November newsletter and meeting notice

Our next meeting will be Monday, November 12th, at 7 PM at the Lowell Center, 610 Langdon Street, Madison. Check kiosk for room. 

Parking: Lowell parking is for guests of the hotel and staff only. Nearest parking is the Lake Street Ramp, one block south (you can also enter from Frances Street). Street parking is free after 6 P.M. (try east on Langdon up around the curve).

City of Madison Parking Website: www.cityofmadison.com/transportation/parking.cfm

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Starting around 7:10 we will read:

Petey Weigel ……………………………….. by Deb Meyer  :10
Etudes 2 & 3 ………………………………..  by Nick Schweitzer  :04
Station Wagon ……………………………… by George Farah  :70

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In October we read:

Mr. Ganymede, the Gardener, a Play for Holloween —– by Jack Guzman
Untitled  ——————————————————— by Brendan Smith
Let Me Get This Straight, Your Honor (rewrite) ———- by Bob Curry
Readers were Betsy Wood, Simone LaPierre, Tom Collins, Zach Heise, Bob Curry, Nick Schweitzer, Alan Gold, Phil Heckman.

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Playwrights Ink is now on Facebook 

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NEW! We are also working out a new Google Calendar Link for upcoming contest deadlines. We are still figuring out the details, but I added those of you who are on my local Gmail theater group list to the calendar. Let me know if you suddenly have unexpected playwriting contests on your Google calendar. Or not. I have to figure out how to provide access to those of you who don’t use gmail or the Google calendar. I’m sure it can be done, but I need to figure it out. I’ll try to have it in place by next month.

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We’re always looking for that surprising inevitability: I can’t believe this is happening, and yet I always knew this would happen. And so the opening of the play starts you on that path.”

— Alexander Dinelaris, author of Red Dog Howls,    

from“How to Find Opening Lines That Electrify” in the NY Times, October 25, 2012. (link below)

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MEMBER NEWS:

Coleman’s novel Kidnapping Henry Kissinger is available at Amazon.com

OPPORTUNITIES & ANNOUNCEMENTS:

 

The Wisconsin Wrights New Play Development Project offers an incredible opportunity to Wisconsin playwrights as it focuses on the development of new works through residencies, intensive workshops and public readings. Deadline February 11, 2013

Wisconsin Wrights Residency

Play submission for consideration for a Residency will be accepted on a biannual basis with our next round opening in November 2012 for consideration for workshops in May 2013. Each of the three Award Recipients will be awarded a one week residency in Madison, Wisconsin. The three plays will be featured as part of the University Theatre/UW-Madison Department of Theatre and Drama summer season with each receiving a one week workshop (with a cast, dramaturg, and director) which culminates in public readings. The Residency is scheduled for June 1-June 8, 2013.
Learn More: http://continuingstudies.wisc.edu/lsa/theatre/wrights/residency.htm

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StageQ invites you to submit a short play for our eighth annual festival of short queer plays, Queer Shorts 8. Plays should be no longer than 15 minutes in length, and are due December 14, 2012. Please include a one-page précis, including:

  • One-paragraph description of the plot
  • Casting requirements (number of actors, gender, ages, special requirements, if any)
  • Set requirements (remember, this is a playfest with 10 – 12 plays in one evening; we use cubes to create the sets; simple is better!)
  • Running time (no more than 15 minutes!)
  • Special technical requirements, if any
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Is there lesbian, gay or other queer content? (Required)
  • Is there nudity? Adult language?
  • If a musical, is there a written score?
  • If a musical, what are the instrumental requirements? Vocal requirements?

.          

Send your script and précis to QueerShorts@stageq.com.

                                   

We acknowledge all scripts received, so if you don’t hear back from us within a couple of weeks, we didn’t receive your submission. We’ll also let you know by early April, 2013 whether or not we selected your script.. Queer Shorts 8 will be performed June 7-15, 2013 at the Bartell Theatre in Madison, Wisconsin, with possible teaser performances as part of other events in the spring and summer of 2013.

 

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The Call for Entries for the 2013 VSA Playwright Discovery Program will open in November, 2012.

To request these documents in an alternate format, please contact us at (202) 416-8898 (voice) or vsainfo@kennedy-center.org.

VSA has an innovative and Free Resource Guide for Teachers to help guide teachers and students through the playwriting process.

