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Richmond – Cadence Theatre Company Announces Sitelines BLM – Deadline Sept 14 – $500 prize

Cadence Theatre Company Announces Sitelines BLM — Call for Screenplays and Scripts! 

Submissions by Monday, September 14th

CONTACT: Omiyẹmi (Artisia) Green @ avgreen@wm.edu 

The Theatre is historically known as “the seeing place” and a sightline—an unobstructed view or an expanded vision—is an important consideration in theatre practice. From a technical point of view, one of the main jobs of theatre practitioners is to ensure that we create an unimpeded intervisibility between the actors and witnesses. However, from an aesthetic perspective, the mission of practitioners is to tell the story in ways that enhance intervisibility. Maintaining intervisibility, the ability to see the humanity of another, is important always, but even more essential in times of societal crisis. COVID-19 has challenged the way we traditionally gather and create performances and the Black Lives Matter Movement has called for unprecedented levels of responsiveness and accountability for artists within Black, Indigenous, People of Color communities, who have been decentered and creatively marginalized in predominantly white institutions. Cadence Theatre Company is committed to community building through antiracist practices, artistic exploration and expression, and the examination of ourselves through storytelling in ways that allow us to gain profound levels of perception and understanding of each other.

In service of this commitment, Cadence continues its venture into new areas of artistic production beyond live performance through an expansion of Sitelines, with a series of short films and filmed performances commissioned of Black, Indigenous, Writers of Color that engage the stories that specific Richmond locations are now telling. Sitelines BLM will be produced by us in partnership with Oakwood Arts, professional film artists, William & Mary Program in Africana Studies and the Department of Theatre, Speech and Dance, University of Richmond Free Theatre & Dance, VCUarts Theatre, and Virginia Repertory Theatre. Through Sitelines BLM, we seek to create a collaborative institutional platform that centers the artistic expression of Black, Indigenous, People of Color and the acts of placemaking occurring in the new “seeing-places” of Richmond that have developed as a result of the Black Lives Matter Movement. Marcus-David Peters Circle (Robert E. Lee Monument), Reclamation Square (City Hall), and The African Burial Ground are but a few examples of specific places in our surrounding community where performances that can shift and deepen our intervisibility are taking place.

Responsive to our current political moment and with interest in uplifting marginalized voices, we seek to commission five local Black, Indigenous, Writers of Color to write screenplays and plays (that will be filmed). Commissioners will develop new work that considers any of the type of spaces below and explores people and their relationship to space, and the historicities, relationships, tensions, joys, healing, and futures being shaped and conjured in those spaces. Sites for consideration include:

Sites of memory,

Sites of reclamation and reimagination,

Sites of resistance,

Sites of displacement and injustice, and/or

Sites of ritual or spiritual activation.

Interested writers should:
Submit one screenplay or play of no more than 5 minutes in length (approximately 7-8pgs),

Devise a screenplay or script with an exterior location and limited props and cast,

Ensure that the narrative has a clear story arc, is visually focused, and mindful of the mission above, and

Send script treatments by Monday, September 14th, 2020 by 11:59pm and be sure to note the medium of the work (i.e. screenplay or filmed play). Treatments will be reviewed by a panel of judges. Writers who emerge from the competitive process will be notified by October 16th and asked to submit a complete screenplay or script no later than December 31, 2020. Writers whose treatment is selected will be paid a commissioners’ fee of $500.

Please direct questions and send treatments to the Sitelines BLM Project Director, Omiyẹmi (Artisia) Green @ avgreen@wm.edu.