Category Archives: youth theatre

Important News: Final Friday Stage Reading Event

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Important News: Final Friday Stage Reading Event

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am excited to share there will be a stage reading of Act one, scene one of Bumbling Bea, the Play at Lawrence’s Final Friday on June 30! The event will be held at Greenhouse Culture Church  in Lawrence, KS from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Copies of the book version of Bumbling Bea will be available to purchase as well. I’d love to have you attend. 😊

Here is the scene which will be performed this evening.

Announcing: Bumbling Bea The Play –Act one, Scene one

Amazon Giveaway Contest for Bumbling Bea

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Amazon Giveaway Contest for Bumbling Bea

Want to win a FREE copy of Bumbling Bea? You know what to do. 

Feel free to share–

https://www.amazon.com/gp/f.html?C=RNOTE2AA1ZDP&K=A1DW9XF3DSAWYI&R=K2XT297SKMHA&T=C&U=https%3A%2F%2Fgiveaway.amazon.com%2Fp%2F07667fe1e1af6964%3Fref_%3Dpe_1771210_134854370&A=GCQTVLPLIPKNMNPRMPFEA1SGVKAA&H=KSQEA72V3CWT6D6RBQPUOIDCL5IA&ref_=pe_1771210_134854370

Give Away for Bumbling Bea

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Give Away for Bumbling Bea

EXTENSION: Our Bumbling Bea Giveaway is running for one more week! 

Get in on the opportunity to WIN your copy of the new Bumbling Bea, 2nd edition! Click the link below to enter today!
https://gleam.io/4p9Oq/bumbling-bea-2nd-edition-giveaway
#bumblingbea2 #secondedition #bestsellingbook

Why is the Name of My Blog Dramamommaspeaks? 

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Why is the Name of My Blog Dramamommaspeaks? 

I’ve often wondered why I chose Dramamommaspeaks as my blog’s title.

It made a lot of sense to me and still does.

I teach drama.

I am the momma of two wonderful girls.

I talk about both many times in a day.

Plus, it came from my personal email address many years ago. I’m fairly right brained so anything I can do to keep my life organized always helps me.  Having some funky blog name or website name would frazzle me.

I took one of those very serious tests on Facebook.  You know the kind….and it revealed Helen should be my name.  You know what?  My MIDDLE name is Helen.  Spooky.

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I was called Hogan when I was a Girl Scout about a million years ago.  We were training to be camp counselors.  I needed a name for the girls to call me other than my real name.

I remember I liked the TV series “Hogan’s Heroes”.  Why, I haven’t the foggiest idea.  You know how sometimes you remember the strangest things, but can’t remember what you ate for dinner last night?  This is one of those.

I chose my name as I made my bed,  while I was listening to the “Hogan’s Heroes” theme song playing on the TV.  Gosh, isn’t that exciting to know?

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In college my nickname was Coonrad.  Some people even called me Coonie. People liked the nickname so much I was given a raccoon stuff animal in honor of it.

My maiden name is Conard.  It’s German and our ancestor’s names were Kundr.  My understanding is that when my family came to America, the name was changed to make it easier to say and spell.  There aren’t a lot of Conards in the country.  We are NOT Conrads. Ugh.

My students call me Momma B., Mrs. B. and Mother Baldwin.  It depends upon where I am and with whom I am working.  Some students desire the intimacy a nickname gives a teacher, so it’s fine with me.

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I taught the last group of students for six years straight.  Some of them loved theatre so much they took every class I taught progressing through each grade level.  Those are the most beloved students of mine.

Even their parents call me Mrs. B.!  That’s when I know I’ve made an impact on a student’s life.

It doesn’t always occur that a teacher is fortunate to teach a student over many years, but I taught in an unusual public school program for home schooled students.  We saw them once a week for one or two hours for the entire school year.

That isn’t a lot of time, but when you think about how much a child develops over nine months, it is marvelous to observe and be a small part of their lives.

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Most of my good friends call me Deb or Debbie.  I call myself Deborah Baldwin when I speak as an author to separate the author image from the teacher/director image.

Some times people call me Deborah when they are feigning that I am guilty of something.  When you stretch out the De-bor-ah, it has a nice lilt to it.  They usually sing it like a doorbell ringing, “Oh, De-bor-ah!”

