Foster youths and alumni put on play to share experiences
Former and current foster care youths came together to tell their stories in a play.
Foster Care Unplugged and Deus Beni worked with 10 Brooklyn children going through the foster care system with a 12-week program incorporating group therapy with acting.
The cast met once a week to discuss their experiences. Those foster care experiences were then compiled into one script to highlight the struggles and strengths from the perspective of those within the system.
The group hopes their performance will show the borough that there is much to be learned from everyone's experience.
The program was funded by the Administration for Children's Services.
The play will be held on Feb. 15 and 16 in downtown Brooklyn.
• The theme for the next NYCPlaywrights Podcast is "romantic comedy."
• The play must be romantic in the sense of romantic love - not only sex.
• The play doesn't have to be uproariously funny but must have a happy ending - or at least not a downbeat or cynical ending.
• Romantic comedies involving couples who are not heterosexual are welcome.
• The Podcast pays actors for their performances - having many characters will count against your play due to the expense.
(And 10-minute plays usually work best with fewer characters.)
For the full submission rules go to the web site at
Deadline is tomorrow - Sunday January 27 at 11:59 PM EST
It's a great idea to listen to a podcast episode before you send - especially the segment where we talk about what we think makes a great 10-minute play.
*** FREE ESPAFEST 2019 AT PRIMARY STAGES ESPA ***
Announcing ESPAfest 2019! Join us February 4-8 for a week of FREE writing and acting workshops and masterclasses. All events are free and open to the public. Highlights for writers include: FREE WRITING WORKSHOP; FREE RESUME CLINIC for personalized feedback; FREE MASTERCLASS with Geoffrey Owens; FREE MIXER. For full listing of events and to RSVP:
*** FREE THEATER IN NYC ***
Tuesday, January 29, 2019
THE CONSUL, THE TRAMP, AND AMERICA'S SWEETHEART
The true story behind Chaplin's first talkie.
By John Morogiello
Kim T. Sharp
Winner of the 2015 Julie Harris Playwright Award Competition and the 2015 Dayton Playhouse FutureFest. On the eve of World War II, the German consul to Hollywood tries to stop production on Charlie Chaplin's first talkie, The Great Dictator. The result is a comedy based on a true story about the powers of art, politics, commerce, and what it means to be American.
Tuesday, February 12 2019
By Dan McCormick
A man accused of turning into an alligator finds his entire life turned inside-out. He is met with fear, distrust and scorn at every turn. “Alligator” is a response to the “guilty until proven innocent” nature of our world today, told through a metaphor that Kafka would appreciate.
Our theater address is:
*** PLAYWRIGHTS OPPORTUNITIES ***
Little Fish Theatre in San Pedro, CA, is looking for two to three short plays (12 minutes or less) to stage for a one-night-only event on International Beer Day, Sunday April 7th. The theater would like to award each play selected with a $25 royalty for the playwright.
The content of each script submitted must have to do with beer in some way, shape, or form. The plays will be performed in between rounds of beer tasting and discussion - palate cleansers, if you will. Beer. Play. Repeat. There is no maximum number of submissions per playwright.
The Simons Center for Geometry and Physics and the C. N. Yang Institute for Theoretical Physics, announce a CALL FOR PLAYS for the 2019 SBU Science Playwriting Competition:
The organizers are calling all talented playwrights with an interest in the sciences, and talented scientists with an interest in the theatre to compose an original, previously-unproduced, ten-minute play with a substantial science component. This contest is open to the general public:
First Prize Winner: $500
Second Prize Winner: $200
3rd Prize Winner: $100
The Center for Creative & Performing Arts at Guilford Technical Community College is thrilled to announce a call for unproduced full-length plays. GTCC is piloting a new work initiative for the 2019/2020 academic school year, and the selected play would be the first produced as part of this new direction for the theatre program.
*** ANIMALS ON STAGE ***
Among a cast of dozens playing an extended Northern Irish family, including aunts, uncles, cousins, and even babies, the breakout stars of The Ferryman may well be the animal actors. Jez Butterworth’s play is set in a 1980s farmhouse on the eve of a harvest, and the characters freely interact with the livestock, including a live bunny, a Netherland Dwarf rabbit named Pierce, and, in a brief-but-striking moment, an Emden goose named Peggy.
