Whoop ‘n’ Wail seeking fifteen minute short plays about ‘Desire’ that pass the Bechdel Test for ‘Represents…’

With brand new plays from both male and female writers, Represents… is a showcase with a difference.  Whoop ‘n’ Wail have committed to achieving gender equality on the UK stage by creating a night of entertaining, engaging theatre with all plays having significant roles for women.

The sold-out launch of Represents… in Nov 2014 featured work by both established and emerging playwrights and directors invited by the curators to kick off the inaugural event. For future nights, each will have an overarching theme, with pieces selected via an open submission process. Each submission will be read, six pieces selected, and successful writers paired with a director.

Consisting of six fifteen-minute shorts, each piece of writing must pass the Bechdel Test: they must include at least two named female characters who, at some stage, talk to each other about something other than a man. (Inspired by Alison Bechdel’s 1987 comic strip, The Rules, the Bechdel Test has become the benchmark for gauging fair representation on stage and screen.)

What to submit:

  • A 10 minute piece of new and original writing using the theme Desire as a stimulus.
  • Stage plays – either complete short plays or a self-contained extract from a larger work.  Pieces that have been previously produced are not eligible.
  • Plays written by individuals or writing teams are welcome.
  • Writers can only submit one script at a time.
  • Plays must pass the Bechdel Test:  1)  There is no limit to the number of characters your play can have, however at least two must be female. We will accept gender-neutral characters, provided a female-female interaction can be achieved through casting.  2)  The qualifying female characters must have names (not ‘wife’, ‘mum’, ‘woman’, etc.).  3)  Two female characters must interact with each other directly about a subject other than men. This interaction should be significant and have a bearing on the plot.

NB: Plays do not need to be all-female to achieve this. It is entirely possible to pass the test and have male characters in the play and they welcome submissions that achieve this. 

What you get:  This is not a paid commission – everyone involved in the project (including the producers) contribute their time and talent for free.

Whoop ‘n’ Wild guarantees to provide:

  • The performance space
  • A director
  • Your cast
  • The marketing for the showcase
  • Basic lighting
  • Basic set
  • Basic props

Additionally, please note:

  • Successful writers will be paired with a director, and that director will have sole responsibility for casting the piece and arranging rehearsals. Writers may be invited to rehearsals, however this will be at the director’s discretion.  (LPB Editor’s note: We flagged this as this is quite an unconventional practice for new writing, make sure you’re aware of this policy if you choose to apply!)
  • Directors may make minor changes to dialogue, such as word substitutions or line order. Suggested cuts or changes that fundamentally change the plot or structure of the piece will be discussed with the writer.  (LPB Editor’s note: Nothing here about seeking writer’s permission prior to changes – again, be forewarned!)
  • Writers will be entitled to a complimentary ticket for each performance for their own use only. These tickets cannot be transferred.
  • Due to venue restrictions, complimentary tickets for press and industry professionals are only available to the producers. No other complimentary tickets will be available to cast or creatives, however requests to allocate tickets can be submitted to the producers for use by legitimate industry professionals such as casting directors. Whoop ‘n’ Wail will consider all requests, however this does not guarantee approval. The producers’ decision is final.

UPDATE:  LPB flagged the issues of concern highlighted above to the Whoop ‘n’ Wail team, and they responded with the following statement:

“Invitation to rehearsals being at the director’s discretion is something that we stand by as we find it is often not constructive, particularly in a very short rehearsal process, to have the writer at every single rehearsal. That said, our brief to directors encourages them to include writers as much as possible (given it is geographically possible).”

How to apply:  Submit scripts in Word Format only via email to submissions@whoopnwail.com by the deadline, 17:00 on Friday 2nd January 2015. Submissions sent after the deadline will not be read or considered.

Please also attach a character breakdown, including each character’s gender, and a three-line synopsis.

Successful writers will be notified by 17:00 on the 10th January 2015. Regretfully, due to time constraints, Whoop ‘n’ Wail are only able to respond to successful applicants and are unable to provide any feedback on unsuccessful submissions. Whoop ‘n’ Wail will not respond to requests for such.

Deadline:  2 January 2015 at 5pm

Source:  Direct contact

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