Thursday, February 9, 2012

City Lit Theater Company Is Looking for Adaptations

Chicago's City Lit Theater Company is looking for plays. Not just any plays, but adaptations. Or, more specifically, "stage adaptations of non-dramatic literature." City Lit is planning a festival called "The Art of Adaptation," to run June 29 and 30 and July 1 at their theater at 1012 West Bryn Mawr Avenue in Chicago. They are hoping to offer performances of some 6 to 10 adapted pieces over the course of the festival. And there's a $500 cash prize, which is always good news to starving playwrights!

If your thing is adapting stage plays from short stories,books, poems, essays, diaries, newspaper clippings, magazine articles, the Bible, the Uniform Commercial Code, or anything else that isn't already a stage play, this may be the perfect assignment for you. Note that City Lit specifies that "Each adaptor is responsible for whatever royalties might be due on your piece." As a matter of good sense, you should know you can't dramatize a bunch of Adele's song lyrics without permission from Adele, or try to put something fun together based on a recent New Yorker piece without getting the rights first. And for the love of all that's holy, please do not think you can simply retype something you saw on Youtube or read at Wikipedia and pretend it's yours.

Much smarter to use material that's in the public domain or already belongs to you.

In any event, City Lit says they're looking for pieces that will play between 5 and 20 minutes in length (so, approximately 5-20 pages, depending on whether it includes long monologues, lots of stage action or snappy dialogue that goes quickly). The author is responsible for finding a director and actors and setting up rehearsals on their own. Other requirements and specifications are listed here.

The deadline to submit a proposal is April 30, 2012. For a better idea of what kind of material City Lit prefers, visit their website here to see current offerings.

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