Did somebody say TWBW?

Last week, Josh opened our post-production staff meeting with a general “How do we feel the show went?” kind of question. Never being afraid of a drastic claim here and there, I said Supergravity and the Eleventh Dimension was the best show Vagabond has ever produced. While there have been many amazing productions in the past (including but certainly not limited to the IRNE award nominated Burning the Barn and Burning Up the Dictionary), none were quick to disagree. Thanks for stopping by!

With every production, Vagabond works harder and harder, meaning– after the success of Supergravity— we’ve certainly got our work cut out for Brian Tuttle’s  August & Autumn this Fall as well as the rest of our season, which leads into my next point of business:

Our first post-Supergravity There Will Be Words  will be the evening of Thursday, September 19th at our usual time and spot, 7:00pm at Trident Booksellers & Cafe on Newbury Street (go say “Hi!” to Courtney & Crew for us! They’re awesome!). Submissions are open now so, if you’re a playwright, send us everything you’ve got! We’d love to read it all!

(If you need a refresher on our official TWBW submission guidelines, they’re included below! Submissions close 8/30.)

“Wait just a nerf-herding minute, did he just say ‘we’?”

Over the past four years, Vagabond has seen many great artists and collaborators come and go. A few months ago, we lost board members Erica and Ryan to their adventures in Cleveland. And just the other night, we lost Josh to his adventures in LA. As much as we love, miss, and wish them nothing but the best of luck in their highly ambitious endeavors, that leaves our staff with only three members- James, Allison, and myself.

Typically, for TWBW, we’ll have board members read submissions of their choosing. With word of Vagabond spreading amongst the playwright community, we have had a large influx of scripts that may be overwhelming for only three readers with full-time day jobs to worry about and may interfere with giving each and every play its fair consideration. To remedy this issue, a literary board of trusted theatre artists and volunteers has been assembled to read scripts alongside the Vagabond board.

“A Vaga-board!”

The literary staff will also assist us in selecting our plays for the rest of this season. While August & Autumn will be performed at Boston Playwrights Theatre this November, we’ve also got The Factory Theatre booked for runs in April and next July! In order to fill these spaces, for the first time ever Vagabond is hosting open submissions for full production!

With TWBW, we typically look for promising plays that still need a bit of work– pieces that are up in the air until they’re heard in front of an audience. The difference when we open submissions for our production season is that we’ll be looking for plays that are a little further along in development, that have been workshopped, or have had a reading or two, and generally are begging to be put on their feet. Expect more announcements regarding our season and when we’ll be opening submissions for it soon after we’ve announced a script for TWBW.

So, Playwrights, submit your scripts! This will be our eighth TWBW event, and we want to see what you’ve got this time around! Join the likes of Kevin Mullins, Meron Langsner, Walt McGough, and Thom Dunn and hit that send button!

“But dad-dy, I want to know more VTG now!”

Well Veruca, you’ve got your wish. But I must be brief, for Vagabond is only in the early phases of brainstorming some great new content for the benefit of playwrights, local theatre artists, and of course the theatre community at large very much like what we do for TWBW. We’re still working on the details, but if all goes according to plan, we should have a big announcement prepared by August & Autumn.

In the meantime, and for more information, this is the source for all things Vagabond. Be sure to like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter (@VagabondTheatre).

Literarily yours,

Zach

– – –

Ever-handy TWBW Guidelines

The guidelines for submissions are as follows:

  • Both short and full-length plays are accepted.
  • Playwrights must be New England-based.
  • Playwrights must be available to attend the reading and be able to provide their own transportation to and from Trident Booksellers & Cafe.
  • Plays should be entirely original work.
  • Plays should not have been produced in full prior to TWBW (readings/workshops are fine).

Please email plays in PDF format to submissions@vagabondtheatregroup.com. Include a personal biography and a synopsis of the play in the body of the email. The deadline for submissions for the next TWBW is August 30, 2013 at 9:00 PM!

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Open Submissions for There Will Be Words

Yes, folks, it’s that time again when we put forth a call for new plays from local playwrights for our quarterly reading series!

Mark your calendar! Our next There Will Be Words is Thursday, March 14 at 7:00 PM at Trident Booksellers & Cafe (338 Newbury Street, Boston) and we’re looking for a new play to read!! If selected, your play will be rehearsed and read to an audience!

The guidelines for submissions are as follows:

  • Both short and full-length plays are accepted.
  • Playwrights must be New England-based.
  • Playwrights must be available to attend the reading and be able to provide their own transportation to and from Trident Booksellers & Cafe.
  • Plays should be entirely original work.
  • Plays should not have been produced in full prior to TWBW (readings/workshops are fine).