Though the animals are onstage for mere minutes of the show’s three-hour-plus running time, they — plus two understudies each — require their own quarters backstage, months of conditioning, and an intense daily schedule to prepare them for each of their eight shows a week. That’s all managed by animal trainer Bill Berloni and handler Rochelle Scudder, who have worked together on several productions before, but never with animals like these. “There’s not a lot of precedent with waterfowl in a theater,” Scudder said.
When you’re working with four-legged actors, you have to expect the unexpected.
Just ask Richard Garner, who once directed a dog that in the middle of his performance decided to give himself a very thorough — and intimate — cleaning.
“The poor human actors didn’t have a chance,” Garner recalled. “The audience just roared.”
The experience didn’t deter Garner, though. He’s directing Orlando Shakespeare Theater’s “Shakespeare in Love,” which opens Friday. In the cast: A standard poodle named Tobias.
Is it justifiable to use animals on stage?
Jez Butterworth’s play, The Ferryman, has had a successful run at the Royal Court, a West End run and it has recently announced its transfer to Broadway. With all of this, people have been queuing round the block to get a ticket.
The play is about a rural Irish family. Set in the early 1980s, the head of the household is a former IRA activist. His brother has been missing for ten years and is one of the ‘Disappeared’ that resulted as part of the Troubles. The play examines the concepts of radicalisation, terrorism and imperialism through the family, many generations of which live under the same roof.
Two celebrated European actors are taking one-woman shows to London: one of them is bringing her pet dog on stage and the other will play sisters created by the Marquis de Sade.
The Italian star Isabella Rossellini is presenting the UK premiere of Link Link Circus. Rossellini will portray Aristotle, Descartes and Charles Darwin, among other characters, as she explores what distinguishes humans from animals. It seems her dog, Pan, will also be taking on a number of roles. “I cannot have on stage all the animals I will talk about in the play,” Rossellini has said, “so Pan and I will dress up and interpret several different species. Link Link is in fact a little circus. Pan and I will address the newest scientiﬁc discoveries about animal minds, intelligence and emotions.”
Horses, dogs, etc., have figured on the boards from "time immemorial"--not only as "properties," but in reality. Plays have even been written for them. At one time the "equestrian drama," as it was called, "flourished" indeed. To trace the origin of the appearance of animals even on the English stage would be impossible. Pepys speaks of witnessing in 1668 a performance of Shirley's Hide Park, in which horses were brought before the audience. In 1727, when Shakespeare's Henry VIII was revived, a mounted champion figured in the coronation spectacle
A talented dog might be able to roll over and shake hands with the best of them — but that doesn’t mean it can handle eight shows a week. For that, you need a genuine canine thespian. And for that, more often than not, you’ll call Bill Berloni, Broadway’s preeminent animal handler.
After an open call for dogs, directors weren’t able to find a suitable amateur to play Pepi, Billie Holiday’s beloved dog, in the Broadway revival of “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill,” at Circle in the Square Theatre through Aug. 10.
William Berloni is Broadway’s go-to animal trainer.
The audience at the Circle in the Square Theatre goes “Aww!” when, midway through Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill, Tony nominee Audra McDonald, playing the troubled singer Billie Holliday, brings on stage a Chihuahua, who kisses the star and shares a drink with her. A few blocks away, at the St. James Theatre, a Pomeranian gets almost equal stage time with actress Karen Ziemba, keeping its cool while mobsters and showbiz folk collide in the Woody Allen musical Bullets Over Broadway.
Both Roxie (who plays Holliday’s dog, Pepi) and Trixie (in a gender-crossing performance as Mr. Woofles in Bullets) owe their thespian careers to William Berloni, a veteran animal trainer who received a Tony Honor for Excellence in 2011. Like many of Berloni’s four-legged wards, Roxie and Trixie were rescued from shelters and spend their nonworking days on their trainer’s farm in Connecticut.