Special Call for Scripts, Fall/Winter 2013–2014
The American Indian Boarding School
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, Pacific Island, and First Nations playwrights.
We are currently seeking scripts that specifically address the American Indian boarding school system and surrounding issues. A part of 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.
Scripts may address the Indian boarding school from either contemporary or historical perspectives. They may focus on the experience of students, families, the boarding school itself, or on related issues stemming from the boarding school system. We invite engagement with topics such as the continued imprint of the boarding school on Native American families and cultural memory; the ongoing effort to preserve Native languages and religious practices in a post–boarding-school era; or parallels between the failures of the Indian boarding school system and the problems that plague our school systems today. Other ideas might include stories of success brought on by access to education; the World War II Code Talkers or other Indian leaders or activists who came from the boarding school system; or the struggle to reconcile assimilation with the pressing need for cultural preservation.
Please note that we only accept submissions written for the stage or theatre by Native American, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, and First Nations artists.
Full-Length Plays (60+ pages)
Submissions due February 15, 2014
2014–2015 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; out-of-town artists receive roundtrip airfare plus lodging in Southern California.
Selection Process: Full-length plays (60+ pages) received by February 15, 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 2014.
A Note About the Native Voices Developmental Process
Months prior to residencies at the Playwrights Retreat and Festival of New Plays or the First-Look 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 on-site. It is important to note that these conversations and workshops are playwright driven, allowing the writer to shape his/her own developmental path.
For One-Act Plays and Radio Plays (30–45 pages)
Submissions due February 15, 2014
2014–2015 First-Look Series
This year we are adding a new opportunity for playwrights who write one-act plays and radio plays. Selected plays receive a dedicated dramaturg for distance dramaturgy and public presentation at the Autry National Center as well as an honorarium.
Selection Process: One-act plays (30–45 pages) received by February 15, 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 six plays for workshops and readings. Playwrights will be notified in May 2014.
Please note that radio plays should be formatted correctly for audio recording and should last no longer than 50 minutes. For an example of audio format, go to scripped.com/help/nav/audioplay_elements.
For Short Plays (5–16 pages)
Submissions due March 15, 2014
4th Annual Short Play Festival
Selected short plays and one-acts will be presented during the Autry National Center’s American Indian Arts Marketplace in Los Angeles.
Selection Process: Short plays and one-acts (5-page min., 16-page max.) received by March 15, 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 based on the creative use of the theme, originality, theatricality, execution, and audience response.
Checklist for Submissions
- Please label script file as follows: PlayTitle_Author’s Last Name, First Initial (Example: MyNewPlay_Doe, J.doc).
- Use a standard play-script format (one-inch margins, #12 Times or Courier font, all pages numbered).
- Include a title page with full contact information (mailing address, phone numbers, e-mail address).
- Include a character breakdown.
- Provide a biography of 75–100 words. Please label file as follows: Bio_Author’s Last Name, First Initial (Example: Bio_Doe, J.doc).
- Provide development history for the play. Label file 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 materials here.
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 PDF or Word format):
To submit, fill out our online form and upload your materials here.
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, 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: