iMayhem: A Virtual Playwriting Festival

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Photo Credit to the CUC Theater Department

Written by Karina Kosmala

Concordia University Chicago’s (CUC) Department of Theater along with the student theater company, General Admission, is looking for submissions starting April 1 and ending on April 8, 2020, at 5 p.m. from CUC’s students, staff, faculty, and alumni for the iMayhem: A Virtual Playwriting Festival.

iMayhem: A Virtual Playwriting Festival requires playwrights to incorporate “ingredients” into their script, and be written for no more than two characters. The script can not be more than 10 pages, and must be submitted to the theater department: THEATER.DEPT@CUCHICAGO.EDU, as a PDF, and follow the specific formatting guidelines listed on the page: https://sites.google.com/view/imayhem.

The original MAYHEM festival was hosted by CUC’s Department of Theater and the student theater company, General Admission. MAYHEM was a 48-hour playwriting festival where the first day is dedicated to playwrights planning and writing a play within 24 hours. The following 24 hours were dedicated for students to memorize, rehearse and direct the play.

Whereas for the iMayhem Festival, once the submission deadline ends, live virtual performances will take place. The performance times and dates will depend on the number of submissions.

Photo Credit to the CUC’s Department of Theater

iMayhem is an opportunity for CUC’s Department of Theater to continue to connect to its students after all of CUC’s classes moved online and several events canceled due to the pandemic, including five live performances held by the Department of Theater.

“The Department of Theater wanted to initiate a group activity to help heal our community…With a virtual playwriting festival, we are able to call on the entire CUC community. This festival is not just for the Department of Theater students, but all CUC students, faculty, staff and alumni. We want the CUC community to share their stories,” said Professor Stroud.

“We also took elements from Tony award-winning playwright Paula Vogel’s exercise Bake Off, which gives parameters and prompts, but in the end celebrates the practice of playwriting,” said Professor Stephanie Stroud, Artistic Director of The Collective, and Associate Professor the Department of Theater.

CUC’s Department of Theater along with other performance classes are looking to have virtual performances for the rest of the semester and having an “end of the year celebration” for the Department of Theater students.