Playwrights Festival

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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Sustainability in Theater Conference: People, Planet, Profit, Purpose

April 30 – May 1, 2012

Minneapolis, Minnesota

A blended conference dedicated to providing tangible, practical strategies to implementing greener theater practices, ensuring theaters remain a vital part of our community.


Early bird discount through December 31
Discounts for members of MTA, TCG, and CSPA
Register now
Sponsor the SIT Conference
Make a donation

Day One: Learn

A full day of learning and networking, featuring sustainability experts, sustainability in theater pioneers and success stories. If you don’t live nearby, all Day One activities will be broadcast online. By attending virtually, you can save money, time, and carbon emissions. We will take full advantage of social media to allow virtual attendees to participate, connect and network.

Speakers and facilitators will cover four focus areas:

  • People (stakeholders)
  • Planet (environmental impact)
  • Profit (keep the doors open)
  • Purpose (artistic vision and values)

All feeding into the question “How can we tangibly change the way we run our theaters to ensure we survive and have a significant positive impact on our environment and community?”

Presenting organizations include:

  • Broadway Green Alliance (New York): helped convert 97% of Broadway’s marquees to LED technology
  • Center for Sustainable Practices in the Arts (Los Angeles): working on SHOPLAB, a materials reuse and sharing facility
  • York University (Toronto): developing the Theatre Artisans Green Skills forum
  • Mo`olelo Performing Arts Company (San Diego): published the Green Theater Choices Toolkit
  • Childsplay (Arizona): host of the Sustainability in Stagecraft conference, 2009
  • Earth Matters on Stage: presenter of ecodrama playwrights festival and symposium
  • Center Energy and the Environment: providing practical, innovative, energy solutions for homeowners, businesses, nonprofits, and government

Day Two: Do

Presentations will focus on local resources available in Minnesota. Participants will break off into separate sessions based on their roles in their organizations and with the help of conference facilitators will work on specific challenges and problems they encounter in their work. The goal of the sessions will be to produce tactics for tackling these challenges, to be published and shared with every attendee. We encourage communities outside Minnesota to organize their own local working sessions.

  • Meet like-minded and like-titled individuals to share best practices and strengthen your network.
  • Learn ideas, case studies and tactics for building a sustainable organization.
  • Address common sustainability challenges theaters and professionals like you are tackling now.
  • Gather an arsenal of practical, immediate tactics that can help you spur change in your organization and celebrate small successes right away.

Presented by the Minnesota Theater Alliance and the Twin Cities Sustainable Theaters Group
Hosted by Brave New Workshop

The SIT Conference Task Force
John Bueche, Bedlam Theatre
Leah Cooper, Minnesota Theater Alliance
Kat Duvic, Brave New Workshop
Erin Farmer, Brave New Workshop
Ian Garrett, Center for Sustainable Practices in the Arts
Todd Hintz, Guthrie Theater
Elena Imaretska, Brave New Workshop
Ellen Jones, Bemidji State University
Jenna Papke, Minnesota Theater Alliance
Jill Underwood, Guthrie Theater
Alicia Wold, CostumeRentals

In partnership with Theatre Communications Group and
Center for Sustainable Practices in the Arts


EMOS Call for Papers & Proposals | Earth Matters on Stage

Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA – May 31-June 3, 2012

CALL FOR PAPERS AND PROPOSALS

Ecology is at the heart of burgeoning creativity and interdisciplinary scholarship across the arts and humanities. This Symposium, together with the concurrent EMOS Playwrights’ Festival, invites artists, scholars and activists to share their work, ideas, and passions with one another and with the larger community who attend the Festival.

We welcome creative and innovative proposals for workshops, round-tables, panels, working sessions, installations, or participatory community gatherings that explore, examine, challenge, articulate, or nourish the possibilities of theatrical and performative responses to the environmental crisis in particular, and our ecological relationships in general. We encourage proposals that go beyond a recitation of ideas or positions, and instead bring presenters and participants together as they engage the driving question of how theatre has or might function as part of our reciprocal relationship with ecological communities.

Possible topics for exploration include: land and body in performance; representations of bioregionalism; eco-literacy; representation of/and environmental justice; green theatre production; old cultural narratives/new stories; indigenous performance; community-based performance/ecological communities; sensing place/staging place; the ecologies of theatrical form and/or space; animal representation; and application of ecocriticism to plays, performance and culture.

Please email a one-page (250 word max.) proposal and/or abstract by November 1, 2011 to:

Prof. Wendy Arons
School of Drama ~ Carnegie Mellon University
warons@andrew.cmu.edu

Please include:

  • Type of session & title;
  • Your preferred type of space (classroom, theatre, studio, or outdoors);
  • Time-length (60 min; 90 min; half-day);
  • Ideal or maximum number of participants;
  • Short bios of presenter(s).