Please email plays in PDF format to submissions@vagabondtheatregroup.com. Include a personal biography and a synopsis of the play in the body of the email. The deadline for submissions for the next TWBW is February 15, 2013 at 9:00 PM!

We look forward to reading your work!

Open Submissions for There Will Be Words: Winter 2012

The Winter Edition of There Will Be Words: A New Play Workshop will be held on Thursday, December 13 at 7:00 PM at Trident Booksellers & Cafe, which means that SUBMISSIONS ARE NOW OPEN!

Starting today, we are accepting both short and full-length plays. Guidelines:

    • Playwrights must be New England-based.
    • Playwrights must be available to attend the reading and be able to provide their own transportation to and from Trident Booksellers & Cafe.
    • Plays should be entirely original work.
    • Plays should not have been produced in full prior to TWBW (readings/workshops are fine).

Please email plays in PDF format to submissions@vagabondtheatregroup.com. Include a personal biography and a synopsis of the play in the body of the email.

Submission deadline is Friday, November 2 at 9:00 PM.

We look forward to reading your work!

Meet the Cast! A Short Interview with Steve Marois

Steve Marois in Rehearsal

Meet Steve Marois, one of our two fantastic ensemble members for True Believers! Steve, who has a day job in Higher Education Administration, has an odd obsession with Sailor Moon and Doctor Who!

How did you get involved in theatre? What is your first theatre memory?
In 10th grade, my friends made me audition for our school musical. That year it was Greece: a Musical Parody. Grease Lightning became a chariot; Sandy and Danny were Sandacia and Dannilaeus. Been hooked ever since…

How did you get involved in this production? What is your favorite thing about rehearsal?
I’m a big British Sci-Fi nerd and I’m friends with a lot of Vagabond members, so if the shoe fits, a stitch in time saves the bird in the bush from rolling moss.

What is the most nerdy thing about yourself? 
I have all 200 episodes of Sailor Moon in Japanese and German.

Who is your favorite superhero? Why? 
Sailor Saturn. She’s a BAMF, and could destroy the entire planet if she wanted to. She also has the coolest weapon of any of the Sailor Senshi.

*  *  *

Steve Marois is thrilled to be involved in his first Vagabond show, especially considering the amount of Doctor Who references in it. His previous acting experiences include appearances in Boston University Stage Troupe’s productions, such as Beauty and the Beast (Lumiere), Amadeus (Kapellmeister Bonno), and Poona the F@*kdog and Other Stories for Children (Cigarette Box, Aide, VCR, Sparky, Stagehand, Guard, Satan, Reporter, Angry Villager). He has never cried more than when he watched Episode 4 of Torchwood: Children of Earth.

Interview with Meron Langsner, Burning up the Dictionary

Hello folks, we’re deep in rehearsals for our reading of local playwright Meron Langsner‘s Burning up the Dictionary this coming Thursday, May 17 at 7:00 PM at Trident Booksellers & Cafe. Here’s your chance to get to know a bit more about the playwright before the event! We hope to see you there!

How did you get started in playwrighting?

I wanted to be a writer long before I discovered theatre.  I became active in theatre during college first as a dancer (which I came into by way of martial arts), then as an actor and director.  Near the end of my undergrad work I tried my hand at writing plays, and from there it was pretty much a matter of consolidating interests.  As I came into theatre both later than most of the people I was working with and with a predisposition to writing, I pursued every aspect of it that anyone would teach me, and then slowly focused more and more on writing (though I have a pretty significant secondary specialization in fight directing).
If you weren’t a playwright, what would you do

In terms of stuff outside of theatre or film, an anthropologist or a marketing/branding strategist (I feel that they have similar skill sets).  I like the big picture perspectives of human behavior in those fields, as well as the importance of narrative, archetype, and imagery.

Within theatre aside from playwriting I spend a lot of time as a fight director.  I really enjoy the moment-to-moment narrative clarity in staged violence.  It also helps me as a playwright both in terms of getting to collaborate with a whole lot of different people and in terms of always being grounded in the reality of the actor’s body.  I think of myself as a very physical writer.  There’s a line from Edward Gordon Craig’s On the Art of the Theatre that really resonates with me where he says that “the dramatist is not the son of the poet, he is the son of the dancer.”
When did the idea for Burning Up The Dictionary first pop into your head?

