Yellow Room Theatre seeking full-length script

Brand new theatre company, Yellow Room will be launching in July and is on the look out for new plays.

The company seeks to create bold new work and we need you. If you have a play or are in the middle of writing a play then we want to hear from you.

What to submit: They are looking for newly written never performed scripts that are 70-90 minutes in length.

How to apply: Please submit scripts to jo@yellowroomtheatre.com by 5pm on 31st May.

What you get: The successful writer will work with Director, Jo Harris to develop the play further. They will then stage the production in an appropriate fringe venue in London for a three week run.

Deadline: 31 May 2013 at 5pm

Source: Arts Council Newsletter

Old Vic New Voices – TS Eliot Commissions (second application round)

As part of the massive changes Old Vic New Voices will be making to its development programmes (which LPB discussed here), 2013 sees the launch of their TS Eliot Commissions.  Unlike many previous opportunities at OVNV, which were age-limited due to funding constraints, this opportunity is open to playwrights of all ages.

Over the next two years, they plan to commission twenty new plays as part of this transatlantic commissioning scheme.  In their own words, here is what they are looking for:

We will commission plays that speak to your peer group that can be directed, produced and performed by fellow Old Vic New Voices applicants and will be seen by a similar demographic. We are looking for punchy stories that unfold over no longer that one hour so that we can potentially programme a number of plays as part of a future OVNV Season.

There was already one deadline earlier this year.  The deadline listed below is for the second round of applications.  Full details of the commissions can be found here.

What to submit: You will need to fill in their two-page application form (found here).  The form asks you to submit:

  1. Your play idea/concept
  2. A supporting statement

How to apply: Email the application form to newvoices@oldvictheatre.com with OVNV COMMISSIONS in the subject title.  The title of your word document needs to be in the following format, or your application will be discarded: OVNVCOMMISSIONS_APPLICATION_YOURNAME.

What you get: “The space and finance to write a play.”  Space can be offered through their LAB space, with the opportunity to try out extracts you have written.  No details are provided about the fee offered for these commissions.

Deadline: 31 May 2013

 

Source: Old Vic New Voices

Opportunities Weekly Roundup: 10 May 2013

Our weekly round-up of opportunities listed on the blog that haven’t yet reached their closing date (listed in order of closing date).

Little Pieces of Gold seeking ten minute plays – Deadline: 13 May 2013

Futurespark Festival seeking short plays – Deadline: 20 May 2013

Brian Way Award 2013 – Deadline: 21 May 2013

Real Deal Theatre’s Popcorn Saturday seeking short plays inspired by movies – Deadline: 26 May 2013

Leslie Scalapino Award 2013 (women writers only) – Deadline: 30 May 2013

Bollywood Superstar Writers call for 10 minute plays – Deadline: 31 May 2013

Sandpit Arts seeking 30 minute plays about Arab World – Deadline: 31 May 2013

Papatango New Writing Award 2013 – Deadline: 31 May 2013

Pint Sized Plays 2013 seeking short plays (entry fee) – Deadline: 31 May 2013

The Bruntwood Prize – Deadline: 3 June 2013

Adrienne Benham Award 2013 – Deadline: 7 June 2013

Verity Bargate Award 2013 – Deadline: 30 June 2013

Old Vic New Voices seeking writers on attachment for Community Company – Deadline: 1 July 2013

2013 Sir Peter Ustinov Television Scriptwriting Award – Deadline: 1 July 2013

ARK Theatre seeking short plays for ‘Two by Two’ – Deadline: 31 July 2013

Alfred Fagon Award 2013 (writers of African or Carribbean heritage only) – Deadline: 8 August 2013

Yale Drama Series Competition 2013 – Deadline: 15 August 2013

Tower WWI new play competition (entry fee) – 27 September 2013

Pint Sized Plays 2013 seeking short plays (entry fee)

Now in its sixth year, the 2013 Pint-Sized Plays competition is open for submissions.  As before, plays should be between 5 and 10 minutes long, with two to three characters and able to be performed in a pub with only the furniture available in the bar area and any props as can be carried in. That doesn’t mean the play has to be set in a pub, just that it should be capable of being staged in one, i.e. no lighting, blackouts and scenery.

This year there will be six winners and four runners up, to be performed in pubs in Pembrokeshire starting Tenby Festival Week and then all ten plays will compete at the Script Slam (where the audience vote for their favourite) held at 4U theatre in Fishguard. Winning scripts will also be considered to be included in a published anthology of scripts.

What to submit:  A script of between 5 and 10 minutes capable of being staged in a pub.  Scripts should require two or three characters only with minimal additional props.

