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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Words Players 5th Annual Original One Act Play Festival

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We are happy to receive your script submission to the Words Players 5th Annual Original One Act Play Festival. The Festival will accept the submission of any script which has not been previously published or produced.

Original, creative work is at the core of what we do here at Northland Words. Whether it's each of our original Shakespeare in the Park productions, our annual Thornton Wilder Short Play Festival or our "Original One Act Play Festival," we celebrate the reality that all performance art is original. Merely preserving "the way it was done" is for mummies and pottery shards, not performance art.

The deadline for submission to this year's Festival is July 23. We intend to evaluate and select scripts by August 1 and will notify you by mid-August as to whether we have selected your script for production.

Rehearsals for the plays will begin in September.

Please be aware:

➢ Our production of the play is our only "compensation" for its use.
➢ The plays will be produced in our 125-seat, Three-Stage, Audience-in-the-Round theatre in
Rochester, Minnesota.
➢ There will be two performances of most plays, October 26 and 27, 2012. It is possible that some plays will perform only once.
➢ The plays will be produced with minimal or no costumes, props or sets.
➢ The plays will be directed by student directors (mostly high school- and college-age) under the
mentorship of our Artistic Director.
➢ While authors are welcome to confer with the directors, such conference is at the discretion of each director. Student directors will develop their autonomous interpretation and will maintain independent control of each production. They will in all probability modify settings and dialogue to fit our production situation and their own visions of the shows. Directors will, in particular, strive to make each play "entertaining" to our audiences and may modify the scripts, accordingly.
➢ Our casts are comprised of amateur community actors of all ages. A large percentage of them are quite young (high school- and college-aged).
➢ We largely ignore considerations of age, race and gender in our casting decisions. We may modify scripts, as necessary, in light of this consideration.
➢ We will record each production for possible online posting (with author credit), as well as for further promotional, artistic or other uses. These recordings will be the property of Words Players / Northland Words.
➢ We don't pay for the scripts.

Submission Guidelines
➢ Although there are no hard and fast rules for submission, by and large we will give preference to those plays which, in our judgment, appeal to the broadest audience. A lot of great art, of course, does not do so. But our emphasis is perhaps less on the artist-centered goal of producing "great art" (whatever that is) than on the more community-centered goal of producing art that communicates well with its audience. In our case, the audience invariably includes a large percentage of young people. We will prefer scripts that appeal to them as well as to old non-young people.
Part of this emphasis is our desire to give writers and directors first-hand experience of the vagaries of "marketability" as much as the more arcane goals of "art." (This doesn't mean we're necessarily looking for Neil Simon. Although we'll certainly consider his script, if he wants to submit one! Neil? Only that we will strive to make each play both understandable and interesting to our audiences. And again: an important consideration of marketability is an understanding of each particular audience.)
➢ That being said, we also encourage fresh and original approaches to theatre. We prefer most of all plays that are significant and interesting, without off-putting superciliousness.
➢ We will also give preference to younger and newer authors. Again, we don't have inflexible rules about what ages constitute "youth," this is only a general consideration.
➢ We will also prefer, of course, those scripts which will work well with the minimal and specific production standards outlined above. A play with a cast of fifty, necessarily set in pre-Revolution Versailles, may well be a fantastic play but will probably be unworkable in our particular situation.
If you have any questions about any of this, please don't hesitate to talk to us. We're very excited about the prospect of presenting these original plays.

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