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Thursday, June 14, 2018

BSC Ten Minute Playwriting Competition 2018: "What Happened to the American Dream?"

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“Is what we are doing good enough? Have the changes that have revealed themselves in recent years…shown overwhelming evidence that we are doing an intelligent job, an adequate job? I am afraid not. Genuinely afraid.” 
– Eleanor Roosevelt, April 1961, The Atlantic, “What Has Happened to the American Dream?”

Bismarck State College Theatre, in collaboration with the Humanities North Dakota, as part of the HumanitiesND year-long “GameChanger Ideas Festival” is pleased to announce a call for brand new ten-minute plays exploring the question: What happened to the American dream?

Theatre has had a long history of examining the American dream: whether through Arthur Miller’s cutting critique in Death of a Salesman, August Wilson’s poetic and revelatory Pittsburgh Cycle, the modernist anxiety of Sophie Treadwell’s Machinal, Suzan-Lori Park’s “Rep and Rev” of The America Play, or Lin-Manuel Miranda’s re-envisioning of the Founding Fathers as played by actors of color in Hamilton, the theatre has always been a forum for exploring the possibilities, anxieties, limitations, and opportunities afforded to people pursuing the American dream.

“Man cannot live without hope. If it is not engendered by his own convictions and desires, it can easily be fired from without, and by the most meretricious and empty of promises.” Eleanor Roosevelt, April 1961, The Atlantic, “What Has Happened to the American Dream?”

Americans find themselves at a crossroads politically, socially, economically. Simultaneously more connected than ever before, and more estranged and dispossessed. In an era of fake news, of foreign governments attacking our social media outlets, what are our convictions and desires? What feelings do those convictions and desires engender, if not hope? Are we living without hope? Are we being fired upon by meretricious and empty promises?

The American Dream means many different things to many different people. Is the American Dream the spread of democracy across the world? Is it the Jeffersonian concept of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Is it the promise of upward economic and social mobility?

BSC Theatre seeks brand new ten-minute plays that engage with the question of the American Dream, construed broadly. Plays may be written in any style, set in any time, and may use as many or as few characters as the author wishes.

BSC Theatre seeks only brand new, never before produced plays, outside of readings, workshops, and/or festivals. Plays should be no more than ten pages long (exclusive of cover page/dramatis personae), following traditional playwriting format. Plays will be entered into consideration for production during BSC Theatre’s annual Short Play Festival in May 2019. If selected for performance, authors agree to provide BSC with performance rights for the duration of the Short Play Festival.

Selection of scripts for performance will be at the discretion of a coalition of academics, theatre artists, and representatives from HumanitiesND.

To submit:
• Visit BSCTheatre.com, and fill out the Google Form linked there. Please ensure that you attach a copy of your ten-minute play to the form, in DOC or PDF format.
• Playwrights may submit up to three scripts for consideration.
• Playwright’s name and complete contact information should be included on the cover sheet only. The playwright’s name should not appear anywhere else.
• Submission due date is September 1st, 2018.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Dr. Danny Devlin, Assistant Professor of Theatre at Bismarck State College at Daniel.devlin@bismarckstate.edu or 701-224-5530

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