MY WRITERS SITE: Have you seen the film, Marty?

MY WRITERS SITE: Have you seen the film, Marty?:   If you haven’t seen Marty, a 1955 romantic drama, you really should.   The screenplay was written by the wonderful Paddy Chayefsky, as an ...

Dankmar Adler, American architect

*** OPPORTUNITIES FOR PLAYWRIGHTS ***



Your 2022 Hear Me Out entry must in some way refer to some naming and its impact on the characters you’re revealing. As always we hope you will find your own way into our festival theme and we do not require the use of any specific words, language or stylistic choices. We only ask that your character grapples with our festival theme WHEN WE NAME IT in some way.

And remember: your monologue must introduce us to a character who is talking to another person (or group of people). Short stories and essays will be disqualified.

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The Gallery Players in Park Slope, Brooklyn, New York, is seeking plays for its 26th Annual Black Box New Play Festival to be held in January 2023. Each play selected will be given a black box production with non-equity actors. Playwrights must be available via Zoom or some other virtual venue for rehearsals and use this as an opportunity to continue work on their play.

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Submissions are now being accepted for Paradox Theatre Works’ second annual New Works Festival Showcase 2022, entitled “THE LIVING ROOM”.
Seeking original short plays 10 minutes in length that have not been produced in the Chicago area before, from playwrights from across the globe. This year’s festival is focused on scenes that occur in “The Living Room”.

*** FOR MORE INFORMATION about these and other opportunities see the web site at https://www.nycplaywrights.org ***


*** HANSBERRY ***

When the Los Angeles-based artist Alison Saar was commissioned a little over four years ago to sculpt a statue of the playwright Lorraine Hansberry, she had just one thought: “Am I the right person for the job?”

“I don’t really work with likenesses,” said Saar, 66, whose artwork focuses on the African diaspora and Black female identity. “But they said, ‘No, no, we want it to be more of a portrait of her passion and who she was beyond a playwright.’”

The request had come from Lynn Nottage, the two-time Pulitzer-winning playwright, as part of an initiative she was developing with Julia Jordan, the executive director of the Lilly Awards, which recognize the work of women in theater. The Lorraine Hansberry Initiative was designed to honor Hansberry, who was the first Black woman to have a show produced on Broadway.

“She’s just part of my foundational DNA as an artist,” Nottage said in a phone interview on Wednesday. “Throughout my career, if I needed to look to structure, or storytelling, or inspiration, I could go to ‘A Raisin in the Sun,’ this perfect piece of literature.”

More...
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/19/arts/design/lorraine-hansberry-statue-times-square.html

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In 1937, prominent businessman Carl Hansberry bought a home in the white South Side Woodlawn neighborhood just south of the University of Chicago. White mobs greeted the family and a brick almost hit eight-year-old Lorraine Hansberry. At night her mother, Nannie, patrolled the house with a gun.

The mobs didn’t run out the Hansberrys. The courts did. Anna Lee, a white neighbor, sued arguing a restrictive agreement prevented the sale of blacks to the neighborhood. Illinois courts agreed and the Hansberrys were forced to leave. Racially restrictive covenants consistently kept blacks in residential segregation. Those convents prevented African Americans in Chicago and elsewhere around the United States from buying or renting homes in white neighborhoods. On the South Side of Chicago, the overcrowded Black Belt housed too many families in too many shoddy conditions. White home improvement associations served as gatekeepers to prevent blacks from moving into their neighborhoods.

More...
https://www.thehistoryreader.com/historical-figures/lorraine-hansberry-and-chicago-segregation/


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In recent years, the puzzling paradox of how a Black lesbian Communist became a darling of mainstream America has been explored in multiple biographies, including Imani Perry’s “Looking for Lorraine” and Soyica Diggs Colbert’s “Radical Vision,” and in Tracy Heather Strain’s documentary “Sighted Eyes / Feeling Heart.” Shields’s portrait is the latest attempt to expand our sense of the personal struggle behind the public figure, and to illuminate the many contradictions that she sought to live and work through.