The VSA Playwright Discovery Program invites middle and high school students to take a closer look at the world around them, examine how disability affects their lives and the lives of others, and express their views through the art of playwriting. Playwrights may write from their own experience or about an experience in the life of another person or a fictional character. Scripts can be comedies, dramas, or even musicals–be creative! Young playwrights with and without disabilities are encouraged to submit a script. Entries may be the work of an individual student or a collaboration by a group of up to five students.

A distinguished jury of theater professionals selects up to five scripts as recipients of the 28th Annual VSA Playwright Discovery Award. The selected playwrights receive a $1,000 cash award and a trip to Washington, D.C. over Labor Day weekend to participate in workshops and view a reading of their work on stage at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

http://www.kennedy-center.org/education/vsa/programs/playwright_discovery.cfm

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Articles and Reviews:

How to Find Opening Lines That Electrify

Published: October 25, 2012
CALL me Ishmael. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Throw in Tolstoy’s uniquely unhappy families, Orwell’s 13-striking clocks and Nabokov’s loin-firing Lolita, and literature is packed with gangbuster first lines. To read on:

http://theater.nytimes.com/2012/10/28/theater/how-to-craft-an-opening-line-to-electrify-a-theater-audience.html?smid=fb-share

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Specializing in Secrets and Their Dear Cost

By PATRICK HEALY

Published: October 4, 2012, NY Times

THE Off Broadway play “Harper Regan,” a 2008 British drama about a woman swamped by family problems, was first going to be called “Seth Regan,” after Harper’s troubled husband. The title change was hardly superficial for the playwright, Simon Stephens. Like Tennessee Williams, who wrote several versions of (and titles for) “A Streetcar Named Desire” before realizing that his real subject was Blanche DuBois, Mr. Stephens goes down as many rabbit holes as necessary to discover the ideal wonderland in which to set his stories and characters.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/07/theater/specializing-in-secrets-and-their-dear-cost.html?ref=theater

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THEATER

THEATER; Neil Simon’s Pinball Rules for Playwriting

By NEIL SIMON;

Published: March 22, 1992

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.— “How long did it take you to write the play?” the young college student queried. I was stumped. I didn’t know. I had no recollection.

Does it start from the moment you put pen to paper? (I don’t type. I write in long, narrow-ruled notebooks that I seem to find only in England, and even there they appear to be fast disappearing. I like to see as much as I can in one glance at a sheet of paper to get a sense of the rhythm and tempo of the words.)

http://www.nytimes.com/1992/03/22/theater/theater-neil-simon-s-pinball-rules-for-playwriting.html

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Shock Value

Critics’ Forum: The Shocking Power of Great Art

Four critics for The New York Times — Roberta Smith, Ben Brantley, A.O. Scott and Alastair Macaulay — are chatting about the role of shock in art: how it works, how it has changed and why it’s still necessary. Jennifer Schuessler moderates.Does art retain the power to shock? Must artists contrive to provoke? Join the discussion with critics, artists and readers.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/arts/art-shock.html#/critics6#critics6

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THEATER REVIEW from the NY Times,

Broadway Royals, Out at the Summer Palace

‘Ten Chimneys,’ About Lunts, at Theater at St. Clement’s

By CHARLES ISHERWOOD

Published: October 4, 2012

Hard though it may be to fathom, one of America’s most glamorous locales during the middle decades of the last century was a small town in Wisconsin with the homey name of Genesee Depot. There Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, the first couple of the Broadway stage, spent their summers, gathering around them luminaries like Noël Coward, Alexander Woollcott and Edna Ferber, who would descend on rural Wisconsin like so many brightly colored, exotic birds settling on a cornfield. To read more:

http://theater.nytimes.com/2012/10/05/theater/reviews/ten-chimneys-about-lunts-at-theater-at-st-clements.html?ref=arts

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October 4, 2012

Theater Talkback: Hold the Applause

By BEN BRANTLEY

Ah, the sweet, sweet sound of applause – music to any actor’s ears. But is it always? I’m referring specifically to entrance applause, that instant and seemingly spontaneous ovation that greets the arrival of a celebrated actor onstage.

