NOVEMBER 17-19, 2006

Austin Script Works, the regional advocate for playwright and new play development, and Dorkbot-Austin, a community of artists and inventors doing strange things with electricity, hereby issue an unprecedented challenge:

Dork This.

Starting Friday, November 17, at 6 PM, Austin Script Works members and area techno-artists will have 48 hours to write a 10 minute play or prototype a new dork creation. No matter who they are or what they make, they will somehow incorporate three “ingredients” that will be announced that day. On Sunday, November 19 at 5:30 PM, they will arrive at the Vortex Theater to show off their sizzling new projects.

Playwrights. Dorks. It’s a techno-theatrical, Franken-Gertrude Stein-ian, melding of the minds collaboration. And totally Austin.

“Every year, Austin Script Works offers a program called the Weekend Fling to member playwrights,” explains Artistic Director C. Denby Swanson. “They start on a Friday night and have 48 hours to write a 10 minute play in response to a list of three special ‘ingredients’, which are usually provided by guest artists from around the country. Last year, we wrote 5-minute radio plays, which we produced with live foley sound during FronteraFest 2006. This year, we decided that it would be fun to make the same program as local and new and fresh as possible. And we decided to partner with other folks who make stuff.”

David Nunez, one of the instigators behind Dorkbot-Austin, agrees that this event will drive amazing work, “Dorkbot is all about what happens when people choose to tear their stuff apart and put it back together in new and beautifully strange ways. We’re mad, renegade makers that sometimes have so many wildly divergent ideas that we struggle to get stuff done and out of our garage studios. Constraints, like deadlines or being forced to use a specific set of ingredients, create a focusing energy that fires up our engines of ingenuity. Creating alongside the playwrights during the Weekend Fling is exactly in that spirit of collaboration – we find those unique, untried combinations, add heat, and stand back as we plug in our creations. We want to be cheering as our robots and plays all come alive.”

Each short play and each dork invention has to somehow include the three “ingredients”, which will be announced on November 17 at a kickoff happy hour at Cafe Mundi. There are no other requirements for subject matter or theme – and playwrights and makers are encouraged to be as imaginative and expressive as possible, and to use the ingredients in unexpected ways. A show and tell will happen during the regular monthly Austin Script Works Salon, Sunday November 19 at the Vortex Theater, 5:30 PM. Playwrights should bring copies of their script; Dorks should bring prototypes of their interactive or kinetic art, machines, and robots.

In March 2007, Austin Script Works and Dorkbot-Austin will produce 8-10 of the short plays in a festival of new work called Out of Ink, which will also feature the inventions, potentially as set pieces or strange characters or installations. “We expect that these new plays and dork creations will be presented together in some thrilling and electrifying and Austin-tatious combination”, says Swanson.

Friday, November 17
6-8 PM
Cafe Mundi
1704 E 5th Street
ASW/Dorkbot Happy Hour
Ingredients Announced

Sunday, November 19
5:30 PM
Vortex Theater
2307 Manor Rd
ASW Salon
FREE Admission
Wine, beer, sodas and snacks available for purchase

The events are free and open to the general public. However, playwrights must be members of Austin Script Works to participate in this event by writing a new play. New members can join at www.scriptworks.org.

Makers need to register through Dorkbot at www.dorkbot.org/dorkbotaustin.

Austin Script Works is a playwright-driven organization that seeks to promote the craft of dramatic writing and protect the writer’s integrity by encouraging playwright initiative and harnessing collective potential. ASW is funded in part by the City of Austin through the Cultural Arts Division and by a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts, and individual donors. For more information about Austin Script Works call 512-454-9727 or email: info@scriptworks.org

dorkbot is a monthly meeting of artists (sound/image/movement/whatever), hackers, designers, engineers, students and other interested parties who are involved in the creation of electronic art (in the broadest sense of the term). Dorkbot was started in New York in 2000 by douglas irving repetto and has since spread to over 40 cities. The Austin chapter is one of the largest in the world. Events are held on the second Thursday of every month at various venues in Austin. For more information visit their website at http://dorkbot.org/dorkbotaustin or email: dorkbotaustin@dorkbot.org