My family called me DB when I was a child.  My oldest brother teased me with stressing the second syllable of the word, so it was “DeBORah.”  His name was Kent. There isn’t a lot you can do with his name to torment him and he knew it.  Argh.

Names are so important.  I’ve taught kids with names that made absolutely no sense and those poor kids knew it.  One student was named after a tree in India and another was named after a type of dwelling.   You could always tell they wished they’d been named Mark or John or Allison or Sarah.  My mother warned me to select names for our daughters which they could use their entire lives. That was a good suggestion.  Their names are dignified and classic.

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And now….I’m called Grammie or Grandma.  Whichever name my granddaughter gives me, I’ll accept. She’s only six months old. Maybe she won’t name me those.  Maybe it will be something like Meemaw?  I suggested  to her mother she could call me Your Royal Highness, but that didn’t seem to go over too well.  I had to give it a try, you know?

Oh well, there’s always the next grandchild…..

P.S.  The photos in this blog have nothing to do with the theme.  I mean, what do I use for names?  I especially like the cow.  You’re welcome.

Contact me at dhcbaldwin@gmail.com or DeborahBaldwin.net

 

 

 

 

 

If I Won the Lottery

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If I Won the Lottery

Did you hear about the seventeen year old who won the lottery and it supposedly ruined her life?  So, now she is suing her state’s lottery commission because she thinks no one her age should be allowed to buy a lottery ticket?  Give me a break.

True confession:  I’ve never purchased a lottery ticket in my life. A few times they’ve been given to me as presents, but even then I had a difficult time knowing quite what to do with it.  I know…..you think I’m weird.

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I HATE to waste money, especially on chance.  I probably waste enough money as it is–have you ever seen my refrigerator’s vegetable bin?  Talk about a waste of money!

However, if I won the lottery I do have a few idea of the ways in which I’d spend it. I would take care of the usual things you’d expect– Pay off all debts we have left.  Set aside monies for our children and future grandchildren.

  I’m hoping we’ll get our act together in the US and make state colleges and universities tuition free.  In case that doesn’t occur, I’d gift money to our children to take care of any expenses incurred during their college life.

I’d donate to worthy causes such as not for profit organizations that are fighting unending challenges.  I think clean water and air, safe food to eat, inexpensive medications, secure neighborhoods and cities, properly equipped hospitals, police and fire departments and public libraries are essential.

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Here’s the biggie, though…..

After that, I would build small community theaters across the country. I’m serious, here.  As you know, I’m keenly interested in sustaining the arts at any cost.  I think every part of the country needs one.

Think of the good a theatre can bring to a community…not only for entertainment’s sake, but a place to explore social issues through the written word. Many our current problems could be discussed through a stage play.  Maybe we would get something ironed out and resolved.

Of course, these theaters would need equipment such as sound, lights, props, set pieces, costumes, box office and publicity.  I’d give each theatre an endowment so they could learn how to budget the money in a wise manner. Occasionally, I’d review the company and award money as I saw fit.

Children dancing

The youth theatre programs would need some help (for scholarships and materials). I’d love to see throngs of kids involved in a youth theatre program after school rather than walking around town bored.

I promise you, if a kids gets involved in a theatre program, they’ll love it and never be bored. They’ll find their place within its walls.  Not everyone wants to be a performer.  Maybe a student would become interested in lighting design? Maybe the kids who participate in an after school theatre program visit children in hospitals?

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Let’s not forget programs for our seniors (transportation to the performances), too.  Many senior citizens are looking for experiences and hobbies to occupy their time.  A community theatre with a strong program for seniors would be such help to them.

Creativity and imagination don’t atrophy or age.  I know of a group of “vintage players” who travel to area care centers and perform for the residents.  I think the performers get just as much of a thrill out of performing as the residents do of the performance.  It’s a win-win.

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Yes, if I won the lottery I’d save the world through theatre.  What a kick in the pants it would be?

What would you do if you won the lottery?

Contact me at dhcbaldwin@gmail.com or visit my website at DeborahBaldwin.net

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Kabuki Theatre for Girls

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Kabuki Theatre for Girls

 

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Kabuki Theatre for Girls?

Readers ask me why I created a story which included Kabuki theatre.

When I was sixteen years old, my parents and I traveled to Japan for a vacation.  My grandparents were missionaries in Japan prior to WWII and my mother wanted to visit the country again.  She hadn’t visited her birthplace since attending college in the US in the early 1940’s.

Mr. Tannabe (yes, I used his name in the book to honor him) served as a tour guide showing us around Japan. Mr. Tannabe owed his faith in Christ to my grandfather who baptized him in the ocean.  He felt indebted to my family because of this. He wined and dined us and showered us with many gifts.  Nearing the end of the trip,  Mr. Tannabe treated us to seats at the National Kabuki Theatre in Tokyo to attend a play.

Mr. Tannabe knew I loved theatre.  I will be forever grateful to him for this experience, because the impetus for Bumbling Bea came from this performance. I was struck by its pageantry, spectacle, story, movement and style.  Then I found out that women originally portrayed all the characters.

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You are kidding me, right?  Why aren’t women performing Kabuki Theatre today?

Here’s a quick history lesson for you:

It’s possible Kabuki Theatre was first created by a woman named  Okuni of Izumo in the 1590’s (around the time of Shakespeare). She was thought to be an iron worker’s daughter in service to a shrine of Izumo.

From   An Outline Drama of Japanese Theatre written in 1928 (I’m paraphrasing here) the supposed Okuni may have been on a tour seeking contributions for the shrine.
Okuni’s dance was one of worship in praise of a Shinto god.   Her dance met with such welcome in Kyoto that she remained, to be identified with a new dramatic movement rising from the midst of the common people. Okuni was beautiful and graceful which appealed to the people regardless of the religious reasons.

Now, the plot thickens….

A young man was sent by his parents to become trained as a priest. He saw Okuni dance and admired her beauty and poise. He came from a military family and wasn’t interested in the priesthood, but more focused on social aspects.  He found her dances too restricting.  Over time, he convinced Okuni to adapt her dance movements to the music of the day (some of which he wrote). Later, this form became known as Kabuki–the art of song and dance.

More time goes by…

Okuni becomes the Beyoncé of the time. Her dances were quite sensual.

She was invited at least once to perform for the royalty of Japan.   As in many circumstances in the entertainment business,  imitators sprang up.  Both women and men were performing some form of Kabuki. These were men who were otherwise unemployed or women of ill repute (prostitutes) and considered lower class citizens. Plus, those sexy dances, you know?  Kabuki gained a poor reputation.

More time goes by….

Well gosh.  Now, the women weren’t allowed on the stage (you know, because they are females and acting all sexy like).  There were lots of young unemployed men willing to take their places. The stories involved male and female characters, so the men took up playing the female characters as well.

To this day, men portray both the female and male roles in Kabuki Theatre.

There is lots more to the history of Kabuki Theatre, but this gives you a very quick story explaining why a woman from the Midwest would craft such a story.


Kabuki Theatre has a style all its own.

I think one of most unusual aspects of it is a character could be passed from one generation of actors to the next.  Sort of like your grandfather was a Kabuki actor who played John Smith.  Then, your dad becomes a Kabuki actor and he inherits your grandfather’s role of John Smith PLUS whatever celebrated movement your grandfather created in the part.

Now it’s your turn.  Not only are you portraying the role your grandfather and father portrayed, you are sharing your family’s legacy.

Except you are a girl named Michiko.  You want to honor your grandfather, and in your case, your uncle. But heck.  You are a girl and the only family member interested or willing to train in the Kabuki Theatre.

That’s Michiko’s challenge and it was mine, too.

After attending only one Kabuki Theatre performance when I was a sixteen year old,  forty-four years later, I give you Bumbling Bea.

kabuki-actor

Write me at Dhcbaldwin@gmail.com or check out my website at DeborahBaldwin.net

Top Seven Reasons Drama Education is Important to Your Student, Part 2

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Top Seven Reasons Drama Education is Important to Your Student, Part 2

This is a two part series.  Click here for part one: https://dramamommaspeaks.com/2016/09/20/top-seven-reasons-drama-education-is-important-to-your-childs-life/comment-page-1/

Drama Class:

Teaches creative problem solving—In the best-selling book A Whole New Mind, Daniel Pink writes,”In short, we have progressed from a society of farmers to a society of factory workers to a society of knowledge workers. And now we’re progressing yet again—to a society of creators and empathizers, or pattern recognizers and meaning makers.”directing-oklahoma

Oklahoma! First read thru–Presser Performing Arts Center  July 2009

When a group of students tackle any problem and solve it together using their imaginations to project an outcome and then produce it, they are incredibly valuable. I have the honor to work with some of my students for nearly six years.

