The Playwrights Realm Launches Native American Artists Lab

Today The Realm opens submissions for two long-standing centerpiece programs for early-career playwrights: its Writing Fellowship Program and Scratchpad Series.

By: Jan. 18, 2022
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The Playwrights Realm Launches Native American Artists Lab

The Playwrights Realm has announced the Native American Artists Lab, a new program offering support to Native American Tribally Affiliated aspiring and emerging artists. Submissions for the Lab-which will, in its first installment, foster two projects from generative theater artists or artistic teams while also providing professional development opportunities to the artists-open February 22 and close March 13. Finalists will be chosen by a panel of Native American artists, including Madeline Sayet, Vickie Ramirez and Rhiana Yazzie. Today, January 18, The Realm opens submissions for two long-standing centerpiece programs for early-career playwrights: its Writing Fellowship Program and Scratchpad Series. The organization is seeking playwrights who take risks, embrace theatricality, and exhibit imagination, bravery, and intellectual curiosity. Submissions to both will be open until Sunday, February 13, 2022, and interested artists can apply to either program, or both simultaneously. The Realm supports playwrights and stories that fully reflect the diversity of the society we live in, and encourages writers and stories from every cultural perspective, experience, and background to submit.

Considering free, open submissions-and actually reading them in full-is fundamental to The Realm's dedication to early-career playwrights, its development of electrifying new work, and its creation of a pipeline from submission to production. (Over half of playwrights produced by The Realm first connected with the company via open submission.) The organization continues to expand the ways it can model supportive labor practices for the larger theater industry, and recognizes submission reading as fundamental to its artist-serving mission; this year, The Realm is upping pay for submission readers from $10 to $25 per script.

As The Realm continues to demystify facets of the theater industry to break down barriers to entry for aspiring and emerging artists, the organization will host a Zoom-based panel geared towards helping playwrights prepare work for open submissions, January 25 at 4pm ET.

Founding Artistic Director Katherine Kovner says, "We see open submissions-with a promise of actual reader engagement with all submitted work-as crucial to our abilities to both foster nascent careers and to act as a launching pad for singular voices. The response we get when we open these programs, with close to 1,000 submissions last year, is beyond exciting. But while open submissions open the door to creating a more equitable and diverse theater field, by itself they are not enough especially for the most underrepresented communities. The Realm has been grappling with our status on Unceded Native American Land and while this problem is immense we are taking action by focusing on how we can be helpful. I'm thrilled to be introducing the Native American Artist Lab, which will offer concrete support to the Native American Artistic Community by centering their voices."

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