As of September 1, Heartland Theatre's annual 10-minute play contest is open for entries. That means playwrights who have a never-before-produced 10-minute play dealing with or inspired by birds in any way, shape or form -- any bird aphorism, idiom, song, fairytale, sports mascot, game, or that dream of dancing Swan Lake you've had since childhood -- may now enter those plays through the Heartland website.
This year's theme is FOWL PLAYS, as described above, and each play must contain some reference to or involvement of a member of the bird family, whether that's a chicken dance, a restaurant that specializes in duck a l'orange, or an adult with a pesky addiction to Big Bird on Sesame Street. (Who isn't addicted to Big Bird? He's awesome.) That addiction could also be to the Illinois State University Redbird, the Baltimore Oriole, Angry Birds, Edgar Allen Poe's Raven, or Alice's dodo (or flamingo) in Wonderland. The bird field is wide open!
The eight winning plays selected in this year's contest will be performed during the annual 10-minute play festival in June, 2014. It's a popular part of Heartland's schedule and last year's festival was very well-attended, making this a great opportunity for playwrights to see their work on stage and hear their words in performance.
You can get all the details here, and take a look at the rules and guidelines here. Suffice it to say you need at least two characters but no more than four, a play that depends mostly on dialogue, and a play that is really, really good, with something to say.
The deadline for all entries is February 1, 2014, but if you'd like the possibility of feedback or revisions from the judges, that deadline is January 1. Note that that's the possibility of feedback, not a guarantee. The revision possibility is left open for those scripts in by January 1 which are otherwise well-written and strong submission, but contain something which doesn't quite fit Heartland's needs -- a fifth character, a script that seems likely to run just a bit longer than ten minutes -- that the judges feel it would be fairly easy to fix. This revision option is used infrequently and is only for strong plays with some small issue that doesn't quite work for Heartland.
In the meantime, work on that Fowl Play!