Red Bull Theater (Jesse Berger, Artistic Director | Jim Bredeson, Managing Director) today announced that submissions are now open for their 10th annual festival of 10-minute plays of heightened language and classic themes. Beginning today, six brand new plays, inspired by this year’s theme: “Private Lives,” will be selected through an open submission process to premiere alongside commissions from Jeremy O. Harris (Slave Play, Daddy) and Theresa Rebeck (Bernhardt/Hamlet, Seminar). Submissions are open through March 30th, 2020.
Red Bull Theater’s annual Short New Play Festival has generated nearly 2,000 new short plays of classic themes and heightened language, presenting 72 of them in performance with some of New York’s finest actors and directors. Past commissions have included John Guare, David Ives, Ellen McLaughlin, Dael Orlandersmith, Anne Washburn, Doug Wright and winning entries by writers such as Heidi Armbruster, Anchuli Felicia King, Lynn Rosen, and Jen Silverman.
The Tenth Annual Short New Play Festival will be presented on Monday, July 20th in New York. Directors and casting will be announced at a later date. This annual initiative is produced by Craig Baldwin.
The 10th Anniversary of Red Bull Theater’s Short New Play Festival is made possible by the leadership support of The Noël Coward Foundation.
The Foundation’s aim is to award grants to educational and development projects across the Arts and to continue the keen interest Coward himself took in charitable work during his lifetime.
Each year, Red Bull selects new works of heightened language and classical themes from today’s top established and emerging playwrights. Six brand-new short plays will be selected from a competitive open submission process and and be presented in staged readings alongside the commissioned plays. Using this years’ theme “Private Lives,” writers are asked to submit a short play of no more than 10 minutes in length that makes use of any, or all, of the following: heightened language or verse; a classical theme or style; a classical story; is self-contained with a beginning, middle and end; and is an original, unpublished, and never previously produced new work.
“This year’s theme ‘Private Lives’ is just the jumping off point for inspiration. Submitting playwrights may hew as close to Noël Coward’s world or stray as far from it as you are inspired to do! We want you to be in dialogue with classical theater in a multitude of creative and surprising ways,” said producer Craig Baldwin.
The deadline is 12 Noon on Monday March 30th, 2020.
Selected playwrights will receive a staged reading of their submission as part of the festival on Monday July 20th, 2020, performed by an ensemble company of some of New York’s finest actors; will receive a commissioning fee of $325 plus a travel reimbursement of up to $400 to attend the festival rehearsal and performance; will have final script approval and will be consulted on choices for the shared ensemble cast; and will have the optional opportunity to have their play published and licensed by Stage Rights as part of our Red Bull Shorts series. This year’s selections will be announced by the end of May, 2020. Complete details about the submission guidelines can be found athttps://www.redbulltheater.com/submissions-open-2020-short.
This year’s commissioned writers are:
Jeremy O. Harris’s full-length plays include: Slave Play (Broadway, New York Theatre Workshop, New York Times Critic’s Pick, winner of the 2018 Kennedy Center Rosa Parks Playwriting Award, the Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award, and The Lotos Foundation Prize in the Arts and Sciences),“DADDY” (Vineyard Theatre/The New Group, Almeida Theatre), Black Exhibition (Bushwick Starr), Xander Xyst, Dragon: 1, and WATER SPORTS; or insignificant white boys (published by 53rd State Press). His work has been presented or developed by Pieterspace, JACK, Ars Nova, The New Group, NYTW, Performance Space New York and Playwrights Horizons. In 2018, Jeremy co-wrote A24’s upcoming film Zola with director Janicza Bravo. He is the 11th recipient of the Vineyard Theatre’s Paula Vogel Playwriting Award, a 2016 MacDowell Colony Fellow, an Orchard Project Greenhouse artist, a resident playwright with Colt Coeur, and is under commission from Lincoln Center Theater and Playwrights Horizons. Jeremy is a graduate of the Yale MFA Playwriting Program. Jeremy is currently developing a pilot with A24 for HBO.
