SATE’s Seventh Annual Aphra Behn Festival: Call for Directors and Writers

Website URL SATE (Slightly Askew Theatre Ensemble)

SATE is seeking submissions for Directors and Writers for the Seventh Annual Aphra Behn Festival, which will be presented May 5-7, 2023, live at the Centene Center for the Arts. The theme for the 2023 Festival is “Re-Told” and will utilize plays from the Expand the Canon list of classic plays by women & underrepresented genders, curated by Hedgpig Ensemble Theatre.

When established in 2017, a goal of the Aphra Behn Festival was to give women interested in directing and writing for theatre an opportunity to get more experience, try out ideas, experiment, and hone their craft. SATE now looks to make the Festival a more inclusive space for transgender and non-binary artists, as well.

The Aphra Behn Festival is named for the fascinating poet, translator, and spy, Aphra Behn, who is widely considered to be the first English woman to make her living as a playwright. SATE produced a play about her, “Or,” by Liz Duffy Adams, in February 2015 and collaborated with Prison Performing Arts to adapt Behn’s play, “The Rover”, for the artists at the Women’s Eastern Reception, Diagnostic, and Correctional Center in Vandalia to perform. “The Rover” was also the text shared by the directors in the 2020 Festival. SATE feels very much a part of Aphra’s legacy.

For artists interested in applying to be a director, email stl.sate@gmail.com by January 3, 2023 with an experience you had that inspired your interest in directing for theatre. SATE’s co-producers, Rachel Tibbetts and Ellie Schwetye, will contact applicants for a further interview.

For artists interested in submitting a play, email it to stl.sate@gmail.com by January 3, 2023. The play must contain the following ingredients:

Theme: Re-Told
3 characters max
Must be no longer than 20 minutes
The play must be a re-telling, adaptation, or response to one of the scripts on Hedgepig Ensemble’s Expand the Canon list. Expand the Canon is a curated list of classic plays by women & underrepresented genders. A number of the scripts are available through SATE’s website satestl.org and from expandthecanon.com, although writers are encouraged to be inspired by any of the plays/writers on the list.

The Seventh Annual Aphra Behn Festival will be performed at the Centene Center for the Arts in midtown St. Louis May 5-7, 2023. Rehearsals will begin the first week of April 2023.

SATE will be hiring three directors and three writers for the 2023 Aphra Behn Festival. Artists of all ethnicities, races, ages, abilities, and backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Submissions from applicant directors and writers will be reviewed by members of SATE’s Artistic Advisory Ensemble.

Timeline for the 2023 Aphra Behn Festival is as follows:

January 3, 2023: director submissions and plays due
January 8 and 10, 2023: director interviews
January 13, 2023: SATE announces plays and directors
January 18, 2023: read-thru of scripts with directors, playwrights, and SATE ensemble members
January 20, 2023: plays assigned to directors
February 24, 2023: script edits due
February 27, 2023: auditions
Week of April 3, 2023: rehearsals begin
May 2-4, 2023: Load-in/Festival Tech/Dress rehearsal
May 5-7, 2023: Live, in-person Aphra Behn Festival

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