The Midwest Dramatists Center (MDC) is a creative home, family and support for emerging playwrights to further the growth of their art and the impact of that art on the greater theater community. We accomplish this by providing the three key elements that every artists needs to succeed in bring his or her vision to the public. It all starts with a home.
The heart of MDC will be our new home within the venerable Writer’s Place building in mid-town Kansas City. This home will house our administrative hub for the activities and to facilitate the most important part of MDC’s the Lab.
The Lab is a black box theater space with audience seating that is provided to member playwrights at no cost. This remains the center for what we do as plays are meant to be seen and heard. For playwrights, this typically is done through the staged reading. This is perhaps the most critical step in developing new plays aside from the creative spark that creates the work. The space will support the three kinds of readings playwrights most often use: developmental, public, and backers. Each represents a key part of the development of new plays, and each will be benefit from the participation of other member playwrights or the MDC family.
Writers need a creative community to support, advise, and inspire them as they write. In short, this is what we mean when we say the MDC Family. MDC will be a membership organization. It will be charged with identifying and selecting emerging playwrights to admitted each year - likely in a class of 5-7 writers. Member playwrights will have a five year term when they are expected to fully participate in MDC to support their fellow writers. At the end of five years, the members become alumni. Alumni will have access to the Lab as it is available for readings and can attend the developmental works of others. Our intent, is for the core support services to focus on the writers during their five year terms. That focus is what we call support.
Creative support is a vital piece of a writer’s life. Every play needs professional help to see the light of day. It may be a recommendation to an established theater company. It could be some specific counsel on a critical scene. It might be helping to cast a reading with the best actors and directors available. In the beginning, we will seek to hire an Artistic Director. This person will be tasked with day to day operations of the center, creating and managing relationships within the local and national theater community, and finally focused on assisting the place member plays within the seasons of theaters across the region and the nation.
MDC stands as an opportunity for emerging playwrights to find the three vital things for each to impact the art of theater in the years to come: home, family, and support.