Theresa Rebeck is a prolific and widely produced playwright, whose work can be seen and read throughout the United States and abroad. Last season, her fourth Broadway play premiered on Broadway, making Rebeck the most Broadway-produced female playwright of our time. Broadway works includeBernhardt/Hamlet, Dead Accounts; Seminar and Mauritius. Other notable NY and regional plays include: Seared (MCC), Downstairs (Primary Stages), The Scene, The Water’s Edge, Loose Knit, The Family of Mann and Spike Heels (Second Stage), Bad Dates, The Butterfly Collection and Our House(Playwrights Horizons), The Understudy (Roundabout), View of the Dome(NYTW), What We’re Up Against (Women’s Project), Omnium Gatherum(Pulitzer Prize finalist). As a director, her work has been seen at The Alley Theatre (Houston), the REP Company (Delaware); Dorset Theatre Festival, the Orchard Project and the Folger Theatre. Major film and television projects include Trouble starring Anjelica Huston, Bill Pullman and David Morse (writer and director), “NYPD Blue,” the NBC series “Smash” (creator), and the upcoming female spy thriller 355 (for Jessica Chastain’s production company). As a novelist, Rebeck’s books include Three Girls and Their Brother and I’m Glad About You. Rebeck is the recipient of the William Inge New Voices Playwriting Award, the PEN/Laura Pels Foundation Award, a Lilly Award and more.
Stage Rights has published a 4-volume collection of the plays from Red Bull Theater’s annual Short New Play Festival as RED BULL SHORTS. This ongoing series features 10-minute plays of heightened language and classical themes by today’s hottest writers, including commissions by established playwrights such as Tina Howe, Ellen McLaughlin, Dael Orlandersmith, and Doug Wright, and winning entries by writers such as Rachel Leopold, Amanda Quaid, Anya Martin, and Christian Simonsen – all chosen from a competition that receives nearly 300 submissions each year. In the hands of great playwrights, the 10-minute play is a highly entertaining dramatic form. This collection offers the most delectable of these delightfully compact works – some downright silly, and others powerfully moving.
Coming this Spring: Red Bull’s next mainstage production of the season will be The Alchemist by Jeffrey Hatcher adapted from Ben Jonson, directed by Jesse Berger. This will be the World Premiere of a Red Bull Theater commission from the same team that created the acclaimed hit The Government Inspector. Following recent acclaimed productions of Keith Hamilton Cobb’s American Moor, Erica Schmidt’s Mac Beth, John Webster’s The White Devil, and David Ives’s The Metromaniacs, The Alchemist brings the greed and absurdity of Jonson’s Jacobean London to brilliant contemporary life in this brand new adaptation by Jeffrey Hatcher, whose version of inane corruption à la Gogol delighted New York audiences in The Government Inspector. Performances begin in May at the Lucille Lortel Theatre. Cast and design team will be announced shortly.
Red Bull Theater, hailed as “the city’s gutsiest classical theater” by Time Out NY, brings rarely seen classic plays to dynamic new life for contemporary audiences, uniting a respect for tradition with a modern sensibility. Named for the rowdy Jacobean playhouse that illegally performed plays in England during the years of Puritan rule, Red Bull Theater is New York City’s home for dynamic performances of great plays that stand the test of time. With the Jacobean plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries as its cornerstone, the company also produces new works that are in conversation with the classics. A home for artists, scholars and students, Red Bull Theater delights and engages the intellect and imagination of audiences, and strives to make its work accessible, diverse, and welcoming to all. Red Bull Theater believes in the power of great classic stories and plays of heightened language to deepen our understanding of the human condition, in the special ability of live theater to create unique, collective experiences, and the timeless capacity of classical theater to illuminate the events of our times. Variety agreed, hailing Red Bull’s work as: “Proof that classical theater can still be surprising after hundreds of years.”
Since its debut in 2003 with a production of Shakespeare’s Pericles starring Daniel Breaker, Red Bull Theater has served adventurous theatergoers with Off-Broadway productions, Revelation Readings, and the annual Short New Play Festival. The company also offers outreach programs including Shakespeare in Schools bringing professional actors and teaching artists into public school classrooms; Bull Sessions, free post-play discussions with top scholars; and Master Classes in classical acting led by veteran theater professionals.
“The classics-shaking Red Bull Theater,” as Time Out NY has called it, has presented 20 Off-Broadway productions and nearly 200 Revelation Readings of rarely seen classics, serving a community of more than 5,000 artists and providing quality artistic programming to an audience of over 65,000. The company’s unique programming has received ongoing critical acclaim, and has been recognized with Lortel, Drama Desk, Drama League, Callaway, Off Broadway Alliance, and OBIE nominations and Awards.
For more information about the Short New Play Festival, or any of Red Bull Theater’s programs, visit www.redbulltheater.com.