Otherworld Theatre Announces Literary Team Changes, Calls For Play Submissions

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Otherworld Theatre Announces Literary Team Changes, Calls For Play Submissions

Otherworld Theatre Company's management team announced today that it has named Derek McPhatter as the company's Interim Literary Manager. McPhatter is stepping into a role that is vital to Otherworld Theatre's mission to bring live science fiction and fantasy theatre to audiences in Chicago and around the world. Full-length plays in these genres aren't published in abundance.

So, McPhatter's help and expertise are crucial to the success of the company's programming. As part of the company's path forward, Otherworld Theatre company is also seeking volunteer readers as well as submissions from playwrights. While the company has found success and enjoyment in moving to a digital platform, the literary team is dedicated to continuing their work so we are well-prepared for the return of our live audiences.

"Otherworld Theatre Company has carved a unique niche as a home for genre theater. So many professional theater artists have been taught to minimize their passion for science fiction and fantasy. But Otherworld is helping change that season by season, realizing the potential for innovative, imaginative works on stage! As interim literary manager, I'm planning to introduce Otherworld to an even broader creative community as they launch new productions, expand programming partnerships and build capacity for play development." says Derek McPhatter.

Derek Lee McPhatter is excited to deepen his relationship with Otherworld Theatre Company. He was thrilled with Otherworld's 2019 concert production of Bring the Beat Back, his queer black sci-fi music theater passion project, following a number of other McPhatter plays in the company's reading series and PARAGON Festival. Derek is committed to new work that engages diverse communities, emphasizing narratives at the intersection of race, class, gender, sexuality and technology. He has been at the vanguard of several high-profile ventures aimed at diversifying 21st century performing arts. He is a founding playwright with the Fire This Time Festival, and was featured in the first season of Harlem9's 48 Hours in Harlem Festival -- two Obie-award winning platforms that champion theater-makers of African descent. His work has been supported by grants, residencies and awards from the Jerome Foundation, Djerassi, Hi-Arts, the Chicago Digital Media Production Fund, the Puffin Foundation, the Propeller Fund, and the United States Embassy in the United Kingdom, to name a few. Publications include Otherwise Oblivion, a featured play in the 2016 afro-futurism volume of Obsidian - Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora, and Envisioning NightQueen, a nonfiction fantasy-forward essay forthcoming from Leonardo / The International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology (ISAST).

In addition to adding Derek McPhatter to the literary team, Otherworld Theatre Company has announced a call for science-fiction and fantasy scripts to consider for their next season as well as their annual short-play festival, PARAGON. Interested playwrights are encouraged to submit any sci-fi or fantasy works they would like produced by Otherworld Theatre Company. Full-length plays are welcome for consideration as part of the main stage and Second Stage programming. Every year Otherworld Theatre Company produces between 3 - 5 full-length productions in the Bradbury Theater. Short plays are also considered for production as part of the annual PARAGON short play festival. PARAGON has presented nearly 200 one-act sci fi and/or fantasy plays since its founding in 2014 and is a highlight of the annual season. PARAGON is also a favorite way to engage new talent! Dramas, comedies, and dramedies are all welcome. They encourage writers to review past productions for a full picture of the kind of work they do:


For the upcoming season, the company is particularly interested in:

Fresh Perspectives - the company appreciates a good narrative inspired by Tolkien or Star Trek, but are more excited by imaginative worlds less familiar to their audience.

Diverse Voices - the audience reflects the multi-cultural, eclectic communities that make Chicago wonderful; the company wants its cohort of playwrights and other collaborators to reflect that diversity.

Sub-genres - steampunk, genre mash-up, and mythology have been big hits at Otherworld! They're very open to plays in these or similar sub-genres.

Additional submission guidelines and Information is available on the website:


Submissions via the New Play Exchange are preferred. Otherworld Theatre Company's New Play Exchange profile can be found at: https://newplayexchange.org/organizations/949550/otherworld-theatre-company-nfp

Otherworld Theatre Company is also seeking volunteer readers to help diversify and streamline the selection process. The company's goal is to further develop a diverse committee of writers, directors, performers and genre theatre enthusiasts to review submissions. Volunteer readers at Otherworld often move on to direct, perform, and develop shows at Otherworld, and they're actively seeking a few new team members. If interested please submit a resume and cover letter to submissions@otherworldtheatre.org with "SPRING READER INQUIRY" in the subject line.

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