Poet, Playwright, Workshop Facilitator

Our Voices Festival

About Our Voices Festival

A Festival of Boston Area Women Playwrights

Now in its 11th year!

Pictured Here: Daytime Playwrights 2016

Pictured Here: Daytime Playwrights 2016

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS!

Annual Celebration of Boston Area Women Playwrights

Sat. Sept. 24, 2017

10:00 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Ruth Nagel Jones Theatre

Wellesley College

Hello Boston Area Women Playwrights!

I’m thrilled to announce that the Our Voices annual festival of Boston area women playwrights is now in its 11th year – and submissions are open to women playwrights from the Boston region! You may submit one monologue OR one 10-minute play. Our daylong developmental festival of new works includes an evening of staged readings, and will take place on a Sunday, September 24, 2017 at the Ruth Nagel Jones Theatre, Wellesley College from 10:00 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. The deadline for short play or monologue submissions is August 7, 2017 (please see below for guidelines).

The Our Voices Festival is free for participants and the evening readings are free and open to the public, thanks to the generosity of The Wellesley College Ruth Nagel Jones Theatre. Over the past ELEVEN years, Our Voices has presented the work of over 100 Boston area women playwrights and poets!

Our Voices Mission:

Our Voices aims to nourish Boston area women playwrights by providing a supportive, inspirational setting for developing our unique voices and sharing our vision by presenting plays and monologues in process with talented actors and directors in front of each other, and in front of an audience. What began as an evening of staged readings became a daylong event six years ago. Our Voices now includes:

(1)  A morning/afternoon discussion group for playwrights to present new short works in progress in a supportive setting;

(2)  A playwright/audience reception in the lobby of the theatre prior to the evening of staged readings, encouraging a warm, inviting atmosphere of inspirational theatre;

(3)  An evening of staged readings of new plays & monologues presented to the public with post-play audience participation)

Our Voices XI will be produced by festival founder, Kelly DuMar and hosted by the Ruth Nagel Jones Theatre at Wellesley College.

Submission Guidelines for Boston area Women Playwrights

Playwrights, when making your submission, please select to be considered for:

(1)   Sunday daytime developmental readings & discussion session;

OR

(2)  Sat. evening of staged readings presented to public.

Your writing will be considered for only morning OR evening, and you can only submit ONE monologue OR ONE short play or excerpt.

For DAYTIME you may submit:

One short play (10 mins or less) OR one monologue. Monologues should run five minutes or less.

For EVENING you may submit:

ONE short play (no more than 10 minutes), OR a 10-minute excerpt from a longer play, OR one monologue (5 mins or less).

Please read and follow these guidelines carefully!

     E-mail submissions only. Playwrights should submit only the selected portion if the piece is from a longer work.  As always, we strive to include as many playwrights as possible! Limit one submission per playwright.

·      Submissions are open to writers from Massachusetts, particularly those who live in the Greater Boston area.

     The spirit of this festival is reciprocal support of each other’s vision and voice, giving and receiving encouragement by attending to each other’s writing and process, as listeners, commenters and mentors. Selected playwrights MUST be available and willing to participate in THE ENTIRE FESTIVAL including morning discussion, afternoon workshop, tech rehearsal, reception & evening of readings. Yes, it’s a long, invigorating day! But we strive to be more than your typical play festival - as one playwright recently put it, “Our Voices nourishes my soul.”

     On your submission, include your contact info, title of your piece, and development history. Please name your document file with your name

·      Please include a BRIEF STATEMENT (no more than a paragraph – two lines is fine) about why you hope to participate in Our Voices this year.

     No published scripts.

·      Selected playwrights (both morning and evening) agree to be responsible for presenting their play by arranging for a director (optional) & actor(s) and for conducting any prior rehearsals you deem desirable in your own rehearsal space.

    Minimal set items (chairs and small tables) will be provided; minimal tech requirements; lights up, lights down.  We’ll have a designated volunteer to read any and all stage directions.

    THEME: Once again, this year, the theme is “Theatre art as a medium of social change.” It’s open to interpretation. Think about theatre’s potential for changing personal and social ideas, values and behavior – and how your writing might influence or inspire individuals or groups to change – what is the change you hope to support or create in individuals or the world?

    There is no budget at all to pay playwrights, actors or directors!  This is an all volunteer festival. Nobody is charged and no one is paid and everybody leaves with a rewarding experience.

    Submission Deadline:  Please send your play/monologue in MS word or pdf to kellydumar@gmail.com no later than midnight, August 7, 2017. Selected playwrights will be notified by e-mail by August 20, 2015 and a required pre-production meeting will soon follow (via group conference call).

Questions? For more information, contact Kelly DuMar (KellyDuMar@gmail.com)

(508) 647-0596

Please “Like” the Our Voices FACEBOOK page.

