Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017: A Personal Year in Review


The year began in a fog. Trump was just elected. My career was moving along but felt hollow. I was being asked to a ton of meetings around Hollywood. It was an out-of-body experience. It wasn't unpleasant, just completely detached from my passion. I watched the political world aflame and felt numb. I watched my own personal fortunes rise and felt numb. I had all the material things I could ever ask for and felt...numb. Surely, this malaise was not due to a deficit or surplus of physical materials. It had to do with my spiritual practice. I prayed and meditated more. And the question I was asking myself was the same again and again: is this what I was meant to do? At one of the monthly spiritual meetings around a backyard fire, I shared with other guys this strange wan cloud.

Is this the purpose of my life? I waited for an answer. In the meantime, I accepted a request to speak at Penn State Altoona and Hampshire College. The day before Inauguration, the THIS IS US writers' room was a gloomy, low-energy affair. We were excused from work the next day and left early. I went home and immediately fell asleep. I woke up in a haze at around 8pm. I grabbed something to eat and went to the gym. The following morning I worked out and went to a bakery in search of cookies and muffins to gorge on. I stumbled upon one of the few bakeries that only served cakes and pies, so I left. I decided to try out LA's legendary Korean spas.

Now prior to January, I had heard about the healing power of salt rooms. The typical price range for sitting in one of these special rooms was upward of $100. One of my friends said that Korean saunas had salt rooms in them. I felt that there was no better time to shut down and tune out, then on Trump's inauguration. Korean saunas have an entire culture and set of customs. I was entranced by the searing hot steam rooms, the brutalizing massages, the ice room, salt rooms, and variety of spaces for different effects.

I got an email informing me that I was a finalist for the Emerald Prize at Seattle Public Theatre. I had to write a more comprehensive proposal for BLUE BOY. I thought that this might be something more in my area of interests.


I traveled to Altoona, PA to talk at a Black History event on Penn State's campus. THIS IS US had its wrap party shortly after coming back and then there was the WGA Party at the Beverly Hills Hilton. It was strange to think about where I was a year ago, versus this February.

On Valentine's Day, I got a ticket to see SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE. I got a reminder email that my proposal for the Emerald Prize was due tomorrow. The next day I wrote out my proposal and sample scenes on Leif's couch, sent them away, and hopped on a plane back to NYC.

At the end of February, I was told that there might be a contract problem with my tv agreement at Fox. I began thinking about my ennui. Even though it was coming from me, I felt like this was a chance to do something new. Okay, this is a new start. I surrendered to it. Then the floodgates opened. I had been asking myself for a while 'is this what I was meant to do? Is this it for me?' I was getting an overwhelming answer.


On March 1st Seattle Public Theatre sent me an email to inform me that I was the winner of the EMERALD PRIZE. I remember September 2016 and that first email from my agent informing me that I was nominated for the Prize...along with about 100 artists. I initially thought 'yeah right! Not going to happen."  It was a long process and at several points, I thought of not even bothering to meet the deadline. But I'm glad I did.

I also got a new TV job lined up and a ton of meetings. Shortly after accepting this gig, a few other opportunities fell into my lap. But after 9 months in LA, I still felt adrift. LA is pleasant. Cruise-ship pleasant. Summer vacation idyllic, but I was fighting the detached sensation for a long time. I missed studying Buddhism. I missed serious practicioners, new dharma, meditation retreats. In LA, most of the talk revolved around juice cleanses, sweat lodges, and communing with nature. There were many smart people in LA, many serious practitioners, and brilliant minds...but they didn't appear to be in communion with each other.  The intersectionality of genius was lost to the SoCal silo effect of experts isolated by freeways, urban sprawl, and gridlock. My opinions about LA are the same as when I lived there for a summer in between my junior and senior year at Northwestern: fun city to get lost in, easy place to work, and an uneasy place to wanderlust.

Meetings and travel organized my schedule this month. There were movie meetings, musical meetings, TV meetings. At the end of the month, I traveled to Hampshire College for a guest artist stint there along with Smith College and UMASS. It was an inspiring trip and a casual conversation about the art of the American flag and flag burning planted a seed in my head. 

I was tentatively scheduled to work on a stage musical, but it fell apart when the director wanted another writer. He wasn't willing to meet with me or hear me out. He had made up his mind on who he wanted, so the producers went with the other writer.


The rest of the college trip blended into April. Afterward, I began outlining some thoughts for the EMERALD PRIZE play. I already hated the project title BLUE BOY. I just didn't have a better name in mind at the time. This was a month of meetings and then traveling to NYC to see a ton of theatre.

I pitched a movie for Russell Simmons, and it felt like I was at the Fox Lot for an entire week, bouncing from Fox Searchlight to Fox 2000 and finally 21st Century Fox. In the end, they went with another writer for a movie project. But those are the breaks.


More meetings meetings meetings. I think I should have done a meditation retreat with this stretch of meetings. But the allure of being wanted was too great, along with a workout regime that now incorporated boxing, basecamp, Zumba, yoga, and weightlifting. My body felt like it was a finely tuned machine.


My time in LA was wrapping up. I traveled to NYC for a lot more theatre. I had a writing retreat scheduled with Erik Ehn and I was looking forward to it for months. But at the last minute, the dates were switched and it conflicted with a Buddhist teaching. If one of my main predicaments from last year was growing detached from the dharma, then this was a test of what I was really willing to do for the teachings. So I stayed in NYC for the extra days.  At the end of the month, I packed up my stuff, said my goodbyes.

I began writing BLUE BOY that was now retitled as MADE IN AMERICA. Things were moving on. I didn't feel sad, nor was I happy. I was relieved. Goodbye LA, I'll see you again...soon.


So I'm back in LA, LOL! I agreed to be a guest artist for the Dramatists Guild Conference in Culver City. It was a chance to be back for a few days, take some meetings, and hang out with other artists. I met up with Murray Hill at Cafe Gratitude.

I finished MADE IN AMERICA and sent it off to Seattle and prepared for next month's workshop.


I moved in with Murray Hill in Williamsburg. The apartment is a lot different from my place in West Hollywood. Smaller, more petite, but more personality. I signed up for Equinox. I met up with Russell Simmons and Universal Music execs about a hip-hop musical. We agreed to start work on theatre musical. I went out to Seattle for a week and MADE IN AMERICA became FIRE SEASON. The workshop experience was wonderful. The play transformed under the helm of a strong director and a great cast. By the end of the week, I thought an okay play became truly remarkable. I don't know if Seattle Public Theatre is going to produce the play in the upcoming season, but the audience was riveted. The story came together, and a new drama was written about rural America and the opioid addiction.

And then we started work on THE GOOD FIGHT. The room began at CBS's Black Rock office in Midtown, which meant a harrowing ride to work.

I expected to take celibacy vows but my Lama seemed unwilling to take me up on the offer. I decided to start dating. It was an interesting dive into NYC.

While I was in Seattle, Charlottesville happened in the news. Alt-right and Neo-Nazis marched on the town, and a leftist protester was killed. Trump said exactly what I would expect from an alt-right racist, but I was surprised that the nation actually reacted in horror.


THE GOOD FIGHT moved to its offices in Greenpoint. Now my Williamsburg plan could unfold as I saw it. I could walk to work. For the first time in my life, I walked every day to work. And then I walked home. I am clocking in at 10-20,000 steps every day. It helps make up for the reduced amount of exercise. I agreed to write a play for TFJJ at La Sirena in November.

I decided that I need to condense all my errant meetings into a monthly salon. It's more efficient and I didn't like spending a third of my time I signed on for DEFACING MICHAEL JACKSON production next summer, and RUNNING ON FIRE workshop in North Carolina in the spring of 2018.


I wrote the play for La Sirena and continued work on TV. I also did some research for a film project. I waited for a revised contract for the Def Jam musical. I got to go back home and take care of my Dad while my mother went on a class reunion. While I took care of my Dad I also wrote pages for another episode. And I'm studying dharma back in NYC. The feeling I am having isn't joy, but it is contentment. It's uncomfortable, it's growth, it's with real people who are thoughtful and well-rounded. I got to taste test the menu at La Sirena for the TFJJ fundraiser. Delicious.

I also wrote a play for New Dramatists Nocturnal Commissions. My assignment was to write about Trump's life and I had only 15 minutes. I didn't stop writing from the moment they said 'go.'


I had a vegan Thanksgiving with Ricardo in Queens. And then we played Street Fighter for a few hours, and went to see THREE BILLBOARDS... On the Monday after Thanksgiving, I went to La Sirena and experienced a magical evening in which three plays were shown in between courses, and we raised $185,000!!


I am reflecting on this year as I listen to Dave Chappelle's new Netflix special. It's been a busy year.

