Welcome

Welcome
John William Tuohy lives in Washington DC

*** PLAYWRIGHTS OPPORTUNITIES ***



Waltzing Mechanics seek documentary plays
This two day event will feature selections from original works written by playwrights interested in telling stories about real people and events.
Each piece will be assigned a director, a cast of up to seven actors, and guaranteed two performances.

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The Jane Chambers Playwriting Award
This award is administered by the Women in Theatre Program. The Jane Chambers Playwriting Award recognizes plays and performance texts created by women that present a feminist perspective and contain significant opportunities for female performers. 

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Watermelon One-Act Play Festival
We welcome all original and unpublished works between 10 and 45 minute total running time (includes set up/breakdown and curtain call). Twelve to sixteen entries will be selected based on the quality of the writing, story/plot, and character development. 

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


*** ARTHUR MILLER’S ARCHIVE ***

Inside the Battle for Arthur Miller’s Archive

Arthur Miller’s place in the pantheon of 20th-century American literature is secure. But his literary remains have been in limbo since his death in 2005.

More than 160 boxes of his manuscripts and other papers have been on deposit for decades at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin, uncataloged and all but inaccessible to scholars, pending a formal sale. Another cache — including some 8,000 pages of private journals — remained at his home in rural Connecticut, unexplored by anyone outside the intimate Miller circle.

Now, the Ransom Center has bought the entire archive for $2.7 million, following a discreet tug-of-war with the Miller estate, which tried to place the papers at Yale University despite the playwright’s apparent wishes that they rest in Texas.


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October 9, 1955
'A View From the Bridge'
By BROOKS ATKINSON

 For credible reasons Arthur Miller has deliberately under-written the two one-act plays that are now on stage at the Coronet. Believing in the dramatic values of the material, he has tried to let the plays tell their own stories.
The plays are "A Memory of Two Mondays" and "A View From the Bridge." The first takes place on the Manhattan side of the East River; the second, in Brooklyn. Although with some exceptions the same actors appear in both plays, the stories and the characters are not the same. But the plays are related in style and point of view. They sketch the lives of undistinguished, unheroic city workers, and both make a point of Mr. Miller's detachment.

"A Memory of Two Mondays" chronicles the daily life of the men and women who work in the shipping room of a dingy barren warehouse. Except for a few words of comment by two young men who have dreams of a better future, the drama is factual, composed of humdrum details. To this theatregoer, Mr. Miller's exercise in theatrical photography is flat and diffuse. Both the acting and the script are distractingly busy. Instead of evoking a poetic mood or setting up overtones of meaning, the play is swamped in its own flood of detail. Although it is under-written it gives the paradoxical impression of being overwritten, as though Mr. Miller had not reduced his material to the size of a one-act play.

But in the second play, "A View From the Bridge," has power and substance. It is based on a story Mr. Miller once heard in the Brooklyn neighborhood where he lives. Eddie, an ordinary longshoreman, in unconsciously in love with his niece-the daughter of his wife's dead sister. Early in the play two of his wife's Italian relatives are smuggled in and start to live furtively in Eddie's apartment. Catherine, the niece, falls in love with the younger Italian brother and proposes to marry him.

More…

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January 23, 1953
The Crucible
By BROOKS ATKINSON

Arthur Miller has written another powerful play. "The Crucible," it is called, and it opened at the Martin Beck last evening in an equally powerful performance. Riffling back the pages of American history, he has written the drama of the witch trials and hangings in Salem in 1692. Neither Mr. Miller nor his audiences are unaware of certain similarities between the perversions of justice then and today.
But Mr. Miller is not pleading a case in dramatic form. For "The Crucible," despite its current implications, is a self-contained play about a terrible period in American history. Silly accusations of witchcraft by some mischievous girls in Puritan dress gradually take possession of Salem. Before the play is over good people of pious nature and responsible temper are condemning other good people to the gallows.

Having a sure instinct for dramatic form, Mr. Miller goes bluntly to essential situations. John Proctor and his wife, farm people, are the central characters or the play. At first the idea that Goodie Proctor is a witch is only an absurd rumor. But "The Crucible" carries the Proctors through the whole ordeal - first vague suspicion, then the arrest, the implacable, highly wrought trial in the church vestry, the final opportunity for John Proctor to save his neck by confessing to something he knows is a lie, and finally the baleful roll of the drums at the foot of the gallows.

Although "The Crucible" is a powerful drama, it stands second to "Death of a Salesman" as a work of art. Mr. Miller had had more trouble with this one, perhaps because he is too conscious of its implications. The literary style is cruder. The early motivation is muffled in the uproar of the opening scene, and the theme does not develop with the simple eloquence of "Death of a Salesman."