The original working title was It’s Complicated, and was more about the liminality and volatile nature of unsolidified relationships than about private languages. I drafted a very rough version of it in longhand on a plane a few years back and then put it aside until this past summer when I was done with my dissertation and could focus more on my creative work.  I distilled a piece of it down into a one minute play early on that was performed in the 2010 Gi60 One-Minute Play Festival at Brooklyn College.  That piece illustrated an aspect of the characters I enjoyed playing with, but didn’t have the focus on language that I realized I was really going for.  They referred to their language but we didn’t hear them speak it.  I wanted very much to write a play where the language belonged to the characters and the audience was let in on it.  The idea of characters that speak their own invisible and private language hidden through layers of meanings has been something I’ve been toying with for years, but I didn’t connect it to this story until recently.

Since returning to this play I’ve been lucky enough to have a few opportunities to develop the early drafts and start to solidify how the language defines the characters.  The Lark Play Development Center was invaluable once I had the whole thing out, and before that I was able to hear early pieces of it through the Playwrights’ Commons summer playground program and at a Small Theatre Alliance Open Mic night.
Burning Up the Dictionary is not a typical love (or anti-love) story. What kinds of personal experiences have trickled down into Burning Up the Dictionary?

Wow, this is a delicate question considering some of the content of the play.

As I said earlier, when people are close for a long time they start speaking their own private language.  As someone aware of language, pieces of those experiences made it into this play.  I don’t directly quote anyone that I used to know in Burning Up the Dictionary as it’s not based on any specific people (and because that’s just a bad idea), but some personal experiences have made it into the play.  Anyone who has been through a rocky period in a relationship will recognize certain things that happen.

I had a brief preoccupation with Argentine Tango for a while (I had to give it up for marathon training), so when that enters the story some of those observations are my own.  The intimacy of that particular dance is important in terms of what the characters are doing to each other.

I also once had the misfortune of living in close proximity to a mutually emotionally abusive couple.  (Nothing of those people is in this play at all as I want my characters to actually be likeable.)  Having seen that dynamic in action was useful in creating two characters that love each other but should not be allowed anywhere near each other.
What’s next on the docket for you? Do you have any upcoming projects?

There are two major collaborative writing projects in the works: I’m co-writing a libretto with my friend and fellow Boston playwright Silvia Graziano based on the Marquis De Sade’s Justine.  Chauncey Moore is composing our music.  We had a second reading of the libretto this past Valentine’s Day with Fort Point Theatre Channel and now we’re starting to move forward with music and the rewrites that music will demand.  That project started as a joke, until I had the good fortune to make that joke in front of Silvia.  I’m also co-writing a piece called Trajectories with my friend Chris Mandia for a new company called Evet Arts.  It’s a physical theatre piece based on stories from American servicemen in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The hope for that piece is to have performances in both Boston and Chicago within the next year.

I’m working on the preface and proofs and whatnot for the inclusion of my documentary drama, Bystander 9/11 into an anthology that’s scheduled to be released by Methuen Drama in the UK next year.  I always have plays, stories, poems, and scholarly writing in circulation that I’m waiting to hear back on, but I try not to announce anything that’s not fairly definite.

This season I became an artistic associate of Whistler in the Dark after multiple collaborations, which now means that something interesting is always on the horizon, and I somehow managed to get myself elected to the board of the Small Theatre Alliance of Boston,

I’m also almost always fight directing something (sometimes as many as eight somethings at once), but my involvement in those projects waxes and wanes.
What advice can you offer other playwrights?

See as much theatre as you can.

Read a lot, and not just theatre.

Learn how to do things in theatre beyond playwriting.  Our greatest writers were also something else, I believe that that’s because they knew how theatre worked on multiple levels and it influenced their stagecraft as much as their literary values.

Rewrite.  A lot.

Learn to distinguish useful critiques from what’s just noise.

If you find people that believe in your writing, stick with them.

Comic-Con: Episode IV – A Fan’s Hope

Hello folks! Today marks one week before the beginning of ImprovBoston’s Geek Week (we’ll be performing a preview of True Believers by Thom Dunn on Sunday, April 29 at 9 PM so you can get a taste of the show before we do it in full at the Factory Theatre this summer)! We are gearing up by building a bunch of headpieces and a Cyborg Head of Stan Lee but if you want to gear up too…

The Coolidge Corner Theatre is showing Comic-Con: Episode IV – A Fan’s Hope, a documentary about Comic-Con. Brush up on your Comic-Con history and get psyched for True Believers this summer!

And if you REALLY REALLY can’t restrain your inner geek, it’s about to get nerdy up in our Twitter account with nerdy tatoos, ways to become super, and cybernetically enhanced puppies.