Reflecting on 2017:
-"The Good Fight"
- "This is Us"
- Maxamoo podcast
- NYTheatre Review
- Helen Merrill Award for Emerging Writers (look, I waited 10 months to announce this. No awards gala, no press release, but the check cleared so we good!)
- Emerald Prize from Seattle Public Theatre for new plays about America.
-"Fire Season" at Seattle Public Theatre.
- fires.
-signed contract for two play productions in 2018: "Running on Fire" and "Defacing Michael Jackson."
- wrote play for Teens for Food Justice gala that raised $180,000.
- Trump play in Nocturnal Commissions at New Dramatists.
- WGA Awards nomination
- Black Reel TV Awards nomination
-staying with Leif again and again and again. Writing my project proposal for the Emerald Prize on his couch after seeing Jake Gyllenhaal in "Sunday in the Park with George" on Valentine's Day.
- Kyle visiting NYC and trying out Michelin restaurants.
- eery Sam Shepard death prefaced by me having dreams a day before where I was talking to a recently deceased playwright about what death means.
- Sam Shepard memorial at New Dramatists.
- got to meet/pitch an idea to Russell Simmons in his mansion, which would have been a bigger deal before the past month.
- apparently, half the men in the world have been sexually harassing anyone who moves.
- guest artist at Penn State Altoona.
- guest artist at Hampshire College/Smith/UMASS/Amherst/Mt. Holyoke College amalgamation, aka the tofu conglomerate.
- Dramatists Guild Institute guest artist in LA. It was lit. Pool party shenanigans, drunk midnight basketball, great panel discussions. The Airbnb in Culver City had enough sass to supply an entire season of "Dynasty."
- was asked my preferred gender pronoun on numerous occasions and suddenly felt old.
- should've gone to Japan on a whim with a friend. Instead, I choose to be responsible and go on a bunch of bullshit meetings. I will NOT make that mistake again.
- karmic partners streamlined generic career advice into a proactive market exchange.
- started LLC
- Juilliard Drama 50th anniversary
- ran into an old college friend in a vegan coffee shop in Seattle...of all places.
- end of 3 Jewels at old space. Reopening in new space in 2018.
- "Trump won't be that bad. He'll pivot and become mainstream."
- went to first Korean spa on Inauguration Day so I could avoid all tv and media. Then I had all my skin scrubbed off by Satan.
- Purple Carrot vegan delivered meals leading to Purple Carrot lunches with friends in LA.
- guy threatening to kick my ass because I wouldn't let him kick his girlfriend's ass on Cinco De Mayo. Having other neighbors come out and form a shield around the woman until she could get into an Uber, and then watching the posse chase the guy down the street. I saw the same man a week later at a coffee shop, where he was threatening to kick someone's ass for not giving him the time.
- FIRES!!!
- went to Pasadena once. I got the gist. (a town for wypipo who find Concord, Massachusetts too spicy.)
- never eat the 2nd gummi edible b/c the first one hasn't kicked in yet, you fool!!
- handing chocolate edible to homeless man begging for toke money, and becoming Weed Jesus.
- bought Venerable Lobsang Chunzom a Christmas tree and a 'net of lights' to celebrate holidays.
- celebrated Je Tsongkapa Day...still here!
- "How to Get a Good Life" classes at 3 Jewels and Master Kamalashila!
- Kelwa!! Cocoon that!
- missing Aunt Dolly, Brian Donovan, and many friends.
- London Reconnections again and again. Is it a sign?

Saturday, December 23, 2017

The Shrinking Circle of the American Mind

Throughout the course of human history, most people come into this world, live, and die in the same 20-mile radius. In the past, you could say that was due to short life expectancy and the harshness of travel. But in the 19th and 20th century the invention of trains, cars, and planes made long-distance travel fairly easy and still the vast majority lived and died in that same 20-mile circle. In the last few decades, Americans have become less mobile, less likely to have a passport, more likely to live close to Mom, and the circle is shrinking (now at 18-mile radius for over half of Americans). There's more employment instability, fewer opportunities, less social support, so families are more likely to stay close to create their own safety net. There's also less awareness of not only other countries but even other states and communities hidden in plain sight: undocumented workers, homeless population, underclasses that are redlined, policed and zoned into invisibility. The circle appears to be shrinking, not only geographically but socially and empathetically even as we have internet access to all the information in the world. Elitism isn't seen as just about money, but about mobility. And mobility isn't just about the physical distance traveled, but about the movement into different cultures.

Remember the GOP chiding New Yorkers for their fancy subway? Most New Yorkers laughed b/c the MTA is anything but couture and elitism. Yet politicians from Albany and DC seem almost hell-bent on destroying and underfunding one of the most vital transportation systems for the American economy. If the MTA subways were to fall apart, the devastation would be felt by not only NYC but the entire country. The economic capital of America would grind to a screeching halt. The ripple effect of such a disaster would reach every corner of the country. Many Americans in and outside of the city depend on the affordable daily movement of 20+ million people in the NYC metropolitan area. Why have Republicans taken delight in trying to wreck a system so vital to the American economy?

The MTA is a smelly, harsh, overcrowded network of trains that cover 5 boroughs. But it is also a system that moves between a multitude of worlds, 24 hrs a day, 365 days a year. It does not discriminate in class or race. It has everyone on it: rich, poor, celebrities, homeless, tourists, Wall Street stock brokers, cops, students, street kids, performers, beggars, religious proselytizers. It is a multicultural, multifaceted, multiracial American cacophony. This diversity and mobility is the very definition of elitism to someone from Alabama. Culture, movement, and youthful vitality are the enemy of the alt-right. Mobility is as much 'snowflake status' of libertine elitism as going to the theatre or reading one book a year.

We are self-imprisoning. Thanks to technology and gov, the average person can shrink their bubble down to just their immediate surroundings. The less-traveled American is more likely to believe the distant world is a scary place to be guarded against at all cost. They are more likely to be isolationist, conservative, reactive, tribalistic, and easily swayed by racial/ethnic dog whistles. Travel forces us to see the similarities between the multitudes. Isolation tends to foster our unfounded nightmares and worst-case scenario beliefs in 'the other.'

 In the coming year, I hope that the circle can be expanded. Traveling mind, traveling feet.

-wandering theatrical thoughts

Friday, December 22, 2017

Kelwa and Rewriting

Tonight was one of the last classes at the old 3 Jewels space in the East Village before the dharma center moves into its new space on the Lower East Side. We've been having monthly meetings on HOW TO GET THE GOOD LIFE. Venerable Lobsang Chunzom went through the kelwa of rewriting our story.

KELWA is Tibetan for 'the virtue to see things purely' or just the 'goodness to see.' Kelwa is a spiritual IQ. Last night at 3 Jewels, the topic was rewriting past stories I tell myself in order to change the future. My mind tells stories all the time: about myself and others. I run these stories on a loop about me, who I am, who other people are, how I feel about them. So my mom (good), Trump (bad), a person on the street (indifferent). Each story has an explanation and emotion attached that's like a cocoon that grows the next moment, plop out, and then crawls into the next cocoon, and this story keeps growing and re-enforcing itself with each cocoon. Indian sage Master Kamalashila said that in order to change a story in the future, you have to actually go back into the past, look at the cocoon. I need KELWA to even look at a so-called good boss, or a bad job, or a wonderful mom, or an evil uncle and catch myself telling 'the story' that's going to 'cocoon' itself and grow into the next moment. Realizing that everything I'm experiencing is a story doesn't make it untrue. In fact it's the only thing the mind can really do well: tell stories that create the world. But having kelwa to see that blankness of the story (and it's 100% potential) does mean it can be changed.

After class I caught up with two old friends. I came back to Williamsburg and immediately had two incredible encounters with new friends, as well as colleagues reaching out to me via text and phone. I drifted off to sleep on these pleasant stories, but I know where they came from, and how to make them more powerful and lasting. Kelwa.

Master Kamalashila used the metaphor of the substance used to make a caterpillar cocoon. Every action is like crawling inside a cocoon and then having it birth into the butterfly that resulted from the action, only to go back into another cocoon, and on and on and on. The cocoon lacquer gives me a sense of continuity to my life.

Each moment is a chance to shift the cocoon before the next ripening. My vision of me has progressed over time in these billions of cocoon-like moments in my life. Even though the 'me' right now is completely different from the 'me' 20 years ago I recognize a sense of continuity. At least that's the story I tell myself. 