More…

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February 11, 1949
At the Theatre
By BROOKS ATKINSON

Arthur Miller has written a superb drama. From every point of view "Death of a Salesman," which was acted at the Morosco last evening, is rich and memorable drama. It is so simple in style and so inevitable in theme that is scarcely seems like a thing that has been written and acted. For Mr. Miller has looked with compassion into the hearts of some ordinary Americans and quietly transferred their hope and anguish to the theatre. Under Elia Kazan's masterly direction, Lee J. Cobb gives a heroic performance, and every member of the cast plays like a person inspired.
Two seasons ago Mr. Miller's "All My Sons" looked like the work of an honest and able playwright. In comparison with the new drama, that seems like a contrived play now. For "Death of a Salesman" has the flow and spontaneity of a suburban epic that may not be intended as poetry but becomes poetry in spite of itself because Mr. Miller has drawn it out of so many intangible sources.

It is the story of an aging salesman who has reached the end of his usefulness on the road. There has always been something unsubstantial about his work. But suddenly the unsubstantial aspects of it overwhelm him completely. When he was young, he looked dashing; he enjoyed the comradeship of other people--the humor, the kidding, the business.

In his early sixties he knows his business as well as he ever did. But the unsubstantial things have become decisive; the spring has gone from his step, the smile from his face and the heartiness from his personality. He is through. The phantom of his life has caught up with him. As literally as Mr. Miller can say it, dust returns to dust. Suddenly there is nothing.

This is only a little of what Mr. Miller is saying. For he conveys this elusive tragedy in terms of simple things--the loyalty and understanding of his wife, the careless selfishness of his two sons, the sympathetic devotion of a neighbor, the coldness of his former boss' son--the bills, the car, the tinkering around the house. And most of all: the illusions by which he has lived--opportunities missed, wrong formulas for success, fatal misconceptions about his place in the scheme of things.

More…

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January 30, 1947
The Play in Review
By BROOKS ATKINSON

 With the production of "All My Sons," at the Coronet last evening, the theatre has acquired a genuine new talent. Arthur Miller, who wrote "The Man Who Had All the Luck" in 1944, brings something fresh and exciting into the drama. He has written an honest, forceful drama about a group of people caught up in a monstrous swindle that has caused the death of twenty-one Army pilots because of defectively manufactured cylinder heads.
Told against the single setting of an ordinary American backyard, it is a pitiless analysis of character that gathers momentum all evening and concludes with both logic and dramatic impact.

Mr. Miller's talent is many-sided. Writing pithy yet unselfconscious dialogue, he has created his character vividly, plucking them out of the run of American society, but presenting them as individuals with hearts and minds of their own. He is also a skillful technician. His drama is a piece of expert dramatic construction. Mr. Miller has woven his characters into a tangle of plot that springs naturally out of the circumstances of life today. Having set the stage, he drives the play along by natural crescendo to a startling and terrifying climax.

Fortunately, "All My Sons" is produced and directed by people who value it and who have given it a taut and pulsing performance with actors of sharp and knowing intelligence. It is always gratifying to see old hands succeed in the theatre. But there is something uncommonly exhilarating in the spectacle of a new writer bringing unusual gifts to the theatre under the sponsorship of a director with taste and enthusiasm. In the present instance, the director is Elia Kazan.

More…

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THE PARIS REVIEW
Arthur Miller, The Art of Theater No. 2

INTERVIEWER

Would you tell us a little about the beginning of your writing career?  

MILLER

The first play I wrote was in Michigan in 1935. It was written on a spring vacation in six days. I was so young that I dared do such things, begin it and finish it in a week. I’d seen about two plays in my life, so I didn’t know how long an act was supposed to be, but across the hall there was a fellow who did the costumes for the University theater and he said, “Well, it’s roughly forty minutes.” I had written an enormous amount of material and I got an alarm clock. It was all a lark to me, and not to be taken too seriously … that’s what I told myself. As it turned out, the acts were longer than that, but the sense of the timing was in me even from the beginning, and the play had a form right from the start.
Being a playwright was always the maximum idea. I’d always felt that the theater was the most exciting and the most demanding form one could try to master. When I began to write, one assumed inevitably that one was in the mainstream that began with Aeschylus and went through about twenty-five hundred years of playwriting. There are so few masterpieces in the theater, as opposed to the other arts, that one can pretty well encompass all of them by the age of nineteen. Today, I don’t think playwrights care about history. I think they feel that it has no relevance.  

