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KTA Quarantine Bake-Off

In this time of uncertainty and social distancing, the Kentucky Theatre Association invites you to (virtually) come together as a statewide theatre community for the KTA Quarantine Bake-Off!

IMPORTANT: You do not need any previous playwriting experience to participate, nor do you need to be a current KTA member (although we'd love to have you—see more below!). Kentucky residents of all ages, backgrounds, and levels of experience are welcome.

WHAT’S A BAKE-OFF?

Riffing on the format set out by playwriting guru Paula Vogel, the KTA Quarantine Bake-Off is a 48-hour statewide playwriting competition in which all playwrights will be given the same “ingredients” and will have 48 hours to write a new play that incorporates all of them.

In the words of Ms. Vogel, “Bake-Offs are to theatre what sketching is to oil paintings.” Maybe you’ll leave your Bake-Off script as it is—maybe you’ll decide to develop it into a three-act play. It’s up to you!

For the KTA Quarantine Bake-Off, playwrights will submit their work based on which division they wish to participate in. A panel of adjudicators will read the scripts and will select 2-3 plays in each division for a live-streamed public reading. See end for more info on adjudicating/acting.

All playwrights who submit a completed play will also be invited to share their work on the KTA website.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

In order to participate, you must reside in Kentucky. You do not have to have any playwriting experience, and you do not have to be a current KTA member. However, we are offering all Bake-Off participants $5 off your KTA membership so that you can join and enjoy all the member benefits we offer. Join here and use the code 5OFF to receive your discount.

All playwrights must select a division in which they wish to enter. All divisions will get the same ingredients. The divisions are:

  • Youth: Anyone under high school age.
  • High School: Any current high school student.
  • College: Any current higher education student.
  • First Timer: Anyone who is not a student or artist* and has never written a play.
  • Practitioner: Anyone who is a practicing professional writer or artist*.

*For our purposes, “artist” is defined as any drama maker including but not limited to theatre, film, arts educator, or other dramatic artist.

Co-written work will absolutely be accepted—you will simply need to decide which division and which writer's name to submit under.

At 5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 17, KTA will post the Bake-Off ingredients via our Facebook page. Playwrights will then have 48 hours to write! (Please see details below for all the fine print.) All plays must be submitted online by 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 19.

Next, our team of Bake-Off adjudicators will read the plays and choose the top 2-3 plays in each category. These finalists will be announced via Facebook on April 22. The adjudication criteria are:

  • Style/Tone/Genre
    The playwright's choice of style/tone/genre (whether it's consistent or whether the playwright chooses to change or juxtapose those elements) "works" and creates a sense of cohesion within the play as a whole.
  • Character
    Characters are distinct and well-developed
  • Plot
    The plot is engaging and makes sense based on the style/approach chosen by the playwright
  • Action
    The play shows action rather than telling about it.
  • Theatricality/Spectacle
    The play provides the material to stage an effective theatrical event (i.e. an engaging, live, in-person performance).
  • Originality/Total Effect
    The combination of character/plot/action/setting/etc. conveys a unique story or viewpoint that engages the reader/audience.

After that, we’ll get the scripts to our readers, and we’ll live-stream the readings on April 24 and 25. Show times and lineup will be determined after we’ve received and reviewed all submissions—we will post lineup information on Facebook when we have it.

RULES & FAQ’s

1. Please FORMAT your play according to the template described here (scroll down to the bottom of the article to see the formatting guidelines and download the template). This ensures fair competition. ​

2. The entire document, title page included, must be no more than 15 pages max. No documents over 15 pages will be accepted. Once you register, you will receive instructions on how to submit your document as a .pdf file. (And remember...if you get in the groove and you write more than 15 pages, you can still keep that longer version! However, you do have to keep all Bake-Off submissions to 15 pages.)

3. Plan for 4 actors to be able to read your script. That doesn’t mean you can only have four characters—you can have as many as you want. However, if you write more than four characters, please include instructions for how a cast of four can double in order to portray all roles.

4. Submissions with adult language, themes, etc. will be accepted. However, we will do our best to program any readings that contain adult language/themes for later time slots. We will also state any applicable content warnings prior to beginning each reading.

5. We would like the inclusion of ingredients to be pretty obvious—as a rule of thumb, if we can’t taste nutmeg, there isn’t enough nutmeg. Other than that, there are no rules—have fun and go crazy!

6. SIGN UP HERE if you want to be an adjudicator OR an actor. For folks who want to participate in more than one role (playwright, adjudicator, actor), we welcome you to get involved in as many ways as you wish.The only caveat is that you cannot, of course, adjudicate in the same division you submit in.

7. Adjudicators: please only sign up to adjudicate in ONE division so that you can ensure you have ample time and energy to read and evaluate all of your assigned plays.

8. Actors: you will not be expected to be available or to perform for the full time period listed on the SignUp Genius form. You should, however, be available for a minimum of one hour. We would prefer it if you could be available for 2-3 hours at a time and if you’d be willing to read 2-3 plays. Please use the comment section on the SignUp Genius to indicate your availability.

Questions? Please reach out to rowenhaigh@gmail.com or info@kentuckytheatreassociation.com.

Thanks, and happy writing!


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