They are very adept at creative problem solving. Recently, my co-teacher and I charged our musical theatre students with the task of creating of the wall, dying trees and flowers with their bodies in our production of the musical, Secret Garden.

Without discussing it very much, the students twisted and contorted themselves to make the atmosphere we intended.  We complimented them and they beamed with pride.

Through creative problem solving, we stretch the boundaries of what can’t be done to what can be. Voila!  Besides, creative problem solving makes one happy.

Lastly, drama is just plain fun!  Teachers know that humor helps students learn more efficiently.  We are joyful when we are relaxed.  When we are relaxed, we are more likely to learn. Through studying drama and performing, we laugh, poke fun at ourselves and develop a kind of camaraderie with one another that is rarely experienced anywhere else.

We create a strong bond that isn’t easily splintered.  Some of my best friends have come from working on a production together.  My play production experiences are the some of the greatest memories I have of my life.

Several years ago, a professional actor and director-friend of mine remarked that, “Theatre is history, psychology, sociology, anthropology, music, dance, art all wrapped into one.”  He’s right.   It makes us more human by “playing” at being a human. Where else can you find that?

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Check out part one here: https://dramamommaspeaks.com/2016/09/20/top-seven-reasons-drama-education-is-important-to-your-childs-life/comment-page-

Contact me at dhcbaldwin@gmail.com or DeborahBaldwin.net

I’d love to hear from you!

 

Big News Tuesday–Check back often

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The Unofficial Fortune Teller’s Guide to Becoming a Fantastic Teacher in 12 Steps

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The Unofficial Fortune Teller’s Guide to Becoming a Fantastic Teacher in 12 Steps

 

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Although, I speak specifically about teaching drama, this post will relate to any teacher. 

People don’t ask me for the guide to becoming a fantastic drama teacher.

They never directly ask me. They ask around the question.  I think they are afraid of what I might say.  Teehee….I’m known for being honest.

So they say, “I was thinking I would like to do something in life that uses my love for theatre.” Or “I don’t think I would make it on Broadway, but I’d still like to be involved in theatre and make a living from it.”

They look at me with a smile hopeful for the answer they desire.

No pressure there….

I’m not a fortune teller, although one time for a radio commercial,  I portrayed the fortune teller, Madame Zula, a  wacky woman who extolled important facts about crop fertilizer. (My producer won a regional award for it, BTW.)

You’re laughing, I know.

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Although I might think you have the talent to succeed on Broadway, that isn’t something I can promise or even prophesy. Nor can I project whether you’ll be successful as a teacher.

There are many factors which create your success in the field of professional theatre, many of which you and I have no control. Any worthwhile pursuit has the same challenges.

If you listen to many successful performers, they will tell you that some of it is a.being at the right place at the right time b. fortitude in the face of many rejections c. a willingness to do anything and everything to make it happen and maybe d. talent.

Technical theatre artists will share the same experiences with you.  They worked at it.  They created a resume.  They worked for little pay and so on.

Here’s a secret:  If someone tells you it was easy to become wildly successful in a certain profession, (doctor, lawyer, counselor, nurse, banker, actor or teacher) they are lying. 

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As your unofficial fortune teller, here is a guide with twelve steps which will help you become a successful drama teacher over time:

  1. Attend a college or university with a strong theatre AND education program and enroll for classes in both.  If you desire to teach in a traditional school setting, you’ll need your state teachers license.  Just like many other professions, teachers must study certain pedagogy from basic theory of education classes to student teaching.

The same will be expected of you if you want to receive a theatre degree.  Study as many facets of theatre as you can then you are an easy hire for someone.  If you only focus on technical theatre or performing, you are less likely to be hired in a school or maybe a theatre company.  You want to be versatile.

2.Participate in professional organizations in theatre, drama education and general education.  You need to be versed in the latest trends in all areas.

3.Participate in your school’s productions.  This is such a duh.  Some schools require backstage hours for their performing majors.  My college did, Stephens college, and I am forever grateful to them for this.  I learned heaps.  Some thirty-eight years later, I still use the lessons I learned in my college classes when I teach or direct.

An employer wants to hire someone who is very knowledgeable, not someone who spent all his or her time socializing rather than broadening their horizons.

