I've just been elected to the board of a theatre company. With the thought of actually contributing something, at the first meeting I suggested they start a playwriting competition. They liked the idea. Here 'tis.
BCTCO Playwriting Competition
Bread & Circus Theatre Company (BCTCO) is pleased to announce its first ever playwriting competition. From submitted manuscripts, the theatre will produce an original play in August, 2010
This competition is open to all playwrights.
Only full-length plays will be accepted, submitted in standard script format.
Scripts may be submitted via e-mail to email@example.com or by mailing a hard copy to:
Yeah, yeah, you’re undoubtedly going to hear a lot about this in the next few months. But the story so far has been unique in my experiences – so I thought I’d share some observations as I go along …
Some time ago, around Christmas I think, a theatre I frequent announced their 2010-2011 season. I like this little group, gutsy they are – normally their offerings are lesser known works by famous playwrights, and occasionally they throw in a classic – last season it was Shaw, this season Noel Coward, and starting in the Fall, Shakespeare.
I remember hearing me say it. I was talking to the Artistic Director and said,
“Wow! You’re doing Richard the Third? I’ve always wanted to do Richard the Third!”
So now I’m directing Richard the Third. And what’s the moral here? Altogether now:
BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR!
So in December of 2009 I was contracted to direct R3 in November 2010.
Fine. Eleven months to think and plan.
And worry. What have I done?! This is Shakespeare. Shakespeare! Who in their right mind would trust me with arguably the greatest playwright who ever lived? I had (and have) visions of the British cutting off diplomatic relations, and blockading harbors, and unmanned aircraft being aimed at the theatre, and Sean Connery telling me he saw the show and was shaken but not stirred …
And they would be so right. Benny Hill is my inspiration. Ohgodohgodohgodohgod what have I done?
Here was my first hurtle. I was handed the script, and told to cut 45 pages out of it.
“It’s long,” I was told. “Lots of repetition. Lots of references to people nobody cares about. You'll have fun.”
So I cut 42 pages. I have, after all, some principles. Maybe, with luck, when I die I’ll only be sent to the fifth level of hell …
In April the theatre held unified auditions, meaning they cast not a show, but a season. Out of the 44 characters written into R3, I was able to cast three – all women. Whatever you think of Willie S, he wrote strong women characters. The three actresses I have could eat their male counterparts for lunch.
And that’s where I am at the moment. There’s more – much more. Actors shy away (Ha!) and now I’ve learned that three productions of the same play are going to be produced roughly at the same time in the same city.
Script Frenzy has ended. They wanted 100 pages in 30 days, they got 104 pages in 28 days. They gave Julie and I a logo saying that we are winners (as opposed to the one that simply concedes that we would be capable of covering a good sized wall with words ..
I have mostly sort of completed casting for the production of RICHARD III that I'm scheduled to direct in the fall. It was a surprise, then, when I stumbled across auditions mentioned on Facebook. Oops - auditions are for another company. I forgot that THREE productions of the play are scheduled to open within weeks of each other. (Who came up with that idea?)
I just finished seeing RENT, and writing reviews for A THOUSAND CLOWNS and I NEVER SANG FOR MY FATHER. My fingers hurt.
I am unaware of any politicians doing anything profoundly outrageous so far today, resulting in no heavy breathing on my part (and no cause for consternation and/or bemused interest from friends who live in civilized countries.).
Julie is off swatting at the windmill down the street, and the gauntlet Q threw at my feet I will pick up - tomorrow.
For the moment, then, the sun is shining and the weather is balmy warm. I'm going to take my drink, sit in the lawn chair I should have taken in last fall, and just smell the dandelions.
balcony39 has left a new comment on your post "Okay. I'm About To Intimidate A Windmill. Again": As a foreigner, tho' frequent visitor to the USA when I first started to read this I seriously thought the Gov of Arizona had it in for illegal aliens (from Mars etc.) You guys and your politicians are so wacked it seemed utterly feasible. Then I read on and I saw the raw ugly all pervasive face of rising hard right Neo Nazism. Ugly, Ugly, Ugly!!! Think on In Xanadu. Read a bit of history and see how the little stuff, and such a nasty bill is not a small thing, leads to the total erosion of human rights. Good luck!
I thought the observations from balcony 39 deserved more than simply being buried in the comments section of my post.
First of all, I sincerely apologize for the appearance of having “wacked” politicians. The United States of America is a republic, and republics constantly evolve, and sometimes it’s not pretty. If you read our history, you will note that regardless of whatever direction we lurch, eventually – and it could take years – the will of all the people dominates.
To compare the Arizona law to Neo Nazism is to focus on the wrong period of history. (And, respectfully, it’s condescending of you not to look deeper.) Unlike Nazi Germany, this is not a national law, it is a state law, and every civil rights organization in the country is lining up to take a shot at it. They are doing this because they can do this. On the national level, our President has people examining it – closely. Already parts of this law have been revised, and this is before it even goes into effect. This is literally the will of the people in action.
The real problem here is one of attitude. The “aliens” of today are regarded the same way African Americans were regarded in the 1930’s, 40’s, and 50’s. I suspect that earning respect and equality today will be every bit as difficult as it was 60 tears ago.
In Xanadu did Kubla Kahn a stately pleasure-dome decree: where Alph, the sacred river, ran through caverns measureless to man down to a sunless sea. So twice five miles of fertile ground with walls and towers were girdled round: And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills, where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree; And here were forests ancient as the hills, enfolding sunny spots of greenery.
Jack Bunny is the alter ego of a playwright, theatrical director, and drama critic. If you are at a party and see a 150 pound rabbit at the punch bowl, it might be him!
(On the other hand, it might also mean that perhaps you should step away from the punch bowl for awhile.)
ANOTHER DUMB GHOST STORY (Full length)
THE REVENANT (Full length)
CORIE (Full length)
MORGAN (Full length)
VOLLEYS (Full length)
ELYCE TIMES ONE (Full length - written with J.E. Ocean)
THE DISENCHANTED FROG (Children's One-act)
THE ART OF BUILDING BRIDGES (One-act)
FROM MY VANTAGE POINT (One-act)
THE TRIAL (One-act)
WHAT'S NEW IN LATHERDUE? (Reader theatre One-act)
ROUGH DRAFT (One-act)
THE GRAND GILDER (One-act)
Old friend remembered
We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.
George Bernard Shaw
I hate writing, I love having written.
If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.
It must be summer. I can smell California burning.
Starbucks is where certain relationships go to die.
I can only answer the question 'What am I to do?' if I can answer the prior question, 'Of what story do I find myself a part?'
Walmart always makes me cry ...
Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.
The Bible in the hand of one man is more dangerous than a whiskey bottle in the hand of another.
Can people stop dying please? Just for a little bit. maybe.
Mettle not in the affairs of Dragons, for thou art crunchy and good with ketchup.
He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind: and the fool shall be servant to the wise in heart.
Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned/nor hell a fury like a woman scorned.
This above all: to thine own self be true. And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.
In my many years I have come to the conclusion that one useless person is a shame, two is a law firm and three or more is a Congress.
Wearing underwear is as formal as I get.
"Pay No Attention To That Man Behind The Curtain ..."
Our revels now are ended.
These, our actors, as I foretold you, were all spirits, and are melted into air, into thin air:
And like the baseless fabric of this vision, the cloud-capp'd tow'rs, the gorgeous palaces, the solemn temples, the great globe itself, yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, and, like this insubstantial pageant faded, leave not a rack behind.
We are such stuff as dreams are made on; and our little life is rounded with a sleep.