Archive for April, 2007

It’s Alive!

30th April 2007 by Maura McHugh


According to The Seattle Times Mel Brooks has decided to transform another of his early films into a theatrical musical.

This time he’s adapting his black and white horror homage film, Young Frankenstein (1974), to the stage. It will be called It’s Alive! The musical will rehearse in both Seattle and New York, and will have its premier on August 4 in Seattle, before opening in Broadway in the autumn.

As he did for The Producers, Brooks will pen the score for Young Frankenstein, and co-author the book (based on his screenplay) with Thomas Meehan. The design team: Robin Wagner on sets, William Ivey Long on costumes and Peter Kaczorowski on lighting.

All the above won Tony Awards for The Producers, which garnered an even dozen in 2001, including one for director Susan Stroman.

One Page Play

27th April 2007 by Maura McHugh

Practicum Theatre is looking for play submissions for its one page play competition.

These can be in the form of sketches, monologues, dramas, comedies or physical theatre – you name it, we want it. You can break your page into columns to fit in more – whatever you can do to get your play on that page! The only restriction is that it can’t be more than 5 minutes long when it’s performed.

If your play is chosen as one of the finalists, you will be asked to present it on 10th June, 2007 at the Bedford Globe Theatre in Balham, South London. The audience chooses the winners for Best Writing, Best Direction & Best Overall Play.

The deadline is 16 May 2007, and there is an fee of £5 per entry. Submissions can be emailed, and the fee paid via PayPal online.

Future Shorts Ireland

26th April 2007 by Maura McHugh

Future Shorts Ireland is part of a global organisation that aims to bring the best of international and home-grown short films to the viewing public. There are screenings in Belfast, a meeting in Dublin on the last Wednesday of every month, and now Cork will have its own monthly gathering, organised by production company, Egomotion.

The first meeting will be Wednesday, 2nd May at 8pm, upstairs in the Roundy, Castle Street, Cork. The night will cost €5, and for that you will get a selection of nine international shorts, three local short films, and a Q&A with one of the filmmakers. Music and a DJ are promised to keep the night going.

Less than 25 words

25th April 2007 by Maura McHugh

Thanks to Lianne’s blog I note that the UK Film Council has announced details about its new round of the 25 Words or Less scheme.

The next round of 25 Words or Less brings a new approach to the initiative, in partnership with 3 of the UK’s low budget production financiers: Warp X, Vertigo Films and Slingshot Studios. The production partners and the UK Film Council’s Development Fund will jointly select three writers to develop a first draft script inspired by each of the production partner’s chosen genre. Involvement of these partners will provide access to their expertise and experience of developing for low budget features, in an environment where a primary focus is moving rapidly to production.

Funding of £10,000 will be awarded by the UK Film Council to each successful writer. The Development Fund will assign a script editor to each project — the cost of which will be attributable to the project but met by the UK Film Council.

The three studios and matching genres are: Warp X: “Lo-Fi, Sci-Fi.”; Vertigo Films: “A comedy involving a case of mistaken identity”; Slingshot Studios: “Teen Hitchcock”.

All EU citizens are eligible, but only people with literary agents, or full members of the Writer’s Guild of Great Britain, can apply. Otherwise, the application mostly consists of a pitch line of under 25 words, a one-page outline, 10 pages of sample scenes, and pertinent application details. Applications need to arrive at the UK Film Council’s offices by Friday 13th July 2007, an auspicious date.

Advice from Albee

25th April 2007 by Maura McHugh

At the weekend American playwright, Edward Albee (Who’s Afraid of Virginna Wolf?, The Sandbox), gave a two-hour masterclass in New York on writing for theatre. The New York Times sat in, and recorded some of his advice:

“Then say it,” Mr. Albee said. “That’s your job, to change things and bring people around to your point of view. You’re either right or wrong. Creativity begins in the unconscious. Don’t write too soon. Get to know your characters. You should be writing absolutely real people in real situations. That’s the only way actors can act your stuff.”

There were practical matters, too: never lecture, don’t be obscure, never become someone’s opinion of you, and remember that every line has two purposes — one, to delineate character, and two, to advance the plot. Everything else is a waste.

There was also a reading list of the four essential 20th-century playwrights (Chekhov, Pirandello, Beckett and Brecht) and a warning.

“If you only read the great writers, you’ll be in trouble,” he said. “Read junk. It’s enormously encouraging to tell yourself, ‘I can do better than that.’ “