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4. Get involved in a community theatre.  They will welcome you with open arms, because they need volunteers to support their productions– running lights, designing costumes, acting or serving on staff as a stage manager or even a director. Accept the job even if you are not offered a stipend.  Think of the work like interning.

Build your resume with various experiences.

5.  Volunteer your time to a school mentoring students through an after school program or an organization such as Scouts or 4H.  This gives you insight about how best to work with students.  It also helps you become accustomed to their latest social behaviors and slang.  This is invaluable experience.  I can’t stress this enough.

If you can, volunteer for different organizations with a diverse community.  Our classrooms are multicultural.  There is an art to teaching students simultaneously from all walks of life.  If you have never helped a disadvantaged student or an immigrant, you’ll have a  bigger learning curve to overcome.  Their lives are very different from yours and it’s your job to figure out how to support them.

6.  The best teachers are passionate about their subject matter and sincerely interested in bettering the world through teaching young people. So be that!  Please do not become a teacher because you didn’t know what else to do with your degree (or you thought you’d have your summers off-hahahaha!).  There is nothing worse than a bitter teacher. You know the kind who mumble how she wishes she had been a professional actor and are stupidly arrogant? Yeah, we won’t need that kind of person in our classrooms.

Trust me, teaching is difficult enough on its own.  Compounding your classroom challenges with apathy is a crime in my book.

7.  Teaching is rigorous work.  It is very tiring and all consuming.  Unless you’ve had previous experience teaching twenty bursts of energy and emotion all at once, you’ll never understand it. You gotta get in there and try it–at least for three years.     Like those professional actors that you can’t tell are acting, good teachers make it seem easy to do.  It. is. not.

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8.  Once employed, although you may think your career has finally begun your education has not ended.  Now, you’ll learn about the inner workings of your school, bureaucracy, policies, regulations, etc.  You’ll  practice becoming more organized, keep yourself healthy,  juggle your professional and personal time, become a shoulder for others to cry on, learn to listen to your superiors and to a student who has lamented continuously for several months to you about their life.  That’s okay.  It’s part of the deal.

9.  You want to be good at teaching?  Buy clothes in your school colors.  Wear them. Buy the school spirit wear.  If your cast buys cast tee shirts, you do so, too.

10.  Attend other school sponsored activities–football games, fundraisers, band concerts and TGIF’s for staff.

11.  Help other teachers and staff members.  Take their lunch shift if you observe a teacher who needs a break.  Take out your own trash for your janitor once in a while and THANK THEM for their work to keep your room tidy.  Get to know your school head secretary.  They can make or break you.  Trust me, if there is anyone who knows the school’s scuttle butt, it’s the head secretary.

12.  Finally, be the teacher you wanted when you were a student.  I liked my teachers who were organized, funny, clever, innovative, challenging, held high expectations and sincere.  Guess what?  I’ve become that teacher, too.

If you look at your life as a journey, you’ll appreciate and accept that any journey takes a long time to prepare, depart, travel and arrive at your destination. Teaching is much the same way.

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I promise you, it can be a wonderful journey.

Bon voyage!

Contact me at dhcbaldwin@gmail.com or my website DeborahBaldwin.net

Following me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/DeborahHBaldwin

on Facebook at BumblingBea

 

 

Start a Play-writing Contest Using 20 Questions

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Start a Play-writing Contest Using 20 Questions

This is my most recent article I penned for Litpick. I hope it’s helpful to you.


Start a Playwriting Contest Using 20 Questions

by Deborah Baldwin

Twenty-nine years ago, I was president of a community theatre, the Columbia Entertainment Company, in Columbia, Missouri. Also, I was the director of a youth theatre program for them. I volunteered hundreds of hours to both programs. It was an amazing learning experience and one that I draw upon from time to time in my career.
Here is the story of probably the most important thing we did in this company: We created a national play-writing contest for large cast youth theatre plays. It is called the Jackie White National Play-writing Award Contest and is still in existence to this day. That’s a long time for a contest of this nature to flourish, especially sponsored by a community theatre.

The Origin

Thirty years ago I was a young woman who needed scripts for large casts—over thirty students in number, ages fourth through ninth grade. At the time, there were very few plays to choose from, much less musicals for kids. I lamented to a board that I was having a difficult time finding any suitable plays for the season. In the past, I pad the roles with extra non-speaking characters or ones with little ad libs, but what I really needed was youth theatre plays with large casts, period. The board member suggested our company create our own playwriting contest specifically for this purpose. So, really out of desperation, we did!

