A new nonprofit theater organization, Milwaukee-based Lights! Camera! Soul! is launching a project to workshop and highlight a one-act play focused on Black culture. Submissions are due September 30.
In the “Word Up” playwriting competition, one script will be chosen to undergo a two-day workshop and get a staged reading. The program is the first of a planned series of programs to promote performing arts in underrepresented communities.
“It’s called Artist Therapy,” says founder DiMonte Henning, who is in Madison this month to star in Forward Theater Company’s production of “Skeleton Crew,” opening tonight. “It’s going to be different almost every time we do it. The first part, we call it Artist Therapy 1.0. We are reaching out to emerging playwrights to look at their one act plays and we’re going to develop them over a two day workshop. Then, we present them in a stage reading.”
Later events will focus on musicians.
“In the second half of the event we’ll do a concert,” Henning says. “We’re going do a concert with artists who are more established but don’t necessarily have that audience, or, would like to gain a larger audience. The whole event is basically designed to have artists meet the community and vice versa, the community meets the artist.”
Submissions are due September 30, and the workshop and reading will take place in late October. The script should be 20 – 45 pages — anything longer than 45 pages will not be considered. The cast must be five or fewer. Henning says anyone can submit, as long as the script is on-theme.
“Primarily Wisconsin (playwrights),” says Henning, who will also direct the staged reading of the winning script. “All ethnicities, ages, genders. The only thing is that we just want the plays to represent African-American culture.”
“Emerging playwrights doesn’t necessarily have to be students,” he adds. “That’s one thing about the organization is that we try not to limit who we reach out to. If it’s a good piece and you’re willing to get professional feedback from artists around the community, we will definitely work with you.”
To submit a script, email an attachment to [email protected] with “Word Up Play Entry” in the subject line.