Folks in the field of playwriting for youth are plenty familiar with the Bonderman Playwriting Festival for Youth, first conceived by founder Dorothy Webb in 1983. After Webb announced her retirement last year, Indiana Repertory Theatre (home of the Bonderman Festival since the mid-’90s) sought a new partner to help reimagine the festival.
Last May IRT and Childsplay met to begin work on transforming the Bonderman Festival into Write Now — a “biennial national competition and process-focused workshop” supporting the work of both emerging and established playwrights. Their collaboration is funded in part by a $100,000 award from the NYC-based Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. The first Write Now gathering takes place March 14-17, 2013 in Tempe. The second takes place in Indianapolis during 2015.
IRT and Childsplay are collaborating to “advocate for playwrights and promote the development of new plays for young audiences.” Playwrights from across the country have until July 31 to submit their scripts for K-12 audiences to Write Now. Playwrights must be at least 18 years old when they submit their work, and only one submission per playwright will be accepted. Musicals will not be accepted for the 2013 contest.
At least four scripts will be selected by a panel of peers to participate in the full workshop process, which includes “a week on site at Childsplay with a development team, followed by a reading of the script at the Write Now gathering.” Semi-finalists will be invited to read excerpts of their scripts. Winners will be contacted in December.
Write Now gatherings are designed to engage playwrights, directors, actors, theater artists and others in the play development process. Producers, educators, students and theater practioners with a passion for new plays are invited to attend. The event features rehearsed readings of all finalist plays, excerpts of semi-finalist plays and an “experiential” artistic keynote.
Also “stimulating conversations about new pactices in the development of work for young audiences” and “a formal discussion of the development of a national new plays network for young audiences.” Registration fees are $150 (adults) and $135 (students) before Jan. 31, 2013 — and $175 (adults) and $160 (students) after.
There’s even a group rate on a limited number of rooms reserved by Childsplay at the Courtyard by Marriott Tempe Downtown, which is within walking distance of both Write Now venues — Childsplay’s Campus for Imagination and Wonder and the Tempe Center for the Arts, where both local schools and community groups will participate as audience members.
So save the date, grab your pen and let the new works begin.
Note: Click here for details about submitting your work for consideration
Coming up: Art meets Mother’s Day, Once upon a dance competition, Festival spotlights women playwrights, One mother’s diary, Ode to Maurice Sendak