Western Edge Theatre artistic director Brian March is accepting submissions for the New Waves Short Play Festival. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)

Area playwrights encouraged to submit work to New Waves Short Play Festival

Writers have until April 30 to drop off their scripts

When Brian March was writing his first plays he would send them off blindly to theatre companies he found in the phone book, knowing it was unlikely they would ever get read. But on the rare occasion that his work would pass before a producer’s eyes, it was all worthwhile.

“I remember once receiving a letter back and somebody had read the script and pointed out some things about it, that they enjoyed, etc. and I was on like Cloud 9 just realizing somebody had read it and liked it to a certain extent,” he said.

That’s a feeling he’s hoping to give other aspiring and experienced playwrights through the New Waves Short Play Festival. Until April 30, the Western Edge Theatre artistic director is accepting submissions from writers from across the mid-Island for plays up to an hour in length with reasonable casting and production requirements.

March and Western Edge executive director Frank Moher will spend all of May reading through the submissions. In the end two or three plays will be selected and brought to the stage for the New Waves festival in September.

“What we’re looking for is, one, the quality of the piece, the writing, something that we think will work as a stage production, something that is manageable. Like we’re probably not going pick some big science fiction-type thing that requires a lot of set pieces and props,” March said.

“So a simplicity in the production values. Something that’s manageable, like perhaps not a cast of 25 or 30. Although, who knows? If the play is good enough and they’re willing to find the actors, then certainly there’s that. And something that has audience appeal.”

He added that the goal of New Waves is to involve the playwright with the production process, so that with Western Edge’s help and guidance they can learn how to take their play from the page to the stage. The plays that are not selected will still be read and returned with notes critiquing the works and encouraging the writers to keep at it.

“The idea is that there are many writers out there who have material that they’ve written and they sometimes submit for various purposes but they never get to see it produced or sometimes not even read, actually,” March said, speaking from experience.

“But in this case, they submit the pieces they know the pieces are being read by us because we’re choosing from those pieces but then we’re helping them to understand what it takes to put on a play.”

Western Edge will provide the chosen playwrights with modest financial assistance and would supply technical support, but the writers would be responsible for props and set pieces. March said involving the playwright is meant to teach the production process so that If they have a play they are passionate about they will be equipped to produce it themselves independently.

“Just seeing your work produced on stage is certainly a tremendously uplifting feeling, but as is the case in theatre, sometimes getting the first play produced isn’t that hard. It’s the second one that’s hard,” March said.

Those interested in submitting a play can do so by emailing Brian March at ad@westernedge.org. Applicants are asked to include contact information with their submissions.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Nanaimo region receives $700,000 in federal support for summer jobs

Funding for Nanaimo-Ladysmith up $74,000 from last year

Thousands of dollars comes to Nanaimo to help address violence and healing

The B.C. Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General announces nearly $6.5 million in grants

City of Nanaimo’s proposed resolutions rejected at local government conference

City council had contingent at Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities convention

RCMP discover beaver the culprit in break-and-enter attempt

Nanaimo RCMP responded to a 911 call on Sun Valley Drive on Wednesday night

Recycling standards could get stricter at apartments and condos

Regional District of Nanaimo solid waste management plan calls for separation of recycling, organics

Chesapeake Shores filming in Nanaimo

Downtown streets packed with equipment and crews Thursday for TV series filming

Video: RCMP investigation gets a deer little photobomb

Princeton RCMP were conducting a drug investigation in Princeton which a deer strolled through

Farnworth says five years too long for feds to deal with organized crime in medical pot

Needs to be dealt with much sooner than that, B.C. Public Safety Minister says

Beefs & Bouquets, April 19

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail bulletinboard@nanaimobulletin.com

Cycle touring expert reveals Island’s best biking adventures

Learn about Island’s best backroad biking at upcoming presentation hosted by Hub City Cycles

Nanaimo can get together to celebrate Earth Day

Farmers, artisans, honeybees, baby goats RSVP for party Saturday, April 21, a day before Earth Day

Nanaimo adds up the value of natural infrastructure

Environmental assets have dollar value, study finds

Unions set for national strike against CP Rail

Locomotive engineers, conductors and signals specialists seeking new collective agreements.

B.C. woman known to hitchhike around province missing

Aislynn Hanson, 18, last seen April 13; known to travel throughout B.C. by hitchhiking

Most Read