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Thursday, July 21, 2011

New Targets

Planning for the UpStart Theatre Company has shown to be a little more tricky than I would have cared for it to be.  I think that the next 24 hour 10 minute play festival, The Winter's Tales, is going to be a hit, but that's further down the road.

I've been writing a lot, but not a lot of plays.  I started writing a political blog on, so I won't talk much about that here.  While I have to learn to be an advocate for the things that I do, I want this blog to remain true to art and theater.

I like fountain pens.
When I was in Atlanta, I was selected as a finalist for the Youth Playwright Festival at the Horizon Theatre Company.  There, I was "mentored" for a little bit by a remarkable woman named Lauren Gunderson.  She's an insanely talented and prolific writer.  The reason why I put mentored in quotation marks is because there wasn't a whole lot of time spent teaching me, though I do remember everything she said and her words of encouragement still mean a lot to this day.

I try not to use the teacher/student roles lightly.  To mentor is to take a deep personal interest in the student's development not just as a learner but as a person as well.  There's not a better word for what she did, but we haven't kept in touch since that festival five years ago.

The reason why I mention it at all is because if you go to her website, it's easy to be overwhelmed by the work that she's done and that I'm not working in the way that I wish that I was, in terms of playwriting.

I was thinking about the success of the Manhattan Theatre Source and that I didn't to forget or lose that opportunity that my work had.  And I was thinking why that did well in the way that it did.

And then I remembered:  I wrote something from the heart, I wrote what I wanted to write but, perhaps most importantly, someone else set the deadline.

So, I went and found another website that has links to playwriting contests and found three that are happening soon. And I mean in the next month soon.

There's a 9/11 themed 10 minute playwriting contest in LA by the American Science Theater.  There's a 15 minute play contest by Valley Rep in CT.

But the one that I found that I'm the most excited about is the Yale Drama Series.  $10,000 prize, a reading at Yale and publication at the Yale University Press.

Deadline:  August 15th, 2011.

Better get on it!

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