Festival website is: http://www.kellydumar.com/festival

And Follow Kelly on Twitter @kellydumar and Instagram @kellydumar

 

ABOUT KELLY DUMAR, Founder & Producer

Kelly DuMar is a poet, playwright and workshop facilitator from the Boston area. She’s author of two poetry chapbooks, All These Cures, (Lit House Press), and Tree of the Apple, (Two of Cups Press). Kelly is author of a non-fiction book, Before You Forget – The Wisdom of Writing Diaries for Your Children. Her poems, prose and photos are published in many literary journals including “Tupelo Quarterly,” “Poydras,” “Tiferet,” “Kindred,” “The Good Men Project.” Her award winning plays are produced around the US and are published by dramatic publishers. Kelly founded and produces the Our Voices Festival of Women Playwrights at Wellesley College, now in its 11th year, and leads a variety of workshops for writers across the US, including The Mass. Poetry Festival, The International Women’s Writing Guild, The Power of Words Conference, Mass. Poetry Festival, the New England Theatre Conference, Playback Theatre North America Conference, and more.  She’s on the board & faculty of The International Women’s Writing Guild and produces the IWWG Summer Conference Play Lab and the Annual Boston Regional Writing From Your Life Retreat, and she teaches Your Memoir as Monologue, a 6-week online class for the Transformative Language Arts Assoc. Closer to home, Kelly facilitates a weekly writing workshop for women, the Farm Pond Writer’s Collective, now in its third year. Kelly is a certified psychodramatist and a Fellow in the American Society for Group Psychotherapy & Psychodrama. You can follow Kelly’s daily nature blog, “#NewThisDay Writing From My Photo Stream,” and join her mailing list at kellydumar.com

 

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11th Annual Our Voices Festival of Boston Area Women Playwrights

FREE Evening of Staged Readings

Sept. 24, 2017, 6:30 p.m.

Featuring Short Plays & Monologues by Boston Area Playwrights

Ruth Nagel Jones Theatre, Wellesley College

The tenth annual Our Voices Festival, supporting new plays by Boston area women playwrights, will present an evening of staged readings, free and to the public on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016 at 6:30 p.m., at the Ruth Nagel Jones Theatre, Alumnae Hall, Wellesley College. A reception to meet the playwrights begins at 6:30 p.m. with refreshments. The show begins at 7:00 p.m., and seats are first come first served. This presentation of new plays by local women playwrights features the talents of some of Boston's best actors and directors. This year, in honor of the 10th anniversary, the evening’s theme is theatre as social change. There will be a special post-plays performance with Arlington-based True Story Theater, who will perform audience responses to the plays using Playback Theatre.

This year's evening performances include work by Boston area writers: Andrea Fleck Clardy, Deniz Khateri, Hortense Gerardo, Griffen Hoyle, Ann Marie Shea, Phyllis Rittner, Rosanna Yamagiwa Alfaro, Kelly DuMar, Johanna Skouras, and Lida McGirr.

The festival founder and producer, Kelly DuMar, says it has been fully established by recent research that women face more barriers than men in the world of theater. “According to a 2015 study, ‘The Count,’ featured recently in The New York Times, women’s plays in the US are produced about one-fifth as often as those of men. This historic pattern of - consciously or unconsciously - over-investing in stories by male writers needs to change."

Over the past ten years, the 12-hour daylong Our Voices festival has helped well over 100 Boston area women playwrights develop stories for the stage, DuMar says. “In addition to offering a day of workshop presentations of new plays by women, Our Voices presents and evening of staged readings, and, with the generous help of exceptional actors and directors, presents them to an audience. “It’s an opportunity for audience members to be exposed to the artistic craft of women’s stories they are not seeing produced – and a way for men and women theatre goers to show interest in new work by women playwrights,” DuMar says.

“The point of the festival is to give women playwrights a nourishing, no-cost day of incubation.” DuMar says. “Many of the short plays and monologues first presented at Our Voices go on to have full productions in Boston theaters and beyond.

 Throughout the day on Saturday, prior to the staged readings, thirteen additional Boston area women writers will present workshop style readings of new work with the help of volunteer actors and directors. Participating playwrights, and one poet, include: Cassie M. Seinuk, Debbie Wiess, Mickey Coburn, Fabiola Decius, Vannessa Greenleaf, Lynda Vernalia, Wokie Kajota, Sue Huggans, M. Lynda Robinson, Linda Hanley Finnigan, Carole Frohlic, Mara Elissa Palma, and Anne Marilyn Lucas. 

The festival is held in The Ruth Nagel Jones Theatre, through the generosity of Wellesley College, which is located in Alumnae Hall, Wellesley College, 106 Central Street, Wellesley, MA. There is free parking and the theatre is wheelchair accessible. For more information, contact Kelly DuMar at (508) 647-0596 or e-mail kellydumar@gmail.com.

 

 

Our Voices is produced by festival founder, Kelly DuMar and hosted by the Ruth Nagel Jones Theatre at Wellesley College. Over the past ten years, Our Voices has presented the work of over 100 Boston area women playwrights and poets.

This volunteer collective of playwrights, actors and directors aims to nourish women playwrights and poets by providing a supportive, inspirational setting for developing our unique voices and sharing our vision by presenting plays and monologues - with talented actors and directors - in front of each other and in front of an audience. What began as an evening of staged readings became a daylong event six years ago. 

