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Sunday, October 22, 2023

CRIP Monologues: Commissioned Writers


Deadline: October 27, 2023 5PM

Are you disabled? Do people stare at you when you enter a room? The Crip Monologues is an exciting new show from creator Jamie Hale, produced by CRIPtic Arts, showcasing performances by disabled people about observation, scrutiny, and the ways in which the disabled body becomes public property. These will be drawn together into a play, and performed naked (or whilst becoming naked), as a way of reclaiming the experience of being stared at – and doing it on our terms.

Jamie Hale in rehearsal for the Crip Monologues R&D, Camden People’s Theatre, 2021

We are looking to commission 12 draft monologues from disabled writers, four of which will be adapted to create a semi-verbatim script based on the monologue content and performed as ‘The CRIP Monologues’. We are looking for pieces that unpack what it is to be scrutinised. This theme is there to inspire and serve as a starting point for ideas, not to constrain you. How you interpret this theme is entirely up to you. Pieces can be funny, tragic, fictional, autobiographical, set in any place and time, character-driven or narrative-driven. They can reference the performer’s nudity but don’t have to. They should be in the first person from the perspective of the performer.

The 12 selected ideas/writers will each receive £250 to develop their pitch into a short monologue. We will then select 4 of these monologues to develop further and adapt into a full show script. 

The four selected writers will be paid £1000 to write their monologue and participate in a 4-day R&D in December 2023 as part of the adaption process. Within this, we anticipate keeping much of the text of the monologues intact, but adapting them to bring them together into a consistent play and world.

Please see the full timeline of development below:27 October: Opportunity closes
30 October – 2 November: Interviews
3 November: 12 Monologues commissioned
6 – 24 November: Writing period for 12 writers to create draft monologues
24 November: Final deadline for full monologues
24 November: 4 monologues chosen from the pool of 12 to take forward to R&D
4 & 5 December: Writers R&D with Dramaturg (online)
6 & 7 December: Writers R&D with Dramaturg (in person)

The Monologues will be performed in 2024 at Camden People’s Theatre, with other performances anticipated. 

Who is this opportunity for?

We’ve received a number of questions about visible and invisible disabilities and which stories this project is telling – so we spoke to Jamie about what they were looking for and who should submit.

Being surveilled is core to the disabled experience. Whether we’re engaging with benefits, housing, or healthcare, to be disabled is to constantly be judged against a standard of what it means to be both “disabled enough” and “too disabled”. These themes of scrutiny are vital and will resonate with a lot of people.

The creative thrust of the Crip Monologues is to explore what it is to exist in the world if you cannot avoid the experience of intrusive public scrutiny as a disabled person – who is used to being stared at by strangers. This means that we’re looking for writers for whom that experience of public scrutiny is ongoing and inevitable. This could include people from a wide range of impairment categories – we’re not limiting it to people with physical impairments. Instead, the project focuses on people who are immediately marked out for stares as disabled people, whether because of the expectations placed on their body, mind, behaviours, movements or otherwise. If you think this covers your experience, then we’d love to hear from you.

We have also received questions about whether writers outside the UK can apply: yes, we would love to hear your pitches. Please note that we would not be able to provide funding for international travel for any in person work.
How to Apply

If you’ve got an idea for a monologue, there are a couple of few ways you can submit your idea:

You can send a written application, video (in spoken English or BSL), or voice note with the below information to team@cripticarts.org. If you are sending audio or video, your pitch and question answer should each be a maximum of 2.5 minutes, and the writing sample (or performance sample if in BSL) should be a maximum of 5 minutes:A pitch of no more than 250 words, telling us about your idea. This could include telling us about the character, what will happen, and the tone it’s in.
A short answer (no more than 250 words) to the question, ‘How do you relate to the theme of being “the kind of disabled person who is stared at whatever they enter a room”?’
A sample of your writing (no more than one side of A4). This does not have to be script, it can be any writing you think shows us how you would write the piece, from poetry to fiction, theatre to essay.

The closing date for submissions is 27th October, at 5pm.

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