Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Playing with Plays – The Discussion

Red Tape Theatre’s panel, Playing with Plays, was presented on Sunday, October 11, alongside the world premiere of Mouse in a Jar. The play was developed in our Fresh Eyes Festival and our guests represented a diverse group of companies devoted to new work.

Panelists included:

Mission Statements were a recurring theme in the discussion. About Face Theatre’s xyz festival and Tympanic Theatre’s Bastards of Young selected scripts focused on queer issues and science fiction respectively. American Theatre Company’s play initiatives focus revolve around the question “what does it mean to be an American.” Each company receives hundreds of submissions and depend upon their missions to select works for further development. Emerging playwrights were encouraged to target their submissions to companies with similar focus rather than bending their work to a conflicting mission or aesthetic. Companies seeking experimental and non-linear works have to engage in extensive outreach to like-minded playwrights. Mr. Perez commented that 30 years ago Chicago Dramatists felt the odd man out for focusing on new work, whereas now they part of an exciting local and national movement.

When asked about the process of securing a second production the panelists agreed that the focus on emerging work made this a challenge. They agreed with Ms. Davis’ statement that a play is not “done” when the first production closes and that a second production can allow a playwright to utilize what they learned from the first audience. Mr. Gerace stated that for this reason the second production is as important as the first.

Mouse in a Jar is Jeff Recommended and runs through October 31.
Purchase tickets through our website.

Paul G. Miller
Managing Director

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