For more information about the EMOS Festival and Symposium at Carnegie Mellon University in 2012, see http://pages.uoregon.edu/ecodrama/.

CALL FOR SCRIPTS: EMOS (Earth Matters on Stage)™ Ecodrama Playwrights Festival ~ 2012

At the University of Oregon’s Miller Theatre Complex, May 24-June 3, 2012

CALL FOR SCRIPTS

First place Award: $1,000 and workshop production

Second place Award: $500 and workshop production

Honorable mentions: public staged reading

The Guidelines for Playwrights below describe the focus of the Festival. Please read. The Deadline for Submissions is July 1, 2011.

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 Festival is ten days of readings, workshop performance/s, and discussions of the scripts that are finalists in the Playwrights’ Contest.  Some readings and workshops will be followed by facilitated talkbacks with the playwrights.  In addition, a symposium on the second weekend of the Festival includes speakers, panels and discussions that will advance scholarship in the area of arts and ecology, and help foster development of new works.   The call for proposals for scholars and those wishing to participate in the Symposium can be found at www.uoregon.edu/~ecodrama.

The EMOS award includes a workshop production. The winning plays will be chosen by a panel of distinguished theatre artists from the USA and Canada. Past judges have included:

  • Robert Schenkkan, Playwright, winner of 1990 Pulitzer Prize
  • Martha Lavey, Artistic Director, Steppenwolf Theatre, Chicago, IL
  • José Cruz González, Playwright, SCR Hispanic Playwrights Project; faculty Cal State LA
  • Ellen McLaughlin, Playwright, NY
  • Timothy Bond, Artistic Director Syracuse Stage, NY
  • Olga Sanchez, Artistic Director, Teatro Milagro, Portland, OR
  • Diane Glancy, Playwright, Native Voices Award, faculty Macallister College
  • Marie Clements, Playwright, British Columbia

Guidelines for Playwrights

What kind of theatre comes to mind when you hear “ecodrama”? Political plays that advocate for environmentalism, or educational theatre about recycling? While these examples would fit, please let your imagination soar WAY beyond them!

Ecodrama stages the reciprocal connection between humans and the more-than-human world. It encompasses not only works that take environmental issues as their topic, hoping to raise consciousness or press for change, but also work that explores the relation of a “sense of place” to identity and community.

Help us create an inclusive ecodrama that illuminates the complex connection between people and place, an ecodrama that makes us all more aware of our ecological identities as a people and communities; ecodrama that brings focus to an ecological concerns of a particular place, or that takes writer and audience to a deeper exploration of issue that may not be easily resolved.

While many plays might be open to an ecological interpretation, others might be called “ecodrama,” Examples are diverse in form and topic: Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People, in which the town’s waters have become polluted and a lone whistle blower clashes with powerful vested interests; Schenkkan’s The Kentucky Cycle, the epic tale of a land and its people – Indigenous, European, African – over seven generations; August Wilson’s Two Trains Running that bears witness to the loss of inner city sustainability; Moraga’s Heroes and Saints, about the embodied impact of industrial agriculture; Marie Clements’ Burning Vision, which documents the impact of Canadian uranium mining on first nations communities and land; Giljour’s Alligator Tales, a one-woman play by a Louisiana Cajun native about her relationship to her neighbors, the weather, the oil rigs off the coast and the alligators on her porch; Norman’s Secret Garden in which nature consoles a child’s grief; Albee’s The Goat, or who is Sylvia, that confounds human species taboos.

  • Winner of the 2004 EMOS Festival ~ 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.
  • Winner of the 2009 EMOS Festival – 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.

For us at EMOS, the central questions 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?”

We need your voice, so does the theatre, so does our world.  Imagine! Write! Submit!

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 Guidelines

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).  Submitted plays should address the thematic guidelines as listed above.

  1. All submissions should include a cover page with:
    • Play Title
    • Author Name
    • Contact Information
  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.

Submissions must be received by July 1, 2011 to:

EMOS Festival/Theresa May, Artistic Director
207 Villard Hall, Theatre Arts
University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403

Deadline: July 1, 2011

Early submission encouraged. / No electronic submissions please.

Evaluation Process

After reading the first 30 pages of all submitted plays, we will evaluate the submissions to reduce the size of the pool.  We will then request two full paper copies be sent to us by Sept. 15, 2011.   Winners will be selected from this smaller pool.

Questions?  See our Frequently Asked Questions on the EMOS Website at www.uoregon.edu/~ecodrama.  If you still have a question, email: ecodrama@uoregon.edu