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Plays & Playwrights

Playwrights meet, the ‘Sourcebook’ expands, and various opportunities are listed.

Writers Meet on 2 Coasts

Seventeen playwrights will participate this year in the O’Neill Theater Center’s National Playwrights Conference running from July 1 through Aug. 12 in Waterford, Conn. In commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the center, the conference will be international in scope, presenting plays from at least six countries outside the U.S.

Plays by American playwrights to be developed at the conference are Raw Youth by Neal Bell, War of the Roses by Lee Blessing, Mitzi’s Glori by Carl Capotorto, American Music by Bennett Cohen, The Square Root of Three by Michael Golder, Family Face by Richard Hamburger, Gallup by John Haskell, Moonya by Cindy Lou Johnson, National Anthems by Dennis McIntyre, Saute by Stephen Parks, Savage in Limbo by John Patrick Shanley and Mill Hand’s Lunch Bucket by August Wilson. They were selected from over 1,400 submissions.

Another five U.S. playwrights, part of the New Drama for Television Project, will work on three teleplays: Tough Girls by Paula Cizmar and Douglas Gower, Three Against Possum Bend by Ira and Eugenia Hauptman and The Quiet in the Land by Jerry McGlown.

International teams consisting of playwright, director and actors from Argentina, the Caribbean, Denmark, France, Germany, Scotland, Venezuela and perhaps other countries will also be present to develop works, each in its original language; simultaneous translation into English will be provided at the staged readings.

The O’Neill’s National Opera/Music Theater Conference, which took place June 3-17, also played an important part in the center’s 20th-anniversary celebration. Chosen from more than 100 submissions, three new works were developed: Cafe Vienna, 1907, music and libretto by Richard Pearson Thomas; Good Friends, music, book and lyrics by Gil Perlroth; and Lisa and David, based on the Theodore I. Ruben novel, with music by Roger L. Nelson and book and lyrics by John Driver.

On the West Coast, the seventh Bay Area Playwrights Festival begins its intensive four-week season on July 16. Public performances of works-in-progress, to include several collaborations between dancers and playwrights as well as a piece written by Steve Carter and OyamO and directed by Alma Becker, will take place at Tamalpais High School, Mill Valley, Calif. from July 25 through Aug. 12. Among the many workshops offered are a playwriting practicum led by Carter, Maria Irene Fornes and Len Jenkins.

The Padua Hills Playwrights Workshop and Festival, also in its seventh season, is being held for the first time at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia. The resident playwrights, all of whom conduct workshops and present works-in-progress, include Murray Mednick, Martin Epstein, Susan LaTempa, John Steppling, John O’Keefe, Leon Martell and Michael Monroe.

‘Sourcebook’ Is Expanded

The 1984-85 edition of Theatre Communications Group’s Dramatists Sourcebook, available in August, will contain over 500 listings, nearly 150 of them new of contests, grants, resources and theatres producing new plays. Playwrights, translators, composers, lyricists and librettists—anyone involved in bringing new material to the stage—have come to regard the Sourcebook as an essential reference tool.

“Nearly two-thirds of the new listings are in the Script Opportunities section, according to editor M. Elizabeth Osborn. “There are 40 new theatres listed, 20 new contests, 20 new publishing outlets and 10 new centers for script development.”

A special feature of the new edition is “Be Proud of It,” a guide to script submission by and for playwrights, containing advice from working playwrights Constance Congdon, David Henry Hwang, Romulus Linney, Stephen Metcalfe, Ronald Ribman and Adele Edling Shank. Lanford Wilson contributes “Trying to Discover Chekhov,” an account of the playwright’s first venture into dramatic translation.

The Dramatists Sourcebook is available for $9.95 plus postage from TCG (see order form in the back of this issue).

Playwrights Update

American Inventors—Forgotten Dreamers is the theme of a new playwriting competition announced by the University of Wisconsin-Parkside’s dramatic arts department. The author of the winning full-length, unproduced play or musical on the subject of America’s unsung inventors will receive a $1,000 award and a production at the university. The deadline for submissions is Oct. 1, and the winning script will be announced on Feb. 1, 1985. Judges for the competition are playwright Israel Horovitz and drama critic Julius Novick. Scripts should go to American Inventors—Forgotten Dreamers, c/o Rhoda-Gale Pollack, Fine Arts Division, University of Wisconsin-Parkside, Box 2000, Kenosha WI 53141.

San Francisco’s Theatre Rhinoceros has established a National Lesbian Playwriting Contest. Full-length plays, one-acts, translations, adaptations, musicals or cabaret revues dealing with the lesbian experience are eligible for a $1,000 first prize, which includes a production at the theatre, and a $500 second prize. Sept. 1 is the submission deadline and notification of the winner will be made in January 1985. Submissions should go to Patricia Keaney, Theatre Rhinoceros, 2926 16th St., #9, San Francisco, CA 94103; (415) 552-4100.

The Eaton Literary Agency of Sarasota, Fla., offers a $500 prize to the author of a full-length, unpublished play; and a $250 prize to the author of an unpublished one-act play. Manuscripts may be sent to the agency at any time—all will be judged for “quality and marketability”—but to qualify for current awards, one-acts should be submitted by Aug. 21 and full-length plays by March 31, 1985.

Notification will follow in September 1984 and April 1985, respectively. Manuscripts should go to Eaton, Box 49795, Sarasota, FL 33578.

Individual fellowships for cultural exchange between the U.S. and Asia are available to artists in the visual and performing arts through the Asian Cultural Council. For information contact the Council, 280 Mad ison Ave., New York, NY 10016.

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