Autry National Center

Annual Call for Scripts, 2014-2015:
The American Indian Boarding School

The text below is available for download here as a PDF.

Native Voices at the Autry is America’s premier Equity theatre company dedicated to the development and production of new works by Native American, Alaska Native, Hawaiian, and First Nations playwrights.

Please note that we only accept submissions written for the stage or theatre by Native American, Alaska Native, Hawaiian, and First Nations artists.

For FullLength Plays (60+ pages)

Submissions due September 12, 2014 – General/No Theme

2015 Playwrights Retreat and Festival of New Plays

The retreat/festival brings artists together from across the globe to continue work on a select number of plays through a rigorous directorial and dramaturgical commitment for a week in May/June, with public presentations at the Autry National Center. Selected playwrights receive directorial and dramaturgical support as well as an honorarium; outoftown artists receive roundtrip airfare plus lodging in Southern California.

Selection Process: Fulllength plays (60+ pages) received by September 12, 2014, will be read and evaluated for each event. A select number of playwrights will be invited to submit formal proposals detailing their developmental goals should their play be chosen. Scripts will then be sent to a committee of nationally recognized theatre artists for further evaluation. With their help, Native Voices selects up to five plays for the Playwrights Retreat and Festival of New Plays. Playwrights will be notified in January 2015.

2015 First-Look Series

Selected plays receive a ten-hour workshop and public presentation at the Autry National Center. Selected playwrights receive directorial and dramaturgical support as well as an honorarium; outoftown artists receive roundtrip airfare plus lodging in Southern California. 

Selection Process: Fulllength plays (60+ pages) received by September 12, 2014, will be read and evaluated. Select scripts will then be sent to a committee of nationally recognized theatre artists for further evaluation. With their help, Native Voices selects up to five plays for workshops and readings. Playwrights will be notified in May 2015.

A Note About the Native Voices Developmental Process

Months prior to residencies at the Playwrights Retreat and Festival of New Plays or the FirstLook Series, selected playwrights participate in dramaturgical conversations with an assigned director and dramaturg. Workshops with these creative teams and a cast of professional actors commence once the playwright arrives onsite. It is important to note that these conversations and workshops are playwright driven, allowing the writer to shape his/her own developmental path.

For Short Plays (5 -16 pages)

Submissions due August 8, 2014

Theme-Based 4th Annual Short Play Festival

Selected short plays and oneacts will be presented during the Autry National Center’s American Indian Arts Marketplace in Los Angeles. This year’s theme is Legacy & Loss: Stories from the Indian Boarding School, Cut Short.

We are seeking short plays that reflect on the American Indian boarding school (or Canadian residential school) experience. A part of North American history not found in the average textbook, Indian boarding schools were first instituted in the late nineteenth century and operated well into the twentieth century. They were established as a means of assimilating Native American children into the Anglicized, Christian belief system. Many have described the boarding schools as a system of cultural genocide, especially in light of reported abuses that took place in the schools.

Plays submitted for the Short Play Festival may be based on either personal narratives, family stories, or research about boarding schools. We invite scripts that explore both the disruption caused by boarding schools– disruption of families, young lives, Native communities and culture– as well as scripts that focus on overcoming and triumphing in spite of the social issues wrought by the boarding school system. We hope to assemble a collage of stories that confront the heartbreak and devastation associated with the topic, yet also celebrate the strength and perseverance of Native American people and culture.

The subtitle for this year’s Short Play Festival, Cut Short, refers to the unjust “cutting short” of so much that came into contact with the Boarding School system– childhood cut short, relationships amongst families cut short, and even hair cut short in an effort to assimilate the children into Europeanized culture. Cut Short also simply refers to the short play form. Submissions from writers of all ages are welcome. Compact scenes or excerpts from fulllength plays are also acceptable, as long as they are reformatted as a separate, short play. Creativity and fresh approaches to the subject matter are strongly encouraged.

Selection Process: Short plays and oneacts (5 page min., 16 page max.) that are related to the theme and are received by August 8, 2014 will be read and evaluated by a national reading panel composed of Native American theatre artists and community members along with nationally recognized theatre artists. They will select 6 to 10 plays for the festival based on the creative use of the theme, originality, theatricality, and execution. Selected plays will be given a staged reading in November 2014, and a panel of judges will select the 2014 Von Marie Atchley Award for Excellence in Playwriting, a $1,000 cash prize.

Checklist for All Submissions

  • Please label script attachment as follows: PlayTitle_Author’s Last Name, First Initial (Example: MyNewPlay_Doe, J.doc).
  • Use a standard playscript format (oneinch margins, #12 Times or Courier font, all pages numbered).
  • Include a title page with full contact information (mailing address, phone numbers, email address) and a draft or revision date.
  • Include a character breakdown.
  • Provide a biography of 75–100 words. Please label attachment as follows: Bio_Author’s Last Name, First Initial (Example: Bio_Doe, J.doc).
  • Provide development history for the play. Label attachment as follows: DevHistory_PlayTitle_Author’s Last Name, First Initial (Example: DevHistory_MyNewPlay_Doe, J.doc).
  • To submit, fill out our online form and upload your submission materials here: Native Voices Script Submission Form

Please: DO NOT send treatments or outlines. Previously submitted plays should only be resubmitted if the play has undergone significant dramatic changes. Plays that are not selected are kept on file for consideration for future opportunities. Playwrights are encouraged to make multiple submissions (up to three per event), but selection will be limited to only one play per playwright, per event.

Where to Send Submissions

We now only accept electronic submissions (in Word or PDF format). To submit, fill out our online form and upload your materials here: Native Voices Script Submission Form

For questions or more information, email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Additional Information

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TheAutry.org/NativeVoices
Facebook.com/NativeVoices
Pinterest.com/NativeVoices
Native Voices Blog

Plays are evaluated on originality, theme, theatricality, and execution. Plays workshopped at Native Voices at the Autry have gone on to productions and/or readings at such venues as New York’s Public Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, VSA North Fourth Art Center, Workshop West in Canada, Pennsylvania Center Stage, Oklahoma Theatre Company, Trinity Repertory Company, and Montana Rep. They have also been featured at the Kennedy Center’s New Visions/New Voices Theatre for Young Audiences in Washington, D.C.; the Two Worlds Native American Theater and Film Festival in New Mexico; the City University of New York Indigenous World Theatre Reading Series; Idyllwild Native Arts Week; the Originals Festival in Brisbane, Australia; the ASSITEJ 16th World Congress and Performing Arts Festival; and the Origins Festival in London.


NATIVE VOICES IS SPONSORED BY

San Manuel Band of Mission Indians Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles Edison International Los Angeles County Arts Commission National Endowement for the Arts The Nissan Foundation Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians Wells Fargo

Native Voices

 

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