For years, Actors Theatre of Indiana co-founder Don Farrell has wanted to find a way to help new playwrights’ works be discovered. He just wasn’t sure he had the time to do so.
Farrell still isn’t sure he has the time but said Carmel-based ATI’s 15th anniversary season seemed a good time to launch the program, called the ATI Lab Series.
“I’ve always thought the theater is a laboratory, in a sense,” Farrell said. “The energy that is passed between artists and audience makes it such a unique experience. We’re starting phases of our chemistry of putting it all together.”
The ATI Lab Series will involve three plays, which will be chosen from more than 20 submissions. Farrell and ATI co-founders Judy Fitzgerald and Cynthia Collins, along with a committee, will choose the three submissions.
The playwrights will participate in an intensive weekend of workshopping, discussion and development with a cast of professional actors and directors in a creative laboratory setting.
“It’s a mission of ours to help cultivate new work and allow playwrights to hone their skills,” Farrell said. “It never starts off as a finished product. This is a step along the process. Sometimes plays will go no farther than just a reading.”
Farrell said there will be 29 hours total to put together the reading from the first rehearsal to the end of the reading.
There will be a talkback and Q&A session to provide feedback following the reading. Farrell said he will encourage the audience to provide constructive criticism.
“Any playwright worth his salt is going to want to know what resonated with your audience,” Farrell said. “Where were they confused, where did they get bored and what things made sense. What things were a little fuzzy?”
Farrell plans to accept submissions through July 31. Hard copies of the plays should be mailed to Lab Series, 510 3rd. Ave. SW, Suite D, Carmel, IN, 4032. Email copies can be emailed @firstname.lastname@example.org. During the season-opening “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” in September, the chosen plays will be announced.
The dates for the other readings will be Nov. 5, Feb. 4, 2020 and May 5, 2020.
Tickets are $20 per reading for the program sponsored by United Fidelity Bank. Cost is $51 for a subscription for all three readings and $45 for ATI subscribers. The $20 ticket sales are available online, by the phone or at the box office. Subscriptions must be purchased by calling the box office at 317-843-3800. Tickets go on sale June 24. For more, visit atistage.org.