Call for Director Proposals for the 2021-2022 Season

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 productions to be considered for the remainder of our 54th season, from January – July 2022.

INTRODUCTION & SUMMARY
The Director’s Proposal Process – We are looking forward to producing plays in person in 2022 and are asking for proposals from directors for plays (licensable) with the following guidelines in mind:

  • Smaller cast size (5 or fewer)
  • Simple/minimalist set requirements
  • BIPOC-centered narratives
  • Absence of intermission (if possible)
  • Potential for adapting to virtual format, if needed

The submission process has two parts–
PART 1 — Send the following items by March 26:

  • Copy of the script you wish to direct
  • Resume of your relevant experience
  • Cover letter of introduction with short compelling argument for doing the show you propose
  • Three references
  • Answers to our “Questions for Directors” (see below).
    The PRC will consider these answers and contact references. We plan to let you know by April 14 whether we wish to schedule an interview with you.

PART 2 — Interviews (in person or virtually, TBD).
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 Play Reading Committee (PRC) Chair, Stephanie Dorius: playselection@ssstage.org

What’s next?
Based on your submission and interview, the PRC may choose to add your project to our season slate proposal, which will be reviewed by the Stage’s full Board of Directors. Final decisions or offers cannot be made until the Board gives its approval. We will try to keep directors informed of the status of their proposals.

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 however this year is, well, anything but typical. Currently, we are planning for a virtual production in the Fall and are working on plans for a Holiday Show. We are therefore looking to complete this unique season with 4 additional plays that we hope to be able to produce in person on our stage. These remaining productions will run for 3 or 4 weekends. Directors are not required to attend all performances.
  • A summer One-Act Festival typically occurs during the month of August and operates under the guidance of a separate committee.
  • We have a unique space all our own. Our theatre spaces are in the basement of the Woodmoor shopping center. We have our own rehearsal rooms, conference room, and shop/storage on site. While we generally require all activities related to our productions to occur on-site, a combination of virtual and in-person solutions will be acceptable while we are returning to in-person theater in our space.
  • Our stage offers black-box style intimacy and we will have new flexible seating on two sides. The playing area is set on point like a diamond. (If you think of it as a baseball diamond, the audience sits along the base lines that run to home base. The backstage area follows the lines from first base to second to third base.)
  • Our backstage area is generous but our floor-to-ceiling height is limited by the architecture of the building. We don’t use microphones. We have adapted the schedule for the remainder of this season to reduce the need for multiple projects to access the stage simultaneously.
  • 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 MARCH 26

  • Submit a copy of the script you wish to direct.
  • 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 is the Stage the right fit for this project?
  • 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: playselection@ssstage.org

PART TWO:
Interviews will be held by invitation only. The PRC hopes to let all applicants know by April 14 whether we wish to schedule an interview. Interviews will be held either via Zoom or in person at Silver Spring Stage with members of the PRC. 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:
Playwright(s):

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. The Play Reading Committee (PRC) WILL read the full 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 would face producing this play in our space taking into account the potential need for physical distancing?
How would it adapt to a virtual format if the shift from in-person to virtual was required?
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.

What is the make-up of the cast (age, gender, race, other actor/character categories)? If you are planning to cast differently than character breakdown in the script, please make a special mention of this and be ready to show that/how your decision is supported by the playwright. (For plays that are in the public domain, this not an issue but we would still be interested to know, for example, if your vision to direct A Midsummer Night’s Dream casts the role of Oberon with a female-presenting actor and why.)

What period or style will you use in production, and why does it work? If your concept involves shifting or blending the time or location given in the script, be ready to show that your decision is supported by the playwright (Again, for plays that are in the public domain, this not an issue but we are still interested in the reasoning behind your vision.)

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 January and July 2022? 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 for the season slate, would you be interested in our contacting you about directing something else? The committee often discovers “orphan” scripts that we want to include in the season but which don’t come to us with a director attached. The Board typically runs a separate “director search” for these titles. (The PRC considers many factors in trying to select a balanced season. Your willingness to be considered for an “orphan” play will have no effect on how the PRC approaches this director proposal.)

THANK YOU FOR ADDRESSING THESE QUESTIONS!

Submit References and the completed Questions to playselection@ssstage.org by MARCH 26.