Wanted: New Takes on Old Tales

THOSE WOMEN WANT YOUR PLAYS!

Call for short plays from Bay Area writers. Deadline: March 8, 2015

Those Women Productions seeks one-act plays from local San Francisco Bay Area writers for “In Plain Sight: Stories you never knew you never knew,” a collection of original short plays to be given a full professional production at the Metal Shop, an 80-seat theater in the Elmwood neighborhood in Berkeley. The show will open Labor Day weekend 2015 and will run for 7-9 performances. We are looking for scripts that fit our mission to bring hidden truths of gender and power to the stage. Plays should offer new takes on old tales, reimagining a story from world mythology and/or classic literature. We are particularly interested in scripts that bring marginalized characters and storylines to the center of the action. All plays must stand on their own and have the potential to appeal to a broad audience, including those not familiar with your source material.

• Length: 10 – 30 minutes
• Cast: no more than 5.
• Deadline for submissions: March 8, 2015
• Scripts may be produced or unproduced. If previously produced, include production history in the body of your email.
• Send us no more than two scripts.

To submit:
~ Email <ThoseWomenProductions@gmail.com> with a blind copy of your script(s) attached as Word or PDF documents. Author’s name should not appear anywhere on the script but each page of the script should include the title of your play. Number your pages please!
~Include the title(s) of your play(s), the author’s name and your full contact information in the body of your email, and please affirm that you are a San Francisco Bay Area resident and would be available to attend some rehearsals and one or more performances of your play if it is selected. Rehearsals will be scheduled evenings and weekends during August and early September in Berkeley and/or Oakland.
~Questions? Email: ThoseWomenProductions@gmail.com

Performance dates (tentative): September 4-20.
Selected scripts announced in mid-April. Stipend.

Directors for In Plain Sight will include Norman P. Johnson, Christine Keating, and TWP cofounder Elizabeth Vega. In addition to 2-4 scripts selected through this open call, the production will include two short plays by TWP cofounder Carol Lashof.

Visit our website for more information about Those Women Productions: http://www.thosewomenproductions.com/

Thank you for sharing your work with us!

Ready to start a revolution?

Reservations now available: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/736340

Escape our shallow, unjust reality and sink your teeth into …

JUST DESERTS 

by Carol S Lashof

directed by Elizabeth Vega

a project of THOSE WOMEN PRODUCTIONS

Watch this space for an announcement of our cast, coming very soon.*

*An Equity Approved Project

Reservations now available for JUST DESERTS playing August 29-September 7 at the Metal Shop Theater in Berkeley, 2425 Stuart Street (at Willard Middle School, enter on Regent St).

Only six performances in Berkeley, so click on over to Brown Paper Tickets: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/736340 to reserve your seats.  The first ten people to reserve  for each performance will be guaranteed VIP seating.

Over the last week or so, director Elizabeth Vega and I have been immersed in auditions, callbacks, and very challenging casting decisions–challenging because there are so many remarkable actors in our community, many more than we can work with on our current project.  We were sincerely humbled by the talent in the room.

I hope to see you at the theater.  In the meantime, join the conversation about justice, empathy, revenge, and blood in the bathwater at:

https://www.facebook.com/JustDesertsByThoseWomen

 

Introducing THOSE WOMEN PRODUCTIONS

Director Elizabeth Vega and I have become a producing team: We are THOSE WOMEN PRODUCTIONS, and we make theatre for people who like questions more than answers.

Our first production will be Just Deserts, a comedy about justice and revenge, opening August 29 at the Metal Shop Theatre in Berkeley.  Here’s a little more about us:

MISSION

Those Women make theatre for people who love great stories and want to explore big questions.  Our plays are rooted in the stories that have made us who we are—the myths, tales and legends of western culture.  We approach these tales from new angles, giving the stage to hidden truths of gender and power and to the unheard voices of women.  We practice radical hospitality—everybody is welcome regardless of their ability to pay.  We only ask that our audiences come to the theatre curious; we promise to leave them more curious still.

 

HISTORY

When we were as yet too young for other sorts of debauchery to hold much appeal, we fell in love with great stories.  Mostly these were stories by Dead White Guys.  Homer and Chaucer, Shakespeare and Sophocles, myths and folklore of every variety, we loved them all.  To this day, we are subject to their power—they make our heads spin and our pulses race.  But we also recognize that in these classic tales, the voices of women are often silenced and their lives relegated to the margins.  That’s a sobering fact.  And we’d rather stay giddy with the joy of tales worth telling.  So, on International Women’s Day 2014 we formed THOSE WOMEN PRODUCTIONS to explore classic stories from new angles.