MORE…

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Excerpt from a letter by Arthur Miller to Marilyn Monroe, May 17, 1956

“I am enclosing a letter I got today from the first woman I ever knew in my life. My mother. Now maybe you will understand where I learned to write and to feel.

I know I am liable to get very sentimental and maudlin about this, but today is one of the most revelatory days of my life. I could write many pages even a volume, about what this letter brings to my mind. I think that had I died without ever receiving it, I should never have known some unbelievably simple but important things.

You see, Poo, I often try to tell you that you mean things to me beyond your body, beyond your spirit, beyond anything you can know about yourself, and it is hard for another person to understand what she –or he—really signifies to one who lovers her. I will try to tell you a few of the things you mean to me, and which became absolutely clear to me when I got this letter today. (I got it today, Thursday, by the way, because I was in Reno for my passport business, and picked up my mail at the post office.)



First let me say what I feared. They are very conventional people. That doesn’t mean they’re stiff—far from it. But they believe in family virtues, in wives being wives and husbands being husbands. They are not especially scandalized by infidelity, but neither do they forget that the big happiness is family happiness. Above all, they know how to love their children, and truly, if I ever needed anything they would die to get it for me. At the same time, my father could take advantage of me and my brother, if we let him, but he would do that as a father’s privilege; which sounds strange, but when he was a young man it wasn’t until he was twenty five or so that his father let him keep his own paycheck. Everything went into the family pot. It was the European way. So I rebelled in many ways against both of them and for many of the usual reasons, but the time came when I began to write successfully, when once again we were friends. I had established my independence from them; they understood it, and we created the necessary adult distance between ourselves, my parents and I, and yet a friendship of grown people, more or less…

More…

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Letter from Marilyn Monroe to Arthur Miller

Dear Art,

In thinking about Sunday's letter, April 21, I want you to know this - Poppy you said that I was dear to you partly because I had not lived the lie of propriety and so-called morality - but my darling don't you understand I was never once offered that and maybe if it was possible for me - I might have gone down that road - in other words - there was no choice to make - the same road was always before me. So when you speak of my nobility it really wasn't so noble - but my dear dear dear - that you love me makes so much that has happened to me and is happening to me (in the worst case) unreal - and still I know from all my nerves and muscles and mind that they did happen - so you see how it's doubly difficult to understand that you - the finest, dearest, most beautiful human being chose me - to love.





The Tower of the Winds

The Tower of the Winds in Athens, in the Roman Agora, was one of the world’s first clock towers.  It was built around 50 BC, and designed by the Macedonian astronomer Andronicus of Cyrrhus.
An enormous water clock was housed inside, fed every 24hrs by a stream running down from the Acropolis.  As the water level rose, a float rose, powering a mechanism that showed the progress of the sun across the sky.
The lines of sundials can still be seen on the walls, as another way of telling the time (so long as the sun was shining).  A bronze figure of Triton was placed on top as a weather-vane.

I adore word origins

extenuate 

1 : to lessen or to try to lessen the seriousness or extent of by making partial excuses : mitigate
2 : to lessen the strength or effect of
Extenuate was borrowed into English in the late Middle Ages from Latin extenuatus, the past participle of the verb extenuare, which was itself formed by combining ex- and the verb tenuare, meaning "to make thin." In addition to the surviving senses, extenuate once meant "to make light of" and "to make thin or emaciated"; although those senses are now obsolete, the connection to tenuare can be traced somewhat more clearly through them.



Play write opportunities


Greetings NYCPlaywrights


*** FREE THEATER IN NYC ***

Sunday January 21, 2018
2PM
BROKEN BRANCHES - A PLAY IN THREE PIECES
by Donna Stearns

Last year on January 21st, the historic Women's Marches took place. To celebrate this one-year anniversary mark on January 21st, plays written by women all over the world will be produced, promoted, and honored. "Broken Branches" is an autobiographical drama of the playwright's own adoption. The story follows a young adult woman who asks how she came to be adopted. In this memory play where the truths are shocking, she comes to understand how wonderful it is when family makes the choice to love a child they bring into their home. Full-length play with music written by Donna Kendall Stearns. Produced by Moonbeam.net Productions.  Free and open to the public.  Due to sensitive material, this play may not be appropriate for children under 12 years old.   

https://www.nypl.org/events/programs/2018/01/21/broken-branches-play-three-pieces


*** CLASSES AT PRIMARY STAGES ***

COMEDY WRITING FOR THE STAGE with KATE MOIRA RYAN (Writer (with Judy Gold), The Judy Show at DR2 Theatre) at at Primary Stages ESPA: A solid grasp of the mechanics of comedy writing for the stage is a powerful tool in the hand of any playwright. While comedy is a main element of a farce or a satire, it is just as essential to delicately lace comic elements into the most serious drama. In this class, you will study the specialized rules of comedy, and complete writing assignments to develop your comedic work over ten weeks. 
Payment plans available. http://primarystages.org/espa/writing/comedy-writing-for-the-stage 


*** PLAYWRIGHTS OPPORTUNITIES ***

Aberrant Theatre is currently seeking short, horror themed plays to be produced as part of our upcoming Ghost Light Anthology.
Working from an anthology model akin to Creepshow or Tales from the Crypt, Aberrant Theatre will be presenting an evening of short, scary plays as part of what we hope will become an annual event.