Thursday, December 21, 2017

In Remembrance of Brian Donovan

To my friend Brian Donovan,

It was a lazy afternoon in the village several years. After a long silence, you told us the diagnosis you just received: Huntington's Disease. You were direct, unsentimental, and precise about your prognosis: incurable, degenerative, hereditary. Given the circumstances, we talked about the idea of suicide with the same direct and clear analysis. You decided that there was nothing wrong with suicide, but that you were were going to live with things and see what happened. The idea of finding grace in a prolonged struggle with a degenerative disease seemed at odds with me. Dying with dignity was supposed to be quick, clean, dry, and bookended with a poignant deathbed thoughts. I always thought the end was supposed to be a "Keep Calm And Carry On" British sign, as we bravely marched into the storm. You showed that our mortality could be dealt with in a fully-formed way, filled with doubt, jokes, analysis, plans, and moving forward day by day. You taught me a lesson in humble grace. Rest in Peace. Your spirit lights the way for all of us.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

#ThanksBlackWomen and Dem Victories in the South

Dem Doug Jones just won a Senate seat in the deepest red state in America. Dems have won every election in the South this year when they get out the Black vote, esp the vote of Black women. And they've lost every election when they focus their efforts on the "I'm With Her" flipping white women strategy. White women still lead with their race over gender. Even when losing their human rights, they voted in droves for a misogynistic pedophile in Alabama or the inhumane GOP Virginia candidate.

That means that Texas is up for grabs. And Georgia. And Mississippi, and South Carolina. Now imagine if Dems don't just pander for black votes, but have policies that support this new coalition.

Oh, and movies and tv shows about black women have been breaking records too. ("Girl Trip" and "Mudbound" and "Hidden Figures" OWN's "Queen Sugar") In other words in politics, social media, and entertainment, this is a progressive demo that consistently shows up, shows out, pays up, and turns out. When will Hollywood and DC (and maybe even Broadway) start leading with the new wave's strongest group: black women.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Analysis of Tragedy: "Call Me By Your Name"

The message behind CALL ME BY YOUR NAME is exactly the same as BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, WEEKEND, and every critically lauded gay film the last decade: you can eat your gay cake for a moment but we're going to need you to suffer horribly, be hetero-domesticated, killed, destroyed, or ruined internally to get approval from straight white critics. But hey at least you had that tasty slice before digging into a never ending mountain of shit for the rest of your life. Oh and gay sex should be filmed tastefully, like the director's mom is coming to the premiere so lots of shadows, suggestions, and maybe a splotch of elmer's glue here and there. Oh and no one will want you after a certain age so enjoy it before everything sags, you strange, sad, doomed men. You have no future and we find that beautiful and appropriate because we can only tolerate so much of you. By the way, we can tolerate a smidge more sex if you're all white, but still...not that much because you're gross and tragic.


In the closing speech the father admitted to being a semi-closeted gay who thirsted (and maybe still thirsts) for a male sexual relationship but was too scared. Now he's married to this wife in a friendly relationship that lacks passion. That's why the speech is so good: he's talking to his son but he's really talking about his own regrets. So now he devotes himself to neck-up activities b/c the father is unhappy and lacking in passion in his life. The father is cinematically filmed in an avuncular but detached way. These are half-dead zombies who lead a pleasant life in the country that is removed from anything. The mother hides her Jewish identity b/c this is a family that believes in hiding identities. They are bourgeoisie dishonest in sneaky and pernicious ways. That's why the son is encouraged to not wear a star of david. This is a family that is polite, pleasant, avoids conflict, and hides. They pass as Christians, which is kind of saying a huge thing since this is about gay men passing and shoving down their love. The father talks about dead languages and etymology so much b/c he is both seeking to find the truth but also trying to get distance from it. He invites a man who is in his field who is EXACTLY like him, except younger.

The professor is also closeted, but acts out on the boy, before getting married to a woman just like the father. It is implied that the boy will probably follow suit in marriage for the sake of keeping up appearances, and no one will say anything about it, but will politely accept it. And the main point of study is digging up these ancient Greek statues, many of which are nude males.

The statues represent digging up something from the past but also exhuming bodies of the 'Greek way of life.' Later on, you see the men (and only the men), frolicking in the very same water they've exhumed the statues from, but there is a distance between them. The professor shakes the son's hand using a statue. It's prop humor but also symbolic of this strange gloom that will take over their bodies with age and propriety. They will become like the homoerotic Greek statues: shattered, cold, buried, and in pieces. Aesthetically everything is pointing toward tragedy, death, sadness. Finally the son has nosebleeds. Like a lot. This is a thing with him. This is not normal or a positive healthy sign of someone who has a healthy sense of self. The nosebleeds symbolize the keeping of secrets and desire. But when the desire is expressed we see something else happen: flies. The son is filmed in these scenes with these black house flies like he's rotting or stinking or something is off. In the closing scene of the movie it is winter. Everything is dead and snow is on the ground. The son is dressed in white and black patterned clothes. He gets the phone call from the professor about his marriage. Color palette has been drained of life and vitality. In the final shot, the son is literally staring into a fire while a black fly dancing around his neck.

None of these things mentioned are positive signs. Moving from summer to winter, drained color, house flies, staring into a fire and being filmed through the flames as if he's being cremated, and crying: these are all signs of a death that the entire movie has pointed toward.

Could the death mise en scene symbolize a death of innocence the movie is highlighting? Yes it could...if it wasn't for how this death fits within the larger context of the movie which is about hiding, shame, lies through omission, and denying desire in favor of propriety. Now we're not just talking about a death of youth, but a death of the soul, a death of love, a death of truth.

GET WHAT YOU WANT: December 2017

deadline: Jan 19th

The Moss Hart & Kitty Carlisle Hart New Play Initiative builds upon the success of the Grove Theater Center New Play Initiative. And with productions in both Los Angeles and New York City, the Hart Initiative has a national impact.

What distinguishes the Hart Initiative is that we have a permanent home theater on the West Coast at GTC Burbank and, thanks to the Elysabeth Kleinhans Theatrical Foundation, a permanent home theater in New York City at 59E59 Theaters.

This dynamic partnership between the theaters and the Hart Initiative ensures that the playwrights gain the opportunity to have their work produced on both coasts helping position the plays for future success.

Submitted scripts must be in pdf format and include a character list (with potential doubling if necessary), a short synopsis, and a title page which includes the following information:

Name, Address, Primary Phone Number
Title of Play
Previous Productions (if any). Please include theater, location and dates of run.
Please also include a short resume or bio as a separate pdf file.
You may also include other supporting materials if you desire (reviews, etc).


All playwrights are eligible to submit one script each year.

Scripts must meet the following criteria:

The play may not have had more than two productions.
The play must be unpublished.
The play cannot have had more than 10 performances in New York City.
The play must be able to be performed with 8 performers or less.
We’re sorry, but no musicals can be accepted at this time (this may change in later years).
The play must have no artistic encumbrances (so no individuals contractually attached to the piece).
Please email scripts to Kevin Cochran at
If you don’t receive a confirmation email within a few days, please follow up to make sure your submission was received.

We will be accepting scripts through January 19, 2018.

Deadline: December 7th

Playwright must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States. Applicant must be a nationally recognized playwright who has had at least two different plays fully produced by a professional theater. Minnesota based playwrights are not eligible for this award. Recipients of 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18 McKnight Artist Fellowships in any discipline are not eligible. Playwrights' Center staff for McKnight Artist Fellowships and their immediate families are not eligible.

Supported by a grant from the McKnight Foundation, this program aids in the commissioning and development of new works from nationally recognized playwrights. Benefits include:

A $14,000 commission
At least two U.S. round-trip airline tickets
Housing during the residency period
Up to $5,750 in workshop funds to support the development of the play
A public reading of the commissioned play

Past recipients include: Kia Corthron, Erik Ehn, Kate Fodor, Karen Hartman, Daniel Alexander Jones, Sibyl Kempson, Craig Lucas, Taylor Mac, Ruth Margraff, Dan O’Brien, Betty Shamieh, and Mac Wellman.

Questions may be addressed to Artistic Programs Administrator Julia Brown at

Recipients may not receive any other Playwrights' Center fellowships, grants, or Core Writer benefits during the grant year. If a recipient is a Core Writer, their Core term will be extended by one year.

Applicants may only apply for one McKnight Foundation-sponsored fellowship each year in all disciplines.

Recipients commit to spending up to four weeks in residency in the Twin Cities (not necessarily consecutively).

Artist Fellowships Address Racial Justice and Mass Incarceration Issues
Deadline: December 15th

The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation is dedicated to fostering the legacy of the artist’s life, work, and philosophy that art can change the world. The Foundation’s Artist as Activist Fellowships support independent artists and art collectives that have a demonstrated commitment to applying their creative work to the public sphere. The focus of the 2017 Fellowships is on addressing racial justice through the lens of mass incarceration. Applicants should present works that highlight the need for more aggressive reform on issues such as immigrant detention, policing, and the privatization of prisons.

 Fellows receive funding of up to $100,000 over two years as well as professional development opportunities through a group gathering at the Foundation’s residency campus in Captiva, FL. U.S.-based artists and artist collectives seeking to work full-time on an ambitious creative work tackling this issue are eligible to apply. The application deadline is December 5, 2016. Visit the Foundation’s website for more information about the Fellowship program.