Hansberry was not raised to be a radical. She was born in Chicago in 1930, the child of an illustrious family that was well regarded in business and academic circles. Lorraine’s father, Carl Augustus Hansberry, was a real-estate speculator and a proud race man. When Lorraine was seven years old, the family bought a house in a mostly white neighborhood. Faced with eviction by the local property owners association, Carl fought against racially restrictive housing covenants in court. Shortly before the case was argued, a crowd of white neighbors gathered outside the Hansberry home. Nannie, Lorraine’s mother, stood watch with a gun. Someone hurled a brick through the window, narrowly missing Lorraine’s head. When the police finally arrived, one officer remarked, “Some people throw a rock through your window and you act like it was a bomb.” It was 1937. The bombing of Black families would come.

More...
https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2022/01/24/the-many-visions-of-lorraine-hansberry

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Freedom Archives online

Freedom (1951-55) was a newspaper founded in Harlem, New York by activists Paul Robeson and Louis Burnham during the Cold War and McCarthy eras. It openly challenged racism, imperialism, colonialism, and political repression and advocated for civil rights, labor rights and world peace. Its writers and contributors included W.E.B. Du Bois, Alice Childress and Lorraine Hansberry.

http://dlib.nyu.edu/freedom/

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During a protest against racial discrimination at New York University, she met Robert Nemiroff, a Jewish writer who shared her political views. They married on June 20, 1953 at the Hansberrys’ home in Chicago.

In 1956, her husband and Burt D’Lugoff wrote the hit song, “Cindy, Oh Cindy.” Its profits allowed Hansberry to quit working and devote herself to writing. She then began a play she called The Crystal Stair, from Langston Hughes’ poem “Mother to Son.” She later retitled it A Raisin in the Sun from Hughes’ poem, “Harlem: A Dream Deferred.”

Her second play, THE SIGN ON SIDNEY BRUNSTEIN'S WINDOW, about a Jewish intellectual, ran on Broadway for 101 performances. It received mixed reviews. Her friends rallied to keep the play running. It closed on January 12, 1965, the day Hansberry died of cancer at 34.

Although Hansberry and Nemiroff divorced before her death, he remained dedicated to her work. As literary executor, he edited and published her three unfinished plays: Les Blancs, The Drinking Gourd and What Use Are Flowers? He also collected Hansberry’s unpublished writings, speeches and journal entries and presented them in the autobiographical montage To Be Young, Gifted and Black. The title is taken from a speech given by Hansberry in May 1964 to winners of a United Negro Fund writing competition: “…though it be thrilling and marvelous thing to be merely young and gifted in such times, it is doubly so, doubly dynamic, to be young, gifted and black!”

More...
https://www.chipublib.org/lorraine-hansberry-biography/

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The thing about history is that you don’t get answers to questions you don’t ask. Sally Hemings was a forgotten slave until Annette Gordon-Reed came along. Black soldiers from the Revolutionary War forward were said to play no meaningful role until black scholars ferreted out the facts. And Lorraine Hansberry had nothing to do with the lesbian liberation movement until 1976, when an editor revealed the playwright’s surprisingly radical correspondence on the subject.

Black gays and lesbians have been erased from our community’s history with surprising thoroughness. March on Washington planner Bayard Rustin labored away on behalf of the greater good for decades while having his own humanity shunted by fellow movement leaders. Duke Ellington’s genius writing partner Billy Strayhorn’s contributions have been profoundly obscured. And many of the artists who peopled the Harlem Renaissance have had their queer lives entirely straight-washed.

More...
https://www.theroot.com/lorraine-hansberrys-gay-politics-1790869060

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New York Times Review, March 29, 1959
Vivid Drama About A Poor Negro Family
by Brooks Atkinson

Although the acting in Lorraine Hansberry's A RAISIN IN THE SUN is vehement, it never seems excessive. Under the direction of Lloyed Richards, the scenes of crisis in the script touch off explosions in the performance. But the explosions never give an impression of being arbitrary.

For Miss Hansberry has written a homely play about the day-to-day anxieties of a Negro family on the South Side of Chicago. Some of the troubles are uproariously funny; some of them are harrowing. Since the characters have great capacity for feeling, the emotional range is wide. The nervous, tensely paced performance of Sidney Poitier as the wayward son and the highly wrought performance of Claudia McNeil as the unyielding matriarch have solid footing in the script. Everything is of a piece - writing, staging and acting.

