Playwright

EMOS 2015 – Call for Scripts

This post comes from Chantal Bilodeau’s Artists and Climate Change Blog

Earth Matters On Stage

EMOS ~ Ecodrama Playwrights Festival & Symposium ~ 2015
Hosted by the Department of Theatre and Dance
At the University of Nevada, Reno in May 2015

CALL FOR SCRIPTS

First place Award: $1,000 and workshop production
Second place Award: $500 and possible workshop production
Honorable mentions: public staged reading

Deadline for Submissions is April 1, 2014. 

The mission of EMOS’ Ecodrama Playwrights Festival is to call forth and foster new dramatic works that respond to the ecological crisis and that explore new possibilities of being in relationship with the more-than-human world.  The central questions EMOS asks are “when we leave the theater are things around us more alive? Do we listen better, have a deeper or more complex sense of our own ecological identity?”[i]  If your play does, send to us!

The EMOS Festival includes workshop performance/s of winning script, readings, talkbacks and discussions of the scripts that are finalists in the Playwrights’ Contest.  A concurrent Symposium will includes speakers, panels and discussions that advance scholarship in the area of arts and ecology, and help foster development of new works.

Past EMOS Winners:

  • 2012– Sila, the first play of The Arctic Cycle, by Chantal Bilodeau, in which “a climate scientist, an Inuit activist and her daughter, two Canadian Coast Guard Officers, an Inuit Elder, and a polar bear—see their values challenged as their lives become intricately intertwined.”
  • 2009 – Song of Extinction, by Los Angeles playwright EM Lewis, in which a musically talented teen and his father whose mother/wife is dying come to understand the deeper meanings of “extinction” from a Cambodian science teacher.  Song of Extinction premiered in Los Angeles and was recently published by Samuel French.
  • 2004 – Odin’s Horse, by Chicago playwright Rob Koon, in which a writer learns something about integrity from a tree sitter and a lumber company executive, went on to premier in Chicago in 2006.

Judges: A panel of distinguished theatre artists from the USA and Canada will choose the winning plays from five finalists.  Finalist will be read by past EMOS festival directors, Larry Fried, Theresa May and Wendy Arons, as well as EMOS artistic staff at the University of Nevada, Reno.  Past judges have included:  Robert Schenkkan, playwright; Martha Lavey, Artistic Director, Steppenwolf Theatre, Chicago, IL; José Cruz González, playwright; Ellen McLaughlin, playwright; Timothy Bond, Artistic Director Syracuse Stage, NY; Olga Sanchez, Artistic Director, Teatro Milagro, Portland, OR; Diane Glancy, playwright; Marie Clements, playwright, British Columbia.

Guidelines for Playwrights

Scripts must be original works which have not been published and have not had an Equity or “premiere” citation production.  (Readings or informal workshop productions are okay.)

Thematic Guidelines

We are looking for plays that do one or more of the following:

  • Put an ecological issue or environmental event/crisis at the center of the dramatic action or theme of the play.
  • Expose and illuminate issues of environmental justice.
  • Explore the relationship between sustainability, community and cultural diversity.
  • Interpret “community” to include our ecological community, and/or give voice or “character” to the land, or elements of the land.
  • Theatrically explore the connection between people and place, human and non-human, and/or between culture and nature.
  • Grow out of the playwright’s personal relationship to the land and the ecology of a specific place.
  • Theatrically examine the reciprocal relationship between human, animal and plant communities.
  • Celebrate the joy of the ecological world in which humans participate.
  • Offer an imagined world view that illuminates our ecological condition or reflects on the ecological crisis from a unique cultural or philosophical perspective.
  • Critique or satirizes patterns of exploitation, consumption, or other ingrained values that are ecologically unsustainable.
  • Are written specifically to be performed in an unorthodox venue such as a natural or environmental setting, and for which that setting is a not merely a backdrop, but an integral part of the intention of the play.

Submission Process

We are looking for full-length plays that are written primarily in English (no ten-minute plays, please; one-act plays are okay if 30+ minutes in length; no musicals, please).  Submitted plays should address the thematic guidelines as listed above. Deadline: April 1, 2014  ~ Early submission highly encouraged. / Electronic submissions may be sent; see #2 below for instructions.

  1. All submissions should include a cover page with:
  2. Two blind copies of the FIRST 30 PAGES OF THE SCRIPT ONLYPlease do not put the author’s name on the script, only on the title page.
  3. A synopsis of the play and cast requirements.
  • Play Title
  • Author Name
  • Contact Information
  • Additional requirements for Electronic Submissions:
    • Files must be saved in PDF; cover page may be a separate PDF file
    • Send to Jonathon Taylor at emos@unr.edu by April 1, 2014

Paper submissions must be received by April 1, 2014 to:

EMOS Festival
Jonathon Taylor, Department of Theatre and Dance,
University of Nevada, Reno
1664 North Virginia Street / MS 0228
Reno, NV 89557-0228

Evaluation Process

After reading the first 30 pages of all submitted plays, we will narrow the pool of submissions.  We will then request two full paper copies be sent to us by July 1, 2014.  Winners will be selected from this smaller pool.

