Midwinter Madness Short Play Festival

Midwinter Madness Festival poster
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Summary Info Festival StoryFestival Events Not AvailableOther SourcesPractical Info

Country and Region United StatesNew York
Type of Festival Drama
Location of Festival New York, New York, USA
Festival Contact Information

John Chatterton, Executive Producer
Email: john.chatterton@gmail.com

Festival Description

Midwinter Madness is a festival of new one-act plays that takes place at the Roy Arias Studios in Times Square. The play subjects are open to any all subject matters, including musicals. Productions are minimal — rehearsal cubes, a table or two, some chairs and a few props. Following the festival there will be a juried award ceremony, with cash awards for the most popular plays. Join the Midwinter Madness in February!

Festival Dates February 10 - March 1, 2014

Festival Story:

John Chatterton started Midwinter Madness in 2011, in response to growing interest in the short-play format through such ongoing events as his own Short Play Lab and Short Subjects. “It was a pretty barebones festival,” said Chatterton. “Twenty-seven shows in one 50-seat theatre, no greenroom, no room for the piano backstage - but we got through it and it was a lot of fun for everyone. And people showed up to see the shows!” (This year’s Midwinter Madness plans to have 2 theatres plus a greenroom, for as many as 50 shows.)

John Chatterton created the MITF (Midtown International Theatre Festival) in 2000, a Midtown alternative to other theatre festivals, as a way to present the finest off-off Broadway talent in convenience, comfort, and safety. The MITF's artistic emphasis is on the script itself, and therefore the Festival focuses on minimal production values. If anything, the Midwinter Madness Short Play Festival, and Mr. Chatterton's other showcases for short plays, take the theme of minimalism even further. As he puts it, "The shorter the plays, the more plays we have in one space, so the less space we have for each one. We learn to share."


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Practical Info:

Submissions 2014:
  • I’m looking for new one-act plays for the Fourth Annual Midwinter Madness Short Play Festival, happening in February 2014 at Roy Arias Studios and Theatres in Times Square. People are already submitting scripts, which I hope is a harbinger of a massive increase in this season’s Festival (last year we had about 30 plays and musicals). Details are straightforward:
    • Dates for the Festival are Feb. 10 - Mar. 1, 2013.
    • We are looking to expand on last year’s Festival, with 2 theatres.
    • Plays should run 30-45 minutes or 45-60 minutes. Better short than long. The plays will be timed at tech and cannot go over.
    • Scripts should be submitted in standard playscript format. 12 pt Times Roman; character names in the middle on their own line; line spaces between speeches and stage directions; indented stage directions; 1” margins all around.
    • Any subject matter okay, including musicals.
    • The Festival will not combine shorter plays to make full programs. All plays must be off-book. There will be no staged readings. We have no interest in shows that require projections or other special effects. * Smoke and fire are prohibited.
    • Production requirements must be minimal: rehearsal cubes, a table or two, some chairs (all provided by the Festival), and your own props and costumes. There is some storage during your run only.
    • Tickets will be $14-17. There are no fees. The Festival takes the door.
    • Festival participants may see their own and other shows for free, seating permitting. Seating is reserved for producers, writers, and directors at their own shows. We honor press comps, by reservation. No comps may be transferred to anyone else. There are no other comps.
    • We prefer shows to be non-Equity. Equity showcases may be permitted under special circumstances.
    • The Festival will provide a press agent, venue manager, lighting designer, and box-office manager. You must provide your own board op. (The Festival has a list of available qualified technical staff from which you may draw. They are competent and reasonably priced.)
    • While the Festival provides the venue and staff, you must provide the production. Roy Arias Studios may offer discounts on rehearsal space, at its own discretion. The Festival will provide 10 hours of free rehearsal time, during “off-peak” hours, probably at Roy Arias Studios.
    • There will be a tech rehearsal running 2.5 times the running time of your show, during business hours Mon. thru Wed. All performances will take place from 6 pm to 11 pm weekdays or 11 am to 11 pm weekends.
    • Each show will receive at least 3 performances, probably all in the same week. Shows that sell the most tickets in advance may receive more performances.
    • The Festival will provide a program “wrapper”: you must provide a program specific to your show, and insert it into the wrapper for distribution to your patrons.
    • There will be a juried award ceremony after the Festival. Last year’s awards were combined with the Midtown International Theatre Festival Awards, held in Sept. 2013.
  • John Chatterton has presented a lot of Festivals, and has a special interest in one-act plays. They’re an easy, cheap, and fun way to see your work on its feet. To submit a script, send it as an attachment in .doc or .pdf format to john.chatterton@gmail.com. Any questions, don’t hesitate to shoot him an E-mail!


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