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Wednesday, July 29, 2020

The Strand Theater Company Brown Sugar Bake-Off

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Deadline: September 7, 2020
Baltimore MD

The Strand Theater Company stands in solidarity with our beloved Baltimore community as we seek justice for Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and all people oppressed by systems of racism. In our efforts to learn more and do more to impact social change, we are proud to team up with Two Strikes Theatre Collective for a virtual bake-off playwrighting festival, focused on Black womxn.

Inspired by Paula Vogel’s Bake-Offs, our Brown Sugar Bake-Off is an artistic response to the worldwide outcry against systemic racism. Though Black Lives Matter was founded by three Black women, the movement (much like liberation movements before it) has historically erased and undervalued Black women.

How this works:
  • Black womxn playwrights have until September 7, 2020 to write a short play using all the ingredients and following the provided “Recipe” (aka the rules)
  • Led by Two Strikes Theatre Collective and the Strand Theatre Company, our panel of readers will then select a collection of plays that will be presented in a virtual performance Festival that launches Strand Theater Company’s 2020-2021 Season. 
  • Each selected submission will be assigned a director and a cast, and will follow a three-week rehearsal period, leading up to the Festival on October 17, 2020. All performances will be pre-recorded. Playwrights will participate in live Q&As on the day of the Festival.
  • The Festival will be presented free of admission fees to the public. Donations will be encouraged to support the participants. Stipends will be provided to all Festival participants.
Brown Sugar FREE Playwriting Workshop (led by Dr. Nae Phillips and Christen Cromwell): Our Festival is open to the Baltimore community and beyond. We understand that there may be some who would like to participate in the Festival but may not know where to begin. Or, perhaps they want a refresher on how to write a short play. This free workshop is designed for you. Interested in joining the workshop? Please email info@strand-theater.org to sign up.

Food for Thought as you prepare your submission:
  • Read this article: “The Reckoning Will Be Incomplete Without Black Women and Girls.”
  • Read this quote: “White women and black men have it both ways. They can act as oppressor or be oppressed. Black men may be victimized by racism, but sexism allows them to act as exploiters and oppressors of women. White women may be victimized by sexism, but racism enables them to act as exploiters and oppressors of black people. Both groups have led liberation movements that favor their interests and support the continued oppression of other groups. Black male sexism has undermined struggles to eradicate racism just as white female racism undermines feminist struggle. As long as these two groups or any group defines liberation as gaining social equality with ruling class white men, they have a vested interest in the continued exploitation and oppression of others.” ― bell hooks, AIN'T I A WOMAN: BLACK WOMEN AND FEMINISM (1981)

The Recipe (aka the rules):
  • Playwrights must identify as Black womxn.
  • Submissions can be a short play, choreopoem, monologue, etc. 
  • The play/submission cannot exceed 10 pages (10 minutes or less).
  • Submission must have 5 characters or less
  • All performances will be pre-recorded. If actors are in the same space, the characters must remain six feet apart from one another.
  • Must include all of the following ingredients. 
The Ingredients:
Submissions must include all ingredients, which can be physical/literal or metaphysical/symbolic.
  • a Black womxn protagonist
  • a wig
  • a sign
  • a gathering 
  • brown sugar


Timeline:
Recipe Drop - July 20, 2020
Free Playwrighting Workshop- August 22, 2020
Submission Deadline - September 7, 2020
Selected plays announcement - Late September 2020
Rehearsal Period - 21 Days prior to the Festival
Virtual Festival performances - October 17, 2020

Completed play submissions should be forwarded to tstc.baltimore@gmail.com with the following subject format:
  • Brown Sugar Bake-Off SUBMISSION [Last Name]
  • The body of the email should contain the playwright’s first and last name, address, and a primary phone number
  • Please attach a character list containing the genders (if needed) and ages of characters if the script calls for them
  • The play should be included as a PDF attachment, with the playwright’s name and contact information removed from the actual script (blind submission)

WE ARE LOOKING FOR ACTORS AND DIRECTORS interested in taking part in the Festival.
Please e-mail your interest to tstc.baltimore@gmail.com with the following subject format:
Brown Sugar Bake-Off ACTOR [Last Name]
Brown Sugar Bake-Off DIRECTOR [Last Name]

Stipends will be provided to all Festival participants

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