More...
https://www.nytimes.com/1959/03/29/archives/raisin-in-the-sun-vivid-drama-about-a-poor-negro-family.html


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Lorraine Hansbery Interview (1959) audio only

Playwright Lorraine Hansberry discusses her play "A Raisin in the Sun" and theater in general; last 10 minutes is a reading of "Chicago: South Side Summers" from "To Be Young, Gifted, and Black."
Credit to: Studs Terkel Radio Archive

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkFR_6DGJ3o

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This week, Basic Black discusses legendary playwright Lorraine Hansberry, who wrote 'A Raisin in the Sun.' Panelists: Lisa Simmons, director of the Roxbury International Film Festival; Tracy Heather Strain, producer of 'Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart,' a documentary about Hansberry; Kim McLarin, associate professor at Emerson College; and Michael Jeffries, associate professor at Wellesley College.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DahYuoC1bbk

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*** OPPORTUNITIES FOR PLAYWRIGHTS ***

 


Break A Leg has opened submissions for our One Act Slam Reading Series / Short Play Competition. Make us Laugh! - Make us Cry! - Win $100!

We are looking for short plays (no musicals/no one person shows/no child roles under age 15) that have not yet been produced or published.

One Acts 5-10 pages (8-10 minutes) accepted. A cash prize of $100 will be awarded to the winner of the One Act Slam by audience vote as part of a live reading taking place in Midtown NYC in September.


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Left Coast Theatre Co.'s newest anthology reading - "Unheard Voices"

This will be an anthology of 6 or 7 pieces written by and for members of queer communities who have been underserved by the broader/mainstream LGBTQ+ movement. Are you trans, non-binary, QTBIPOC, bi, pan, ace, aro, demi, neurodivergent, have a disability, or are part of any community that has been underserved by the LGBTQ+ community? We want to hear your stories!


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There is no fee to apply for or participate in the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop. Musical Theatre Bookwriting Basics

This nine-month course explores the fundamentals of writing book for the musical theatre.

Drama Desk Award winning bookwriter Adam Mathias (he/him) unlocks the toolkit for musical theatre librettists. Through lecture, discussion, and assignments students learn how to apply the fundamentals of playwriting to the craft of creating musicals. As a class, writers deep-dive into the DNA of the musical theatre canon — from the Golden Age through today — dissecting what works and why and then applying it to their own work.


*** FOR MORE INFORMATION about these and other opportunities see the web site at https://www.nycplaywrights.org ***



*** MONODRAMA ***


One of the most infamous monodramas on the London stage was The Captive by Matthew G. Lewis. Lewis was already famous for his gothic play The Castle Spectre as well as his novel The Monk when Harriett Litchfield performed this monodrama on the stage of Covent Garden on March 22, 1803. The piece was an unqualified disaster, but for all the right reasons.


Much like the heroine of Mary Wollstonecraft's novel Maria, Litchfield's character had been committed to a madhouse by her husband even though she was in fact perfectly sane. Over the course of the monologue, the audience got to see her descend into madness due to the inhuman conditions inside the asylum. Her performance was powerful. So powerful, it seems, that the audience couldn't take it.


More...

http://armstrongplays.blogspot.com/2014/12/the-captive.html


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...Nurul Momen's next play turned out to be a tragedy called “Nemesis”, which again set a milestone in the history of Bengali plays because of its unique feature and modern plot. National professor Kabir Chowdhury explains, “Nemesis is his (Nurul Momen's) most famous work. It is an experimental drama where through dialogues the main and only character remembers his past. It shows how a promising personality falls prey to greed and loses his morality. Though it is a play based on one actor, the scope of the plot is wide and a number of other characters come in through the main character's reminiscences.”


