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Saturday, May 3, 2014

Stickball Productions seeks short plays

Stickball Productions presents MAN UP
Open national call for scripts from male playwrights (only).  No submission fee – all selected playwrights will share 6 % of box office gross.  Deadline May 30, 2014.

Stickball Productions will present MAN UP, a short play festival by male playwrights in October, 2014.

Our objective is two-fold.

First, to assemble a group of short plays that may or may not be thematically connected, but work together as a cohesive show interspersed with music (and probably a fair amount of beer).

Second, we acknowledge that there’s much discussion about the disparity in productions of plays produced according to gender lines.  We celebrate the numerous festivals and companies dedicated to producing the work of women writers.  This shifting of the theatrical landscape not only alter the roles of women but inevitably those of men. In a 90 minute show, we wish to explore changes in gender roles experienced as good, difficult, hilarious or indifferent.  We seek plays that explore issues of gender – whatever that means to you.

The guidelines
  1. Send us a play that glorifies violence against women and your work will wind up in the “asshole pile.”  Yes, we have one of those.  The reading panel is gender, age, and ethnically diverse.  You won’t make the cut with that crap, nor should you, you jerk.
  2. Proper script formatting.  All plays will be given an eyeball scan before going to the reading panel – not formatted in a standardly acceptable and legible format? It won’t be read.  Period.
  3.  The venue is a non-traditional space with a bar, with a 10 p.m. show time.  This means, practically speaking, we will not be casting any actors under 18.  It also means your play should be able to withstand the horror of the bartender dumping an ice bucket during the performance or the occasional person who just HAS to have a gin and tonic at the most emotionally naked moment of your play.  The bartender may forget the lime, and that might make said audience member angry.  In short, consider not sending us your quietest, most fragile piece.
  4. Time limit:  Our goal is a 90 minute show with some gaps between pieces with music (no intermission).  We have no time minimum for individual pieces, and prefer varied lengths of individual pieces throughout the evening.  One minutes, five minutes, 7.5 minutes, 20 seconds  – all fine if it works, but we sincerely doubt a piece a moment longer than 10 minutes will make the cut.  In short, send us plays UNDER 10 minutes – it does not matter how far under.  The royalty will be divided equally among all playwrights, regardless of individual page/time contributions to the total on the principle that time does not necessarily equate to impact – and because we suck at math.
  5.  As a practical matter, we will not be hiring a fight choreographer, and will not jeopardize safety in the execution of a piece.  Bear that in mind.
  6. Submission limit is two pieces of any length (see above) per playwright.  Submit in two separate emails. Your third submission will be deleted without reading.
  7. A word on our tastes.  Given the theme, and the “man only” thing, we anticipate plays about fatherhood, brotherhood, friendship, marriage, work, but our minds are open.  We expect to laugh a bunch, think a bit, and would like to offer our audiences something unexpected.  Given our goal, time of night and venue, works that jump right into stuff going on the first line is exciting, plays that take two pages to gain energy, less so.  Hit it.  Do it. We don’t have time to meander, and neither do you.
  8. No published plays, or plays that have had any performances in New England within FIVE years of this performance (October 2014) and no plays that have been produced at the Boston Theater Marathon at any time.  We would like to say “brand spanking new” – but it is enough for us to tell the audience we know, with reasonable certainty, this is new to them.
  9. No works with any underlying copyrights involved.  We don’t like lawyers.  You don’t like lawyers.  If you’re a lawyer and were offended by that statement, call our lawyer.
  10. Stickball Productions will claim zero rights on your individual plays future rights.  We may assess whether the collection is worthy of seeking a publisher, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it, if we come to it, in full discussion with you.
  11. “Male only” means male, not “white male only” and we hope to see submissions from a diverse spectrum of writers of color, veterans, male identified, gay, straight, transgender, etc. The reading panel is very diverse (including women) the director is a woman, and the audition call will also require a broad spectrum of diversity.
  12. We are not afraid of musicals (we hear 10 minute musicals might exist… weird) – .  Include link to your ORIGINAL music if that’s applicable – do not mail cd’s, don’t come to our houses and sing.  We will not have a full orchestra and the musical component is, at this stage, unknown.  Might be a live guitar player, might have a small band – we expect the needs of the pieces and the final selected plays to guide us in those decisions.
Send the following with your submission, and if sending two submissions, send them separately with complete requested information:

The play (obviously) with your name and contact information on the cover sheet.
A brief bio in the body of the email, early career writers are most welcome, just tell us a bit about yourself.

Send it to stickballsubmissions@gmail.com Do not mail hardcopies.

No submissions will be accepted after Midnight, May 30, 2014.

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