Announcement: The Bechdel Test Festival 2.0 and Playwright Awards

Announcement: The Bechdel Test Festival 2.0 and Playwright Awards

The Bridge Initiative: Women in Theatre is accepting submissions for our next Bechdel Test Festival. Stipulations are that the work must be in development with a cast limit of eight (8) and that the writer has an understanding of the next stages needed towards the creation of their play. The playwright will be submitting his/her/their piece with the intention of committing time, work, and rewriting within a conscious and measured pipeline of development that will be generated with The Bridge Initiative other partner theatre companies (to be announced) committed to the shepherding of the work and writer throughout the process. A panel of professional theatre artists nationwide will adjudicate the submissions.  Playwrights of all genders are encouraged to submit short and full-length plays that satisfy the requirements of the Bechdel Test: Two female characters who talk to each other about something other than a man. 

The Bridge Initiative’s inaugural Bechdel Test Fest, September 2017, was very well received by artists and audience alike, with more than 70 artists receiving stipends and an audience of about 300 throughout the weekend. And importantly to our mission, 80% of those served (on both sides of the footlights) were female. The concept that launched the Bechdel Test appeared in 1985 in a comic series titled Dykes to Watch Out For by Alison Bechdel, who attributes the idea to her friend Liz Wallace. It refers to the representation of women in film, and according to numerous press reports annually, many films continue to fail to meet its criteria. When conceiving of The Bechdel Test Fest, the Bridge Initiative decided to apply the test not only to film but also to theatre, charging writers to pen complex, diverse female characters.

ALL playwrights who submit to the contest will receive written feedback on their play from at least two adjudicators.

The winning FULL-LENGTH playwright will receive:

  1. Promotion of themselves and their play on The Bridge Initiative website and our social media channels, as well as inclusion in press releases both locally and nationally.
  2. A week-long developmental workshop that will include a professional director who specializes in development, dramaturg, actors, and other supportive artists for the process that will best serve the play and playwright.
  3. Professional reading presented to the public, involving artists named above, public during the Bechdel Test Fest weekend, April 26-28, 2019, at Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 W. Rio Salado, Tempe AZ 85201.
  4. Additional promotion and support through our supportive partner theatres, details to be announced. (Past collaborations have included readings with WAMTheatre in MA, Mangolia Theatre Company in OH, InProximity Theatre in NYC.)
  5. Travel, housing, and stipend for the week of development in Arizona.  (Playwrights from outside the U.S. will be offered a limited travel stipend to help defray travel costs.) 

If the winning full-length playwright does not reside in Arizona, an ARIZONA FULL-LENGTH WINNER will be named and will receive:

  1. Promotion of themselves and their play on The Bridge Initiative website and our social media channels, as well as inclusion in press releases both locally and nationally.
  2. A developmental process that will include a professional director, dramaturg, actors, and other supportive artists that will best serve the play and playwright.
  3. Professional reading presented to the public during the Bechdel Test Fest weekend, April 26-28, 2019, at Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 W. Rio Salado, Tempe AZ 85201.
  4. Stipend.

Up to 3 FULL-LENGTH RUNNERS-UP  and up to 3 SHORT PLAY WINNERS (including at least ONE ARIZONA PLAYWRIGHT) will receive:

  1. Promotion of themselves and their play on The Bridge Initiative website and our social media channels, as well as inclusion in press releases both locally and nationally.
  2. Professional reading presented to the public during the Bechdel Test Fest weekend, April 26-28, 2019, at Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 W. Rio Salado, Tempe AZ 85201.
  3. Stipend.

TO SUBMIT:

Requirements:  The play must not have been fully produced prior to this contest and there must not be any rights attached to the script.  It is necessary that our winning writers be available and commit to the development process, beginning with a week-long residence in Arizona the week of April 21st, 2019, with a dedicated director, actors, and supportive artists throughout the week in Arizona.

Submit online to bridgeplaywright@gmail.com. Application must include:

  1. A separate resume with all contact information
  2. A separate cover letter that addresses your intended vision of process for the development of your play
  3. A separate list of three theatre work-related references with their contact information
  4. A full script in pdf format that is completely scrubbed (no name or contact information) for the blind reading process
  5. Entry fee of $25 for full-length (over 30 pages) and $15 for short plays (under 30 pages) must be remitted via PayPal to bridgeinit@gmail.com. (If you require an invoice instead, please let us know and we can accommodate.)  

If you have any questions, please contact The Bridge Initiative at info@bridgeinit.org.

Submission Deadline: August 15th, 2018.

 NOTE: Playwrights who have not been awarded by The Bridge Initiative in the past will receive priority consideration.