 

~ Carol S. Lashof & Elizabeth L. Vega

April 21, 2014

 

 

Auditions for JUST DESERTS, June 29-30

A call from THOSE WOMEN PRODUCTIONS to Bay Area actors:

 

Auditions upcoming June 29-30 for the premiere of

JUST DESERTS

a new play by Carol S. Lashof

directed by Elizabeth L. Vega

The Furies are dedicated to the principle of a slit throat for a slit throat … until empathy gets in the way.

 

The details:

Roles available: 1M (18-30); 2F. All races & ethnicities encouraged. AEA & non AEA. Prep sides.

Performance dates: 8/29 (Preview), 8/30, 8/31, 9/5, 9/6, 9/7, 9/8, 9/9

Performance location  The Metal Shop Theater, Berkeley (8/29-9/7) and LeFevre Theater, Moraga (9/8-9/9)

Rehearsal dates  8/3-8/28 (All rehearsals in Central Berkeley, near BART)

Audition dates and times: June 29, 1-5 pm and June 30, 7-9 pm

Audition location:  The Flight Deck, 1540 Broadway, Oakland

Pay: $1225 (AEA) $875 (non-AEA) full run.

For further information or to request an audition appointment (send headshot and resume), email Elizabeth Vega ElizabethLVega@gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

November. Not my favorite month. Until now.

If you have come to this page looking for information or rights to perform Persephone Underground, The Minotaur, Options, or Clay–please visit  http://youthplays.com/

If you are looking for information or rights to Medusa’s Tale, Gap, Just Deserts, or any of my other plays, please email me directly: <clashof@gmail.com>

When I was growing up in Chicago, the lengthening darkness at this time of year brought to mind Emily Dickinson’s:

There’s a certain Slant of light,
Winter Afternoons –
That oppresses, like the Heft
Of Cathedral Tunes –

I was warned to be home by dark.  I can’t recall when the danger of sexual assault was specifically named, but the fear of rape hemmed me in throughout my adolescence, and my fear heightened as the days shortened.  So I did not like November.  But this November promises to be my favorite month of the year, because productions of my work are busting out all over:

  • In San Francisco, as part of the SF Olympians Festival Nov. 13, 8 pm at the Exit Theater:The Girl with Sparkling Eyes and A Goddess in her Grief (short plays about love in a time of human trafficking)  https://www.facebook.com/events/688412094520116/
  • In Washington, DC, presented by Tasty Monster Productions November 19, 7 pm at The Corner Store Arts Center: Just Deserts (full-length comedy about getting what you deserve, or not)  https://www.facebook.com/events/298054237003964/
  • At the University of Arizona and the University of Guam, student productions of Medusa’s Tale (one-act play about the rape and transformation of Medusa)
  • In Bisbee, Arizona as part of the Bisbee Community Chorus’ production “A Miner’s Life”: We Live in Mud, a song with words by Carol Lashof & music by James McCarthy, from 17 Days by James McCarthy http://www.jamesmccarthy.co.uk/17-days.html

Perhaps it is no coincidence that fear of darkness and monsters feature prominently in these pieces.  One is set in hell, another in a collapsed mine … Happy Halloween.

Sonnet inspired by the Copiapó mine accident, August 5, 2010
by Carol S. Lashof, December 2010

We live in mud, we breathe hot dirt, we cry
like babies when we think no one can hear
us crying.  We say we’re not afraid to die.
Aloud I say that help will come, but fear,
like dust, comes in with every breath, and I—
I am so afraid of losing you, my dear.
I never should have left the calm and bright
soft warmth of you.  What am I doing here,
so far from you and living without light,
two thousand feet below the earth, so near
to hell, so far from you.  Will you be all right?
We live in mud, we breathe hot dirt, we fear
to starve in the dark, far from the ones we love,
trapped here below while life goes on above.

The Synopsis Clinic: Before & After

[Note: this post is primarily aimed at my fellow playwrights who are wrestling with the task of writing synopses.]

One of the most useful sessions I attended at the recent national conference of the Dramatists Guild was The Synopsis Clinic conducted by Roland Tec. My most important take-away from the clinic was that everyone struggles with writing a clear, focused, engaging synopsis.

Also:

~write in a tone reflecting the tone of the play

~use verbs expressing the actions of the character, not the playwright

~put the bacon first

I was lucky enough to be one of a dozen or so playwrights whose synopsis was critiqued in the clinic. My Before & After versions follow.