Questions?  See our FAQ on the EMOS Website.  If you still have a question, email: emos@unr.edu.

Artists and Climate Change is a blog by playwright Chantal Bilodeau that tracks artistic responses from all disciplines to the problem of climate change. It is both a study about what is being done, and a resource for anyone interested in the subject. Art has the power to reframe the conversation about our environmental crisis so it is inclusive, constructive, and conducive to action. Art can, and should, shape our values and behavior so we are better equipped to face the formidable challenge in front of us.

Go to Chantal Bilodeau’s Artists and Climate Change Blog

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A Song of Our Warming Planet

This post comes from Chantal Bilodeau’s Artists and Climate Change Blog

Daniel Crawford; photo clip from A Song of Our Warming Planet

Daniel Crawford; photo clip from A Song of Our Warming Planet

Sometimes the arts can turn a cold set of data into a vivid experience. A remarkable example of this is how University of Minnesota undergrad Daniel Crawford uses his cello to communicate climate science through music. Crawford based his composition, A Song of Our Warming Planet, on surface temperature data from the NASA Goddard Institute of Space Studies. Each note represents a year from 1880 to 2012, with low notes assigned to relatively cool years and high notes to relatively warm years. The result is a haunting musical representation of the state of our planet, and a glimpse at where it is heading. I promise after listening to the piece, you will never be able to forget that temperature graph ever again.

Several articles have  written about the project. If you’re interested in Crawford’s process, make sure to look at Climate Progress and ensia.

Filed under: Music 

Artists and Climate Change is a blog by playwright Chantal Bilodeau that tracks artistic responses from all disciplines to the problem of climate change. It is both a study about what is being done, and a resource for anyone interested in the subject. Art has the power to reframe the conversation about our environmental crisis so it is inclusive, constructive, and conducive to action. Art can, and should, shape our values and behavior so we are better equipped to face the formidable challenge in front of us.

Go to Chantal Bilodeau’s Artists and Climate Change Blog

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Defining Climate Change Photography

This post comes from Chantal Bilodeau’s Artists and Climate Change Blog

photo by Joan Sullivanphoto by Joan Sullivan

Quebec-based photographer Joan Sullivan wrote a very insightful post on her blog about climate change photography and the role of climate change photographers in influencing the debate about the way forward.

Also, make sure you look at her website for some stunning photographs.

Filed under: Photography

Artists and Climate Change is a blog by playwright Chantal Bilodeau that tracks artistic responses from all disciplines to the problem of climate change. It is both a study about what is being done, and a resource for anyone interested in the subject. Art has the power to reframe the conversation about our environmental crisis so it is inclusive, constructive, and conducive to action. Art can, and should, shape our values and behavior so we are better equipped to face the formidable challenge in front of us.

Go to Chantal Bilodeau’s Artists and Climate Change Blog

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A Brilliant Idea: Warning Labels

This post comes from Chantal Bilodeau’s Artists and Climate Change Blog

6d09c2110d48d9cad9b014e93787c706I just came across this blog post by Robert Shirkey, lawyer and executive director of the Toronto-based organization Our Horizon. Shirkey argues that, just like we have warning labels on cigarette packages, we should have warning labels on gas pumps that remind us that the use of fossil fuels contributes to climate change. A very simple but powerful idea.

Filed under: Climate Communication

Artists and Climate Change is a blog by playwright Chantal Bilodeau that tracks artistic responses from all disciplines to the problem of climate change. It is both a study about what is being done, and a resource for anyone interested in the subject. Art has the power to reframe the conversation about our environmental crisis so it is inclusive, constructive, and conducive to action. Art can, and should, shape our values and behavior so we are better equipped to face the formidable challenge in front of us.

Go to Chantal Bilodeau’s Artists and Climate Change Blog

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Using Memes to Improve Climate Change Communication

This post comes to you from Chantal Bilodeau’s Artists and Climate Change Blog

1a3331c8276bf112acbb17c47252ebbbGlobal Warming Meme Map

An intriguing article just got published that puts forward a theory about why the messaging about global warming has been wrong. Hint: it may be because global warming is not an experience; it’s a meme. You can find the full report on which the article is based, called Global Warming is a Virus, compiled by Joe Brewer and Balazs Lazlo Karafiath, here.