BRICLab Residency
Deadline: January 18th

BRIClab is a commissioning and residency development program for Brooklyn and New York City-based artists to explore and expand the possibilities of their work in music, dance, theater and multi-disciplinary performance.  Free and open exploration and intentional commitment to process – with the support of the staff and resources that BRIC offers – are at the heart of the BRIClab program. Artists receive stipends and an intensive residency in BRIC’s Artist Studio with development time, opportunities for artistic mentoring, and work-in-process performances.

Tuesday, January 18th (11:59pm)
Artist’s receive:
Exclusive use of the BRIC House Artist Studio for 10-12 days (8am – 10pm)
Artist stipend of $1750
Additional $200 for Creative Advisor honorarium
Up to 30 hours of technical support
Two work-in-progress showings on Thursday and Friday of the 2nd week at 7:30pm, followed by moderated artist/audience dialogues
Photographic and video documentation of showings

BRIClab is for Brooklyn or New York City based artists who:
Are developing new work that is relevant to diverse Brooklyn audiences
Are exploring their interests and questions with thoughtful processes and can articulate a context for their work

Are excited by the opportunity to share their work with the public and who embrace dialogue with audiences as a meaningful part of their process

Can articulate (for multi-disciplinary work) an understanding or purposeful examination of how the various disciplines will interact and serve the whole

Across the season of BRIClab residencies we look for diversity and/or resonance in:
racial and cultural perspective

discipline (dance, theater, music, multi-discipline)
method/practice (collaboratively developed, solo work, heavily researched, more or less embodied, etc.)

Deadline: Dec. 31st

Marble House Project is a multi-disciplinary artist residency program located in Dorset, Vermont.  Applications are accepted in all creative fields.  This includes but is not limited to visual arts, writing, choreography, music composition and performance.   Each session has eight to ten artists, creating small, dynamic interactive groups. Residents are selected by a jury process composed of past-years residents, staff and members of the board. Artists are selected based on the quality and commitment to their work and their project description.  Each session is specifically curated in order to maximize the art residency experience for each individual artist.  Marble House Project accepts approximately sixty artists each season. Five spots are reserved for Vermont residents and there is a family friendly residency specifically designed for parent artists with children. Residency applications are open for Spring Summer. Deadline to apply is midnight, December 31st.

Please choose the application that best fits your practice. If your discipline is not best served by the forms below, email

Deadline: Dec. 15

From September 15, 2017 through December 15, 2017, Premiere Stages will accept submissions of unproduced plays written by playwrights affiliated with the greater metropolitan area. All plays submitted to the festival are evaluated by a panel of professional theatre producers, directors, dramaturgs, playwrights, and publishers. Four finalists are subsequently selected for public Equity readings in March 2018. Following the readings, one play is selected for an Equity production in the Premiere Stages 2018 Mainstage Season and receives an award of $2500. The runner-up receives a 29-hour staged reading and $1000. The two other finalists will each be awarded $750.

Premiere Stages is committed to supporting a diverse group of writers; playwrights of all backgrounds, ages, and experience levels are encouraged to apply.

Submission Guidelines

-Plays must be full-length and have a cast size of no more than eight.
-Plays must be unpublished and unproduced (readings and workshops are okay).
-Playwrights must have strong affiliations with the greater metropolitan area (New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Delaware).
-Musicals, adaptations (of existing plays or other sources), and solo shows will not be considered at this time.
-Submissions are limited to one script per playwright.
-Playwrights must be available for the development of their script (see schedule at right).
-Submissions are accepted September 15, 2017 through 11:59 p.m. on December 15, 2017.
-Submissions sent early in the submission window are strongly encouraged.
-All plays must be submitted as a PDF via email to
-Hard copies will not be accepted.

Deadline: January 18th

The Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico, established in 1954, is one of the oldest artist residence programs in the country. The Foundation’s mission is to “Support the artist and the creative process” and serves as a haven for visual artists, literary artists and music composers. We are located on fifteen acres in the heart of Taos, New Mexico, a four-hundred-year-old multicultural community renowned for its popularity with artists.

The Foundation offers three months of rent-free and utility-paid housing to grantees. Our eleven guest houses, or casitas, are fully furnished and provide residents with a peaceful setting in which to pursue their creative endeavors.

The Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico provides residency grants to people who specialize in the creative arts. The foundation accepts applications from and offers residency grants to painters, poets, sculptors, writers, playwrights, screenwriters, composers, photographers and filmmakers, of national and international origin.

The Foundation, with support from The Caruso Family Foundation, also provides academic scholarships to Taos High School seniors pursuing degrees in the creative arts.
Online applications received between now and 11:59PM MST, Jan. 18th  will be considered for residency grants in 2018.

CHELSEY/BUMBALO GRANT (for Helene Wurlitzer Foundation Residency)
Deadline: Jan 18

The Robert Chesley/Victor Bumbalo Foundation supports playwrights of Gay and Lesbian theatre.

Established in 1993 by Victor Bumbalo in playwright Robert Chesley’s honor, The Robert Chesley/Victor Bumbalo Foundation seeks to advance gay and lesbian theatre by honoring writers whose work is making a substantial contribution to our culture.

In 2009 the Board of Directors elected to form a partnership with the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation to provide residencies at the artists’ colony in Taos, New Mexico.

The Wurlitzer Foundation and the Chesley/Bumbalo Foundation will select the awardees. The Chesley/Bumbalo Foundation will underwrite the residency expenses and, in addition, will provide a stipend to the awardee.

Playwrights applying for the supplemental Chesley/Bumbalo grant must specify this on their application.

Online: After you select 'playwright' as your Specialty, check the box above the Comments section specifying your interest in applying for the Chesley/Bumbalo grant. Printed applications: You must write on the form that you are interested in applying for the Chesley/Bumbalo grant.

Applications for Chesley/Bumbalo will be disqualified if subject matter of the work sample doesn't follow guidelines. Sexual preference of the author/applicant is disregarded.

Leah Ryan Fund for Emerging Women Writers
Deadline: January 9th

All women who consider themselves emerging playwrights (as distinct from fledgling or mid-career playwrights) are eligible to apply for the 2018 FEWW Prize. Playwrights from all over the world are encouraged to apply, but the play must be written in English. Eligibility does not require that a submitted work adhere to the traditional three-act structure. One-acts, two-acts (even four-, five-, six- acts), monologues, adaptations, and any other wild (or deceptively tame) format will be considered with equal seriousness. The only absolute requirement is that the submitted text be a completed full-length work for theater.

The winner will be chosen by a readers committee selected by the board members of Leah Ryan's FEWW, and will be presented her award as part of the 2018 Lily Awards, which honors the work of women in American theater. In addition, the winner will receive a cash prize of $2,500, a workshop at the Vassar Powerhouse Theater, and a reading of her play in New York City. A stipend of up to $700 for travel and accommodation will be provided by FEWW if necessary.

The deadline for submissions for the 2018 FEWW Prize is Monday, January 8th, 2018 at 11:59pm EST.

Finalists will be contacted in early March and will have one week within which to submit their full play.

Deadline: January 15th

Bogliasco Fellowships are awarded to gifted individuals working in all the disciplines of the Arts and Humanities without regard to nationality, age, race, religion or gender.

To be eligible for the award of a Fellowship, applicants should demonstrate significant achievement in their disciplines, commensurate with their age and experience. Please note that Bogliasco Fellowships are not awarded to students currently in a degree-granting program. The Foundation gives preference to those whose applications suggest that they would be comfortable working in an intimate, international, multilingual community of scholars and artists.

The Foundation only accepts applications submitted through the online application system. To access the system, you must first register for an account here, where you will also find a list of requirements that we strongly encourage you to read before beginning your application. Once registered, you may login as needed to work on your application by clicking on the "login" button indicated to the left.

Bogliasco Fellowships include full room and board, plus the use of a private studio. The cost of transportation to and from the Bogliasco Study Center is the responsibility of Fellows and their accompanying spouses/partners. So also are all project materials and equipment, and any personal expenses incurred during the fellowship period, including medical expenses. Spouses/partners will be charged a daily fee of $25 to help defray the cost of meals and housing.


Deadlines for the submission of applications are as follows:

January 15th for residencies during the subsequent fall semester, and April 15th for residences during the subsequent spring semester.

Notification dates for the award of Fellowships are as follows:

April 1st for Fall Fellowships; July 1st for Spring Fellowships.

Deadline: Dec. 8th

Corkscrew Theater Festival is a curated presentation of new work by early career artists concentrated over four weeks in the summer of 2018 (July 9th-August 5th). Following its successful first year, the festival will contain five fully realized productions receiving eight performances each, and five “reading slots” for work to be heard publicly for the first time.

Corkscrew Festival seeks projects that demonstrate real collaboration, especially if they are being created through innovative collaborative models. Corkscrew aims to be particularly supportive to early-career artists: there are no fees for applying or participating in the festival; each production will receive 12-20 hours of tech time; shows will have a full hour to install their sets prior to each performance; and each production receives eight performances.

