Jewish Plays Project Now Accepting Applications for 2014 Jewish Playwriting Contest
David Winitsky (Artistic Director) and Jeremy Stoller (Contest Producer) of the jewish plays project* are excited to announce the return of jpp's competition for full-length plays dealing with contemporary jewish themes. Using a curated jury process followed by a series of live selection events, the Contest will give equal voice to jewish audiences and artists in creating jewish theater for the 21st Century.
* We consistently use a lower-case "j" in the words "jewish" and "jew". This is meant to unload the words of some historical baggage, and to indicate that I understand these as ideas and abstractions, rather than definitive national traits. No offense is meant.
IMPORTANT NOTE: THE CONTEST IS OPEN TO ARTISTS OF ALL BACKGROUNDS, DENOMINATIONS, FAITHS, CREEDS, RELIGIONS and other IDEALS. We believe that jewish identity and culture are specific manifestations of universal human cravings for spiritual, ethical, moral and worldly joy. "Matrilineal descent" is neither important nor necessary.
CONTENT PREFERENCES: The jpp seeks to give theatrical voice to the 21st Century jewish experience, in all its forms. While we value history, we are particularly fond of plays that tackle vibrant strands of today's world: social justice, economic justice, diversity, strong women in jewish life, LGBTQ inclusion, new perspectives on Israel, environmentalism, and interfaith relations.
Over the last 10 years, the theatrical community has devised numerous ways to respond in real time to the world around us (props to Gun Control Theater Action, Sojourn Theater and a host of others). We want to encourage a jewish voice in this new world of social action performance.
Without being cheerleaders, we seek to celebrate the ways in which our jewish identity informs and betters our global selves.
SUBMISSION: Entries are due by November 21 at 6 pm (Happy Hanukkah!). Playwrights must fill out the Contest Application form (www.jewishplaysproject.org/submit).
As part of the form, playwrights will upload their play as a PDF with their name removed (all plays are reviewed blind). There is no fee to submit, but there is a one (1) submission per person rule.
ELIGIBILITY: Full-length plays that deal with contemporary jewish themes that have never been produced in New York City. The following must be true of a submitted play:
1. It is not a Yiddish play.
2. It is in English. (We welcome translations).
3. It is not a Holocaust play. (We have a separate category for those. See www.jewishplaysproject.org/shoah)
4. It contains significant jewish themes, characters, content, or points of view.
5. It does NOT fall into the beloved category of "ethnically stereotypical comedy" (No 'Yiddishemammeh" plays, no "My Afternoon With Bubbe", no "Jewtopia")
6. It has not had a full production in the NY Metro region.
7. It is unpublished.
8. It is NOT a musical (plays with music may apply).
REPEAT SUBMISSIONS: Plays that were submitted to the 2012 or 2013 Contest ARE eligible (with the exception of the two previous years' winners). We will consult our earlier notes, so if you have substantially revised your piece, please let us know.
SELECTION PROCESS: The Contest strives to engage a broad audience in a discussion of what new jewish theater should be. All scripts are reviewed by an Artistic Panel of actors, directors, writers and academics for their aesthetic value, and structural and stylistic innovation. This group selects a Top 10 (or so) that continues on to our public contests. Finalists will be announced in January 2014.
PUBLIC CONTESTS: The jpp will present 3-5 of our signature Txt2Thtr events in 2014. At each event, 20-minute selections from three plays are read by a stellar cast for an invited audience. The audience gives real-time feedback to the selection committee, and at the end of the night uses their cell phones to vote on a winner. In 2014, the jpp will present these events all over the nation: JCC Metrowest, JCC New Haven (CT), and potentially Vermont, Baltimore, Chicago and Brooklyn!
THE PRIZE: The winning play will receive development as part of the jpp's 3rd OPEN Festival of new jewish theater at the 14th Street Y in June of 2014. The writer will receive a residency, reading or workshop plus artist travel to New York. The Top 10 plays in the Contest will be considered for further development by the jpp, either as part of the Festival or through other programs.
The jpp's development process connects the best scripts to the hottest artists in New York. Past directors have included Daniella Topol, Benjamin Kamine, and Pirronne Yousefazadeh; actors have included Aya Cash, Bob Ari, Winnie Holzman, Teddy Bergman, Kathryn Kates and a host of others. The plays we highlight have gone on to production and development opportunities in New York and elsewhere. Throughout the year, we communicate with theaters and producers all over the country, and pitch the heck out of the scripts we love.. (See www.jewishplaysproject.org/success for more)
CONTEST PARTNERS: JCC Metrowest and Carol Berman; JCC New Haven and Dede Komisar; LABA: National Laboratory for New Jewish Culture and Becky Skoff; the Louis T. Roth Foundation and Natan/Birthright NEXT. The jpp was ignited by PresenTense.
ABOUT THE JEWISH PLAYS PROJECT: The jewish plays project puts bold, progressive jewish conversations on world stages. The jpp's innovative and competitive development vehicle invests emerging artists in their jewish identity; engages jewish communities in the vetting, selecting and championing of new voices; and secures mainstream production opportunities for the best new plays.