Call For Plays — Call for plays , The Loop — AAPEX

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Call For Plays

Material: Full-Length and Short Plays
Deadline: Open

At the risk of opening the floodgates before we’re really ready...I wanted you to know that I’m now the Artistic Director of a new small 50-95 seat blackbox theatre that specializes in new works. We just got our 501c3 and expect our certificate of occupancy any day now. That theatre is Studio Roanoke.

We are set up primarily to be an experiential learning lab for the students in the MFA playwriting program I run, but I also believe that our students benefit from working on and working with other playwrights who might not be in the program. Also, in the full disclosure department, being in the program is no guarantee of a production if their play is not production ready.

In addition to the monthly developmental workshop productions, our theatre will be doing something similar to the Mill Mountain CenterPieces free public readings, but calling them Lunchboxes.

We also are trying to build an audience closer to the Downtown Scene from New York in the 80’s than the commercial theatre audience that Mill Mountain was catering to, so pieces can have more of an edge than MMT was looking for. (I worked in one of those theatres in the 80’s--HOME for Contemporary Theatre and Art with Randy Rollison. That’s our model and Randy, Morgan Jenness, Paul Meshejian, and Bonnie Metzgar are all on our Board of Advisors).

We gots no money. Seriously. Although our founding patron bought the building and did the renovations to convert it to a theatre space, we haven’t yet got the dough for rigging it out, seats, equipment, or other important stuff. We have a projected start up cost of about $100,000 to get all that stuff and are looking for the first 100 people to donate $1000 to do so. To date we have raised $9,000. Our annual operating budget is expected to be around $180K. We haven’t raised any of that yet. I liken this leap of faith to signing up for a production date before you start writing. I used to do that a lot in college. Nothing motivates like a deadline and we have scheduled our first performance for April 28th. Biology Lesson and Other Experiments by Sandy Dietrick.

We do have some creative partnerships, like the University, and a lot of people willing to donate sweat equity even if they have no cash to donate.

Our budget includes a $65 per performance playwright royalty for productions, $25 for readings with a DVD of the event and moderated talk back. I’ll always make sure playwrights get paid first...even if it means getting chased down the street by my angry exploited staff of interns and volunteers. Angry playwrights run too fast.

You don’t need to hear all the terrors I have about budgets, just know that I’m committed to treating writers well, have made writer’s royalties a priority, and my own salary pretty far on the back of the list...I’m willing to exploit myself on behalf of the theatre we’re starting here and the work we’re hoping to do.

Anyway, on to what you are reading this for--the submission guidelines!

Studio Roanoke takes submissions year round for consideration in our regular season of new works, readings, and even referrals to other theatres better suited to your submission whenever that is the case.

LUNCHBOX SUBMISSIONS: Short, unpublished plays (25-35 minutes in length) with an emphasis on family friendly material that is appropriate for a general audience at lunchtime. While your gripping drama about assisted suicide might be great writing, if people won’t feel like going back to work after hearing it, it isn’t right for this series. Small cast, minimal production requirements preferred. Plays should be complete works, no cuttings of longer material. No adaptations or musicals, please. Writer paid $25 and provided with DVD of the reading and moderated talk back. No provision for travel to attend rehearsals or the reading.

GENERAL SUBMISSIONS: Unpublished full-length and one-act plays of any style or genre except adaptations. Preference given to small casts with minimal production requirements. Writer paid $65 per performance if selected for production. While we will attempt to accommodate the writer in rehearsal and at performance, no promise of accommodations or travel expenses is extended.

PRESENTATION PROPOSALS: If you have a suitcase piece which is self contained and currently touring that might fit both our mission and space, let us know! Send a complete project description with supporting materials, press kit, and other useful information (accommodations requirements, dates available, minimal compensation, etc) and if we’re interested in hosting your show, we’ll see what we can work out in order to make that happen.

For example, we’re hoping to bring Sean Lewis’ KILLADELPHIA and at least one of Mike Daisey’s monologues in when they are near DC.

Paper copies of all submissions is preferred, because we can’t afford the printing costs and we hate reading plays from a computer screen.

Send your script to:
Literary Associate Studio Roanoke
PO Box 1749 Roanoke
VA 24008

We don’t return scripts (they usually have coffee stains and scribbled notes anyway) so send only a business sized reply SASE with the submission. We recycle scripts we don’t hang onto or refer to other theatres.

There is no reader’s fee, but remember that the only way to ensure that we have the very best people reading your work with the limited resources we have available without charging a fee to cover compensating those readers is to encourage you to only send us your very best work.

Donations to the cause won’t affect script selection, but if you’re inclined to support what we’re doing with a fully tax deductable contribution, email me off list and I’ll give you that information. We’re so small that even a couple of bucks goes a long way to getting a lot done. Our website is still being created, what is there right now is just a placeholder. It will be fabulous when it goes live. Honest.

We haven’t got our emails up and running yet either--it is all very new and you’re hearing about it here first--so until then you can contact me via my hollins contact information in the sig below.

Todd Ristau
Director Graduate Program in Playwriting
Hollins University
PO Box 9602
Roanoke, VA 24020-1602
(540) 362-6386

Source: The Loop

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