A full draft of a script submitted to our online Google Form:
(if you do not have gmail, please email to get an application)

Please include the following information:

Lead artist bios (broadly defined as Playwright/creator, Director, Producer, any other notable creative partners).

One or more work samples (photos, audio, or video)

Short answers (100-200 words) to five open-ended questions about the project (see online application form)


Development. Each production will receive space to hold a reading or other developmental showing of their work in April. In addition, our artistic leadership - experienced playwrights, directors, producers accustomed to working in this setting - are here for you throughout the process. You’ll also be working alongside five other productions - a network big enough to be helpful, yet small enough to be personal.

Performances. Every production will have 8 performances over the course of the four weeks of the festival - and none of them will be at those random times, like 2pm on Tuesday or 4pm on Thursday. We’re talking about 8 performances on weekday evenings, or matinee, early evening, or evenings on weekends. We handle things like venue managers, front-of-house staff, and box office for the theater, which seats 70.

Tech Time. Every production will receive between 12-20 hours of tech time, with additional rehearsal time in the space for pickup rehearsals later in the run. Every show will have at least an hour to complete its changeover prior to opening the house.

Marketing. As a festival, we’re committed to getting your show seen. Beyond the built-in advantage of four other shows bringing audiences into the theater where you’ll be playing, we’re committed as a festival (with actual people and money) to marketing your show.

Affordability. There are no fees for applying or performing in Corkscrew Theater Festival, and we will split ticket revenues with each production.


Development. We want to dare artists to dive into that passion project or flesh out that “unproducible” idea. We’re here for you over a series of one-on-one meetings, arranging informal gatherings to hear your work aloud, and providing a sounding board as you do your work heading into July.

Performances. With the understanding that nothing will be considered “finished,” participants in our Reading series will get ample time in the space ahead of their public showing to smooth out the kinks, get used to the space, and give the best representation of their work.

Follow-up. We’re experienced at parsing audience feedback, and helping you discover where your project should head next.

Affordability. There are no fees for applying or having your reading in Corkscrew Theater Festival. Tickets for the reading will be free.


Corkscrew is not limited in terms of genre, content, or theme. All kinds of theater (so long as you consider it theater) are welcome! The evaluative criteria we’ll use to choose the work presented in the festival are as follows:

Passion for the project

Unique perspective

Creation through a key collaborative relationship (either traditional, like director and playwright, or innovative, like a devising team, or writer and designer, or sisters/collaborators, or anything else!)

Belief in the relationship between development and production, and clear-cut goals for each phase.

Deadline: Dec. 10th

Reboot Theatre Company are accepting submissions for an evening of short plays. There is no specific theme required, but they encourage writers to review their company / work before submitting. Submissions via email.

Reboot Theatre Company are accepting submissions for their next show at a Central London theatre in early Spring 2018 and they are offering a £50 fee to all writers that are selected. Playwrights are welcome to attend the readings. if local, but attendance is not required.

They are producing an evening of new writing, and will select and perform 4 – 6 short plays. There is no specific theme required, but they encourage writers to review their company/work before submitting.

PDF of their Call-Out available here:


Pieces should be 10 – 20 minutes, ideally as stand-alone shorts
A preference for at least 2 characters
Only one submission per writer
Deadline / Closing date – midnight on Sunday the 10th, December 2017
To apply, email your submission to

Deadline: Dec. 15th (or first 300 submissions)

We are on the hunt for never-been-produced scripts by emerging playwrights. We are accepting full-length plays to be considered for our Staged Reading Series and our new Spark Development Program.

We will accept full length plays that are more than sixty pages, less than one hundred and twenty pages, and may have an intermission.

We currently cannot accept musicals. We can accept children's plays. We will accept plays of any genre. Each playwright may submit ONE play. Please keep in mind that we will be taking technical requirements and feasibility to produce with a short rehearsal schedule into consideration when making selections.



Our Staged Reading Series accepts plays by emerging playwrights and offers them a fully staged reading at our festival in Boise, Idaho in September 2018.


Your play will be assigned a cast and director.
You will receive a prize of $100 for a selected full-length play.
Campfire Theatre Festival is not currently able to provide playwright travel stipends for the Staged Reading Series; however, if a selected playwright can provide their own travel to Boise for the festival, all efforts will be made to assist with housing.


Our new Spark Program accepts plays by emerging playwrights for a week-long workshop process that culminates in a seated reading. Our first Spark workshop will take place in Spring 2018 in Boise, Idaho, and our second will take place as part of our festival in Boise, Idaho in September 2018.


Your play will be assigned a cast, a dramaturg and director.
You will receive a prize of $100 for a selected full-length play.
You will receive airfare and housing for a week in Boise, Idaho.

About Face Theatre: Out Front Series
Deadline: Dec 31st

For our 22nd season’s OUT FRONT Series, About Face presents BABES ON STAGE: a showcase of developmental readings of plays by emerging LGBTQIA women-identified playwrights. We will perform readings of 4 plays by LGBTQIA women beginning in spring 2018. Ideally playwrights should be present for the readings, but will only be required to do so if About Face can pay for transportation and provide lodging.

Since 2013, AFT’s OUT FRONT Series has presented workshops and readings of new and developmental works exploring LGBTQIA themes.

About Face is currently accepting submissions of full-length plays for this series until December 31.

Please send a PDF of your full script to us at with the subject line BABES ON STAGE-[Play title],[author name] (e.g. “BABES ON STAGE-A Raisin in the Sun, Lorraine Hansberry”), and title the pdf [PLAY TITLE][Author last name] (e.g. “A RAISIN IN THE SUN Hansberry.pdf”).

Accompanying your script, please attach a brief 1-to-2-paragraph bio, giving some of your own background as well as any production history for the play, and list any prior commitments you have in April or May of 2018

While PDF scripts are preferred, if absolutely necessary we will accept paper script submissions to 5252 N Broadway, 2nd floor, ATTN: Literary.

Any further questions can be directed to the literary office:

Deadline: Dec 31st

The St. Louis Actors’ Studio is proud to announce call for submissions for the 6th Annual LaBute New Theater Festival at the Gaslight Theater, with plays debuting from July 06 - 29, 2018. Up to eight plays will be chosen, in addition, a new piece from Mr. LaBute will be performed every night for the run of the festival. Mr. LaBute is scheduled to participate in the opening weekend activities. Submissions will be accepted through December 31, 2017.

Professional Submissions: Successful entries will have no more than four characters and be crafted specifically to exploit our intimate performance space. (18' x 18' stage) Changes in scenery or setting should be achievable quickly and with few major set moves.  Our focus is on fundamental dramaturgy: plot, character and theme.

Professional, new and previously unproduced one-act play submissions should include a letter of inquiry, a synopsis and a 10-page sample from the script. Running time for each performance should not exceed 45 minutes.

Up to eight plays will be chosen,  in addition, a new piece from Mr. LaBute will be performed every night for the run of the festival.  Mr. LaBute is scheduled to participate in the opening weekend activities.

High School Submissions: Winning plays by high school students will be presented in readings. The guidelines are straightforward:  The one act should include no more than four characters featuring a clearly developed plot and distinctive characters. No longer than 15 minutes in length.

Non-Professional, new and previously unproduced one-act play submissions should include a letter of inquiry and complete script. 

Submissions should be sent to (Snail Mail ONLY):

LaBute New Theater Festival
St. Louis Actors’ Studio
360 N Boyle Ave
St. Louis, MO 63108

LOTUS LEE FOUNDATION - New Work Initiative
Deadline: Jan 5th

The New Work Initiative is an open submission competition whose primary goal is to bring new voices from the United States to China, and vice versa. We're particularly interested in new works from playwrights who are hungry to be heard and are willing to discover new technology to bring their work to the stage.


The piece must be an original work.
The piece must have had no previous productions nor publications, all around the world.
The author must never have granted and will not grant other individuals or entities the rights to use the piece in any way before the competition's final selection.
The piece must be full-length, with a running time of at least one hour.
Submissions must be in English. (The selected show will be translated to Mandarin for the Chinese Tour in 2019.)
There are no restrictions on plot, content, or theme. The piece can be a play, children's play, performance art, movement piece, physical theatre, dance, musical, etc. The Lotus Lee Foundation is open to making use of new technology, including projections, holograms, media technology, virtual reality, etc.


Submit the following materials online through the following online form:

1.) Full script in PDF format (Please do not include your name on the script.)
2.) A separate PDF with following information:
-- Playwright’s bio
-- Summary of the play
-- Character breakdown
-- Production history, if applicable
-- Creative team and cast breakdown, if applicable
3.) A short explanation, in PDF, of why you think your piece is a good fit for Lotus Lee Foundation.
4.) Other info: professional website link, production photos or videos, inspirations, etc.


The best works are selected by a board of five judges who read the submitted scripts and ultimately decide on the winning work. The play that gets chosen will be produced in 2019 with a significant budget and for a year-long tour in China with a potential remount in the States. Other winners will also be selected. The five judges consist of a mix of industry individuals and individuals from Performing Arts schools.

