Submissions Now Being Accepted for 4th Annual NEWvember New Plays Festival
AboutFACE Ireland, in partnership with Tangent Theatre Company, are delighted to announce the Call for Submissions for their 4th annual NEWvember New Plays Festival - a showcase of original plays by promising playwrights to be held at the Carpenter Shop Theatre in the historic village of Tivoli in upstate New York. The NEWvember Festival will showcase these works over a four-day weekend in November, presented via rehearsed readings and featuring established actors and directors bringing these works to life.
AboutFACE and Tangent will be presenting this year's festival November 6- 9, 2014; submissions are now being accepted from May 1st through June 30th (submission guidelines at newvemberfestival.com). The final outstanding plays will be selected based on originality, range, production potential, storytelling quality and emotional resonance, and will be announced early October. The spirit of NEWvember is to provide a dynamic, interactive and comfortable place where writers can hear their plays read by seasoned actors and discuss their work and creative process. Last year's Call for Submissions garnered over 300 plays, from all over the world - which were then whittled down to the selected eight (a combination of six full lengths and two one-acts).
AboutFACE are delighted to be co-producing the NEWvember Festival for its fourth year. The two companies met in 2006 when Tangent visited Dublin and contacted Irish theatre companies. AboutFACE responded, the two companies met up, found huge interests in common, and have been collaborating closely ever since.
While collaborating on a project together in 2011, AboutFACE's Paul Nugent had the idea that Tangent's intimate space, the Carpenter Shop Theatre in the picturesque village of Tivoli in upstate New York, would be the perfect venue for a weekend of play readings. Since then, the festival has grown from strength to strength. Paul says, "The idea just seemed to fit perfectly - this intimate theatre in a leafy retreat environment, yet within commutable distance of New York City, and working with our great colleagues and friends Michael and Andrea Rhodes and the Tangent team who, like our company AboutFACE, have such a hunger and devotion for producing new plays and for staging them with truth and clarity. We just knew we could start something special here. And so it has proved."
According to Michael Rhodes, Tangent's artistic director, the festival has been a unique, diverse and rich experience. "NEWvember has really grown over the last few years - not only the huge audience turnout and the talents involved, but also in the strength of the plays presented. Each year we are amazed that any of the plays included could be ready for production. That's quite a testament and excites us to keep presenting this popular festival."
AboutFACE has long been devoted to producing new plays - in their first phase of production between 2002 and 2005, they produced the Irish premieres of seven new American plays, including Tape, The Laramie Project and The Glory of Living, while most recently, they presented their first fully original play, the world premiere of Orson Welles' Christmas Carol, at Marlay House in 2012 and Powerscourt Theatre in 2013, which the Irish Examiner called one of "Christmas 2013's must-attend events" and No More Workhorse said was "resplendent ... the audience was mesmerised."
In its first three years, NEWvember has received over 600 play submissions from around the world, presented rehearsed readings by 19 playwrights, and last year broke box-office records at the Carpenter Shop, with full houses across the four day weekend. For the second year in a row, the NEWvember festival was awarded a project grant from the NY state body Arts Mid Hudson to further spotlight this artists-driven event.
Many of the plays read at previous festivals have gone on to further development and acclaim, such as John Cariani's Love/Sick, which closed out the festival in 2012, and has already since been produced at a number of regional theatres in the US. AboutFACE's Paul Nugent is excited to see what plays will be submitted this year for consideration: "Last year's festival gave us runaways, musical ghosts, duels, assassination, and a girl in a gym-bag, in locations ranging from the Old West and rural Wales to a military academy and a cargo plane. I can't wait to see what stories we will get to share this year."
Last year's festival featured a strong Irish presence, with one of the chosen plays being Galway writer Seamus Scanlon's The Long Wet Grass, about an IRA assassin struggling with having to kill his childhood sweetheart. Other writers last year hailed from Wales, Chicago, Pennsylvania and New York. Among the ensemble cast were actors Tim Ruddy from Mayo and Conor McIntyre from Meath, as well as AboutFACE's Paul Nugent from Dublin. Ireland-based AboutFACE Company Members in the reading panel included Noni Stapleton and Alan Walsh.
For more info and specific submission guidelines, visit NEWvemberFestival.com.