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Friday, April 12, 2013

Center of the World Festival Playwriting Contest

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NOTE: there is a "suggested minimal donation of $10.00" on script submission but the donation is NOT a requirement for script submissions.

Community Readers Theatre August 16-18, 2013

$500 Grant Award!

10-Minute Play with an Eco-Drama, Peace, Justice or other social issue theme. Submissions are accepted from October 1, 2012 to April 30, 2013.  Use your gifts to give social justice a voice.

The play theme for Season 2013 must adhere to Social issue topics, such as ecology, justice, peace, equality, crime prevention, freedom of speech, etc.
For example, can your play contribute to an answer to any of these questions?
  • How can we facilitate environmental justice and sustainability in our community, our nation, our world?
  • What is the new vision, a new approach, to resolving the social challenges which face our families, jobs, communities, or nation?
  • Are the crises in our world "normal" and a "part of life" to which we just have to resign ourselves and let "people in power" handle for us?
  • Does "every person" have any power to change the negative social direction towards which the fear and violence perpetrating political systems are taking us?
Your play may be an imaginative journey into harmony between humankind and nature.  Or, it may be based upon real-life experiences.  Or, it may be a combination of both. Suggestions: The swapping of tales with colleagues--the journeys of your own life--interviews held with others--all represent the dramatic scenes through which the "every person" innately connects with natural knowing revealed to us "on the spot" as the way to interact with nature and each other.  
We believe that social CHANGE is possible for the challenging social issues facing our world.  We believe that theatre plays a powerful role in this change, providing a meeting ground for exploring alternative solutions.  Story-telling is mankind's oldest format for social education.  Through the sharing of stories, which facilitate community dialogue, we build understanding and inspire social change. 
We are not seeking "eco-warrior" approaches to the social problems.  We do not wish to engage in a negative political process or radical activism.  Nor is this a quest for "enlightenment" of the population.  Give us real problems and real solutions--an "every person" approach to creating peace and harmony with our environment and ourselves.   
In life, there is not always an immediate solution to a situation.  So, in your play, the solution may not be realized.  But the process of thinking, of criticizing, observing, and trying to find solutions will help in ending the paralysis of fatalism, that we cannot do anything to change the environmental and social destruction in our world.  Your play should contribute to changing the audience member from being a mere spectator to someone who awakens and questions:  Is it good or not, do I agree or not.  And most importantly, causes the observer to say:  Yes, I CAN do that! 
We believe that equality and inclusion are necessary for confronting and resolving the violence which surrounds us and is threatening to destroy our world.  Thus, this playwrighting competition is for all amateurs, of all ages, to contribute their vision for a civilization which lives in harmony with nature and each other.  It is not a competition of "best construction" or conventional play presentation.  Abstract and experimental formats are welcomed as a way to express social values. 
Remember, AMATEUR is the operative description of this playwright competition.  We define AMATEUR in its positive Latin and French roots, meaning:  "to love; a lover".  We see you, the AMATEUR, as a devoted friend, an enthusiastic pursuer of an objective, and one who is motived to work as a result of love and passion.  And further, in the meaning of Ralph Waldo Emerson, as one who performs for pleasure rather than money:  "Every artist is first an amateur."

This Playwrighting competition is open to "every person" without age and geographic restriction, but honoring all laws relating to citizenship and under-age minors participation. Non-citizens must certify legal right to participate in this competition. Minors (children to age 18 years) must have signed parental consent.

Competition is restricted to English language submissions only.

No collaborations are accepted--single authorship only.

There are no contractual obligations, or royalties paid to playwrights whose scripts are selected as finalists or competition winning plays for the Festival. However, all finalists will receive recognition awards. Grant Award is $500.

The Festival is a charity fund-raising event for Center of the World Festival, Inc. (hereafter COWFEST).  COWFEST is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation.  As a public charity, all contributions and donations made to COWFEST are tax-deductible under section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code. COWFEST sponsors special events for charitable purposes. For further donation information, please see our profile at Kern Community Foundation-- Click Here.

