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Saturday, February 7, 2015

Bechdel Group Readings seeks plays

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The Bechdel Group Readings is a series of new work and works in progress.

We accept brand new plays and screenplays, scripts in development, partial scripts, drafts - anything in progress. Our readings are designed to provide an opportunity to further script development, so we're excited about work that is not yet 'complete'. We typically feature 20 - 40 pages of a script, although every reading is different. Questions? Email us at bechdelgroup@gmail.com

submission form

We are looking for plays and screenplays that include the feminine experience beyond a woman’s romantic relationships. While we acknowledge that love, sex, and romance are all primal parts of being female, we insist that no real, three-dimensional woman lives in a romantic bubble. We are hoping to read, write, and hear stories about women who are more like us, women who talk to their friends about many subjects, including, but not limited to, sex. Our name, The Bechdel Group, comes from Alison Bechdel’s comic strip "Dykes To Watch Out For" (1985), where one of the characters outlined the above criteria for seeing a movie.

On the last Monday of each month, The Bechdel Group produces readings of new works that meet the following criteria:

Somewhere in the script …
1. two female characters
2. who have names
3. speak to each other
4. about something other than their romantic relationships
5. for the entirety of at least a complete scene/conversation.

The intention is to …
1. promote writers writing for women,
2. create more roles for women,
3. challenge the accepted portrayal of women in film and on stage.

Through this series, playwrights will have the unique opportunity to have their work read by a community of actors and to participate in a workshop format that includes:

A guided feedback discussion with the actors and audience directly following the reading.
A pre- and post-reading discussion with our resident dramaturg.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Wait, what is this?
This is a series of workshop readings of new plays/screenplays. The actors and audience participate in a festive discussion after the reading.

I don’t identify as female, can I still submit a script?
Yes! Our primary aim is to examine and challenge the roles being written for women. We’d love to hear from all writers.

Does the whole play have to be just two women talking about not-sex?
No. Your script can have as many characters as you want, and they can talk about all kinds of things.

Including sex and relationships?
Yes, including that. The Bechdel Test stipulates that at least one scene contains two women talking about something else.

I’m an actor who doesn’t identify as female. Can I participate in readings?
Many scripts will indeed feature non-female roles. Also, we very much want to have anyone who likes talking about plays participate.

But I have this amazing script with an incredibly layered and dimensional female character! Can’t I submit it anyway?
We know there are many, many, many amazing roles for women in plays and films that do not pass the Bechdel Test. This series, though, is for plays and screenplays that do.

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