I love to write and I love to compete. So the other day, when I stumbled upon a writing/competing event that’s coming up in July, I fell in love with the concept. I’ll share it with you now, in words that I’ve lifted almost verbatim from the Facebook page of Poison Apple Initiative (PAI), an Austin, TX-based theatre company that specializes in “sharp, dark comedy with a social consciousness.” (Sure, I love to write, but they’ve described it so well – there’s no need for me to compete with PAI’s press team, is there?)
The event is called “Slam” – and here’s the description:
- In the first three weeks of Slam (July 1, 8, and 15, all of which are Round 1), up to 10 playwrights per night show their work. The first 10 playwrights in the door can participate; there’s no need to submit anything ahead of time. Playwrights get five minutes to show their work. They can throw caution to the wind and just let the actors go, or they can use their five minutes to direct the actors and/or give the audience some context.
- Actors’ names are drawn from a hat and perform right then and there.
- Then three judges (a healthy mix of industry professionals and random audience volunteers) rate what they’ve seen on a scale of 1 to 10 and give some candid feedback. The audience generally has their own thoughts, which are best when they’re voiced loudly.
- At the end of the evening, two winners are selected to move on to Week 4, the finals. The finals will be held on Sunday, July 22, when the six winning playwrights from the previous three weeks will each present ten minutes of their work. After some raucous debate, the judges will crown a winner. The winning playwright receives a staged reading of their piece hosted by Poison Apple Initiative.
The suggested donation for audience and participants is $5. Absolutely anyone is urged to participate regardless of experience or prestigious grants or crippling stage fright or whatever. Playwrights should bring enough sides for all necessary characters. Audience members should come prepared to share their opinions – loudly.
Doesn’t that sound like a blast? The event will take place at Wardenclyffe, 1101 Springdale Road in Austin. The only thing that PAI doesn’t list on its site is the time – oh, details, details. I’m going to guess 8 p.m., but I’ll update that here when I find out for sure.