Read on for more information about our work and ethos.
Like Our Voices Facebook page to stay up to date!

 

Our upcoming festival is September 17, 2016!

I’m thrilled to announce the Our Voices annual festival of Boston area women playwrights is now in its 10th year. Our daylong event of workshop readings of new works includes an evening of staged readings, free and open to the public on Saturday, September 17, 2016 at the Ruth Nagel Jones Theatre, Wellesley College from 6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m., thanks to the generosity of The Wellesley College Ruth Nagel Jones Theatre. 

This year's theme is “Theatre art as a medium of social change.” 

Playwrights have been asked to consider theatre’s potential for changing personal and social ideas, values and behavior – and how their writing might influence or inspire individuals or groups to change – what is the change you hope to support or create in individuals or the world? 

Please join the playwrights at 6:30 p.m. for a cheese & cracker reception; show begins at 7:00 p.m. No reservation is necessary, seating is first come, first served. 

In celebration of our theme, the plays will be followed by a unique post-show discussion and Playback Theatre performance with True Story Theatre in which everyone will be invited to participate.

I’m thrilled to announce the Our Voices annual festival of Boston area women line-up, celebrating our 10th year! Our daylong event of workshop readings of new works includes an evening of staged readings, free and open to the public, Saturday, September 17, 2016 at the Ruth Nagel Jones Theatre, Wellesley College from 6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m., thanks to the generosity of The Wellesley College Ruth Nagel Jones Theatre. 

Evening Selected Playwrights & Plays:

Rosanna Yamagiwa Alfaro, In the Blink of an Eye             

Lida McGirr, A Doctor’s Prescription                                    

Andrea Fleck Clardy, Hijab                                                 

Hortense Gerardo, Death in Venice Beach                           

Kelly DuMar, monologue                                                      

Ann Marie Shea, The Dirty Irish                                         

Deniz Khateri, When We All Used to be Sane                   

Johanna Skouras, How Did Mama Snare My Soul              

Griffen Hoyle, What We Know                                          

Phyllis Ritner, Night Conversation                                      

 

DAYTIME Participants Include:

Linda Hanley Finigan, People Living in Caves

Debbie Wiess – As Flotsam & Jetsam

Fabiola Decius, Date Night Surprise

Vannessa Greenleaf, The Line

Lynda Vernalia, What to Expect When You Expect an Emergency

Carole Frohlich, Stripped Bare

Cassie M. Seinuk, Miles of Homemade Candy 

Sue Huggans, Solid Confirmation

M. Lynda Robinson, Something About Swans 

Mickey Coburn, The Left Bower 

Mara Elissa Palma, Love Told Pain

Anne Marilyn Lucas, Mother

Wokie Kojota, The Lover, The Writer, The Surgeon, The Chef  

Questions? For more information contact Kellydumar@kellydumar.com
Keep reading for more of our philosophy and history!


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Every year, for the past eight years, I wake up the day after producing the Our Voices Festival of Women Playwrights and think – it can’t get better than this one.

Every year, as they’re saying goodnight, the playwrights whose plays have been workshopped and staged tell me I must be super exhausted, and wish me all the rest I’ve earned. The thing is, I’m not tired. I’m so filled with energy after this jam-packed twelve-hour day I feel like Eliza Doolittle – I could have danced all night. 

 


 

You know this feeling, right? You’re on an inspiration high – you didn’t spend energy, you created it, by engaging wholeheartedly in an expressive activity you love.

Producing Our Voices lets me spend my day listening to women show and tell their unique stories as creatively as they can in a safe, supportive environment. Our Voices costs next to nothing, yet offers priceless rewards to everyone involved, including me. 


Here is just a small sampling of what Our Voices participants are saying:

A most welcoming, talented, and caring group of women and I had the supreme honor of sharing, art, air, time and space with you all yesterday.
A ROAR of creativity, defiance, grace and much joy was present in that room. I am grateful to have been in that number.
The morning after and I am still content to the core, basking in the glow of all our voices.
It was a magical day — more like a full retreat than a festival! How wonderful to spend a day on new play development in a nurturing and welcoming environment.

These essential ingredients have evolved over the years into the Our Voices collaboration:

    • Gather writers who will honor every participant’s creativity and take it seriously, support her to find meaningful ways to express her unique voice and vision in the world.
       
    • Attract writers who have taken risks, done the work of learning what it means to collaborate with a spirit of generosity and helpfulness. Writers who have the humility to maintain an open mind and value mentoring, passing the wisdom they’ve learned from their mistakes on.
       
    • Invite new writers who pose all the essential questions we need to be challenged to answer again and again – writers who truly want help and not just approval and are willing to appreciate feedback.
       
    • Involve writers who are interested in growing and developing as artists and human beings.
       
    • Facilitate an ethos of respect – and opportunity for deep listening, and then responding with empathy, compassion, enthusiasm, sensitivity and authenticity – challenging, stretching, but being able to authentically communicate encouragement to other.

    To stay up-to-date on when our next festival is open
    for submissions (and going up!), please sign up below.