Call for Scripts

EMOS (Earth Matters on Stage)™

Ecodrama Playwrights Festival ~ 2012

At the the Purnell Center for the Arts at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh PA

May 28-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 describe the focus of the Festival. Please read all guidelines before submitting.

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 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’sHeroes 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!

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