Before Nemesis only four playwrights had attempted a one-character play, but none had the full form of a play continuing for one and a half hours without break. Nurul Momen did not only adorn the play with witty dialogues, but also made the character recite poems and even sing. His conversations over the phone, with neighbours, with his conscience and lastly with his murderer is drawn in such an ingenious way that the absence of these characters on the stage is never felt. Not for once the audience can get bored because of the unpredictable turn of the events cleverly knitted in the plot.


More...

http://archive.thedailystar.net/magazine/2010/12/01/tribute.htm


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'Krapp's Last Tape' stars Sir Michael Gambon as Krapp who follows in the footsteps of notables such as Harold Pinter, John Hurt and Corin Redgrave who have all played the role. But the play was written for actor Patrick Magee, who tackled the play when first produced in 1958. The première was at the Royal Court Theatre, and acted as a kind of curtain raiser for another of Beckett's plays, 'Endgame'.


Krapp is a writer, and the play is set appropriately in his study, or den as he calls it. Each year on his birthday, Krapp takes out a tape he has recorded on a previous birthday to examine his former self and to record a new tape about the direction his life is taking. In a sense it's self-examination or recollection by tape recorder.


More...

https://www.londontheatre.co.uk/reviews/krapps-last-tape


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When the polymathic musician André Previn died in 2019, he left behind an unfinished score: “Penelope,” a monodrama he was writing for the star soprano Renée Fleming.


It was set to premiere that year at Tanglewood to celebrate Previn’s 90th birthday. Instead, the performance became, “as it were, in memoriam,” the playwright Tom Stoppard, who wrote the work’s text, said in a recent interview.


That the premiere happened at all was something of a miracle; the incomplete score’s pages weren’t even in an easily discernible order. But David Fetherolf, Previn’s longtime editor, reconstructed and completed the piece, then published a final version after the Tanglewood performance. And now the original performers — Fleming; the pianist Simone Dinnerstein; the Emerson String Quartet; and the actress Uma Thurman, as Fleming’s speaking avatar — are reuniting to bring “Penelope” to Carnegie Hall on Sunday.


More...

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/21/arts/music/renee-fleming-uma-thurman-penelope.html


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Since the 1990s, Black British poets have been at the forefront of developing the “one-person poetry show” or spoken-word play, an apt format for negotiating diasporic history and cultural memory in a public arena. The focus of this article is Kat François’s one-woman show Raising Lazarus (2009/2016), which stages the poet’s own quest for information about her Grenadian relative Lazarus François, a World War I soldier. A media-specific analysis explores how François’s text is semantically enriched when translated into a live performance. The authenticity effect typically produced in spoken-word poetry through the unity of author and performer is compounded in Raising Lazarus by textual and paratextual keys that frame François’s show as embodied auto/biography. Merging life writing, monodrama, and spoken-word poetry, Raising Lazarus reveals the one-person show to be an effective and popular medium for Black British poets to articulate personal experience and negotiate collective identities through performance.


More...

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7484909/


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Richard Strauss’s 1897 “monodrama for speaker and piano” Enoch Arden Op.38, TrV.181 is something of an oddity in his output. It dates from when his main focus was on the orchestral tone-poem (following Also Sprach Zarathustra and contemporary with Don Quixote), though these years also saw a considerable output of songs with piano accompaniment. It was written as a thank-you to the actor Ernst von Possart, who had helped Strauss gain the post of Chief Conductor at the Bavarian State Opera, and he and Possart toured together widely with the melodrama.


More...

https://www.laopus.com/2018/02/a-rare-outing-for-strausss-and.html


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Fleabag must have sounded like an odd prospect on paper when it was first performed in 2013.

A monologue about an unnamed woman with a considerable sexual appetite who runs a guinea pig-themed cafe while mourning the death of her best friend is an unconventional premise to say the least.

But the TV series which the original play birthed has since become hugely successful and made a bona fide star out of its creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

The second and final series concluded earlier this year and now Waller-Bridge is back in the West End performing the original play. "As a hot ticket, it's on a par with Harry Potter, as high on the list as Hamilton," wrote Dominic Cavendish in The Telegraph.


More...

https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-49482752


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Zutty Singleton, Jazz man











 

"I'm just play'n with ya" Elephant took the woman's hat and then gave back


 

MY WRITERS SITE: True enough

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