Dear East African theatre artists, colleagues and friends:
Greetings from New York City in the U.S.! We are writing to provide you an update on Sundance Institute East Africa activities for the coming season (Year 3 of a five-year initiative). Our plan is to return to East Africa in July 2010.
As you know, Sundance Institute East Africa is a program exploring the potential relationship between US and East African theatre artists and encouraging artistic exchange.
In Year 1, May 2008, five American theatre artists from the Sundance Institute Theatre Program participated in an exploratory visit to meet East African theatre artists in Nairobi, Kenya and Kampala, Uganda. In addition, Sundance Institute East Africa Artistic Associate Roberta Levitow attended the EATI (East African Theatre Institute) Festival in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in November 2008 (our first trip to Ethiopia!) In Year 2, April/May 2009, four American theatre artists and one Ugandan performer/producer made visits to Rwanda and Tanzania in an effort to meet as many East African theatre artists as possible. We have been able to be on the ground to meet artists and see work in five countries in the region during Years 1 and 2.
For Year 3, we are delighted to announce that in July 2010, Sundance Institute East Africa will conduct its first Theatre Lab on the island of Manda, Kenya. This Lab will be a three-week developmental retreat providing a protected creative environment for East African playwrights and directors to develop new work with the support of dramaturgs, mentors and actors. Our goal is to offer an independent-minded community for artists to engage with their work and with each other, building text, asking questions and taking risks. The dates for the Sundance East Africa Theatre Lab are July 9-29, 2010.
How can you participate in the Sundance East Africa Theatre Lab in July 2010?
We will be accepting open submissions to the Sundance Institute East Africa Theatre Lab from East African Artists for live performance ONLY. Sundance Institute East Africa welcomes applications for projects at any stage of development, but a full representation of the work-in-progress is desirable. In order for Sundance Institute East Africa to fully evaluate your submission, in addition to submitting a play script, we require two statements: 1] an artistic statement expressing your artistic goals for your project (including all key collaborators involved, along with the exact number and description of actors/musicians/dancers you would ideally need for your project) and 2] a statement of how you intend to benefit your community of artists with the experience gained after participating in the Sundance East Africa Theatre Lab. In addition, we also require Resumes/Bios for each collaborator (e.g. director, choreographer, etc.).
1. Creative teams (playwright/director) are permitted and encouraged to apply together; (for example, East African playwright with American director, or East African playwright with African director) however, if you do not have a director attached to your project, please note that Sundance East Africa will help to match you up with a director if your play is selected for inclusion in the Lab.
Sundance Institute East Africa is interested in receiving submissions from both established and emerging theatre artists, as well as artists making a transition from areas outside of theatre. We welcome solo performers and projects for young audiences. Participants must be available for the entire length of the Lab. Artists can only submit one project. Previous applicants may re-apply. For example, if you have sent scripts for consideration over the last two years, you are permitted to re-apply with the same project. Please follow the same application process described above.
Through open submissions, Sundance Institute East Africa looks for original, compelling, human stories that reflect the independent vision of the theatre artist. We are interested in supporting a diverse and daring group of theatre artists who tell unique stories, present material in a new form, or conceptualize existing material with an innovative vision. We look for writers and collaborators who are interested in genuinely exploring their material. We believe that the Sundance Institute East Africa Theatre Lab will create more than a “space to rehearse”; but will be an environment that encourages and supports risk-taking, experimentation, and rigorous re-writing and re-imagining. All submissions will be read by the Sundance Institute East Africa staff. Every effort will be made to include the participation of representatives from each of the countries in the region.
WHAT SUNDANCE INSTITUTE PROVIDES
Each full-time Fellow (playwright, director, key collaborator) will receive a $500 USD expense reimbursement. Each project will be developed with a shared company of East African actors (as applicable), selected by Sundance East Africa in collaboration with the Fellows. Sundance Institute will provide for round-trip travel expenses between all selected participants’ homes and Manda, Kenya, including air and ground transportation will be provided if available. Participants will also be provided with housing and all meals while at the Lab.
The Sundance Institute Theatre Program will manage the selection of actors from East Africa, along with dramaturgs, rehearsal space and stage management. At the end of the Lab, projects will culminate in an informal presentation for the Lab community only, followed by a feedback session with Sundance artistic staff and guest Creative Advisors (mentors).
HOW TO APPLY:
Make sure you have all the application materials.
* Script Draft of your play or live performance piece.
* One page Artistic Statement (If applying as a playwright/director team, Sundance requires a statement from both the playwright and director.)
o Describe the status of the project, including prior readings and workshops, and what you hope to accomplish while at the Lab. Include comments on the content, style of the piece and the team’s objectives for the workshop. Please include the number of actors your project requires and specific descriptions of each role.
* Resumes, bios or CV’s for each collaborator
* One Page Statement of how you intend to benefit your artistic community after your Lab experience.
You are required to be available for the duration of the Lab.
You are permitted to apply with only one project.
Send us your materials via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or via airmail to:
Sundance Institute East Africa
180 Varick St, Suite 1330
New York, NY 10014
The deadline for all submissions is January 15, 2010.
Applicants will be notified by March 1, 2010.
Please call 646-822-9567 or email email@example.com.
We continue to create a major database of interested theatre artists in the region. Please keep us informed with your most current contact information: mobile number, email address, city and country of residence.
Sundance Institute East Africa alumni include Odile Gakire Katese (Rwanda), Eric Wainaina (Kenya), Kenneth Kimuli (Uganda), M?mbi Kaigwa (Kenya), Charles Mulekwa (Uganda), Deborah Asiimwe (Uganda), the late Gichora Mwangi (Kenya) and Philip Luswata (Uganda).
Sundance Institute East Africa
Philip Himberg, Producing Artistic Director
Christopher Hibma, Associate Director
Roberta Levitow, Artistic Associate Sundance Institute East Africa
Deborah Asiimwe, Specialist-Sundance Institute East Africa