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This year, Strange Sun Theater will select two plays as part of its Greenhouse Project, and we are proud to announce that each of the two playwrights will receive a $500 award, and be a part of our ‘ON BOOK’ series, which explores and develops the plays through a rehearsal process culminating in a public staged reading of the plays in New York City.*

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Punk Monkey Productions is now accepting one-act plays for their seventh season of PL.A.Y Noir. Submissions should ideally range from between 10 to 20 and are required to fall in the genre of Film Noir and tradition of the vintage crime novels of the 30s and 40s by Chandler, Hammett, and Cain (think private detectives, femme fatales, unscrupulous villains, etc.).


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


*** WOMEN’S MARCH ***

Last year NYCPlaywrights presented the WOMEN IN THE AGE OF TRUMP project. You can see all posts on the NYCPlaywrights blog about the project here:
https://nycp.blogspot.com/search?q=women+in+the+age+of+trump&max-results=20&by-date=true

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The Women’s Voices Theater Festival, in partnership with the National New Play Network (NNPN) and the New Play Exchange (NPX), has announced the creation of International Women’s Voices Day. It will be on Jan. 21, 2018, which marks the one-year anniversary of the 2017 Women’s March. As part of that day, the organizations encourage theatres around the world to host free readings of unproduced plays by women.

The event will be held in conjunction with the Women’s Voices Theater Festival (Jan. 15-Feb. 15, 2018), where theatres around Washington, D.C. will produce new plays by women.

“NNPN is thrilled to partner with the Women’s Voice Theater Festival to create this worldwide celebration of new works by women,” said Nan Barnett, the executive director of NNPN, in a statement. “And now, with NPX, any theatre, anywhere, can find an unproduced play by a woman writer that’s perfect for their programming and mission and share it with their audiences.”

https://www.americantheatre.org/2017/10/17/international-womens-voices-day-to-be-held-on-jan-21-2018/

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The Humana Festival of New American Plays has announced the world-premiere works selected for inclusion in its 42nd year of original programming, which will take place February 28–April 8, 2018, at the Actors Theatre of Louisville.

Five of this year’s plays are written by women, including God Said This by Leah Nanako Winkler; Marginal Loss by Deborah Stein; Do You Feel Anger? by Mara Nelson-Greenberg; You Across from Me by Jaclyn Backhaus, Dipika Guha, Brian OtaƱo, and Jason Gray Plate; and we, the invisibles by Susan Soon He Stanton. Also in the lineup: Evocation to Visible Appearance by Mark Schultz.

http://www.playbill.com/article/women-playwrights-lead-2018-humana-festival-world-premieres

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International Centre for Women Playwrights

ICWP began in 1988 in Buffalo, New York, with the mission of supporting and promoting women playwrights around the world and bringing attention to their works. Recently we have published books of scripts and given recognition awards to theatres operating gender equity in the annual season.

http://www.womenplaywrights.org

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20% Theatre Company Chicago is dedicated to strengthening the presence and raising public awareness of women artists in theatre. It is estimated that only 20% of theatre professionals are women. By building a community of theatre professionals and fostering emerging female artists through workshops and new plays, we provide opportunities for women directors, producers, designers, and playwrights. 20% Theatre Company Chicago strives to increase the number of women in theatre.

https://www.twentypercentchicago.com/our-history

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Feminist play ‘Vinegar Tom,’ Feb. 2 to 11, adds voice to ‘Year of the Woman’

Called “a play about witches, with no witches in it” by playwright Caryl Churchill, “Vinegar Tom” follows the lives of seven characters, four of whom will be executed, in 17th century England.

Northwestern University’s Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts presents “Vinegar Tom” from Feb. 2 to 11 in the Josephine Louis Theater, 20 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston.

