- Mission: New Voices is intended to develop plays and playwrights beyond the basic playwriting class.
- The process includes a juried selection, a concert reading and a limited production in the Pocket Playhouse with full involvement of the selected playwright and sponsored by the Department of Theatre Arts.
- New Voices is to be organized and overseen by the Playwriting teacher using the following guidelines and processes.
- The application and script submission deadline is before week seven, Winter Term.
- Selection is open to all current graduate and undergraduate UO students who will also be students on this campus in fall of the following year.
- Scripts must be original, unpublished, unproduced, and free of royalty and copyright restrictions.
- Scripts can be up to 45 pages or 60 minutes playing time maximum; no musicals at this time.
- Only one entry per author.
- Small cast and minimal tech requirements are preferred. The selected play(s) will have a production in the Pocket Playhouse and the realities of that space will be taken into account during the selection process.
- Promotion and Publicity will be handled by the UT Marketing Office as per UT productions. This activity will be coordinated at the beginning of fall term.
- Ushers and Front of House personnel will be the responsibility of the UT Marketing Office.
- Electronic Submissions only; PDF or Word Document format.
- Entries need to be “blinded”- that is, no name should appear on the script so the author will be anonymous to the readers.
- Please provide the author’s name and contact information on the email accompanying the script.
- Submission should go to the playwriting teacher as listed on the informational flyer.
- Submissions will be read by a panel that will make the final selection.
- The panel will include one faculty, one grad student and one undergraduate.
- Plays will get input from the design staff before final selection.
- Selection will be made by the first week of Spring Term.
- Selection will include one or more plays and not exceed 60 minutes total playing time and whose technical demands are compatible with a Pocket Playhouse production.
- The Theatre faculty will select the director and design staff for the fall production.
- The director will select the cast for the reading and for the production (not necessarily the same actors for the reading as the production), in consultation with the playwright.
Calendar of events:
- The Playwriting instructor will announce the contest and the deadlines during fall term.
- Use the Circus and flyers in the building as well as announcements in class.
- Repeat the announcement at the beginning of Winter Term (Same means as above).
- Submission deadline is no later than the end of week 6, winter term.
- Announcement of selection(s) will be made the first week of spring term.
- Staged reading of script(s) will take place during week 9 or 10 of spring term.
- The New Voices Production will be in the Pocket Playhouse during fall term.
- Auditions and Casting may be late spring or first thing in the fall.
Process, Oversight & Mentorship
- If the play was developed in a UT Playwriting class the Playwriting teacher will serve as the playwright’s mentor through the process- i.e. the concert reading in the spring and production in the fall.
- They should sit in on a few rehearsals to see how the process is working.
- The Playwright’s mentor needs to also be an advocate for the playwright in developing and maintaining a positive working relationship for the playwright in the production process.
- For plays not developed in a class the playwright should feel free to seek a mentor who will advise and advocate for him or her.
- The Playwright’s Bill of Rights, developed and distributed by the Dramatist’s Guild, will be amended to relate to this project and serve as a guideline that governs Artistic Integrity, Right to be Present, Billing Credit, Ownership of Intellectual Property and Ownership of Incidental Contributions. (See Attachment)
- Playwrights are expected to be actively involved in all development once the play is selected, up to and including the production the following fall.
- The playwright should expect to be doing rewrites during the spring and summer and to be attending some of the rehearsals in the fall as rewrites continue.
- The playwright’s mentor will be involved in this process to assist in oversight and serve as mediator as necessary.
- Promotion and Publicity will be coordinated at the beginning of fall term.
- Ushers and Front of House personnel will be available for all performances as assigned by the Marketing Office.
- If the director is a student it is the discretion of the faculty if that director will have a faculty mentor.
- If there is a director’s mentor then that person works in the same capacity and relationship with the director that the playwright’s mentor works with the playwright.
The Dramatists Guild of America
Bill of Rights-
In Process And Production/ Amended and intended as guidelines for the New Voices activities at the University of Oregon
1. Artistic Integrity. No one (e.g., directors, actors, dramaturgs) can make changes, alterations, and/or omissions to your script—including the text, title, and stage directions—without your consent. This is called “script approval.”
2. Approval of production elements. You have the right to approve the cast, director, and designers (and, for a musical, the choreographer, orchestrator, arranger, and musical director, as well), including their replacements. This is called “artistic approval.”
3. Right to be present. You always have the right to attend casting, rehearsals, previews and performances.
4. Billing Credit. You should receive billing (typographical credit) on all publicity, programs, and advertising distributed or authorized by the theatre. Billing is part of your compensation and the failure to provide it properly is a breach of your rights.
5. Ownership of intellectual property. You own the copyright of your dramatic work. Authors in the theatre business do not assign (i.e., give away or sell in entirety) their copyrights, nor do they ever engage in “work-for-hire.” When a university, producer or theatre wants to mount a production of your play, you actually license (or lease) the public performance rights to your dramatic property to that entity for a finite period of time.
6. Ownership of incidental contributions. You own all approved revisions, suggestions, and contributions to the script made by other collaborators in the production, including actors, directors, and dramaturgs. You do not owe anyone any money for these contributions. If a theatre uses dramaturgs, you are not obligated to make use of any ideas the dramaturg might have. Even when the input of a dramaturg or director is helpful to the playwright, dramaturgs and directors are still employees of the theatre, not the author, and they are paid for their work by the theatre/producer. It has been well-established in case law, beginning with “the Rent Case” (Thompson v. Larson) that neither dramaturgs nor directors (nor any other contributors) may be considered a co-author of a play, unless (i) they’ve collaborated with you from the play’s inception, (ii) they’ve made a copyrightable contribution to the play, and (iii) you have agreed in writing that they are a co-author.