As a result of interest expressed during the recent CENTERSTAGE theater workshop sponsored by the Africana Repertory Theatre of IUPUI (ARTI), the deadline for playwrights to submit their work for consideration of OnyxFest 2022 has been extended to Thursday, March 31 at midnight. No entries will be accepted under any circumstances after March 31.
For a few aspiring writers, OnyxFest 2022 – the first and only Indiana theater festival exclusively for African American playwrights – will cover all expenses required to bring scripts to life.
OnyxFest Director Vernon A. Williams said, “This is an event that empowers Black artists to create their own narrative, to tell their own stories.”
Playwrights will receive royalties along with stipends to pay actors, directors, lighting assistants and sound technicians. The grant will include funds for set design, props, costume and makeup as well as the complete cost of theater rental for both rehearsal and performances.
“This is an opportunity of a lifetime for serious new playwrights with talent but no resources,” Williams said, adding that OnyxFest 2022 will also provide playwrights script development, marketing and advertising for productions along with video recordings and internet streaming of plays.
Scripts should be submitted to https://iu.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_eePgEsfecadmvjw. Entries will then be submitted to a jury of theater professionals who will read each and determine five winners. Winners will be notified no later than the end of April to accommodate the extension.
Entries must be original one-act plays – between 45 minutes and an hour in length. There may be no more than six characters per cast. If there is an exceptional script that needs work, OnyxFest will workshop it to get it to the point of being production-ready.
Subject matter is unrestricted. Williams recommends that writers avoid stereotypes, degrading or disrespectful portrayals of Black life and culture, and gratuitous violence or sexual content.
OnyxFest 2022 is sponsored by the Africana Repertory Theater of IUPUI (ARTI), a program of study offered by the IUPUI School of Liberal Arts, School of Education and Office of Community Engagement using theater to document and artistically reflect the history, cultural life, and politics of people of the Africana Diaspora.
OnyxFest 2022 will be staged the first two weekends of November between the IndyFringe Theatre and IUPUI Campus Center Theater! For more Information, text or call 317.457.8779, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit onyxfest.com.
About A.R.T.I. (Africana Repertory Theatre of IUPUI):
The Africana Repertory Theatre of IUPUI (ARTI) is a program of study offered by the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, the School of Education and the IUPUI Office of Community Engagement using a multidisciplinary approach to “edutainment.” ARTI was developed to document and artistically reflect the history, cultural life, and politics of peoples of the African Diaspora. As a public arts initiative, ARTI has a deep commitment to and focuses on artistic and community engagement. The Office of Community Engagement and the Schools of Liberal Arts and Education are supporting this proposal because it advances the idea that learning in the arts is invaluable at all stages of life, and the integration of the arts into the fabric of community life may advance civic engagement while also creating a college and career pathway. Leslie Kenneth Etienne, ARTI manager and acting director of IUPUI Africana Studies, said his group also seeks to increase collaborations with local Black and other minority theatre groups in Indianapolis, launch a black events quarterly periodical and establish an advisory council for Black theater in the Indiana Avenue Cultural District. Along with Etienne, ARTI founders include Khaula Murtadha, associate vice chancellor for community engagement; Regina Turner, associate faculty in communication studies; Lasana Kazembe, associate professor in the school of education, and Vernon A. Williams, communication and community engagement strategist.
The Indianapolis Theatre Fringe Festival (IndyFringe) founded in 2005 is a place, an event, a movement, an incubator for new talent and a magnet for imaginative and thoughtful people. IndyFringe established OnyxFest in 2011 to counter the lack of diversity both on stage and in audiences of Indianapolis theatre. The annual festival is a vehicle to expose theatergoers to new and emerging Black playwrights. IndyFringe is best known for the annual IndyFringe Festival that transforms Mass Ave in downtown Indianapolis into a vibrant, eclectic and exciting festival avenue. IndyFringe has been a catalyst for the resurgence of arts and culture in downtown Indianapolis. IndyFringe also operates two theatres on the fringe of Mass Ave; the IndyFringe Basile and Indy Eleven Theatres. They are known for presenting five mini-festivals including OnyxFest, amplifying the voices of African American playwrights, DivaFest, providing a stage for women’s voices, a festival of New Plays and Ten Minute Plays and the international Winter Magic Festival. The District Theatre at 627 Mass Ave has a rich LGBTQ history of community theatre and presents an eclectic mix of drama, dance, music and magic. IndyFringe has been a catalyst for the resurgence of arts and culture in downtown Indianapolis. IndyFringe extends its reach into the community with Fringe on Wheels, a mobile theatre which takes live theatre to artists and audiences who do not have access to traditional theatre experiences.