Barter Theatre's Shaping of America Series
We have selected our 10 proposals to move into the next round of our Shaping of America Series.
There were so many wonderful ideas, each worthy of consideration, and we thank all who submitted.
We hope you’ll submit again next year!
Director, New Play Development
America began as an idea. Who are we? Where did we come from? How did we get there?
The Shaping of America: The stories you won't find in history books.
What's your idea?
What is the The Shaping of America series?
2011 marks the 150th Anniversary of America’s Civil War. The year 2026 marks the 250th Anniversary of the founding of America. Over the course of the next 15 years, Barter Theatre will investigate the shaping of America from its founding to its present through the development of one new play per year dedicated to this theme.
Ideally, these are not necessarily plays documenting historical events, but rather the events are used as a springboard that lead to a deeper understanding of ourselves as a nation—our challenges, our culture, our character, our people: the stories, perhaps, you won’t find in history books. At the end of this initiative will be a 15-play cycle that gives witness to who we are today and how we got here.
Barter has become one of the leading regional theatres in the country when it comes to developing and producing new work. The Appalachian Festival of Plays and Playwrights, Barter’s new play development program, has, for the past ten years, given voice to dozens of new works that have gone on to full production here, and in theatres across the country. As one of a handful of theatres that employs a year-round Resident Acting Company, Barter offers a group of artists—actors, directors, designers—who are dedicated and experienced in the development of new plays.
Barter will be calling on playwrights nationwide to submit their ideas for a play that will be featured as the Shaping of America play of the year.
What is the process ?
The Shaping of America series will be a three-step process and will have a rolling application deadline. Every year, through 2025, playwrights may submit their proposals from March 30th-June 30th. One or more projects may be chosen in any year as opposed to one project per year.
Step 1: Playwrights submit their proposals. These are not plays that have already been written. Rather, this process starts with an idea and develops from there (see proposal form). The proposal should include some detail on story, structure, theme and what this iea tells us about ourselves. The proposal should not exceed 500 words. Playwrights shall include a brief bio/resume along with their submission. Playwrights may submit electronically anytime between March 30, 2011 and June 30, 2011.
Step 2: Selection of proposals. A panel made up of Barter Theatre’s Artistic staff will select a number of proposals to pursue. The playwright will be contacted and asked to provide a more detailed outline of the piece and a writing sample.
Step 3: Play commissioned. From there, we will start a 2-3 year collaborative effort to produce the playwright’s work including, readings, workshops, mini-production and, possibly, full production on one of Barter’s two stages.
Do I have to be a published author or playwright?
Will I get paid?
If your play is commissioned, yes. It will be developed and fully produced and the playwright will receive royalties from the production as well as expenses covered during the development process (travel, housing).
How do I submit my idea and follow up to ensure it was received?
Click here to submit a proposal for The Shaping of America
Click here to see a sample proposal.
You wil recieve an email confirmation once we recieve your submission with a confirmation number.
What is the timeline for submissions?
- June 30th, 2011: Submission deadline for proposals.
- July 31st, 2011: Selection of proposal(s).
- Oct. 1st, 2011: Re-submission with detailed outline of project and writing sample.
- Dec 31st, 2011: Play(s) commissioned.
- Then, approximately 10 months to submission of first draft of play. (Oct. 2012)
- Reading/Workshop in following 3 months (Oct. - Dec. 2012)
- Mini-production in following season (2013)
- Full production in following season (2014)
Dates will change annually.
Who can I contact if I have additional questions?
For more information, contact:
Associate Director - New Play Development
P.O. Box 867
Abingdon, VA 24212