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Monday, May 19, 2014

REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS — SHORT PLAY BEFORE THE FEATURE

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Request for Proposals

Stickball Productions seeks a friendly neighborhood fringe theater company (incorporated or existing solely for this project) to produce a 10 minute play prior to a full production, Oct. 7-25, for 9 (nine) performances.

Stickball Productions will present Two Boys Lost, a full length play by Bill Doncaster from October 7 through 25 (Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays) at the Massasoit Elks Lodge, Cambridge, MA. We’re seeking the cooperation of a small or fringe company to do something a bit different – present a short, unrelated play, for early arrivers. The selected company will receive a negotiated percentage of box office receipts.

This is an experiment, born from a love of short plays and a dislike of traditional short play festivals, and a sincere desire to give our audiences something different and unexpected. Once upon a time, every movie was preceded by a short film, a cartoon or newsreel, and audiences enjoyed them and didn’t find it a distraction from the main features. The world of short plays is as fascinating (if not more so) as short stories in prose, and we seek to let new audiences know that “a good show” can be damned quick and expose them to some additional talent around town. What we would like is to open doors at 7:30 p.m., present a fully produced short play (under 10 minutes) at 7:40, with the main feature curtain at 8 p.m.

What we seek:

The main feature is a drama, so we’re inclined to think a comedy will work best, but we’re open-minded on that. The selected company or group will be responsible for all elements for production for 9 performances, including cast, director, props, rehearsal space, playwright royalties etc., and will need to work within an existing lighting plot for the mainstage production (some limited tech time will be available). This offering will be heavily promoted in all publicity about Two Boys Lost, so you will be committed to all 9 performances.

Ideally, the play will be low on set pieces – there will be a table and chairs available – but honestly the best short plays aren’t reliant on elaborate sets.

As a practical matter, this is an “add on” – offered to the audience members who arrive early for an 8 p.m. show. That said, patrons may well be entering DURING this performance, in a venue with a bar IN the performance space, and thus it will be an awesome challenge to command attention. Again, this is an experiment.

Additional obligations of the selected company or group will include sharing your participating of the show through your various social media outlets, i.e. helping to spread the word about the entire production.

Stickball will commit to the following: Highlighting your company’s offering at Two Boys Lost as part of the text in the box office language for ticket busyers (we WANT people there early to see your piece, and will work hard to encourage early arrivers), inclusion in all press releases and on our website about the mainstage production, a profile of your company and the project specifically on our website, and a negotiated percentage of the gross box office receipts. That percentage will be small, as there are fixed and other costs associated with the mainstage production and money’s tight, but Stickball is committed to paying people for their work, even if it’s nowhere near enough.

The selected company may also: Have literature available about upcoming productions available in the venue, affix a poster at the rear of the venue about cast/crew information and upcoming productions, receive a healthy number of comps (concentrated on opening weekend).

A couple of big “No no’s” – we allow no curtain speeches for any reason, before or after the piece, you present, you bow. No fundraising for your company (aside from standard “how to donate” info on literature you have available).

RFP submission process:

We don’t get too hung up on formality here. As a practical matter, we require you’re reasonably local.

Email the following to Stickball Productions at admin@stickballproductions.com:

A brief letter (under a page) that describes the piece and principle participants, and what you bring to the table in terms of promotions (twitter and facebook followers and the like). We don’t except casting decisions at this early stage, but we DO want to know a bit about the director and other key people who will “get it up” and we do hope to cross pollinate a bit in terms of marketing.

The text of the proposed 10 minute play – we encourage “new and unpublished” and, again YOU are the producer so royalties are your responsibility.

Projected fee and breakdown – Our plan is a box percentage, and we believe in paying people. That said, we’re on a limited budget with venue and lighting rentals, cast and crew for the main stage, and resources for this are really non-existent. In essence, we’ll be adding an amount to the ticket price to make this happen, and we’re as relentless as everyone else in seeking to keep ticket prices low.
Deadline – May 30, 2014.

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