Writers are also required to provide a synopsis of 500 characters or fewer.

How to apply:  Scripts should be in Word or PDF format and uploaded to www.pintsizedplays.org.uk.  A full list of rules can be found here.

Plays may also be submitted by post with an entry form down loaded from the website which gives the name of the author, contact details and the name of the play, accompanied by a cheque for £5.50 made payable to ‘Pint-sized Plays’. Payment in other currencies cannot be accepted.

What you pay: Entry fee £5.50, payable online through Paypal.

Winning plays in past years have also been requested to be performed by other companies in other locations after the Pint-sized Plays festival has ended.  Subject to the author’s approval, Pint-sized Plays will, if so required, act as agents for such performances and collect and pay a royalty for each play so performed.

What you get:  There will be six winning scripts which will be performed in pubs in Tenby, Pembrokeshire during Tenby Festival week, and subsequently at other venues yet to be announced.  The four runners up, at the organisers discretion, might also play in pubs in advance of the Script Slam.

The six winning scripts and four runners up will also be performed at the Script Slam on September 28. The scripts will be judged by the audience and there will be two prizes: for Best Script and Runner Up, together with a certificate for the third place.  The performances will also be judged by a professional theatre director and awards made for the best performances.

Deadline: 31 May 2013

Source:  @PlaywritingUK

Real Deal Theatre’s Popcorn Saturday seeking short plays inspired by movies

Real Deal Theatre aims to introduce new audiences to the best in new writing, bringing together a variety of writers, actors and directors in live performances.  They are looking for 10-15 minute plays inspired by the movies. From Bollywood to Hollywood, UFA to Elstree, silent film to stereoscopic… Anything goes, as long as movies and cinema are integral to the story and plot.

Real Deal Theatre will choose the scripts and give each script to a professional director. The winners will then have their plays performed script-in-hand, semi-staged performances, at Westminster Reference Library, on Saturday 29th June 2013 in London’s West End.

What to submit:  A script of no longer than 15 minutes in performance, inspired by a movie.  They request that scripts be formatted with a minimum 12 point font and the writer’s name and contact details on every page.

How to apply: The entry window for scripts is Monday 20th May – Sunday 26th May 2013 inclusive. No scripts will be accepted outside these dates.  Scripts should be submitted to: scripts@realdealtheatre.org.uk

Deadline: 26 May 2013

Visit Real Deal Theatre’s website to find out more information and how to apply.

Source: BBC Writersroom

2013 Sir Peter Ustinov Television Scriptwriting Award

Each year, the Foundation of The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences administers the Sir Peter Ustinov Television Scriptwriting Award. The competition is designed to motivate non-American novice writers under the age of 30, and to offer them the recognition and encouragement that might lead to a successful career in television scriptwriting. Entrants are asked to create a completed half-hour to one-hour (commercial length) English-language television drama script.

Eligibility:

  • The Applicant must be a non-U.S. citizen residing outside of the U.S.
  • The Applicant must not have reached his/her 30th birthday as of December 31, 2013.
  • The Applicant must deliver an original completed DRAMA script for television, written in English. (Drama Series: A dramatic production in which theme, storyline and main characters are presented
  • under the same title.)
  • The script may be originally written in any language, but must be submitted in English.
  • The script must be a minimum of a half hour and a maximum of one hour in length (commercial length.)
  • The script should be a stand-alone or pilot script, not a random episode that is part of a series.
  • All Applicants must provide a completed entry/release form to be eligible.
  • Applicants may not have had a script or contributed any written words to any fiction material produced and/or aired on television prior to date of entry.
  • Material that has previously been sold or is currently under option may not be submitted.
  • Only one entry per scriptwriter will be accepted.
  • If part of a writing team, each scriptwriter must meet all of the eligibility requirements without
  • exception.
  • In the event that the winning script has multiple writers, only one writer must be designated to receive the award, prize money and trip to New York.
  • Previous winners of this award or any award/fellowship given by The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation are not eligible.
  • There is no charge for this competition.

What to submit/How to apply:  Entries must be submitted by email to foundation@iemmys.tv.  The application form can be found here.

Your application should include all of the following:
  1. The script (including a cover page listing the title of the script, the author’s name, address, telephone number and email) attached as a .pdf, .doc, or .rtf file
  2. A summary of the script, totaling no more than 250 words, but no less than 100 words
  3. A signed copy of the entry/release form (scanned & emailed, or faxed to +1-212-489-6557)
  4. A one (1) page resume or biography of the writer
Upon receipt, all entries are reviewed to ensure that eligibility requirements are met.  All entrants will receive confirmation by email that their submission has been received.  No script will be returned.

