December Newsletter and Meeting Notice

Our next meeting will be Monday, December 10th, 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
Street Song: A Play for Voices …………  by Barry Brissman :25
Seder …………………………………………  by Russ Tomar :10
Monolog ……………………………………..  by by Sam Gutierrez :15
If you have a scene or a short play, this schedule can still handle it.

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In November we read:

Etudes 2, 3 & 4……………………………… by Nick Schweitzer  
Station Wagon ……………………………… by George Farah 
Dunham’s Bluff (act 2) ……………………. by Phil Heckman

Readers were: 
Simone L, Sandra Reynolds, Tom Collins, David Berger, Jack Guzman, Alan Gold, Phil Heckman, Brendon Smith, Russ Tomar, Nick Schweitzer, Sam Gutierrez, George Farah,  Bob Curry.

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Online play submissions calendar. Check it out. Thank you, Brendon Smith. 

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The last collaborator is your audience … when the audience comes in, it changes the temperature of what you’ve written. 
            Things that seem to work well — work in a sense of carry the story forward and be integral to the piece — suddenly become a little less relevant or a little less functional or a little overlong or a little overweight or a little whatever. 
            And so you start reshaping from an audience.

STEPHEN SONDHEIM, interview, July 5, 2005

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MEMBER NEWS:

THE DRURY STAGE AT THE BARTELL

November 30 – December 15, 2012
Nov 30, Dec 1, 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15 @ 7:30
Sunday Matinee, Dec 2, 9 @ 3:00
Next to Normal, winner of the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, is a rock musical that the New York Times called “brave,” “breathtaking,” and “a work of muscular grace and power.”
 It follows a mother who struggles with worsening bipolar disorder and the wrenching effects her illness has on her family.
While this emotionally rigorous show honestly portrays the pain of the mother’s mental illness, it is surprisingly hopeful. 
The music is vibrantly alive, and the dialogue will make you laugh through your tears.
Tickets are $25 and may be purchased in advance through the MTG website: madisontheatreguild.org

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MTG Theatre Lab presents 4 short plays/readings over 3 nights

1. Saturday, December 8th at 7:30 p.m. in the new black box theater in the

Stream Building on the Edgewood campus:

A performance of “Fire in the Basement”, by P. Paulette MacDougal, directed
by Jan Levine Thal with Sarah Whelan, Tom Haig, and Stuart Brooks, and

A reading of “Waiting for the 28”, by Jack Guzman.

2.

Sunday, December 9th

at 6:30 p.m. in the Overture Center Rotunda Stage:

A performance of “One Good Moment”, by P. Paulette MacDougal, directed by
Betty Diamond with Sarah Whelan and Tom Haig, and

A reading of “The Great Jimmie Boyle”, by Marcia Jablonski.

3.

Tuesday, December 11th

 at 7:30 p.m. in the Bartell Theater Drury Stage:

A performance of “Fire in the Basement”, by P. Paulette MacDougal, directed
by Jan Levine Thal with Sarah Whelan, Tom Haig, and Stuart Brooks, and

A reading of “The Great Jimmie Boyle”, by Marcia Jablonski.

Admission to all events is free. Donations will be split between the
Bartell Theater and Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin

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

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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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Babes with Blades Playwriting Competition
http://babeswithblades.org/?page_id=1226
Babes With Blades Theatre Company is a Chicago-based company, currently celebrating its 15th anniversary season!  Our unique mission, using stage combat to place women and their stories center stage, is at the heart of this playwriting competition. “Joining Sword & Pen” is the international playwriting competition we founded in 2005 to increase the number of quality scripts featuring fighting roles for women – and the 2013-14 competition is now open!We’re looking for scripts inspired by – and containing –  these images.

Does one (or both) spark an idea for you?  We want to see it!

The winning script will receive a full production with BWBTC in 2014.

The winning playwright will receive the Margaret Martin Award, which carries with it a $1000 stipend.

  1. Only FULL LENGTH submissions will be accepted: 75-120 minutes (at least 75 pages) in length. Shorter submissions will not be read or considered. NOTE: Please DO NOT send incomplete submissions, excerpts, or a synopsis.
  2. The moments depicted in the images must be dramatized in the play. You may choose to use only 1 of the 2 images, OR both images.
  3. Both all-female and mixed-gender casts will be considered. Women must be in most/all of the primary roles. Women must be featured in most/all of the combat.
  4. U.S. and international, male and female authors’ submissions will be accepted.
  5. All submissions must be new, original works, inspired by the contest’s topic. Previously workshopped, published, or performed submissions will not be considered.
  6. The author must observe and adhere to the submission guidelines, below.

Please Consider:

1. Fights are a big part of what we do, so their inclusion in scripts is important to us – so long as they serve the story and the characters. Quality over quantity, please.
2. We typically perform in small, black box theatres on limited budgets. Preference will be given to scripts that require fewer than 12 actors and uncomplicated scenery (multiple complex settings require higher budgets). Less is more.
3. Please take a few moments to peruse this website to familiarize yourself with the mission and direction of our company, our acting ensemble, and our past shows.

Submission Guidelines:
1. Submissions are due NO LATER than February 28, 2013By submitting a script, you are agreeing to adhere to all the dates on the workshop and production schedule.
2. Electronic submissions preferred: email to swordandpen@babeswithblades.org

IMPORTANT: This will be a BLIND SUBMISSION PROCESS. This means your email submission should contain two separate attachments:

Your cover page with title, name, and full contact information (name, phone numbers, email, mailing address).

Your script. DO NOT include ANY contact information in the body of your script. No names, by-lines, or contact information of ANY kind. This is to ensure that when the selection panel reads your script, it is a blind read. An author’s identity will only be revealed once a selection has been made.

3. If you are unable to submit via email, you may submit by snail mail to Babes With Blades Theatre Company, C/O Morgan Manasa, 444 N. Wells, #204. Chicago, IL 60654. If submitting via snail mail, do not bind or staple your script.
4. Scripts submitted will be considered the original creations of the authors, not Works for Hire. The author will retain all copyright rights and privileges granted thereto. If a winning script is eventually published, we ask authors to note “Babes With Blades Theatre Company” as the original producing company.

Additional Questions?

Visit our JS&P History page and JS&P FAQ page.  After that, if you’re still flummoxed, please email swordandpen@babeswithblades.org and we’ll help you out!

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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:

Behind a Flop, a Play(wright) Within a Play

By PATRICK HEALY

Published: December 5, 2012

A stroll down West 45th Street in the theater district is all it takes to understand the contradictory fortunes facing David Mamet, for years the heavyweight of bare-knuckled American playwrights, as well as the producers who believe that loyalty to the writer makes good business sense. To continue Reading:

http://theater.nytimes.com/2012/12/06/theater/david-mamet-has-flop-and-hit-on-one-broadway-block.html?ref=arts

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December 5, 2012

Ben Brantley Answers Readers’ Questions
Interview with NYTimes Theater Critic

http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/05/ben-brantley-answers-readers-questions/

http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/06/ben-brantley-answers-readers-questions-part-2/?ref=arts

 

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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 the Horton 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.

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