Saturday, July 5, 2014

American Blues Theater's Blue Ink Playwriting Contest Is Now Open

American Blues Theater, the second-oldest Equity ensemble theater in Chicago, has opened its annual Blue Ink playwriting competition as of July 1. From now till September 1, you can enter your full-length play with the hopes of nabbing a $1000 prize and a staged reading at American Blues Theater. The theater leaves open the possibility of a full production, as well, with a "Right of First Refusal" option built into the rules.

Although no theme is listed for this competition, note that American Blues Theater's mission is to illuminate "the American ideas of freedom, equality, and opportunity in the plays we produce and communities we serve." Founded in 1986 as a blue-collar theater, American Blues wandered away from that goal a bit over the years, but reformed under its original name and recommitted itself to its working-class roots in 2009. Producing Artistic Director Gwendolyn Whiteside kept the ensemble’s mission statement and 25-year commitment to new work and community outreach front and center when she implemented the Blue Ink Playwriting Award and new community service initiatives. Since the theater reformed, they have put into practice the mandate that each production partner with social and service organizations to raise awareness and support.

Click here to see the complete guidelines for submissions for the Blue Ink prize. They include requirements that any play submitted be written in English, original, unpublished, and never before professionally produced.You may submit a word document or a pdf and you must include a $5 administrative fee.

American Blues Theater's current season -- its 29th -- is operating under the theme "Lost & Sound" and it includes the return of Hank Williams: Lost Highway from July 25 to August 31; a world premiere of Nambi E. Kelly's Native Son, adapted from the novel by Richard Wright, from September 11 to October 12; an American Blues original brought back to celebrate the holidays with It's a Wonderful Life (as a radio show performed live and in person) from November 21 to December 28;  the Chicago premiere of Steven Dietz's Yankee Tavern from February 20 to March 22, 2015; and Warren Leight's Side Man, about a jazz trumpeter and his son, from April 24 to May 24, 2015.

For more information on American Blues Theater or the Blue Ink Playwrighting Award, click on the links under their names.

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