submitted by our friend and colleague, Eyad Houssami, currently splitting his time between Amman, Beirut and Damascus on a Fulbright.
Three theater organizations from across the United States (Golden Thread Productions in San Francisco, the Lark Play Development Center in New York, and Silk Road Theatre Project in Chicago) are collaborating to form Middle East America: A National New Plays Initiative. This initiative represents the first national effort to actively cultivate and support development of Middle Eastern-American playwrights and their plays.
Middle East America will provide a $10,000 commission to a Middle Eastern-American playwright to write a new play. Awarded through an application process, the prize also provides intensive developmental support from the Lark, possible productions at Golden Thread Productions and Silk Road Theatre Project, and travel expenses for the writer to be present at all stages of the process.
The Initiative is designed to encourage other theatres, both American and international, to produce work from Middle Eastern-American writers, and hopefully, in doing so, creatively challenge the lack of representation and one-dimensional, stereotypical depiction of persons of Middle Eastern descent often seen on America’s stages.
Applications are due July 31. The selected writer will be announced in September 2008. For more information and application guidelines on Middle East America: A National New Plays Initiative, visit: http://www.middleeastamerica.org/.