Everyone's a Critic, Season 2: Strike Out or Home Run?
The theater world has a new and exciting craze that's popping up in small drama companies all across the country. It's an incredible movement called "24 hour theater." This new twist on drama involves paring down the usually lengthy and exhausting process of writing, workshopping and producing a fully staged show from what could be several years to just a single day. This bold new form of expression is usually done in a festival setting where a rag-tag group of writers, directors, actors and designers are frantically thrown together into teams. They are then given a concept and (you guessed it) 24 hours to write, produce and perform a ten minute play. These festivals are usually teeming with the theater scene's amateurs, all of them desperate for that first chance to express their vision on the stage.
This sounds lovely, but do the theater-goers of your readers really want to go see a play (or series of plays) that have been haphazardly built over the course of a single day? What's the appeal of 24-hour theater to an audience?
I would like to offer your publication a 1,200-1,500 word
feature article entitled "The Fringe Challenge--a look inside the new form of
spontaneous theater" that answers that very question. The article will take a very in-depth look at
one of the many spontaneous theater
festivals that has popped up in the region--The Kennedy Center American College
Theater Festival's Fringe Challenge. While the Fringe Challenge is technically 48 hour theater, it's still got all the
aspects one would expect from a 24 hour theater fest. Best of all, this year's
challenge is held at the Indiana University of
The article will go in depth into the conceptual side of this new art form, opening up with the Fringe Challenge's long-time director, Len Kelly. It will then feature interviews with several of the Challenge's participants--where they will share their background in theater and their passion for this fun new way of looking at the performance arts. The article will be a collage of different stories from a wild and maddening 48 hour period that leaves its participants and audience members forever transformed. It will show amateurs pull off stunning theatrical feats that--given the circumstances--seem almost impossible.
The article can also have several aspects on your publications website if desired. Full audio interviews with participants are available and several groups involved have agreed to have their chaotic writing and rehearsal sessions filmed for internet publication--giving further breadth to this experience.
The Fringe Challenge begins on January 12th , and goes live on the night of the 14th. The article and online aspects can be available to you by as early as the 15th.
Peter Starr Northrop
How many times have you driven down an unknown street in Philadelphia, and had a chill run down your spine? Did you immediately lock your doors, and accelerate your car to escape the block? If you have then the Temple University theater department's production of Shot! wants to have a brief word with you.
I'd like to offer you a 1,200-word article entitled "Song of the Street". The theater department of The piece gives audience members an inside look at Beirut, a Northern Philadelphia urban community, whose image has been tarnished from the 1964 riots.has conceived a brand new entitled Shot!
My article will examine the process that the production team of Shot! went through and give an inside look at the process that goes into putting a piece of this nature together. Temple University uses poetry, monologues, songs, and documentary footage to create an authentic narrative and perspective of a neighborhood that has been.
Through interviews with writer Kimmika Williams-Witherspoon, director Doug Wager, and a few members of the ensemble members I will give readers an insight into the process. I will also have video recordings of the interview to place on your website. As a theater artist and scholar I believe that it is important to highlight this production and highlight the Docudrama performance style. I believe that through this production, Philadelphia citizens will get an insider's perspective into the real story of their community and an insight in the process that goes into putting a piece of this nature together.
I would like to thank you for your time, and I look forward to hearing back from you!
Is there really such a drastic gap between entertainment for children versus entertainment for adults? And do basic instincts and values change over time or are the morals instilled in us as children timeless? Actors and adult audience members alike tend to look at children's productions as a "dumbed-down" version of stereotypical theatre. On the contrary, children's theatre explores a different aspect of creative expression, taking a script and interpreting the text to be universally relatable.
I would like to offer you a 1,000 word article entitled, "Rediscovering Childhood in a World of Professionalism." The article would explore the importance of well rounded theatrical exposure, the connection between a mature and elementary script style as well as Indiana University of Pennsylvania's effect on the youth of the community. IUP's presentation of by Willie and opened my eyes to the lack of children's style shows in production, especially at the collegiate level. These specific points are supported with interview quotes of the cast and director, Rob Gretta, as well as video clips of recent productions.
The lack of children's According to the Children's Theatre Company in Minneapolis, children's theatre is a completely different focus for the performing arts that has consistently increased in both revenue and popularity over the last decade. Shouldn't professors, actors, directors and theatre goers alike place more weight and interest on this steadily growing field? and events at KCACTF further proves the reasoning behind this article.