*DISCLAIMER: This is a new competition from a relatively new organization. Founded in 2017, the Lotus Lee Foundation is a nonprofit theatre organization in New York City partnered with the Lotus Lee Drama Studios which was founded in China in 2015.

According to LL reps:  Lotus Lee is a pioneer of theatre in China specializing in theatrical planning, investment, production, performance, marketing, and bringing new technology to the theatre. We have a large presence and following in Chinese international cities such as Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou and are growing here in the east coast of the United States.

"We strongly believe in cultural exchange, in bringing these two countries together, and sharing our stories with each other."

Lotus Lee Foundation was created to help young playwrights produce new works in China and the United States, to share their stories with each other and introduce people to stories outside their own experiences. We strive to get young and emerging artists, particularly Asian ones, involved in the theatre. Our offices are set up in New York City and China to help and support young playwrights tell their stories and reach a large audience to create the opportunity for artists of all disciplines and skills to become involved. We aim to continue bringing new works to the stage in China and the United States and to share these works with other countries. We would love to hear from you!

ATHE New Play Development
Deadline: January 5th

ATHE's Playwrights and Creative Teams Program (PACT) seeks new, previously unproduced short (4-10 min) plays for its annual New Play Development Workshop at the ATHE Conference in BOSTON, MA in August 2018. The 2018 ATHE Conference focuses on revolution, resistance, and protest, and the multiple ways these ideas – and the actions that spring from them. Playwrights MUST be able to attend ALL workshop sessions and final showcase for their play at the Boston conference.

We invite playwrights to submit plays ranging in length from 4-10 minutes (Scripts longer than ten pages– not including cover page - will not be accepted) There is no restriction on subject matter, style, or intended audience.


For additional information, contact Ingrid De Sanctis at
We are particularly interested in scripts addressing themes of revolution of any type and/or explores the question of how might we create art that is aesthetically revolutionary and that activates audiences to make lasting social change? We welcome scripts representing a range of global perspectives of race, culture, language, disability, gender, nationality, and political worldview. A jury of readers will select six to eight scripts. Each playwright will be assigned a director, dramaturg, scenographer, and a group of actors; these creative teams collaborate on the scripts throughout the conference in a developmental process (participants may attend the rest of the conference). The workshop culminates in a public, script-in-hand reading of the plays in a SHOWCASE OF SCRIPTS on the final day of the ATHE conference in Boston, MA.

Deadline: Dec. 31st

Clockhouse is an eclectic conversation about the work-in-progress of life-- a soul arousal, a testing ground, a new community, a call for change. We are interested in diverse voices and nontraditional narratives, and in writing that attempts to understand our place in the world and responsibility to each other. We are currently accepting works of poetry, fiction, memoir, creative nonfiction, and dramatic works for stage or screen for publication in a national literary journal, published by Clockhouse Writers' Conference in partnership with Goddard College. We encourage submissions from both established and emerging writers. (Current students of Goddard College are ineligible to submit to Clockhouse, but we look forward to reading your work after you graduate.)

Dramatic Work for Stage or Screen:

We ask for short dramatic works in traditional and experimental styles, either a standalone piece or an excerpt from a one-act or full length play or screenplay (up to 15 pages)

To see guidelines for other genres, visit:

Please also include a short bio (approximately 100 words or less) and a brief artist statement: a few sentences about your work as an artist (i.e., not a “pitch” for this submission, but rather a statement about what you’re interested in writing about now, what drives your writing, or how your writing is reflecting or influencing the world at large, etc.)

Wilmington Film Mob: Cafe Nostra Series
Deadline: Dec. 31st

Wilmington Film Mob (WFM) is now accepting submissions for its inaugural season of premiere performance one-act plays in our Café Nostra series. Plays must have a running time of less than 20 minutes, require a maximum of 4 actors, and be stageable on only tables and chairs. The performance space is 8' by 10' in a working restaurant, the Bellefonte Café. Submissions accepted via email.

Wilmington Film Mob (WFM) is now accepting submissions for its inaugural season of premiere performance one-act plays in our Café Nostra series.

Selected plays will receive one performance at the Bellefonte Café in Wilmington, DE. Selected playwrights are encouraged to attend, but it is not a requirement.


The work should be original, new, and unproduced
Maximum length: 20 minutes
Maximum cast: 4 persons
Unit set containing only tables/chairs
No lighting cues
There are no genre or content restrictions
Note: performance space is 8’ deep by 10’ feet wide in a working restaurant; please submit with this in mind
Deadline is December 31st, 2017.

Submissions must be emailed in PDF form to:

Deadline: Dec. 31st

Latino playwrights residing in the United States, its territories or Mexico are encouraged to submit scripts for the National Latino Playwriting Award. Each script will be read and evaluated by a culturally diverse panel of theatre artists; finalists will be judged by ATC artistic staff. Submissions by December 31st, 2017 and winners will be notified by August 1st, 2018.
We respectfully ask that you adhere to the following application requirements:

Submit a single script via U.S. mail and email.

Scripts must be postmarked by December 31, 2017. Please include a title page on the script that includes the play’s title, the author’s name, and contact information (including a phone number, mailing address, and email).

Include a cover letter of no more than one page, describing the play’s developmental history, and how the play fits into the playwright’s broader career trajectory.

The award is open to all Latino playwrights currently residing in the United States, its territories, or Mexico.

Scripts may be in English, English and Spanish, or solely in Spanish. (Spanish-language and bilingual scripts must be accompanied by an English translation.)

Plays must be unpublished and professionally unproduced at the time of submission.

Full-length and one-act plays (minimum length: 50 pages) on any subject will be accepted.

The winner will be notified by August 1, 2018.

For more information contact Elaine Romero, ATC Playwright-in Residence:

Submit manuscripts to:

National Latino Playwriting Award
ATTN: Elaine Romero, Playwright-in-Residence
Arizona Theatre Company
343 S. Scott Ave. Tucson, AZ 85701

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Get What You Want: November 2017


Sundance Theatre
Deadline: November 15th
Website: Sundance 

The Sundance Institute Theatre Program provides a unique catalytic process of artistic engagement for independent theatre-makers in the U.S. and globally through a range of artist-driven developmental opportunities that connect, support and sustain artists across their careers.

Led by Artistic Director Philip Himberg and Producing Director Christopher Hibma, the Sundance Institute Theatre Program emphasizes intensive and limited-time interactions with high-level artistic mentors within the context of retreat settings removed from commercial pressures and other demands of contemporary life. The result is Lab experiences that are transformative on both personal-artistic and project-specific levels.

It is the same basic classic Sundance Lab you all know and love - just set in the splendor of the Moroccan desert - 50% of the work is by U.S. artists and 50% we cull from the best artists working in the region in Arabic (or French).  The fruits of our last labors at this lab included Max Posner's THE TREASURER (now extended at Playwrights Horizons), Hansol Jung's WILD GOOSE DREAMS (which premiered at La Jolla and has more productions ahead), and Paola Lazaro's TELL HECTOR I MISS HIM (Atlantic 2), among others.

The experience of having support (with our trademark day on/day off rehearsal rhythm) plus the best dramaturgs and advisors, continues in this setting.  And the opportunity to meet other world class theater makers is not to be missed. We've extended the deadline to November 15, 2017.

At Sundance, dramaturgy is the how and the why of new play development, a process of inquiry and exploration into dramatic works practiced not only by Sundance dramaturgs, but by all of the artists in the room. Sundance dramaturgs, who have wide experience in the support of new work, provide engaged, considered, and empowering guidance to each project’s artists, and offer fresh perspectives on the work. They recognize that each individual artist/project brings a unique set of intentions, aesthetics, content, language and process. Once a project is accepted to a Lab, there is opportunity to discuss the kind of dramaturgical support that best suits it. For the Middle East and North Africa Initiative, where work is often in Arabic, dramaturgs from both the US and MENA region work collaboratively.

Labs prioritize, whenever possible, a day-on/day-off rehearsal rhythm. Rehearsals with collaborating artists one day alternate with days for reflection and writing/re-writing. This offers artists refreshing opportunities for experimentation and discovery.

Sundance founder Robert Redford’s early awareness that beautiful natural surroundings enhance creativity means that Lab artists are housed in a calm bucolic setting, sharing meals and artistic journeys, thereby building community amongst the participants. Final showings of the works in progress are open rehearsals solely for the Lab community. Chosen experts in the field are brought to the Lab as Creative Advisors to attend final showings and offer fresh eyes. By respecting the intimacy and trust established through the Lab process, generative artists leave Sundance Labs with a collection of sculpted feedback and new possibilities. Potential commercial producers, the external public, and paid audiences are purposefully not part of the final readings.

