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Visit our CALENDAR to keep up-t0-date with meetings and full-length readings! 

Events and Submission Opportunities

for July 2022

Hello writers and other talented people! Here are some creative events that members of Merely Writers and Merely Players Presents have coming up in July and beyond:

  • Merely Writers will host a Zoom reading of two one-acts by Thomas Cherwin on Monday, July 25 at 7:30pm. More info will be provided as we get closer.

  • Merely Writers will host a Zoom reading of Judy Klass' play "Hallway House" on Monday, August 22 at 7:30pm. More info will be provided as we get closer.

Submission Opportunities:

  • Merely Writers is accepting short plays now for the In-Person reading series on Monday, July 11 at 7:30pm. This meeting will be LIVE IN-PERSON at the Doraville Civic Center. In order to cast these plays properly, we will need your 15-page (or less) samples and cast breakdown by Sunday, July 3. If you would like to participate, please email the script and cast breakdown to dguytonsubmissions@gmail.com with the subject "Merely Writers - Sunday Meeting". We will accept the first 6 plays. Any more than 6 will be moved to the following session.

    • Samples must be 15 minutes or less. Can be a stand-alone play or a sample from a larger play.

    • Please complete the cast breakdown by clicking this link and attaching this form to the email.

    • We need to send scripts to the actors in advance, so they can review them. Therefore, we will need the scripts to be sent with the cast breakdown.

  • Merely Writers is accepting short plays now for our Zoom reading series on Sunday, July 17 at 7pm. (There will not be an event on July 4th weekend). Since actors need time to print out and highlight the scripts, we will need to pre-cast. That means that we will need your 15-page (or less) samples and cast breakdown by Sunday, July 10. If you would like to participate, please email the script and cast breakdown to dguytonsubmissions@gmail.com with the subject "Merely Writers - Sunday Meeting". We will accept the first 6 plays. Any more than 6 will be moved to the following session.

  • Merely Writers is accepting full-length plays for our 4th Monday Full-Length Play Reading Series #4MFLPRS. If you have a full-length play you would like to hear read aloud, please email it to dguytonsubmissions@gmail.com.

  • OnStage Atlanta is seeking short plays, poems, songs and other performance pieces for their annual Halloween show "Things That Go Bump". We'd love to consider plays up to 15-minutes in length, magic shows, stand-up comedy, poetry, dance, live music, etc. Pretty much anything, as long as it is Halloween-related. If you have a play or performance idea, please submit it to dguytonsubmissions@gmail.com with the subject heading "Things That Go Bump 2022". Deadline: August 15, 2022.

  • Merely Players Presents is seeking Winter Holiday Plays for this December! Here are the guidelines:

    • Plays must be 15-45 minutes long. We are NOT seeking 10 minute plays at this time. The goal is to stage 4 one-act plays in approximately two hours. As such, the ideal length for plays is roughly 30 minutes each, but we will consider a longer 45 minute play if there is a shorter 15 minute play to balance it (and vice versa). 10 minute plays or shorter will not be considered. Playwrights and actors will be paid, and our goal is to keep it to 4 playwrights and 5 actors total, so that everyone gets a reasonable stipend.

    • We will only be hiring 5 actors maximum. Therefore, your script should require 1-5 actors. More than 5 characters is fine, as long as 5 actors can pull it off.

    • Plays should be on the theme of "Winter Holiday". Obviously, Christmas is the big one, and we will accept Christmas plays, but we are especially looking for non-Christmas plays as well. We want to see Channukah plays, Kwanzaa plays, Winter Solstice plays, New Years Eve plays, or just about anything on the theme of "Winter Holiday." Special consideration will go towards scripts that cover lesser known winter festivities, but Christmas plays will also be considered.

    • Deadline is July 31 at 11:59pm. (We would like to have all plays selected by mid-August so we can begin casting and marketing as early as possible).

    • Please submit your scripts to dguytonsubmissions@gmail.com with the Subject: "MPP Winter Holiday Play".

    • Merely Writers' members may submit as many scripts as they want. Non-members are limited to two submissions each.

Casting Opportunities:

Thanks! And we look forward to seeing you at some of our scheduled events!

Sincerely,
Daniel Guyton
Writing Development Coordinator
Merely Players Presents

From The Dramatist Magazine (May 2022 issue):

When acclaimed playwright and director Joanie McElroy was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013, she was struck by how fleeting life could be. When asked if she had any “bucket list” items yet to accomplish, she replied, “I want to start my own theatre company.” Over the next year, McElroy not only defeated cancer, but she also started Merely Players Presents (MPP), a nonprofit theatre company just north of Atlanta. When asked which was more difficult—starting her own theatre company or defeating cancer—McElroy was hard-pressed to decide.

In 2018, after several years of award-winning productions of big-name plays like Proof, A Raisin in the Sun, and more, McElroy (MPP founder and Producing Artistic Director) decided to produce more original works, especially by local authors. She clarifies, “I wanted to give an opportunity for people to grow as artists and to provide representation for communities that otherwise may not see themselves on stage or have the opportunity to create plays that reflect their personal experience.” That year, McElroy asked me to help her create Merely Writers, a new play development group. She explained to me, “So many playwrights are hungry to create new work. This should be a great incubation opportunity for new writers. A comfortable, welcoming, non-judgmental atmosphere.”

Together, [McElroy and Daniel Guyton] established a biweekly writers’ group wherein local playwrights present their work to the group and share feedback. In addition, we conduct workshops and other playwright-centric activities throughout the year. Since 2018, MPP has transported several new works from rough draft all the way into full production, including Covid’s Metamorphosis (a modern retelling of the Ovid myth, with a pandemic twist), Un Lugar Para Suenos (a collection of plays about the Cuban American immigration experience), American Bhishma (about the Indian American immigration experience), and more.

The COVID-19 pandemic took a massive hit on MPP, but we stayed afloat by conducting readings and productions virtually. Since then, we’ve attracted several new members from around the world; writers from Boston, New York, India, and more now join our virtual readings and performances. MPP will return to in-person events on April 30, which may pose a challenge for our distant members, but we plan to maintain a virtual element. This transition back to live theatre is exciting and terrifying, in equal measure, but, as McElroy says, “While this is certainly a challenge, it’s one I happily accept.”

For more information, please visit www.merelyplayerspresents.com.

Article by Daniel Guyton