Power Lines Play Festival

While the mainstage theatrical auditions may be over, student performers still have the opportunity to get involved with the theatre on campus through Power Lines: A New Play Festival with Hard Hats is calling for playwrights, directors, and actors to put on two to three short plays for the second semester.

According to Festival Director, Scott Horstein, “POWER LINES is our big new play festival in Theatre Arts & Dance, a place where we develop and mount new student-written plays just like in a professional setting.  Last time we had plays about garbage dumpsters, killer viruses, weird nuclear bomb maniacs. It was all over the place and totally fun.”

This will be the second Power Lines play festival, which originally premiered in May 2017, with three student written, directed, designed, and performed short plays. Power Lines is a departure from the annual Super Mega Hot Play Festival, which features stage readings of student written plays. The first Power Lines was comprised of three productions written by Ellen Skoniecki, Victoria Saitz, and James Rich. According to the Sonoma State Theatre Arts & Dance Department website, “the 2nd Power Lines New Play Festival will feature two to three short plays selected for ‘bootstrap’ production. Don’t miss this new generation of plays; written, directed, designed and performed by SSU students.”

In order for a play to be considered for Power Lines, the playwright must be enrolled for the entire 2018-2019 school year. Plays of all genres, lengths, and production size will be considered for the festival, but the Theatre Arts & Dance audition website advises towards shorter-form plays, of about ten to twenty minutes. Playwrights must be able to enroll in the three unit THAR 302 course, and be available for the Power Lines retreat on Saturday, Nov. 17.  Playwrights will be given guidance and the opportunity to continue working on and improving their scripts up until opening night. Up to two play submissions per playwright are open to any Sonoma State student, regardless of grade or major, can be submitted directly to Horstein’s email horstein@sonoma.edu. Play submissions opened on Monday, Aug. 27 and will be open through Friday, Sept. 21. Selected scripts will be announced on Monday, Oct. 8.

Applications for directors will open on Monday, Oct. 8 and will be accepted until Friday, Oct. 19 to Horstein’s email. According to Horstein and the Theatre Arts & Dance website, any enrolled student, regardless of grade, major, or previous directing experience, will be considered for a directing position. “It’s a great opportunity for people who want to direct.  Last year two of our three directors had never directed a play before and they hit it out of the ballpark.” Interested directors are encouraged to read the selected scripts, and come prepared for the interview to discuss their possible staging ideas. Interviews will be conducted by Horstein from Oct. 22 through Oct. 26, with the selected directors being announced on Monday, Nov. 5.

Auditions for Power Lines will occur during the first week of second semester. Auditions are open to all Sonoma State students and actors may be cast in multiple plays, but students cast in the spring production of Sweeney Todd may have a decreased change of receiving a major role for the festival. All participants, including directors, actors, playwrights, stage managers, and designers, must be enrolled in the THAR 302 course, but stage managers and designers need not be enrolled in THAR 303 or THAR 480. Directors, actors, and playwrights must be available during all rehearsal times, technical rehearsals, and performances. According to the Theatre Arts & Dance audition website, each play will have a different rehearsal schedule and rehearse about two to five times per week.

Rehearsals will begin on Monday Jan. 28, 2019 and Power Lines: A New Play Festival with Hard Hats will run from April 4 - 13, 2019.