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THEATER REVIEW

‘Tender Napalm’ by Philip Ridley at 59E59 Theaters

Fighting to Have the Last Word

September 3, 2012

Who’s telling this story anyway? You’ve heard that question, uttered impatiently or perhaps even furiously, by one half of a couple to the other in midanecdote. We all mythologize our lives, and most of us fight to ensure our version stands as the official one, even — no, make that especially — when the alternative view comes from the person who’s closest to us.

http://theater.nytimes.com/2012/08/30/theater/reviews/tender-napalm-by-philip-ridley-at-59e59-theaters.html?ref=theater

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David Lindsay-Abaire and Naomi Wallace Receive Horton Foote Prize

By ERIK PIEPENBURG

The playwrights David Lindsay-Abaire and Naomi Wallace have been named the 2012 recipients of theHorton Foote Prize, a biennial award named for the playwright and screenwriter who died in 2009 at 92. Mr. Lindsay-Abaire’s “Good People” was chosen as the outstanding new American play, and “The Liquid Plain” by Ms. Wallace received the award for promising new American play. Each winner will receive $15,000 and a photograph of Mr. Foote.

http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/03/david-lindsay-abaire-and-naomi-wallace-receive-horton-foote-prize/?ref=theater

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Adaptation of Jonathan Franzen Essay Heads to Stage

By JOHN WILLIAMS

August 30, 2012

Daniel Fish adapted the essay and will direct the show. Mr. Fish’s last production, “A (radically condensed and expanded) SUPPOSEDLY FUN THING I’LL NEVER DO AGAIN (after David Foster Wallace),” featured performers listening to Wallace’s voice through headphones and reciting what they

heard.http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/30/adaptation-of-jonathan-franzen-essay-heads-to-stage/

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A good piece about the ingredients of your characters’ inner lives.

  

Things to Fear and Loathe

By PATRICIA PEARSON
      A friend recently told me about a new app for the treatment of phobias. You stare at pictures of dental drills, snakes or airplane interiors, depending on your affliction, and these totems of menace  — interspersed with reassuring images of teddy bears  — gradually cease to provoke you.
Does it work? We can’t know. My friend has a phobia of stuffed animals. It’s something, he says, about the soulless glass eyes. 

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/03/things-to-fear-and-loathe/?scp=1&sq=Patricia+Pearson&st=cse

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Lost and Found:
Treasure Trove of Playwright Interviews
“Mostly what you’re listening to is a give-and-take from what constituted the playwriting community in New York and, by extension, in the United States,” Mr. Weidman said.

http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/08/in-a-dusty-drawer-a-trove-of-theatrical-voices/?hp

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The National New Play Network is an alliance of leading nonprofit theaters that champion the development, production and continued life of new plays. NNPN strives to pioneer, implement and disseminate ideas and programs that revolutionize the way theaters collaborate to support new plays and playwrights.

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E-Plays available for download from Sam French

http://www.samuelfrench.com/store/ebooks.php

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Resources:
 
Winning Writers Website: More for fiction and poetry writers, but all kinds of good, well-paying contests.
 
 

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The Dramatists Guild of America was established over eighty years ago, and is the only professional association which advances the interests of playwrights, composers, lyricists and librettists writing for the living stage. The Guild has over 6,000 members nationwide, from beginning writers to the most prominent authors represented on Broadway, Off-Broadway and in regional theaters.

The Guild is governed by a Board of Directors elected from its membership, and which currently includes such writers as Stephen Sondheim (West Side Story, Gypsy, Into the Woods), Edward Albee (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, A Delicate Balance), Marsha Norman (‘night, mother), Tony Kushner (Angels In America), John Patrick Shanley (Doubt), John Guare (Six Degrees of Separation), Lynn Nottage (Intimate Apparel) and Rebecca Gilman (Spinning Into Butter). The current president of the Guild is Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Pippin, Godspell). Past presidents have included Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein, Moss Hart, Alan Jay Lerner, Robert Sherwood, Robert Anderson, Frank Gilroy, and Peter Stone. Past Guild members have included Eugene O’Neill, George S. Kaufman, Arthur Miller, Lillian Hellman, Frank Loesser, Frederick Loewe, and Tennessee Williams.

The Dramatists Guild of America was established for the purpose of aiding dramatists in protecting both the artistic and economic integrity of their work. The Guild believes that a vibrant, vital and provocative theater is an essential element of the ongoing cultural debate which informs the citizens of a free society. The Guild believes that if such a theater is to survive, the unique, idiosyncratic voices of both men and women who write for it must be cultivated and protected.

To that end, the Guild maintains model contracts for all levels of productions, (including Broadway, regional and smaller theaters) and encourages its members to use these contracts when negotiating with producers. These contracts embody the Guild’s over­arching objectives of protecting the dramatist’s control over the content of his work, and ensuring that the dramatist is compensated for each use of his work in a way which will encourage him to continue writing for the living stage.

In addition to its contract services, the Guild acts as an aggressive public advocate for dramatists’ interests and assists dramatists in developing both their artistic and business skills through its publications, which are distributed nationally, and the educational programs which it sponsors around the country.