InspiraTO Playwriting Contest
Deadline: November 20th

The play must be a ten-minute play. The theme "all about her" must be an integral part of the play. The story can be a comedy, a drama, a parody, absurd or anything in between (in English only). We also accept musicals. The contest is open to anyone, in any part of the world, without geographic or age restrictions. Scroll to the bottom of the page to submit your play.

Please note: Just because one of the characters or all the characters are female does not necessarily make the theme “all about her”. Ensure that the play highlights a distinct female/feminine voice about the way she engages with the world or how she views the world.

The cover page should have the title of the play, the playwright's name and the list of characters. The pages should be numbered. The format should be easy to read. We accept previously produced plays (but not plays that have produced at InspiraTO before). The playwright must own the rights to the play up to June 17, 2018 (i.e. the script cannot be owned by a publisher).

We are particularly interested in scripts that aren't afraid to make bold choices: quality writing backed by imaginative staging.

What will happen

The plays will be selected by a committee from the Toronto theatre community. If selected, your play will be performed in Toronto, Canada from June 1 - June 16, 2018. Between eighteen to twenty four, ten-minute plays will be selected and performed. 1st Prize: $500 CDN. Should your play be selected for inclusion in the festival, you are giving the non-exclusive right to Theatre InspiraTO to produce and perform the play in the 13th Annual InspiraTO Festival in Toronto (Canada's largest ten-minute play festival), in June 2018. The InspiraTO Festival will find the cast, crew and market your play. Authors retain copyright and full ownership of their plays.

Only those playwrights whose plays have been selected will be notified by January 1, 2018 (more likely by mid-December).

What does a good ten-minute play need?

A ten-minute play is distinct from a sketch, or a skit; it is a compact play, with a beginning, middle and an end. You need a character facing obstacles in pursuit of some specific goal. You need rising action, conflict, and a climactic moment and your play must tell a complete story.

Generally speaking, scripts (including the stage directions, character names and dialogue) that are over 1,900 words are more than ten minutes long on stage. This does not mean that all plays under 1,900 words are under ten minutes, so be wise: use Word Count and read the play out loud while timing the length (including all pauses). You don't want your hard work rejected because it was too long.

Tofte Lake Residency
Deadline: Nov. 30th

Tofte Lake Center winds down its last month here in the Northwoods of MN, we’re gearing up for next year - our 10th Anniversary Season! Here’s how YOU could be part of our 10th Anniversary Season:

Our application window for all residences is September 1- November 30, 2017.
Applicants will be notified by February 1, 2018.
To apply is easy! These are your options for available weeks:

The Emerging Artists Program
June 25 - July 1, 2018
August 27 - Sept 2, 2018
September 10 - 16, 2018

The Gaia Fenna Memorial Fellowship
Sept 17 - 23, 2018

The Individual and Group/Organizational Residencies
June 11 - 17, 2018
Sept 24 - 30, 2018

You can find links to all the residency information and applications here:

Apply now - we hope to see you at the lake to celebrate our 10th anniversary!

Moss Hart and Kitty Carlisle New Play Initiative
deadline: Jan 19th

The Moss Hart & Kitty Carlisle Hart New Play Initiative builds upon the success of the Grove Theater Center New Play Initiative. And with productions in both Los Angeles and New York City, the Hart Initiative has a national impact.

What distinguishes the Hart Initiative is that we have a permanent home theater on the West Coast at GTC Burbank and, thanks to the Elysabeth Kleinhans Theatrical Foundation, a permanent home theater in New York City at 59E59 Theaters.

This dynamic partnership between the theaters and the Hart Initiative ensures that the playwrights gain the opportunity to have their work produced on both coasts helping position the plays for future success.

Submitted scripts must be in pdf format and include a character list (with potential doubling if necessary), a short synopsis, and a title page which includes the following information:

Name, Address, Primary Phone Number
Title of Play
Previous Productions (if any). Please include theater, location and dates of run.
Please also include a short resume or bio as a separate pdf file.
You may also include other supporting materials if you desire (reviews, etc).


All playwrights are eligible to submit one script each year.

Scripts must meet the following criteria:

The play may not have had more than two productions.
The play must be unpublished.
The play cannot have had more than 10 performances in New York City.
The play must be able to be performed with 8 performers or less.
We’re sorry, but no musicals can be accepted at this time (this may change in later years).
The play must have no artistic encumbrances (so no individuals contractually attached to the piece).
Please email scripts to Kevin Cochran at
If you don’t receive a confirmation email within a few days, please follow up to make sure your submission was received.

We will be accepting scripts through January 19, 2018.

Clubbed Thumb
deadline: Nov 11th

The Clubbed Thumb Biennial Commission invites playwrights to propose plays inspired by a particular prompt. (see details below in submission guidelines) For this round, please consider the oeuvre of Caryl Churchill. We paid particular attention to Top Girls, Fen and Far Away, but by all means read and consider any and all of her plays. Plays must be unproduced in New York City and have no intermission with a running time of 90 minutes or less.

Clubbed Thumb Biennial Commission

Your play should feature:

three sections, the second of which is set in a workplace;
a cast of mostly (perhaps all) women—-of differing ages, cultures, and especially, classes/means/education levels;
a formal event (a pageant, a parade, a number, a dinner party) involving many people;
an ersatz mother/daughter relationship.
Embrace economy of language, and specificity and fidelity of language to character. Consider if and when those rules explode.

The $15,000 commission - which might be split between writers if the panel so elects - will be paid out in three installments every six months, with
the first installment following the signing of a contract.

Orchard Project
deadline: Dec. 1st

The Orchard Project is one of the preeminent theatre laboratories in the United States, designed to fuel innovation in performance and support bold voices and big new ideas. Founded by Artistic Director Ari Edelson in 2008, the Orchard Project supports professional artists and helps them to develop their bold ideas. It has birthed shows that have been performed for more than 1,000,000 people in New York, London, and as far afield as Tokyo and Stockholm.

Run by working artists for other working artists, The Orchard Project supports people over projects, and uniquely puts its faith in its artists to create new works while at the retreat. It is this faith that attracts leaders in the industry interested in developing their latest work — whether it is brand new or in later stage.

Companies join the Orchard Project for overlapping residencies, during which they are provided with free rehearsal space, room and board, and support from fellow artists. Throughout the residencies, open rehearsals invite industry members from around the country to play an active role in the development of new works.

Applications for the 2018 Professional Residencies are now available, and are due on December 1, 2017.

Unlike other programs, we judge people, not projects. What that means is that the Orchard Project team and other artists who we have supported in past years assess whether the applicants are likely to create amazing work, and whether we think they will benefit from our program.

Applications to participate in the Core Company are due by March 1, 2018.

Deadline: November 15th

The Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program encourages and aids the development of new and diverse voices in the American theater. Under the direction of Marsha Norman and David Lindsay-Abaire, the Playwrights Program offers one-year, tuition-free, graduate level fellowships to four or five writers. Selected playwrights may be invited to continue their studies through a second academic year, thereby completing a total of 52 credits for the two-year fellowship period and earning an Artist Diploma in Playwriting. Juilliard's Playwrights Program is purposely small and allows the artists to focus on the practical aspects of dramatic writing while at the same time they are encouraged to take advantage of the wealth of resources within Juilliard's walls, and those afforded via the School's prime location on Broadway — the greater New York City theater scene. Students may take any class in the Drama Division and are encouraged to see productions around the city by receiving free or discounted tickets to many events on- and off-Broadway. The essence of the Playwrights Program lies in the weekly master class with the playwright heads focusing on dramatic structure and the cultivation of each writer's individual voice. Twice monthly lab readings of the students' work allow the writers, with the help of Juilliard acting students and alumni, to tackle the practical aspects of creating a new play. In addition, seminars centering on other aspects of the theatrical profession are planned on a quarterly basis. The year's end culminates when students in the playwrights residency present their work to professionals from New York and around the country in a showcase evening. The intention is that these events will create a bridge for these artists between Juilliard and the larger community.

Online online application.
$60 application fee. Payment may be made by credit card, checking account, or PayPal account.

One full-length play, or a long one-act play (an hour or more). A full-length play is strongly preferred over long one-act plays. We do not accept musicals, screenplays, or television scripts. All applicants should submit the best available representation of their work, and should not submit a play that is in the early stages of development. Updates, edits, or re-writes will not be accepted once a play is submitted with the application, unless an applicant reaches the final round of consideration.

For guidance regarding formatting, we recommend these guidelines from the Dramatists Guild of America. Please note, this a formatting recommendation only (not a requirement).
You must upload a copy of your play as part of your online application. This copy of your play should be "blind" - the cover page should contain ONLY the title of your play. Your play will be sent to our first-round readers, who read applicants' plays without knowledge of the playwright's identity. Please ensure that no identifying information (your name, your agent's name, etc.) appears on your submission.

A one-page statement describing your artistic vision and personal background. Please upload your statement to your online application.
A professional resume, uploaded to your online application.
Two letters of recommendation.

