February 4, 2017

Apply to Join MDC's 2017 Class of Resident Playwrights

The Midwest Dramatists Center is a collective designed to support playwrights on that difficult career stretch from “emerging” to “established,” and to amplify new voices in the American theatre. Residency is by application only, and its benefits are offered to selected playwrights at no cost for a five-year term. Membership has privileges, as well as responsibilities.


Benefits afforded to resident playwrights include:
  • Public readings—Giving the playwright the insight into his or her play that only comes with rehearsed presentation and audience feedback in a public forum
  • Workshop/rehearsal space—Free access to MDC’s meeting areas and black-box theatre for private read-throughs and script meetings.
  • Staff-supported structure and guidance—Regular meeting with the MDC artistic director to discuss the progress of your work and professional goals.
  • Advocacy to theatres—Submission and recommendation of work to regional and national theatres and competitions on behalf of resident playwrights with the imprimatur of MDC.
Resident playwrights are expected to contribute to the life of the organization and the development of their fellow playwrights. This happens in three areas:
  • CENTER STAGE: Each resident playwright will be required to write and stage readings of two plays per year.
  • IN THE HOUSE: Each resident playwright will be required to attend at least eight staged readings at MDC per year.
  • BEHIND THE SCENES: Each resident playwright will be required to give back to the institution through service, whether that is serving as a writer’s representative to the board, participating in fundraising and promotional activities, or painting a door as MDC continues to improve its new space, etc.
The Midwest Dramatists Center is open to emerging Kansas City-area playwrights who wish to develop their skills, plays and careers, and have demonstrated artistic and professional accomplishments, which should include at least some of the following: productions, workshops, and readings at professional theatres; film and television productions; and professional playwriting awards, grants, and fellowships.

Resident playwrights are chosen by a selection panel consisting of current MDC playwrights and board members, with input from a diverse script-evaluation panel of Kansas City theatre professionals. The artistic director coordinates the process, but does not directly influence the final decisions. Although professional accomplishment is very important, talent and potential are the main criteria.

The term for residency is five years. Terms begin and end on July 1.

Applications must include the following materials:
  • A completed application form.
  • Two plays of any type, at least one of which must be a full-length play. Screenplays and plays for young audiences do not qualify—nor do adaptations or collaborations (except for musicals).
  • A brief resume or biography (one or two pages) listing playwriting accomplishments and activities and any experience in related writing or theatrical fields.
  • A letter of intent (one or two pages) describing what you hope to accomplish through MDC and how you will use your residency.
  • A letter of recommendation from a theatre or literary professional (who is not currently affiliated with MDC), written specifically for this application. 

Download the Application Here

Download the Application Instructions Here 

Send applications or questions to director@midwestdramatists.org

*To be considered in MDC’s 2017 applicant pool, a completed application form and two scripts must be received by the February 28 deadline. However, if necessary, supporting documents—a bio/resume, letter of intent, and letter of recommendation—may be submitted by email no later than Friday, March 11, for the application to be complete.

Nick Sawin's "Ephemera" Reading February 13

Ephemera is a collection of spoken essays about modern life and the half-remembered past. This search through accumulated artifacts, records of culture and harbingers of change, explores how we acquire and when we release ephemera. Even in the span of one day, an hour or a moment, we search for the enduring beauty of ordinary things.
The reading will be held at 7pm Monday, February 13, at the Midwest Dramatist Center, 3607 Pennsylvania. As always, this reading is free. Donations encouraged.

January 7, 2017

Dan Born's "Bang" and "The Pilot is the Storm" Reading January 9

Join us at 7:00pm on Monday, January 9 for a reading of Dan Born's Bang and The Pilot is the Storm.

Bang: Bang is a monologue delivered by Joan Vollmer immediately upon having been shot in the head by William Burroughs, her common law husband, in Mexico City in 1951. As she waits for the ambulance to arrive, she reflects on her relationship with the famous writer, on the passionate nucleus that launched the Beat movement, and on a murder in that close-knit group of artists, presaging her own death.

The Pilot is the Storm: Billy is the youngest cousin in a powerful political family, and until recently a well known television personality. Now he is even better known, but no longer on television. Not only that, but the guest whose disgraceful behavior got Billy fired is about to become the most powerful politician in America. Billy thinks a patronage job is in order. The politician invites him out to dinner to offer one.

Readings will be held at the Midwest Dramatists Center, 3607 Pennsylvania. Readings are free. Donations are encouraged.