Before:

What’s even scarier than confronting your stereotypes? Facing up to your wishes and dreams.
Set in the present in an American city divided by race and class, Gap follows three teenagers as they navigate the perils of “doing school.” Aaron blames homework for ruining his life but still he plugs away. Zeta cheats. A little. Will, on the other hand, could breeze through school if he chose to. And he always goes to class when there’s a good reason. But usually there’s not, so he’s flunking out. Over the course of the school year, Aaron, Zeta, and Will bump up against other members of the high school community: stressed-out teachers and hovering parents, athletes, musicians, academic super-stars, and chronic low-achievers. Ultimately, their paths converge, and their unexpected friendship sets them moving in new directions.
Gap is designed to be performed by a multiracial ensemble of three women and two men. Running time is about 80 minutes. Set requirements are minimal.

After:

In a community divided by race and class, Aaron, Zeta, and Will cope as best they can with the pressures of “doing school.” Aaron is terrified of failure. He blames homework for ruining his life, but he wants to please his parents, so he plugs away. Zeta has set her sights on admission to an elite college, so she piles on the AP and Honors courses. And she cheats. A little. Seriously, what sensible person would write every English paper from scratch or fail to bring a cheat sheet to a French exam? Will, on the other hand, worries about whether he is “black enough,” or, maybe, too black. He loves to write. But he doesn’t go to class—it’s way too boring—so he’s flunking out, and when he turns in an essay that doesn’t “sound” like him, his English teacher assumes he’s plagiarizing. Over the course of the school year, Aaron, Zeta, and Will bump up against other stressed-out members of the high school community—overworked teachers and hovering parents, academic super-stars and chronic low-achievers—but they rarely connect. In their own ways, they are each lost in the quest to meet other people’s expectations. Until they find each other. Only then do they stop to consider what they really want for themselves.

Summer events: from felines to Furies

From felines to Furies, from the flatlands of Berkeley to the heights of Mount Olympus and the Adirondacks,  I’ve got a lot going on this summer theatrically speaking.  It’s all fun and affordable, so come out and enjoy!  I’ll try to be brief.  Follow the links for more information.  Thanks!
  • What I’m writing now:  two short plays for the fourth annual San Francisco Olympians Festival, collectively titled “Who’s Your Daddy?” or “When Briseis Met Chryseis.”  Twenty-nine other Bay Area playwrights are also in the process of writing their plays for this year’s festival on the theme of the Trojan War, and we are in the midst of waging a fundraising campaign to pay the rent on the theatre and a modest (well, tiny) stipend to the 100+ artists involved.  It’s a really, really good cause and we have less than two weeks to meet our goal, so please contribute what you can: $1, $5, $50 … it all helps. Thank you! Donate here: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/san-francisco-olympians-festival-iv-trojan-requiem [The festival itself will take place in San Francisco November 6-23.  Don’t worry, I’ll remind you.]
  • The cats are back!  If you missed Women in Solodarity: Cat Ladies in April because EVERY SHOW WAS SOLD OUT, now is your (last) chance to enjoy this hilarious evening of monologues and solo performances on the theme of … yes, Cat Ladies. My contribution to the evening is a monologue called “The Metamorphosis” about a strange thing that happens to a teenage girl in the middle of her English class one Monday morning.  Two encore performances on June 10 & 11 in Central Berkeley.    Tickets here: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/390190
  • I will be participating in a 36-Hour Play Festival at the Live Oak Theatre in North Berkeley on Monday, June 24 to raise money for a women’s Safe House in San Francisco.  I can’t tell you what I’ll be writing about because I don’t know yet.  Here’s how it works:  on Sunday morning, the playwrights, six of us, meet our actors and director and are assigned a topic; we have until Sunday at 9 pm to write a 10-minute play; the plays are rehearsed on Monday during the day, and then on Monday night, they are performed.  It’s kind of like reality TV–but better. Tickets here: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/389206
  • My newest full-length play, Just Deserts, a comedy about getting what you deserve–or not, runs from July 11 to September 1 at Forever Wild Theatre in upstate New York.  Performances will take place Thursdays-Sundays at Lake George Battlefield Park in the Adirondack mountains. Information (and pretty pictures of the mountains) here: http://foreverwildtheatre.org/
To summarize:
 
NOW until June 7: You can do it from anywhere: Support the San Francisco Olympians Festival IV: Trojan Requiem indiegogo campaign:
June 10-11, Berkeley: Women in Solodarity: Cat Ladies:

http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/390190

June 24, Berkeley: UWAC’s “Empowering Women,” a 36-Hour Play Festival (benefit for San Francisco Safe House)
July 11-September 1, Lake George, New York, Just Deserts at Forever Wild Theatre Collective