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Tuesday, September 29, 2015


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For this commission, please consider the work of Maria Irene Fornes, a godmother of formally innovative playwriting in the U.S.

Please take a look, specifically, at The Danube and Fefu and Her Friends. (If you have not read the work of Maria Irene Fornes you might want also to dip into Mud, Abington Square, The Conduct of Life, and Promenade — or others!)

In crafting the idea for the play you wish to propose, please utilize the following:
  • a cast made up entirely of women
  • a play broken into 5 scenes, at least three of which are set in different locations
  • voices from people who are not in the room, and the faces of people who are not in the room 
  • (cannot be puppets or language tapes)
  • (probably avoid screens or screen containing devices)
  • a singalong
  • a scene which is repeated

And please begin your play (ala Fornes) with one of the two sentences:
“Something like that could never happen.”
“That’s why they left.”

Finally, some helpful thoughts from Ms. Fornes:
  • Be always true to the character, respectful of the character.
  • Something inside you eventually shifts into the perspective of the character.
  • It’s important not to be seduced by style.

Please submit the following through the online application:
(this is a BLIND submission, see notes below)
  • completed information form
  • a one-page letter of intent telling us about your proposed project
  • 10 exploratory pages from the proposed project (either contiguous or from different sections of the proposed play – your choice)
  • a completed play you’ve written in the past (see note below)
  • a resume


No names please, on the letter, the 10 page sample or the complete play. The panel reads all submissions BLIND — the only place your name should appear is on the info form and on your resume.

The letter of intent should briefly map out the proposed piece and, if need be, orient the reader to the excerpt’s relationship to the whole. You needn’t explain or repeat anything that your 10 page sample makes clear. Then give us an idea of where the piece is coming from and where you think you want to go with it.

We are requesting a completed play you’ve written in the past so that our readers can get a greater sense of your voice, if they feel they need to. Please note (where prompted in the info form) any relationship or similarities the completed play has to the proposed project, and recommend 10 pages for us to look at for reference.

One last thing: this is a commission for Clubbed Thumb. So look around our website at our parameters and history for reference, if they are not familiar to you.


DEADLINE: Wednesday, September 30th at 11:59pm.

The proposals will be read and adjudicated over the course of the fall, and the commission(s) awarded by the end of 2015.

The $15,000 commission — which might be split between writers if the panel so elects — will be paid out in three installments every six months, with the first installment following the signing of a contract. Send questions to info[at]clubbedthumb.org

Click here to fill out an application.

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