Filed under: Climate Communication

Artists and Climate Change is a blog by playwright Chantal Bilodeau that tracks artistic responses from all disciplines to the problem of climate change. It is both a study about what is being done, and a resource for anyone interested in the subject. Art has the power to reframe the conversation about our environmental crisis so it is inclusive, constructive, and conducive to action. Art can, and should, shape our values and behavior so we are better equipped to face the formidable challenge in front of us.

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From Sarah Moon: Tauris to Premiere in NYC… and you can help.

Friend of the CSPA, playwright Sarah Moon, has reached us with a letter about the next steps for her piece, Tauris, which will premiere in New York City This June:

Erin and Bryan

Dear Friends,

I’m excited to let you know that my play TAURIS, an adaptation of Euripides Iphegenia at Tauris, on evironmental themes, will be premiering  at New York’s Planet Connections Festivity in June. We’ve put together a great team that includes Director Jenny Fersch, Composer/musician Daniel Emond, Actors Erin Layton, Bryan Burton, Matt Jacques and Laura Delhauer.

We are raising funds now to support the full production of the play. We need the support of people like you who know the creators behind the project and can either donate or help us spread the word. You can find out more about the production, watch our video and donate here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1310353082/tauris-in-planet-connections-theatre-festivity.

For those who contributed to the staged reading at the Wild Project in March, without which this production would not be happening, thank you so much. I want you to know that your support is allowing this play to reach the next step and me to achieve a dream I’ve been working toward for about ten years.

The Play: An adaptation of Euripides’ Iphegenia at Tauris, this epic musical adventure engages its audience in questions both personal and social: cultural attitudes toward environmental change, the complicated relationship between personal drive and public usefulness, and the conflict that arises when ideology gets in the way of love. Incorporating contemporary environmental concerns like mountaintop removal coal mining and the tension between fossil fuel companies and the EPA, Tauris asks audiences to consider how we transcend old enmities to find a way forward for society as a whole.

If you can attend!

Performance Dates:

Saturday 6/1/13 – 4:00pm

Monday 6/3/13 – 4:00pm

Thursday 6/6/13 – 4:30pm

Sunday 6/9/13 – 12:30pm

Wednesday 6/12/13 – 6:30pm

Thursday 6/13/13 – 8:30pm

Visithttp://planetconnections.org/tauris/ to purchase tickets

Thank you for whatever support you can provide, be it $5 or $50 or $500, or helping spread the word to people excited about new plays, original composition, and/or socially and environmentally conscious art. Please help us make this first full realization of TAURIS a success!

All Best, Sarah

Earth Matters On Stage 2012 at Carnegie Mellon University

  There have been a bevvy of eco-theater conferences in recent years, but it’s great to bring it all together with Earth Matters on Stage, which took place this past May 31st-June 2 at Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburg, PA. It included a collection of performances, presentations and panels covering everything from carbon footprint to eco-dramaturgy. Session titles included: “Sustainable Design,” “Ecocriticism & Contemporary American Theater,” and “The Carbon Footprint of Theatrical Production,” among many others. That last one was by CSPA’s Ian Garrett, and involved discussions of all the usual players: Arcola Theatre, Julie’s Bicycle, the Broadway Green Alliance . . . Discussions of sustainable design carried throughout the festival and bled into discussion of performance throughout the weekend. Again and again: how do we make theatrical production more sustainable? How do we incorporate or cultural dialogue with the planet into the work? How do we make work that goes beyond “being less bad” into something that actually has a positive impact on the environment?

Below are a selection of photos from the event. Keynote speaker and performer was Holly Hughes, one of the NEA four, whose most recent work (“The Dog and Pony Show: Bring your own Pony,”) examines her relationship with her pets. Ecodrama Playwright competition winners this year included Chantal Bilodeau, whose work “Sila,” explores a cultural cross-section of inuit culture, scientific researchers, and polar bears, and Mark Rigney, whose play, “Bears,” depicts a slow deterioration of civilization through the intimate stories of a group of zoo-bound bears.  The work of Earth Matters founder Theresa May was ever-present in the discussion on eco-dramaturgy, and the weekend ended with a discussion of conferences past and future. The dialogue continues, as we discuss and discover more ways that our set of skills can serve the environment.

The right environment

from The Last Lunch

This post comes to you from Ashden Directory

Wallace Heim writes:

The Best New Play Award, offered collaboratively by New Writing South and the Brighton Fringe, is an award that has nothing to do with ecology. But this year’s award was given to two productions that have something to do with ecology.Playwright Jonathan Brown won for his play about meat-eating, The Last Lunch.

The company Feral Theatre won for Triptych, three productions on loss and extinction: Papusza, The Last of the Curlews and TreeStory.