Deadline November 17

First Stage Residency is designed for artists at the very beginning of a new project and is meant to begin an initial exploration or investigation of an idea, concept, or early pages for a new play, musical, devised work, or other creative process that will eventually lead to a new theatrical work.

Next Stage Residency is designed for directors who are shepherding a project through the middle or late stages of its development and is meant to bridge the gap in support so that the piece is ready for pre-production. The residency is meant to be a serious interrogation of the piece, discovering both questions and answers in a supportive environment.

Urban Stages: Emerging Playwright Award 
Deadline Rolling

Award: $500 and press coverage. Fee: N/A Restrictions: No email submissions; special attention will be given to playwrights who live in or near New York

Urban Stages' Emerging Playwright Award is presented to innovative playwrights whose works speak to the whole of society. Special attention is given to plays that touch on social issues. Submissions are accepted throughout the year (there is not a deadline) from around the United States and internationally. However, special attention is given to those who live in or near New York. 

Bellagio Arts & Literary Arts Residency
Deadline: December 1st

The Bellagio Arts & Literary Arts residency is for composers, fiction and non-fiction writers, playwrights, poets, video/filmmakers, dancers, musicians, and visual artists who share in the Foundation’s mission of promoting the well-being of humankind and whose work is inspired by or relates to global or social issues. The residency is for artists seeking time for disciplined work, reflection, and collegial engagement with a diverse community of academics, practitioners, and artists.

The Center has a strong interest in proposals that align with The Rockefeller Foundation’s efforts to promote the well-being of humanity, particularly through issues that have a direct impact on the lives of poor and vulnerable populations around the world. These issues include but are not limited to health, economic opportunity, urban resilience, as well as food and agriculture.

To most effectively integrate the important voice of the arts throughout residency cohorts at the Bellagio Center, we are now holding one annual open call for residencies. The program will continue to welcome the same volume of high caliber artists to Bellagio, reinforcing the Foundation’s commitment to the arts and demonstrating its perspective that the arts are integral to the discourse around complex global challenges and critical to the well-being of humanity.

To further strengthen the reach of the program and ensure high geographic and disciplinary diversity among residents, we are also working with a range of new arts organizations to surface promising candidates. We have established outreach collaborations with four organizations: Khoj International Artists’ Association in Delhi, Fundacion Jumex in Mexico City, Africa Centre in Cape Town, and United States Artists in Chicago. These collaborations will extend our networks to attract a greater number of geographically diverse, highly distinguished artists working in Asia, Latin America, Africa and the United States.

The call for applications to the Arts & Literary Arts residency program is now open. The application period begins October 1, 2017 with the deadline of December 1, 2017 for residencies in 2019. Applications are available on our online application portal along with detailed instructions and further information on applying to the Bellagio Residency Program. We strongly recommend that applicants carefully review this information prior to beginning an application.

Beyond the Pure Fellowship
Deadline: December 1st

Intermedia Arts’ Beyond the Pure Fellowships for Writers awards grants of up to $5,000 to four to six emerging Minnesota writers. This program defines an emerging writer as a writer whose work demonstrates a sustained level of accomplishment and commitment, but who has not yet received widespread recognition from peers and/or industry as an established professional writer.

In addition to their grant award, recipients also participate in a nine-month fellowship program that provides peer support, guidance, community, and resources throughout the program year.

Intermedia Arts’ Beyond the Pure Fellowships for Writers places a particular emphasis on increasing the visibility of and providing a platform for emerging writers whose voices have historically been underrepresented in the literary arts, including (but not limited to): writers of color, LGBTQIA+ writers, women, new and recent immigrant communities, Native and Indigenous writers, low-income writers, and writers exploring non-traditional pathways to success. By providing financial assistance, professional development, and recognition to a culturally, ethnically, socially and socio-economically diverse group of writers, this program strengthens and supports Minnesota's literary community and provides a platform for many new voices to be heard as they achieve their next level of artistic success.

Past fellows have used this opportunity to:
·       Take classes
·       Attend a writer's conference
·       Travel and/or do research
·       Work with a mentor
·       Have their manuscript read by an established writer
·       Pay for childcare while they wrote
·       Promote a newly published book

Mcknight National Residency Commission
Deadline: December 7th

Playwright must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States. Applicant must be a nationally recognized playwright who has had at least two different plays fully produced by a professional theater. Minnesota based playwrights are not eligible for this award. Recipients of 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18 McKnight Artist Fellowships in any discipline are not eligible. Playwrights' Center staff for McKnight Artist Fellowships and their immediate families are not eligible.

Supported by a grant from the McKnight Foundation, this program aids in the commissioning and development of new works from nationally recognized playwrights. Benefits include:

A $14,000 commission
At least two U.S. round-trip airline tickets
Housing during the residency period
Up to $5,750 in workshop funds to support the development of the play
A public reading of the commissioned play

Past recipients include: Kia Corthron, Erik Ehn, Kate Fodor, Karen Hartman, Daniel Alexander Jones, Sibyl Kempson, Craig Lucas, Taylor Mac, Ruth Margraff, Dan O’Brien, Betty Shamieh, and Mac Wellman.

Questions may be addressed to Artistic Programs Administrator Julia Brown at

Recipients may not receive any other Playwrights' Center fellowships, grants, or Core Writer benefits during the grant year. If a recipient is a Core Writer, their Core term will be extended by one year.

Applicants may only apply for one McKnight Foundation-sponsored fellowship each year in all disciplines.

Recipients commit to spending up to four weeks in residency in the Twin Cities (not necessarily consecutively).


Writer in Residence (Vanderbilt University)
Deadline: December 1st
website :

Vanderbilt University seeks applications for a Writer-in-Residence specializing in screenwriting and playwriting for a joint appointment in Cinema and Media Arts (CMA) and Theatre. Undergraduate teaching load will be two courses each semester and will include an introductory course, “Writing for the Stage and Screen,” upper level courses in screenwriting and playwriting, and working with students on independent and co-curricular projects. The successful candidate will have an MFA or Ph.D. in hand by August 1, 2018, professional experience writing in both modes, and evidence of teaching effectiveness.  This is a non-tenure-track, non-renewable appointment for up to a three-year term.

To apply, please submit a letter highlighting qualifications for the position, curriculum vitae, 3 letters of reference, evidence of teaching effectiveness, and one 15-20-page writing sample from a stage or screenplay with synopsis of the project. Please apply through Interfolio

Scholars-in-Residence Program for the 2018-2019 
(The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York)
deadline : December 1st

The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, a unit of The New York Public Library, invites applications for its Scholars-in-Residence Program for the 2018-2019 academic year.

The program offers long-term and short-term research fellowships to scholars and writers pursuing projects in African diasporic studies in fields including history, politics, literature, and culture.

Long-term fellowships provide a $35,000 stipend to support academics and independent scholars who work in residence at the Center for a continuous period of six to nine months. Fellows are provided with individual office space, research assistance, and access to the unparalleled resources of the Schomburg Center. In addition to pursuing their own research projects, fellows also engage in an ongoing interdisciplinary exchange of ideas, sharing their research with one another in a weekly work-in-progress seminar. While in residence, they are also exposed to the vibrant intellectual life of the Schomburg through its public exhibitions, panels, screenings, and events.

Short-term fellowships are open to postdoctoral scholars, independent researchers, and creative writers (novelists, playwrights, poets) who work in residence at the Center for a continuous period of one to three months. Short-term fellows receive a stipend of $2500 per month.

Requirements: The program is intended for scholars requiring extensive, on-site research with collections at the Schomburg, the pre-eminent repository for documentation on the history and cultures of peoples of African descent around the globe. Fellows are expected to be in full-time residence at the Center during the award period and to participate in scheduled seminars and colloquia. Persons seeking support for research leading to degrees are not eligible under this program. Current candidates for advanced degrees must be scheduled to complete and receive their degree before the start date of the fellowship.

This program is made possible in part through grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Ford Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Samnuel I. Newhouse Foundation.

Writer in Residence (George Bennett Fellowship)
Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire
Deadline: November 30th

The purpose of the George Bennett Fellowship is to provide time and freedom from material considerations to a person seriously contemplating or pursuing a career as a writer. It provides for one academic year a stipend (at present $15,260.00), as well as housing and meals for this person and family, at Academy expense. As Writer-in-Residence the person shall live in Exeter and, in return for stipend and housing, shall (besides carrying out his or her own literary projects) make his or her self and talents available in an informal and unofficial way to students interested in writing and, more specifically, to students in English classes and to members of student literary organizations.

The fellow is not considered a member of the faculty. The Academy house provided will not contain students. The nature and extent of the writer's involvement with Academy purposes and with Academy students are to be determined more by the writer's own interest and good will than by Academy demand.

During the tenure of the Fellowship the writer shall not have any other full- or part-time job, and cannot be actively enrolled in a degree program in any college or graduate school.