Phase One:New Short Plays
The Latino Playwrights Initiative Phase One kicks off this week with a request for new short plays by Latino/a writers.

Phase One of the LPI is a process of identifying existing writers and reaching out to inspire new writing in the region. With this release, ASW and partners announce the rules for a new short play festival, modeled after the “Weekend Fling” that ASW has organized for its general membership for the past eight years. Three “ingredients” are listed below. Playwrights are invited to submit 10-20 minute plays that somehow include these ingredients. Deadline for submission is June 15.

A committee comprised of national and local artists and community members will review all submissions and select 8-10 plays. The plays will then be performed in a public reading festival at the State Theater September 8 and 9, 2006. The weekend will also include panel discussions, workshops, and mentorship of selected playwrights by nationally-recognized writers.

“One of this region’s greatest strengths is the Latino community,”says C. Denby Swanson, artistic director of Austin Script Works, “and yet there is an absolute dearth of new works for the theater by Latino writers on our stages. This initiative will work to change that.”

Phases Two and Three will focus on commissions, development, and, ultimately, production by regional theater companies, starting in 2007. “Our plan is to repeat the short play call bi-annually, so that we are continually looking for and connecting with new Latino writers. It’s not one isolated weekend; it’s a substantial, long-term program.”


  • Rolling pin
  • Edge (in any sense of the word, see below for definitions)
  • An overwhelming, holy and utterly empty pause. Devastatingly sad and deeply joyous, with no value or dramaturgical/structural meaning for the performer or the audience, true cessation in action, intent, movement and thought – a moment of pure living, of supra-rational awareness

These were provided by nationally and internationally renowned artists Caridad Svich, Elaine Romero, and Michael John Garces.


  • Writers must be Latino/a.
  • There is no age requirement for writers.
  • No plays for young audiences or musicals.
  • Plays must be under 25 minutes. We will not consider anything longer.
  • Plays need to include all three ingredients in some way of the writer’s choosing, according to the writer’s imagination. There is no additional requirement in terms of subject matter or theme.
  • Plays can be written in any language but the author must provide an English translation.
  • Scripts must be typed on 81/2 x 11 paper, using standard playwriting formatting,
  • A committee will read all submitted plays and select 8-10 for inclusion in a public reading of new work in September 8-10 at the State Theater in Austin, Texas. The decision of the committee is final.
  • Playwrights must be able to attend the reading event in September.
  • Please note that ASW cannot provide travel or housing for the Phase One event.
  • Plays are due by JUNE 15 (not a postmark date) and can be mailed to:
    Austin Script Works
    P.O. Box 9787
    Austin, TX 78766

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, The Marchbanks Family Foundation, and individual donors. For more information about Austin Script Works call 512-454-9727 or email:

The State Theatre Company is a professional regional theatre founded in 1982 as Live Oak Productions. In 1994 the Company moved into the old State movie theatre building in downtown Austin and changed its name to the State Theatre Company. Since its inception the State has maintained a commitment to the development of new work, hosting the annual Harvest Festival of New American Plays for more than 10 years and most recently commissioning writers. Playwrights served by the company include Annie Weisman, Sherry Kramer, Amparo Garcia, Carter Lewis, Larry L. King, John Walch, Jaston Williams, and Steven Tomlinson. The State Theatre attracts audiences throughout Central Texas to downtown Austin and is vital to the economic and cultural development of Austin.

Teatro Vivo is dedicated to producing quality bilingual theater accessible to all theater audiences and artists. Teatro Vivo reflects the heart and soul of the Latino reality by opening a unique window for all to share in this experience.

Definitions for “edge:”

  1. A thin, sharpened side, as of the blade of a cutting instrument.
  2. The degree of sharpness of a cutting blade.
  3. A penetrating, incisive quality: “His simplicity sets off the satire, and gives it a finer edge” (William Hazlitt). A slight but noticeable sharpness or harshness: His voice had an edge to it.
  4. Keenness, as of desire or enjoyment; zest: The brisk walk gave an edge to my appetite. The line of intersection of two surfaces: the edge of a brick; the table’s rounded edges.
  5. A rim or brink: the edge of a cliff.
  6. The point at which something is likely to begin: on the edge of war.
  7. The area or part away from the middle; an extremity: lifted the carpet’s edge. A dividing line; a border: a house on the edge of town. See Synonyms at border.
  8. A margin of superiority; an advantage: a slight edge over the opposition.
  9. A provocative or discomforting quality, as from audacity or innovativeness: “Over all, the show will have a grittier edge” (Constance C.R. White).