New England playwrights, here’s what we know about you: 1. that you write plays; 2. that you live in New England (hence your “New England playwright” moniker – I’m assuming it’s not a given name); and 3. that Portland Stage Company HEARTS you. The Maine theatre troupe demonstrates this ardor through a commitment to new work, particularly through its annual new play event, the Little Festival of the Unexpected, and its prestigious contest for New England stage scribes: the Clauder Competition.
The Clauder Competition, created in 1981, supports playwrights through monetary awards, production and workshop opportunities, and a commitment to dramatic writers that includes encouragement, exposure, and critical feedback.
Along with its monetary awards – the Clauder Grand Prize Winner receives a cash award of $2500 and Gold Prize Winners receive $600 each – the competition is designed to help playwrights advance in their careers. The Grand Prize Winner receives a full, professional production at Portland Stage. And Grand Prize and Gold Prize winners will be invited to workshop their plays at the Little Festival of the Unexpected.
Playwrights not selected for any of the prizes still have opportunities for advancement. Every play received by December 31, 2011 may be considered for staged readings as part of the 2012 Little Festival of the Unexpected. And, all plays submitted will receive an individualized letter of response, including readers’ comments.
Past winners or finalists of the competition, which accepts submissions from the six New England states, include numerous MCC awardees in Playwriting: William Donnelly (Fellow ’05), Laura Harrington (Fellow ’05, ’97), Gregory Hischak (Finalist ’11), and Melinda Lopez (Fellow ’03).
Read more about the competition and find submission guidelines. Deadline for the submissions is March 1, 2012 (postmark).
Images: photos from past plays at Portland Stage Company by Clauder Competition Winner: William Donnelly’s MAGNETIC NORTH, featuring Tom Butler and Jessica Dickey; Gregory Hischak’s THE HISTORY OF GRAVITY, featuring Matthew Harrington, Sophia Holman, and Christopher Kelly. Photography by Darren Setlow.