Children's theatre can be thought of as the foundation of theatrical experience. If an actor or director can interpret a script and convey its message to a sea of children, then they can take the basics of a mature script and convey its ideas to a sea of educated adults.
As an actor, newly evolving director, and avid writer I feel that I have an extremely diverse and multi-faceted viewpoint and would therefore be the best candidate to write for your journal. I am a junior musical theatre major and nonprofit studies minor at and have recently worked with JMU's Professional Children's Playshop in the summer of 2009. I have a passion for children and the importance of theatre in their ever-changing development as productive and artistic citizens.
I thank you for taking the time to review and consider my proposal and I look forward to hearing your response. If you are interested in the details of my research or this unconventional perspective, I would be glad to have my article, "Rediscovering Childhood in a World of Professionalism" on your desk within two weeks of hearing your response. Thank you again.
Many people are fascinated by the survival stories of the men and women who endured life in concentration camps during the Holocaust, but how often do we really stop and think about how hard and grueling their lives must have been? There are plenty of books and documentaries on this subject, but few have ventured to take these stories to the stage. A Comb and a Prayer Book: A Survivor's Story, by Pamela Hendrick, is the story of Elizabeth Blum, who, by the age of nineteen, had endured life in six concentration camps. It is based on personal interviews and the book written by her granddaughter, Shana Fogarty.
I would like to offer you a 1000-word article title "Staging
the Holocaust," which examines the long process of transforming the book and
interviews of this Holocaust survivor into a theatrical production. Specifically, I will examine the process of
the show performed by The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey at the 42nd
Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival held in
The stage is a place where we see stories brought to life, made into a reality. This article will explain exactly how that is made possible. It will follow the show's development from a simple interview, to the writing of the book, and finally, to the stage. It will not only present the difficulties in putting such an emotional event under the lights, but it will explain the effect that doing so can hold. Staging historical events is different from creating a movie on the subject in that the action is experienced right before our very eyes; the audience is in the moment, and is able to relive a bit of history. This not only creates a bridge to the past, but it furthers one's appreciation of the present.
As a Theatre major at
I hope that you sense my passion for this subject and if interested, I can have my full article to you within two weeks of your approval. I am looking forward to hearing from you.
Thank you for your time,
The other day I saw a four-year-old teach her father how to
use his I-Phone to take a picture. Generations
in this country find it difficult to communicate because they do not
communicate through the same media.
I want to offer you a 1000 word article entitled "Snap-Shot!:
"Snap-Shot!" addresses how the fuse of theatre and film made a new medium for addressing race in Shot! Interviews from old and new generations of Northern-Philadelphian audience members explore how Shot! acts a gateway to new racial frontiers. The article concludes with the idea that interlocking technology and race in Shot! helps two generations of Philadelphians share accounts of racial strife.
This article is important to Philadelphians because it demonstrates how multi-media performance in Shot! starts a new discussion that is accessible to all generations and races.
As a Native-American critic and a product of today's technology codependency, I offer insight into how using a timeless medium to fuse generations and discuss racial tension. Additionally, "A Night at the KCACTF Drive-In," my runner-up critique in last year's American College Theatre Festival, provides insight into my exploration of the use of live-technology in Shot!
I hope that I can interest you in sharing this discussion
with the city of
It's always wonderful when we
get to celebrate ambassadors of the City of
For your publication, I would like to write an 800 - 1,000 word article tentatively entitled: "Taking Home With Them." The piece will detail the production's path from stunning hometown show to successful, recognized opus as follows:
story. By interviewing Mark Wade (director), Taysha Canales, Brianna
McBride Pope, and Jamal Douglas (all of them ensemble actors and KCACTF merit
certificate winners), I will provide a look at the driving personalities behind
the work's hometown success. I will also detail their connection to the
· Outcome. After establishing the group's path to the festival, the remainder of the piece will be devoted to detailing the students' current preparation for performance, the outcome of the competition, and the students' reaction to it.
I am a master's candidate in
am highly concerned with rising college theater companies that are making the
Mark J. Costello
Beads of sweat dot the furrowed brow of the twentysomething actor. They gently cascade down his nose while the butterflies in his stomach do choreographed air shows. Throw on top of this the fact that he is competing against 200 other students for a chance at a scholarship. Thus is a case of one student who is taking part in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship.
I would like to offer you a 1000 word article on the journey of local college students who take part in the KCACTF Region II scholarship program (tentative title- Going for Granny: Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship).
In the article I would specifically like to track the progress of three to four students who take part in the process. Here I hope to examine their feelings about auditions, acting, and what the scholarship would mean to them.