Written in 1976 by the famously feminist Churchill, the play uses a witch hunt to reveal how nonconformist women who fail to fit into the narrowly defined social categories of the patriarchy were frequently labelled witches.

https://news.northwestern.edu/index.php/stories/2018/january/power-and-oppression-of-women-explored-in-wirtz-centers-first-production-of-2018/

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The Kilroys are a gang of playwrights and producers in LA who are done talking about gender parity and are taking action. We mobilize others in our field and leverage our own power to support one another.

https://thekilroys.org/about/

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Now in its fifth year, our BECHDEL FEST features an all female-identifying cast performing eight new short plays passing the now-famous Bechdel-Wallace Test. Created by cartoonist Alison Bechdel, “the Test” asks whether a work of entertainment features at least two women in conversation about something other than a man. Bechdel Fest: Identity Crisis follows an array of diverse and powerful women wrestling with the questions that define them and fighting for the world to see them as they are. Join us for the fifth iteration of our favorite feminist festival!

The festival ran September 10th – 13th, 2017 at The Den Theater.

http://www.brokennosetheatre.com/bechdel-fest-5/

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A story of a fictional 16th-century female painter. Greek warriors laying siege to the walls of Troy. A couple engaged in an eerily morbid sexual transaction. Families torn apart by France’s colonial rule over Vietnam.

All of the above came to the Paris stage this month courtesy of women. In a perfect world, that fact would be unremarkable, but don’t be fooled by the claims of Catherine Deneuve and others, who argued recently in the newspaper Le Monde that the #MeToo movement was starting to infringe on artistic freedom: France is a long way from gender equality, and the output of its theater sector remains deeply skewed toward stories written and staged by men.

None of the country’s five national theaters is run by a woman; last season, the proportion of female playwrights and directors they presented ranged from 11 percent to 32 percent. The situation is slowly improving in France’s network of 38 National or Regional Dramatic Centers, which make up the next tier of publicly funded theater institutions, but 71 percent remain led by men.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/18/theater/women-french-theater.html

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 The second Women’s Voices Theater Festival begins its two-month ripple of 24 new plays across Washington stages this month, and what has happened in terms of equality since the 2015 festival is . . . not much. And outside in the larger culture, there’s a #MeToo riot going on.

The festival is one of the great good deeds in the American theater right now, a full city push to get past the usual lip service of readings and panels. The idea is basic: Let’s actually produce new works by women! The imbalance remains appalling: In the reputedly progressive hothouse of U.S. theater, female writers get less than a quarter of the new productions — a mere 22 percent, according the slap-in-the-face three-year Dramatists Guild-Lilly Awards survey released in 2015.

So for at least two months, Washington will put its money where it ought to be fully half the time. And that gesture of solidarity puts the District ahead of most of the country.

Yet Washington itself still lags, even among the major companies that generated the festival. The latest local demographic survey by D.C. playwrights and Woolly Mammoth Theatre staffers Gwydion Suilebhan and Olivia Haller finds scripts by women getting only 32 percent of the pie last season, a slow climb from the lowly 21 percent five years ago. And while Washington’s non-Equity theaters boast 50-50 gender parity in its directing ranks this season, Equity theaters still give two-thirds of the gigs to men.

In New York, Broadway’s 32-show season of 20 plays and 12 musicals includes only five projects by women, with six women directors.

“You’ve got to have the opportunities to work,” says writer Theresa Rebeck (of off-Broadway’s recent glass-ceiling comedy “What We’re Up Against” and NBC’s “Smash”), who is directing her updated version of the Restoration comedy “The Way of the World” at the Folger Theatre. “Or your work just doesn’t get any better.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/theater_dance/second-womens-voices-theater-festival-arrives-in-metoo/2018/01/04/bfadec08-e66e-11e7-833f-155031558ff4_story.html?tid=a_mcntx&utm_term=.46bdf7dd21c3

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The Jan. 7 Arts & Style article “In her own words ” cited the woefully poor progress professional theaters are making toward parity for women playwrights. Of plays produced professionally, only 22 percent nationally are by women. Professional theaters in the District enjoy bragging rights for a higher percentage (32 percent) of women playwrights produced. Kudos to D.C. theaters for that distinction. There is, however, an even better story to share regarding a nearby professional theater that has achieved parity for women playwrights: the Contemporary American Theater Festival in Shepherdstown, W.Va. CATF, in its 27 seasons, has produced 121 new plays. Of those, 60 were written by women, and 55 were directed by women. Each summer, Equity actors arrive in this historic town — just about 100 minutes by car from Washington and Baltimore — to produce daring and diverse stories, so many of which happen to be written by women.


https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/one-theater-thats-achieving-parity-for-female-playwrights/2018/01/19/1ce819aa-faf8-11e7-9b5d-bbf0da31214d_story.html?utm_term=.3f2e931dd3c1
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