Aurora Theatre Company Now Accepting GAP Submissions

Aurora Theatre Company Now Accepting GAP Submissions

Berkeley's acclaimed Aurora Theatre Company has announced a call for submissions for its 10th anniversary season of the Global Age Project (GAP) festival of new works. The company will choose three new plays to be presented as staged readings with professional directors and actors during the GAP festival in February and March of 2015; the festival will coincide with the company's fully-staged Bay Area Premiere of Nicky Silver's (Pterodactyls, Raised in Captivity) scathingly funny Broadway hit THE LYONS, directed by Barbara Damashek (American Buffalo, Fat Pig, Private Jokes, Public Places). Each of the three prizewinners will receive a $1,000 award and their work will be considered for further development and production during Aurora Theatre Company's regular season; out of town artists will receive travel and accommodation expenses. The submission period opens June 2; deadline for play submission is July 15, 2014. Finalists will be announced in early December 2014. Aurora Theatre Company is excited to offer online script submission for the GAP. Playwrights may upload their submissions directly to Aurora Theatre Company's website at; there is a $20 submission fee per play manuscript.

The Global Age Project is Aurora Theatre Company's annual new works festival exploring the 21st century and beyond, seeking plays that directly respond to our complicated present and our possible futures. The festival celebrates the diversity of perspectives, voices, and stories that make up the world today. Aurora is particularly interested in plays that might be considered for the company's main stage season: plays that work well in an intimate thrust space, that engages audiences on an intellectual as well as visceral level, and that celebrate the art of storytelling in both nuanced and surprising ways. Aurora invites playwrights to visit to view current and previous GAP seasons before submitting. The GAP encourages plays that take a thought-out and authentic approach to international concerns. Plays that are set in a historical time period, defined as prior to the year 2000, will not be considered. Plays that are shorter than 60 minutes or 60 pages will not be considered. Plays that have already received a professional production are not eligible. Playwrights may only submit one play per writer per year.

"I would like to welcome back our GAP producer M. Graham Smith. As we near the 10th Anniversary of The Global Age Project, I realize that our initial goals for the project have far exceeded what we set out to accomplish with the program," said Aurora Theatre Company Artistic Director Tom Ross. "Aurora Theatre Company has become a nationally recognized laboratory and incubator for new theatrical work. We've embraced opportunities to create relationships with established playwrights such as Amy Freed, Allison Moore, and Craig Lucas, as well as lauded new playwrights such as JC Lee and Kristoffer Diaz. We've also created strong relationships with over 30 local directors, some of whom have graduated to directing main stage productions at Aurora. Just as importantly, Aurora's audiences have revealed themselves to be enthusiastic supporters of plays in process. The GAP readings have enjoyed packed houses and passionate post-show discussions." Continued Ross, "To date, 38 unproduced plays have been developed under the GAP banner, and $35,000 has been awarded directly to GAP playwrights. This year, in addition to three nights of readings, we will celebrate our 10 years with an evening dedicated to the playwrights, actors, directors, and producers who have made our notion of exploring life in the 21st century and beyond into a resounding success."

Over the past nine years, the GAP has established an astounding track record for nurturing new playwrights. During the first year, Dan Hoyle's early draft of Tings Dey Happen was a GAP prizewinner and received its first public showing at Aurora Theatre Company; since then, the show has gone on to become a huge success in New York and San Francisco, where it won the Glickman Award. Laura Jacqmin, whose play Happyslap was a GAP prizewinner during the festival's second year, won the Wasserstein Award for an outstanding script by a young woman who has not yet received national attention. Additionally, playwright Zayd Dohrn, whose play Sick was a 2008 GAP prizewinner, garnered the first Sky Cooper New American Play Prize at Marin Theatre Company. Our Dad is in Atlantis by Javier Malpica, translated by Jorge Ingacio Cortiñas, was published in its entirety in American Theatre Magazine following its GAP reading in 2008. Joel Drake Johnson's The First Grade originated as a GAP finalist and became the first Aurora main stage production to develop from the GAP. Allison Moore's Collapse, which originated as a GAP finalist, became the second main stage production to develop from the GAP; the play received its main stage debut as a National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere, a collaboration with Aurora Theatre Company (lead theater), Curious Theatre in Denver, and Kitchen Dog Theater in Dallas, during the 2010-11 season, and has gone on to be staged in several additional professional productions. During the 2012-13 season, Aurora presented the World Premiere of Anthony Clarvoe's Our Practical Heaven, the third Aurora main stage production to develop from the GAP. GAP 2013 prizewinner Luce by JC Lee recently received a full production at New York City's Lincoln Center.