Please understand, we had NO idea what we were doing. We merely figured it out as we progressed. It took us a few years to perfect the contest, but it is still one of the most valuable programs the theatre created.

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The Why

Generally, playwrights need their plays or musicals to be produced before a publishing company will represent them. The Denver Performing Arts Center sponsors a New Play Summit each year in February. Their contest is very clever. The first time the winning entries are produced as stage readings with minimal set and costumes. The audience gives feedback after the performance through a survey. If the play suits DPAC’s needs, during the next season, they mount a full production of it. My husband and I have attended several years of the New Play Summit and enjoyed being part of the creative process. We feel more invested in the play, because we offered our suggestions. Whether DPAC intends to or not, this is a terrific way to encourage audience members to return to see the production once it is produced.
Your contest could be created by your drama class, community theatre or even youth group. There is no end to the possibilities a contest of this type affords a group. The contest can be as big or small as your group desires. You could sponsor whatever kind of contest you want—ten minute plays, musicals for youth theatre, plays focused on bullying or plays concerning tolerance. It’s all up to you.
Now before you look at these questions and think is an overwhelming project, I want you to consider the people who will receive such fulfillment from the contest. Playwrights are always seeking places to get their plays read and produced. That could be you!

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Here are some questions to contemplate when creating your own playwriting contest:

1) What is the mission of our contest? What is our end result? Are we looking for a particular subject to be explored? Reach a particular audience? Attract an underserved demographic?

2) What are the requirements of the winning script? Cast size, gender and age of characters, length of play or musical, set, costumes props and the feasibility of producing the script within the confines of our budget are all important questions to consider.

3) Is any subject taboo? In some social circles, certain subjects are considered inappropriate.

4) How about inappropriate language?

5) Should we charge a fee to enter the contest? How much?

6) Are there granting agencies or donors we could approach to fund the contest?

7) What is our budget to spend to advertise the contest?

8) What free media sources will we use to publicize the contest?

9) Will we fully mount the winning entry?

10) Should we present a stage reading?

11) Can anyone enter the contest? Are we seeking only student scripts or adults?

12) Who will read the scripts and make the final decision on the awardee?

13) Will we award 1st, 2nd and 3rd place awards as well as honorable mention? How many honorable mentions?

14) What will the winner receive? A cash award, gift, certificate, lifetime season tickets?

15) Where will the cash award money come from? A donor? A service organization? Your city’s arts council?

16) After the awardee is selected, will we publicize the winner?

17) Do we want to bring the winning playwright to the performance?

18) If the winning playwright attends, is it our responsibility to provide room and board to them?

19) If the playwright is present, do we want to host a social in their honor?

20) What is our time line?

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A Contest with Their Head in the Right Place

I am an indie author, too. Recently, I ran upon an indie author book contest in England created by a popular children’s author, Edward Trayer. The Whistling Shelf Award is a fairly new contest. When I was perusing his website regarding it, I discovered he charges an entrance fee and donates a portion of money to the Blind Children fund in England. Now, that’s my kind of author. Because of this, I quickly entered my book, Bumbling Bea, into its competition. I look forward to this year’s awards.

I believe in philanthropy and I believe in the power of theatre. I bet you do, too.
Try your hand creating a playwriting contest. The Jackie White National Children’s Play Writing Contest is one of the most important programs the Columbia Entertainment Company ever created. If a desperate, young director like me with no experience creating a contest can be successful, so can you!
Columbia Entertainment Company playwriting contest: http://www.cectheatre.org/playwriting.html

Denver Performing Arts Center New Play Summit:http://www.denvercenter.org/events/colorado-new-play-summit
Wishing Shelf Book Awards
http://www.thewsa.co.uk/

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Deborah is a veteran drama teacher having taught in Missouri and Colorado for nearly thirty-eight years. Specializing in youth and community theatre, Deborah has directed more than 250 plays and musicals with adults and children alike. Recently, she and her husband moved to Kansas to be near their family and first grandchild. Her award winning middle grade book, Bumbling Bea, can be purchased through Amazon.com. Check out her blog at: Dramamommaspeaks.com or her website Deborahbaldwin.net. Deborah serves as handmaiden to her two quirky cats and sings harmony to most any song she hears.