The Bridge Initiative - Women in Theatre

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The Bridge Initiative: Women in Theatre aims to incubate and celebrate female theatre artists, bridging the divide between academia and the professional world, with an emphasis on developing new work by female writers and presenting Southwestern premieres.

Writing Award

The Bridge Initiative is accepting new plays and musicals written by women for this year’s “Playwright of the Year” award. Stipulations are that the work must be in development with a cast limit of eight (8) and that the writer has an understanding of the next stages needed towards the creation of their play. The playwright will be submitting her piece with the intention of committing time, work, and rewriting within a conscious and measured pipeline of development that will be generated with The Bridge Initiative: Women in Theatre and three other theatre companies committed to the shepherding of the work and writer throughout the process. A panel of professional theatre artists nationwide will adjudicate the submissions.

It is necessary that our winning writer be available for the development process, beginning with a week-long residence in Arizona February 21-26th with a dedicated director, actors, and supportive artists throughout the week in Arizona, and beyond.

The PLAYWRIGHT OF THE YEAR (winner) will receive:

  1. Promotion of themselves and their play on The Bridge Initiative: Women in Arizona Theatre website, press releases both locally and nationally, and our social media channels. In addition, similar promoting with our network of three additional supportive theatres: Magnolia Theatre Company, WAMTheatre Company, and InProximity Theatre. These three female-focused theatre companies are joining forces with The Bridge Initiative to help foster the playwright throughout her process.
  2. A week-long developmental workshop that will include a professional director who specializes in development, dramaturg, actors, and other supportive artists for the process that will best serve the play and playwright.
  3. Additional staged readings of the play with Magnolia Theatre Company and WAMTheatre regionally, as well as InProximity Theatre in New York City, that will include the support of producer and artists. The writer may attend in person or via Skype or FaceTime.
  4. Travel, housing, and stipend for the week of development in Arizona.

Submission instructions: Female playwrights only. The play must not have been fully produced prior to this contest and there must not be any rights attached to the script. Submit online to Application must include 1) a separate resume with all contact information, 2) separate cover letter that addresses your intended vision of process for the development of your play, 3) a separate list of three theatre work-related references with their contact information, and 4) a full script in pdf format that is completely scrubbed (no name or contact information) for the blind reading process. Musical submissions with artistic teams that are at least 50% female will be accepted and must include recorded samples of at least three songs, in addition to the materials described above. Failure to follow these directions may disqualify your play or musical. If you have any questions, please contact The Bridge Initiative: Women in Arizona Theatre at
Deadline: August 1, 2016.

The Bridge Initiative is producing a series of free play readings at Mesa Encore Theatre, every other month, over the coming months. Stay tuned as titles are announced, and please contact us if you are interested in participating!

The Bridge Initiative project was started in part through support from the Arizona Commission on the Arts which receives its support from the State of Arizona and the National Endowment for the Arts. Our aim was to go "beyond the pitch."

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