M. Graham Smith, Artistic Director of Precarious Theatre, returns to Aurora Theatre Company for a fifth season as GAP producer. Bay Area directing credits include productions at Shotgun Players, Cutting Ball Theater, Brava Theater, Berkeley Playhouse, Golden Thread, New Conservatory Theatre, American Conservatory Theater's Masters program, EXIT Theatre, Asian American Theatre Company, Playground, and Playwrights Foundation, among others. He directed the West Coast Premiere of Jerry Springer: The Opera in San Francisco for Ray of Light Theatre, as well as the opera Love/Hate with ODC and San Francisco Opera. He teaches acting at American Conservatory Theater and Waterfront Studio. This fall he will direct his first musical with Shotgun Players, Harry Thaw Hates Everybody. He is the Edgerton Foundation's Director in Residence at Occidental College in Los Angeles this season.

Aurora Theatre Company rounds out its 22nd season in June with David Mamet's powerful, Pulitzer Prize-winning drama AMERICAN BUFFALO, directed by Barbara Damashek. The company opens its 23rd season in August with the Bay Area Premiere of Obie-winning playwright Gina Gionfriddo's Pulitzer-nominated comedy RAPTURE, BLISTER, BURN, directed by Desdemona Chiang. The company presents the West Coast Premiere of Fraser Grace's off Broadway hit BREAKFAST WITH MUGABE in November, directed by Jon Tracy. Barbara Damashek returns to Aurora in January to direct the Bay Area Premiere of Nicky Silver's viciously hilarious Broadway hit THE LYONS. The company pays homage to Lanford Wilson with "The Talley Trilogy" in April with the Pulitzer Prize-winning TALLEY'S FOLLY, directed by Joy Carlin in the company's second stage performance space, Harry's UpStage, followed by FIFTH OF JULY, helmed by Aurora Theatre Company Artistic Director Tom Ross. As a special addition to the 23rd season, and completing the trilogy, Aurora will present readings of Wilson's rarely performed play TALLEY & SON in April, directed by Jennifer King. Aurora Theatre Company closes its 23rd season in June with the Bay Area Premiere of Lisa D'Amour's wicked Obie-winning satire DETROIT, directed by Josh Costello.

Voted Best Theater Company in 2012 by SF Weekly, Aurora Theatre Company continues to offer challenging, literate, intelligent stage works to the Bay Area, each year increasing its reputation for top-notch theater. Located in the heart of the Downtown Berkeley Arts District, Aurora Theatre Company, declared "one of the best regional theaters around" by 7x7 magazine, has been called "one of the most important regional theaters in the area" and "a must-see midsize company" by the San Francisco Chronicle, while The Wall Street Journal has "nothing but praise for the Aurora." The Contra Costa Times stated "perfection is probably an unattainable ideal in a medium as fluid as live performance, but the Aurora Theatre comes luminously close," while the San Jose Mercury News affirmed Aurora Theatre Company is "arguably the finest small theater in the Bay Area," Stark Insider said "The Aurora excels at smart theatre that takes you out of your world without wasting your time," and the Oakland Tribune stated "it's all about choices, and if you value good theater, choose the Aurora."

Aurora Theatre Company gratefully acknowledges GAP sponsors The San Francisco Foundation, The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, and Hillary and Jonathan Reinis for their support.

Aurora Theatre Company gratefully acknowledges the following foundations and government agencies for their support: Actors' Equity Foundation, Alameda County Arts Commission, Berkeley Civic Arts Program & Civic Arts Commission, East Bay Community Foundation, The Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, The Thomas J. Long Foundation, The Bernard Osher Foundation, The San Francisco Foundation, The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, The Shubert Foundation, Twanda Foundation, The Wood Foundation, and The Zellerbach Family Foundation.

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