Silver Spring Stage Call for Director Proposals
Fall slot 2021 

Silver Spring Stage, a long-standing community theatre located in the Woodmoor/Four Corners area of Silver Spring MD, is seeking proposals from directors for a production of Topdog/Underdog, by Suzan-Lori Parks in Fall 2021. We intend for this production to be recorded in our theater space and streamed for 10 performances from Sept. 24 – Oct. 10, 2021.

We are asking for proposals in particular from directors who are BIPOC, although others will also be considered.

PROPOSAL PROCESS

The submission process has two parts:
PART 1 — Send the following items by April 2, 2021:

  • Resume of your relevant experience
  • Cover letter of introduction with short compelling argument for your vision to direct Topdog/Underdog, by Suzan-Lori Parks
  • Three references
  • Answers to our “Questions for Directors” (see below).
    We will consider these answers and contact references and will let you know by April 14 whether we wish to schedule an interview with you.

PART 2 — Interviews (likely virtual).
These will be scheduled for Saturday, April 24 or a date near that to accommodate individual schedules, if necessary.

To submit, attach all files to an email and send it to Artistic Committee Chair, Maura Suilebhan: maura.suilebhan@ssstage.org

SOME THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • We are a true all-volunteer community theatre. Actors, designers, directors, producers, board members, carpenters, painters, graphic designers, and others donate their time, talent, and energy. With rare exception, we do not pay anyone involved in our productions. (We do have a modest production budget to help cover materials and supplies.)
  • A typical season includes 7 fully-produced shows PLUS 1 holiday show, plus a one-act festival in the summer.
  • This year we are hopeful to be able to produce a combination of virtual and in person plays, dependent on safety standards and following guidance from the CDC and the state of Maryland.
  • The Fall show will be virtual, with a final performance recorded and then “run” for 3 weekends.
  • All shows must hold open auditions – we don’t “pre-cast” roles. That said, directors are responsible for casting their own shows. If you know someone you want for a role, invite them to audition and cast them if you wish. We ask directors to keep an open mind.

SUBMITTING A DIRECTOR PROPOSAL
PART 1: DUE April 2, 2021

  • Submit a resume featuring your work as a theatrical director.
  • Submit a one-paragraph letter of introduction. Even if you’ve directed here before, some members of our committee may not know you yet, personally or professionally.
  • Submit one paragraph briefly explaining why YOU want to do THIS show in THIS theatre. What is it about this script that excites or inspires you? Why do you feel it is a good play to be produced at this theater?
  • Provide phone and email for at least THREE References. Ideally, these should be people who have worked with you as a director and can speak to your collaboration style, theatrical skill sets, reliability, and insight.
  • Carefully consider the following “Questions for Directors” (see below) and provide thorough answers.
  • Please make sure your name appears somewhere on each document. Attach all files and send by email to: maura.suilebhan@ssstage.org

PART TWO:
Interviews will be held by invitation only. Silver Spring Stage hopes to let all applicants know by April 14 whether we wish to schedule an interview. Interviews will be held likely be held via Zoom with members of the Director Selection Committee. We plan to hold interviews on April 24 or another nearby date if necessary, to accommodate scheduling conflicts.

QUESTIONS FOR DIRECTORS
Your Name:
Play Title: Topdog/Underdog
Playwright: Suzan-Lori Parks

The Script
What’s in this text? In 1-2 sentences, please identify what this play is “about” (theme or big idea, not plot summary).

The Plot
In 3-4 sentences, sum up the plot. All board members have read and approved this script, but we want to see how its themes connect with you and how you’d describe it. Think critically. Identify the main weakness(es) in the script.

Production challenges
What are the major production challenges the Stage will face producing this play in a virtual format?

How will you, as director, overcome or mitigate these potential issues in production?

Practical and Artistic Concerns
Who else might be joining you on this production, and in what capacity? We recognize you may not want to make promises to other artists too far in advance, but we ask directors to consider who else is interested in working with you on your play. Please identify any individuals likely to join your production team (designers, stage managers, carpenters, dialect coaches, choreographers, etc.). Strong commitments from collaborators are encouraged.

In which production areas will you need the most help recruiting talent? The Stage will pair directors with producers to help assemble final teams. This answer will help the Stage plan the most effective use of our resources.

Do you see a need for specialists such as blood effects artists, language/dialect coaches, intimacy choreographer, fight choreographer, etc.? If so, identify their contributions to your production. If you have someone in mind, please identify them.

Will you have special needs or demands of the cast and/or crew beyond those immediately apparent in the script?

Additional Thoughts
What, if any, commitments affect your availability between June – October, 2021? If you have known or likely conflicts that would limit the season slot in which your show could be placed, please let us know.

Anything else you’d like us to know about you or your proposed show, not covered elsewhere in this list or in your letter/bio/resume?

If your proposed project is not chosen, would you be interested in our contacting you about directing a play in the future?

THANK YOU FOR ADDRESSING THESE QUESTIONS!

Submit References and the completed Questions to maura.suilebhan@ssstage.org by April 2, 2021.