McCarthy to love it,” wrote critic Clive Barnes, “but I wouldn’t give it much chance among the adherents of Governor Reagan.” The show in question was Hair, the now-famous “tribal love-rock musical” that introduced the era-defining song “Aquarius” and gave New York theatergoers a full-frontal glimpse of the burgeoning 60s-counterculture esthetic. Hair premiered on Broadway on April 29, 1968.
April 30, 1968
What is so likable about “Hair,” that tribal-rock musical that last night completed its trek from downtown, via a discotheque, and landed, positively panting with love and smelling of sweat and flowers, at the Biltmore Theater? I think it is simply that it is so likable. So new, so fresh and so unassuming, even in its pretensions.
When “Hair” started its long-term joust against Broadway’s world of Sigmund Romberg it was at Joseph Papp’s Public Theater. Then its music came cross with a kind of acid-rock, powerhouse lyricism, but the book, concerning the life and times of hippie protest was as rickety as a knock-kneed centipede.
Now the authors of the dowdy book - and brilliant lyrics - have done a very brave thing. They have in effect done away with it altogether. “Hair” is now a musical with a theme, not with a story. Nor is this all that has been done in this totally new, all lit-up, gas-fired, speed-marketed Broadway version. For one thing it has been made a great deal franker. In fact it has been made into the frankest show in town - and this has been a season not noticeable for its verbal or visual reticence.
In 1971, Denver police would not let the sunshine in. Or anything else to do with the pro-love, anti-war rock musical “Hair.”
The counterculture Broadway freakout, making its way from New York to cities across the country for the first time, had been booked for a week-long run at the downtown Auditorium Theatre. But when the company arrived, Denver police told them to keep right on moving. There would be nothing to see here. Certainly not a brief scene in which some of the actors celebrate the hippie credo of sexual freedom by stripping.
The vice bureau invoked a seldom-used (but still existing) law banning public nudity, as had other cities before Denver.
All sorts of factors go into picking a Broadway show’s opening night, but April 29, 1968, is very likely the only one to have been selected by the producer’s astrologer.
It was 50 years ago this week that all signs pointed to a propitious debut for the era-defining “Hair” at the Biltmore Theater. The “American Tribal Love-Rock Musical,” as it was known, quickly became an inescapable part of American culture. Audiences would flock to the Biltmore — and, in a tradition that continues to this day, storm the stage and dance with the cast during the curtain call — for an alternately ebullient and harrowing primer in hippiedom.
Everyone — the 5th Dimension, Three Dog Night and “Sesame Street,” to name a few — covered songs like “Aquarius” and “Good Morning Starshine.” The Broadway cast recording spent 13 weeks on top of the Billboard charts, and Ebony magazine called it “the biggest outlet for black actors in the history of the American theater.” (A brief, dimly lit nude scene at the end of Act 1 didn’t hurt its popularity, either.)
Hair: Let the Sun Shine In - Jerome and the Baby Called Hair
First aired September 24, 1969
"Naked Came We into the World"
Student teacher Alice Johnson is excited to be given the responsibility for Walt Whitman High's school show and suggests the students themselves come up with the concept - but their concept is inspired by the rock musical “Hair.”
The Hair Original Broadway Cast - The Flesh Failures (Let The Sunshine In) - 1968