January Newsletter and Meeting Notice

Our next meeting will be Monday, January 14th, 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 :  
Etude #5 ……………………………………………….. by Nick Schweitzer :05
Savior (Act 1) Retitled from Sis ……by Jack Guzman :40
This is  light schedule. If you have a scene or a short play you want to hear, bring it in. 



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In December we read:


Petey Weigel ……………………………………. by Deb Meyer

A Play for Voices ……………………………….. by Barry Brissman
Monolog ………………………………………….. by Sam Gutierrez


Alice in her Wonderland ……………………….. by Simone LaPierre

Every Moment We Have ……………………….. by Brendon Smith
Anthem Girl ……………………………………… by Alan Gold


Readers were: Simone LaPiere, Deb Meyer, Sam Gutierrez, Alan Gold, Brendon Smith, Mark Lajiness, Colin Cameron, Bob Curry.


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Playwrights Ink is now on  Facebook 



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



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         In many of my plays, there was a kind of autobiographical character in the form of a son or young man. The purpose of it, of course, was to write about myself.
That character was always the least fully realized. Eighteen years later, you realize, That’s what he was about.’

                                                                   — Sam Shepard



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MEMBER NEWS :


ATTENTION: Nick Schweitzer has made arrangements with the Madison Theatre Guild (MTG) to present concert readings of one or more short plays from Playwrights Ink on a dark night whenever MTG is staging a play at the Bartell.  MTG’s next show is “The Road to Mecca”, which runs from Feb. 22nd through March 9, meaning that a reading might be held on Feb. 25 or 26 or March 4 or 5.  The play(s) must have been read at a P.I. meeting and must be ready for public viewing.  No admission is charged, but donations may be accepted and split between the Bartell and a local charity.  Nick will act as producer and he will work with the playwright, who will be expected to cast and direct the reading.


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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. 



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Babes with Blades Playwriting Competition
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, 2013 .  By 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.organd we’ll help you out!


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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.
 
 
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Articles and Reviews:


An Extended Family, Sharing Extended Pain

‘Water by the Spoonful,’ at the Second Stage Theater

By CHARLES ISHERWOOD

Published: January 8, 2013

Trouble comes in surging waves for the men and women in “Water by the Spoonful,” the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Quiara Alegría Hudes that is making its New York premiere at the Second Stage Theater. Almost all the characters in this moving collage of lives in crisis have a grim history — and maybe a grimmer future — of substance abuse. Often their addictions have cost them dearly, leading to poverty, isolation and unbridgeable chasms between once-loving parents and children. To continue Reading:

http://theater.nytimes.com/2013/01/09/theater/reviews/water-by-the-spoonful-at-the-second-stage-theater.html?ref=theater

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New Funds Help Revive a Theater in St. Paul

By FELICIA R. LEE

Published: January 7, 2013

The Penumbra Theater Company in St. Paul, a leading African-American theatrical organization whose financial woes forced the cancellation of shows and the trimming of staff last year, has raised enough money to resume programming on a limited basis, Penumbra officials announced Monday.To continue Reading:

http://theater.nytimes.com/2013/01/08/theater/penumbra-theater-to-resume-programs-after-fund-raising.html?ref=theater

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



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December 5, 2012
Ben Brantley Answers Readers’ Questions
Interview with NYTimes Theater Critic




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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:




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Specializing in Secrets and Their Dear Cost


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.




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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.)
 
 
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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.


 
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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


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:
 
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October 4, 2012
Theater Talkback: Hold the Applause
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
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.
 

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Adaptation of Jonathan Franzen Essay Heads to Stage

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.  
 
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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.



 


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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



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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.