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BWW Preview: AITAF - ARTS IN THE ARMED FORCES 2018

By: Jan. 22, 2018
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Actor and former Marine Adam Driver will give a large monetary prize to the winner of a new playwriting contest open only to veterans and active duty service members.

Driver, who joined the Marines after 9/11 and went on to act in HBO's "Girls" with Lena Dunham and most recently stars in Disney's reboot of "Star Wars," is searching the armed forces for people who want to get into the theater business.

"The military has acronyms for acronyms that can explain everything, but when it comes to explaining an experience, a post-traumatic experience, there's not a lot of opportunities," Driver, founder of Arts in the Armed Forces, told The New York Times.

"There's no reason to think that this community doesn't have anything to say," Driver said. "Maybe they don't have access to another way of saying it."

The winner of the prize will receive $10,000, a staged reading of the winning script in New York City or on base if the winner is on active duty, and an award presentation on Broadway.

The lead judge for the contest is Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks, who grew up in a military family and is the author of "Topdog/Underdog," a play about two black brothers who turn to swindling and shoplifting to survive life in a racist world.

Arts in the Armed Forces received a $10,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts earlier this year for continued work in bringing theater to veterans, service members and their families.

The Bridge Award winner will be announced May 1, 2018, and will be presented at the annual AITAF Broadway fundraiser in November 2018. The reading from the award winner will subsequently be presented in New York with a professional director and cast.

Submissions must be made through a link on the group's website: https://aitaf.org/the-bridge-award

Full rules and details also are available there, but here are some basics for aspiring writers:

- Current and former members of all military components are eligible, including students at service academies.

- No co-authored pieces will be accepted, and no screenplays, compilations of short plays or other works outside of completed plays will be considered.

- Finalists will receive word of their selection in mid-to late April, and will be asked to provide proof of service.

- Plays do not have to be about the military.

- Troops whose service may prevent them from attending a reading of their winning play in New York City may be eligible to host the reading at their duty station, pending command approval.



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