Script submission donation: There is a suggested minimal donation of $10.00, payable by check to Center of the World Festival, Inc.  Send donation with submitted scripts. These donations are used to pay for the advertising expenses associated with conducting this Festival. No donation is expected from under-age minor amateur playwrights nor adult hardship cases.

The play must be original and unpublished and unproduced in any type of setting or venue.

The play must be complete in and of itself and not be an incomplete fragment (such as a monologue, etc.) taken from a longer play nor an adaptation of another person's material already published.  However, edited (shorten versions) of your own work may be accepted, if source is identified and available for comparison.  Adaptations of public domain material, published before year 1900, may be considered if source is identified.

The play must be appropriate for readers’ theatre presentation (no elaborate sets or stage directions).  Please read the section on Readers Theatre for more information.

We do not conduct, nor send, written evaluations of scripts to playwrights.

Play theme must adhere to Social issue topics, such as ecology, justice, peace, equality, crime prevention, freedom of speech, etc.  See Theme Rules for more details.

The Festival is for a General Audience base. DO NOT SUBMIT "Mature Audience Only" material. Please consider general audience for appropriate language in your script dialogue.

The plays are limited to 10-minute scripts, which are about ten pages long. Some flexibility: no shorter than 8 minutes and no longer than 12 minutes.

The Play Submission Form must be used as the cover page. The next page shall be the Play Title Sheet, which includes the title of the play, the playwright's name, the list of characters, and setting. Playwright's Agreement also must be signed and sent with your script.

Play must be typewritten (or Word Processed) on 8.5" by 11" paper. Pages should be secured only with a removable binder clip (no staples). Please number each page of the play. The play must be typed in standard play format, using one side of each page only.

You may submit three plays for consideration. However, only one play per author will be chosen as a finalist. A separate submission donation is requested for each different play.

Only "hard-copy" paper "snail-mail" submitted applications are accepted.
E-Mail scripts will not be accepted. Send to:

The Center of the World Festival
P.O. Box 1929
Frazier Park, CA 93225-1929

If you wish to be notified that script was received, please enclose self-addressed, stamped envelope. Do not send manuscripts by certified mail, or signature required.

Please retain your original and send us only one (1) printed copy. COWFEST will keep this copy in its private archives to validate non-profit mission fulfillment. You give permission for sufficient copies to be made by Festival staff to fulfill the preliminary reading, Festival production, and other requirements for cast, staff, and directors. PLEASE DO NOT SEND YOUR ORIGINAL COPY!

You may wish to copyright your material. Check writers' guides for more information, or visit www.copyright.gov

Deadline for play submission is April 30, 2013. All submissions will be judged by reader/actors of Free Speech Zone Theatre, a non-professional community reader’s theatre in Pine Mountain Club, California.

Finalists will be announced by June 30, 2013. All playwrights will be notified of the results.  For further information, read section on Selection Process.

Should your play be selected as a finalist, you are giving the non-exclusive right to the Center of the World Festival to produce and perform the play in readers theatre format from August 16 through August 18, 2013. We encourage the playwright (or a proxy) to be in attendance at this Festival production.

Playwrights will retain copyright and full ownership of their plays. Playwrights will receive sole credit for writing their play.

No changes will be made to the script without permission of the playwright.  The director shall be the sole person to give cast and crew notes of production; however, playwrights may give any notes regarding the play production to the director.

After the play is accepted as a finalist, the play may not be withdrawn for any reason. If you are concerned about the quality of production by an amateur readers theatre, please do not submit for this Festival.

The play chosen for grant award will be determined by the spectator audience of the Festival.

At this time, we are not accepting phone calls. If you would like to talk to someone personally about the Festival, please send a letter with your submission, explaining your questions. Or contact us by e-mail at the link on this website. Please provide a phone number, e-mail or fax number, and the best times to reach you by phone. We will contact you as soon as possible.

Click here for a PDF copy of the Submission Rules.
Click here for a PDF copy of the Grant Recipient Agreement.

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