What you get: The winner will be flown to New York City to be presented with an award and a US$2,500 prize at the International Emmy® World Television Festival on November 23, 2013. The winning script will be read by actors in front of an audience at the Festival, and the winner will be invited to take part in the red carpet festivities at the 41st International Emmy® Awards on November 25, 2013.

Deadline: 1 July 2013

Source: BBC Writersroom

Opportunities Weekly Roundup: 3 May 2013

Our weekly round-up of opportunities listed on the blog that haven’t yet reached their closing date (listed in order of closing date).

Nick Darke Award 2013 – Deadline: 29 April 2013

King’s Cross Award at the Courtyard Theatre (entry fee) – Deadline: 30 April 2013

Woolwich Plays of Tomorrow seeking short plays (entry fee) – Deadline: 30 April 2013

Theatre Renegade’s Courting Drama seeking short plays to be performed at the Bush Theatre – Deadline: 30 April 2013

Screenwriting Goldmine Awards (entry fee) – Deadline: 9 May 2013

Little Pieces of Gold seeking ten minute plays – Deadline: 13 May 2013

Brian Way Award 2013 – Deadline: 21 May 2013

Futurespark Festival seeking short plays – Deadline: 20 May 2013

Leslie Scalapino Award 2013 (women writers only) – Deadline: 30 May 2013

Bollywood Superstar Writers call for 10 minute plays – Deadline: 31 May 2013

Sandpit Arts seeking 30 minute plays about Arab World – Deadline: 31 May 2013

Papatango New Writing Award 2013 – Deadline: 31 May 2013

The Bruntwood Prize – Deadline: 3 June 2013

Adrienne Benham Award 2013 – Deadline: 7 June 2013

Verity Bargate Award 2013 – Deadline: 30 June 2013

Old Vic New Voices seeking writers on attachment for Community Company – 1 July 2013

ARK Theatre seeking short plays for ‘Two by Two’ – Deadline: 31 July 2013

Alfred Fagon Award 2013 (writers of African or Carribbean heritage only) – Deadline: 8 August 2013

Yale Drama Series Competition 2013 – Deadline: 15 August 2013

Tower WWI new play competition (entry fee) – 27 September 2013

Alfred Fagon Award 2013 (writers of African or Carribbean heritage only)

The Alfred Fagon Award was established in 1996 in memory of the late Jamaican playwright and actor, Alfred Fagon. The £5,000 prize is awarded to the writer who has, in the opinion of the judges, written the best stage play of the year. New as well as established writers are encouraged to enter.

The Award is open to playwrights of African or Caribbean descent resident in the UK.

What to submit:  A full length play of at least 70 minutes in length.  The play need not have been produced.  For plays which have been produced, only those produced since August 2012 will be considered (‘production’ is defined as any professional presentation before the public).  Each entrant can only submit one play.

Entrants must submit the following hard copies:

  • two copies of their play
  • a synopsis
  • a CV confirming the writer’s Caribbean and/or African heritage, and residency in the UK

How to apply: Applicants are required to submit their application both in hardcopy and by email.

Hardcopies should be sent to:

The Alfred Fagon Award 2013
c/o Tiata Fahodzi
Waterloo House
207 Waterloo Road
London
SE1 8XD

The electronic copy should be sent to: info@alfredfagonaward.co.uk

Full details of how to apply can be found on their ‘how to enter’ page.

What you get: The winning writer receives a £5,000 prize.

Deadline: Friday 9 August 2013 at 5pm

Source: @Miniaturists on @PlaywritingUK

Opportunities Weekly Roundup: 26 April 2013

Our weekly round-up of opportunities listed on the blog that haven’t yet reached their closing date (listed in order of closing date).

Nick Darke Award 2013 – Deadline: 29 April 2013

King’s Cross Award at the Courtyard Theatre (entry fee) – Deadline: 30 April 2013

Woolwich Plays of Tomorrow seeking short plays (entry fee) – Deadline: 30 April 2013

Theatre Renegade’s Courting Drama seeking short plays to be performed at the Bush Theatre – Deadline: 30 April 2013

Screenwriting Goldmine Awards (entry fee) – Deadline: 9 May 2013

Little Pieces of Gold seeking ten minute plays – Deadline: 13 May 2013

Brian Way Award 2013 – Deadline: 21 May 2013

Futurespark Festival seeking short plays – Deadline: 20 May 2013

Leslie Scalapino Award 2013 (women writers only) – Deadline: 30 May 2013

Bollywood Superstar Writers call for 10 minute plays – Deadline: 31 May 2013

Sandpit Arts seeking 30 minute plays about Arab World – Deadline: 31 May 2013

Papatango New Writing Award 2013 – Deadline: 31 May 2013

The Bruntwood Prize – Deadline: 3 June 2013

Adrienne Benham Award 2013 – Deadline: 7 June 2013

Verity Bargate Award 2013 – Deadline: 30 June 2013

Old Vic New Voices seeking writers on attachment for Community Company – 1 July 2013