To begin with, the article will briefly introduce the reader to exactly how students are selected. I will then follow the stories of three to four local college students who are competing in the competition. This will paint a picture of the experience of each actor's time in the Ryan audition process. Following the festival I will sit down with each student and conduct a formal interview. Here I will gets the reflections of each student after all is said and done.
As a former Irene Ryan partner and actor I know the strife auditions can cause and the journey students go through academically while honing their craft. These students are the future of theatrical arts, and they are products of this paper's base. I hope you find interest in this topic, and I am looking forward to your response. I can have a copy of it to you 3 weeks following the regional competition and your approval. Again thank you for your time!
Angry shouts are heard in the distance. You walk around the corner and down a street. The sound grows louder. You continue around yet another corner and find the source: a large group of political activists spreading a message. What might be the most intriguing aspect of the group is that they are made up of college students. The college student body has traditionally been a political force to be reckoned with and the theatre has proven to be an excellent venue to send a message.
I am offering to write an article entitled something to the affect of "Political College Theatre - You Cannot Stop It!" that would be some 3,000 - 4,000 words in length on the political nature of college theatre and how it is bound to continue to be a natural choice of medium and venue through which a political message may be conveyed using the shows featured at this year's American College Theatre Festival in region two as examples.
The article will include commentaries on the festival's productions of A Comb and a Prayer Book: A Survivor's Story, Increased Difficulty of Concentration, and Widows Each have a political or social issue behind them (genocide, sexual morality in the workplace, and repressive government, respectively). I will also include interviews with the cast and director of A Comb and a Prayer Book in my article, to gain a better demonstrate the potency of the political college theatre scene. What's more, if you should chose to pursue the publication of this article, I will provide the full audio to the interviews I will be conducting.
My article would focus on the political and social aspects of each play and how college theatre groups will use plays like the ones that will be seen at the festival to make their own charged statement as well as how colleges are an ideal place to present a political play.
I hope to hear from you soon and that the topic of my article might be of interest to your publication. Thank you for your time.
You find yourself at an audition, receive a , and are told to go with no time to prepare. The casting director vaguely asks you to try something "different." Your scene partner drops their line and everyone stands around awkwardly, now unsure of both themselves and the scene. Whatever the scenario, there is one solution accessible to all - improv. With some sort of improvisational training, actors will never find themselves stumped in any sort of circumstance.
I would like to offer you an 800 word article titled "The Importance of Improv: Imagination in Action." The article would discuss the significance of actors attending improv classes and workshops, and provide an evaluation of several workshops, informing readers about various teachers and their methods.
Take Gail Winar's workshop "Theatre Games," being taught at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival this week. It describes itself as a way to "explore theater games and improvisational exercises to wake up your creativity, imagination, and awareness during the rehearsal process." In my own experience, there are several types of directors, and a number of them have no problem with an actor bringing their own ideas to the table - some, in fact, encourage it. Through improv, one can open themselves up, becoming more extroverted and willing to share their ideas.
Another area improv can help an actor explore is physicality; with enough creativity and a willingness to explore their environment and their body, actors can discover mannerisms unique to their character that they might never have dared to try before. Improv is no simple chocolate or vanilla but rather the Neapolitan, where no one bite is exactly the same as the last. Improv is a tasty gift that changes in every new situation.
The great American improvist once wrote in her book "Improvisation for the Theatre" that "everyone can improvise." Whether or not every person has the ability to travel to Second City or star on " Live" is of no matter; the mere introduction of improv can enhance an actor's innate skills. My article will show the influence of improv by interviewing those who attend these workshops, and asking them how each class heightened the skills they already had.
I was not only involved in improv in high school, but also at my college (James Madison University's "New and Improv.'d"). The value of the practices, the conferences we visit, and the myriad of classes we attend is unfathomable, so I speak from experience when I say that improv is an inestimable tool that should be utilized by every actor.
Please let me know if you have any interest in this article or its subject matter, and I can have a finalized copy of the article delivered to you within a week. Thank you for your time.
That's all for the pitches; the students are waiting to hear if any of these result in a home run. Tomorrow I'll post their first reviews, and appropriately enough, the two shows they saw today run the emotional gamut from comedy to tragedy. Both have literary roots, but A Year with Frog and Toad, based on Arnold Lobel's children's stories, and A Comb and a Prayer Book, based on Elizabeth Blum Goldstein's Holocaust memoir, couldn't be more different. I'm really looking forward to seeing how they handle this analytical mood swing, and I hope you are too.