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Playwrights Realm Opens Applications for Fellowship, Expanded Scratchpad

For the first time, the Scratchpad Series will be open to playwrights from around the world.

NEW YORK CITY: The Playwrights Realm has opened annual submissions for its 2021-22 Writing Fellowship Program and Scratchpad Series, which will be open to playwrights outside of the United States for the first time. In addition to striving to support playwrights and stories that reflect the diversity of society, the Realm is looking for playwrights who take risks, embrace theatricality, and exhibit imagination, bravery, and intellectual curiosity. Submissions are open through Feb. 7.

“Every script submitted to us is read in full by our pool of readers before they select works to pass on to our staff,” said founding artistic director Katherine Kovner in a statement. “We’re trying to get a true sense of a playwright and what sparks their writing; it takes playwrights a long time to write these scripts, and we like to give them the respect of this concentrated consideration. We look forward to digging into these first introductions to writers who will ultimately become new members of the Realm community.”

The Playwrights Realm Writing Fellowship Program provides four early-career playwrights with nine months of resources (including a $3,000 stipend), workshops, and feedback. During the nine months, playwrights will develop a new play and participate in monthly collaborative group meetings with other writers as well as one-on-one meetings with Realm artistic staff. The program also includes development opportunities, such as mentorships, meet-and-greets, and professional seminars, all designed to empower the fellows to be active and informed participants in their careers. The fellows will work with a director, design consultants, and actors for two readings, with the program culminating with a public (either in person or virtual) presentation during the INK’D Festival.

“One of the most exciting parts of working at a company that accepts open submissions is getting to read a work by an early-career artist you don’t know at all, whose writing jumps out as unique and exhilarating—and knowing you have the resources to help create pathways for that artist to thrive in the larger American theatre landscape,” said associate artistic director Alexis Williams in a statement. “Our open submissions are our way of telling playwrights—for the first time, around the world—that regardless of their previous credentials, or whether they’re coming to us via an agent, we want to hear new voices. And—as a hybrid playwrights service and producing organization—we want to use our multifaceted approach to amplify them.”

Previous iterations of the Scratchpad Series have seen the Realm bring playwrights from across the country to the theatre. This year, with the increase of virtual theatremaking, communication, and collaboration during the pandemic, the Realm is opening the series to playwrights from around the world in an effort to engage with a new group of playwrights and erase the limitations of geography or access. Selected playwrights receive a paid developmental process of up to one week, which will culminate in either an internal or public reading, depending on the writer’s preference. The Realm’s artistic staff will offer dramaturgical development and discussion before and after each reading as well as professional development guidance.

For more information, including how to apply, visit the Playwrights Realm website.

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