ARK Theatre seeking short plays for ‘Two by Two’ – Deadline: 31 July 2013

Yale Drama Series Competition 2013 – Deadline: 15 August 2013

Tower WWI new play competition (entry fee) – 27 September 2013

Conor McPherson on the art of playwriting

Conor McPherson’s acclaimed play The Weir is playing at the Donmar Warehouse, and will be followed by The Night Alive.  As part of the promotion McPherson’s publisher, Nick Hern Books has shared an excerpt from the introduction to his latest collection of plays, which features insight into his writing process and tips on how to keep the writing magic alive:

 

The best plays come in a flash. An image, a feeling, and that’s it. You know these ideas because they are the undeniable ones that won’t let go. They pull you in and compel you to start scribbling notes. If you are a playwright and you have one of these on the go, you know you have a responsibility. To what? Something that doesn’t exist? But the good ideas feel like they do exist. They’re just beyond view, and you’re trying to capture them with glimpses that may or may not be accurate.

So many things can go wrong along the way between the vision and its presentation on stage – missed beats in the writing (or too many beats), the wrong cast, wrong director, wrong theatre or just the wrong time. Any and all of these may consign your hard work to the ‘Who Cares?’ file. And you know you are playing Russian roulette – it all comes down to those couple of hours on opening night. But you keep the faith and you pull the trigger. What else can you do?

The Weir 2013-2A.indd

You start scribbling. Worry, issues of control, and even, ironically, a sense of longing to be free of the process, all propel you to write your first draft. Subsequent drafts can never quite fix all the problems, yet neither can they prompt the same exhilaration. Many playwrights I’ve talked with agree that the best moments are often those tentative notes when the ghosts first present themselves in your mind. They are so insubstantial, yet bear their complete mysterious history within. This is when playwriting is at its most private and, paradoxically, when the play is at its most beautiful. The more real you make it, the less magic it retains. You are aware of this but what can you do? You keep going. Always writing at the very edge of your limitations. And your limitations are not necessarily a bad thing. Your limitations are in fact what give you your unique voice. But it’s hard to view your limitations in a warm light when you’ve just read over your work and it makes you embarrassed.

The truth is nobody really knows how to write a good play. You just do your best to avoid writing a bad one. The rest falls to fate. Joe Penhall once said to me, ‘Who knows if the magic is there and – even if it is – will the bastards see it?’, which I think sums up the car crash of hope, despair and paranoia that accompanies artistic creation.

And the enemy of art is not the pram in the hallway, it is self-consciousness. When you are young you know nothing, least of all yourself. You write plays quickly, perhaps in a matter of days. As you grow older – and if you’ve managed to survive some decades of playwriting – you may gain a little wisdom. But you lose your recklessness. Why? Because, like the ageing stuntman, you know exactly what’s at stake each time you do it. Further, you are no longer new. Everyone knows what you can do and they have certain expectations. So you go the long way round, trying to surprise everyone. But going the long way round kills spontaneity.

And what’s wrong with that? Well, Neil Young’s late producer, David Briggs, said that the best way to record music is the simplest way. You get the mic as close to the sound as you possibly can and just record it as it is. ‘The more you think, the more you stink’ was his mantra. Neil Young’s albums are full of first takes – often the very first time the band have ever played the song – because that’s where the magic is. Neil Young calls it, ‘the spook’. In other words, you’ve got to be careful not to perfect what you are doing to the extent it has no soul left. Perfect is not best. Okay, so he’s talking about rock ’n’ roll, but there’s something in that for playwriting too.

So if there’s anything I can see that’s worth passing on, it’s this: it’s as important to forget what you’ve learned as it is to learn.

McPhersonPlays3.indd

This piece is an extract from the Foreword to Conor McPherson Plays: Three, a new collection covering a decade of playwriting, which is available now. It includes acclaimed plays such as The Seafarer as well as two previously unpublished works: The Birds and The Dance of Death. To order your copy at a special 25% discount – no voucher code required – just click here.

The Weir is playing at the Donmar Warehouse, London until 8 June (a tie-in edition is available here). It will be followed by a new Conor McPherson play, The Night Alive, which will also be published by Nick Hern Books.

 

Reposted from Nick Hern Books

A resource for emerging playwrights