“ashdenizen blog and twitter are consistently among the best sources for information and reflection on developments in the field of arts and climate change in the UK” (2020 Network)

ashdenizen is edited by Robert Butler, and is the blog associated with the Ashden Directory, a website focusing on environment and performance.
The Ashden Directory is edited by Robert Butler and Wallace Heim, with associate editor Kellie Gutman. The Directory includes features, interviews, news, a timeline and a database of ecologically – themed productions since 1893 in the United Kingdom. Our own projects include ‘New Metaphors for Sustainability’, ‘Flowers Onstage’ and ‘Six ways to look at climate change and theatre’.

The Directory has been live since 2000.

Go to The Ashden Directory

Of Farms and Fables shows beauty, struggle of family farming – Theater – Portland Phoenix

FINDING THEIR PLACES Actors, including farm workers and their children, rehearse Of Farms and Fables.

An interesting show coming up in Portland, ME….

It’s all in a day’s work on a family farm. From pests to family strife to the game-changing scale of industrial farming, the challenges to the modern family farm are given unsentimentally resonant treatment in Open Waters Theatre Arts’ Of Farms and Fables, the theatrical culmination of several years of research and residencies on farms here in southern Maine.

With a script by Cory Tamler, direction by Jennie Hahn, and a cast that includes farm workers and children of farmers, this most recommended production runs October 27-30, at Camp Ketcha in Scarborough.

In Open Waters’ plain and simple billing, Of Farms and Fables is “a play about the people who bring you food.” A team of its actors, playwright, and director spent last summer working alongside those very people, the farmers and farm workers who sow and weed at Wm. H. Jordan, Broadturn, and Benson farms. After a season of learning their work, and of hearing their worries and joys, Open Waters’ artists turned to the task of making theater of the experience, to share with the public a nuanced look at the realities of family farming in the modern age.

via Of Farms and Fables shows beauty, struggle of family farming – Theater – Portland Phoenix.

A metaphor from politics: ‘Be a part of better’

This post comes to you from Ashden Directory

In response to our New metaphors for sustainability series, Chris Ballance wrote to us and agreed we could post his email. As a playwright, Chris was one of our earliest listings on the Directory. He was Green Party Member and Member of the Scottish Parliament from 2003 – 2007, and now works for Moffat CAN, (Carbon Approaching Neutral), a community-owned company and charity. 
One of the ideas that’s concerning some of us here is ‘how do we tell the cultural story of how good it could be to go green’? It’s inspired by the recent success of the SNP who – helped admittedly by dreadful campaigns by their opponents – based their huge election victory by selling independence as ‘Be a part of better’; a direct reference to a literary quotation from the author Alasdair Grey ‘Live each day as if you were in the first day of a better nation.’
A quotation doubtless unknown in London, but well enough known here in Scotland to be inscribed into the stone walls around the Scottish Parliament. The phrase has passed into commonplace so much that I’ve even seen ‘Be a part of better’ used to advertise merchandise in a shop. The SNP are using a cultural story and cultural references to achieve independence. (That’s to say nothing about planning to hold their referendum shortly after the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn.)
How do we create a cultural story which can then be used to make sustainability attractive? So often it is seen as ‘sacrifice’, doing without, enforced change. (I often remember being on an election hustings with a UKIP candidate who told me “Look, we all know your green world is coming. It’s just that we don’t want it, and we’re going to do everything we can to put it off for as long as possible.”) How do we conjure up images of something that people will actually want?
Your exploration of metaphors is definitely a step towards this. It’s not just sustainability – the whole concept of environmentalism lacks it: the only metaphors to have attached themselves to environmentalism are those framed by our opponents; ‘yoghurt knitters’, etc. Thank you.
(And I love the Madagascan-based tapestry.)

 

“ashdenizen blog and twitter are consistently among the best sources for information and reflection on developments in the field of arts and climate change in the UK” (2020 Network)

The editors are Robert Butler and Wallace Heim. The associate editor is Kellie Gutman. The editorial adviser is Patricia Morison.

Robert Butler’s most recent publication is The Alchemist Exposed (Oberon 2006). From 1995-2000 he was drama critic of the Independent on Sunday. See www.robertbutler.info

Wallace Heim has written on social practice art and the work of PLATFORM, Basia Irland and Shelley Sacks. Her doctorate in philosophy investigated nature and performance. Her previous career was as a set designer for theatre and television/film.

Kellie Gutman worked with the Aga Khan Trust for Culture for twenty years, producing video programmes and slide presentations for both the Aga Khan Foundation and the Award for Architecture.

Patricia Morison is an executive officer of the Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts, a group of grant-making trusts of which the Ashden Trust is one.

Go to The Ashden Directory