Lack of financial resources is often the most daunting obstacle for new writers trying to bring fresh, innovative story ideas from the pages of their script to the stage.
For a few aspiring writers, OnyxFest – the first and only Indiana theater festival exclusively for African American playwrights – in partnership with IndyFringe Theatre will cover all expenses required to bring scripts to life. Scripts will be accepted for consideration up to midnight Friday, March 10th.
This competition is designed to showcase the broad spectrum of stories that depict Black life and culture. 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 2023 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://go.iu.edu/4LMu. Entries will then be submitted to a jury of theater professionals who will read each and determine five winners. Winners will be notified in the first week of April. We will also communicate with those not chosen.
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.
The scope of OnyxFest subject matter is broad. Williams recommends that writers avoid stereotypes, degrading or disrespectful portrayals of Black life and culture, and gratuitous violence or sexual content.
OnyxFest 2023 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.
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.
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.