Boom Artists, Boomerang Support, donations, First Flight, First Flight New Play Festival, fundraising, How you can help, Indie Theatre Community, New Plays, Rock and Roles

The Boomerang Community: Gabby Sherba

As part of our campaign to support new play development in 2017, we’ve asked members of Boomerang’s artistic family to write about our company and what makes us unique for them. We hope that you will recognize our distinctive contribution to New York City theatre with a financial gift this holiday season. We’re challenging donors to commit to a recurring donation of $10 or $25 per month for the entirety of 2017.

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But don’t take our word for it…

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Upon arriving in New York in 2009, I found myself sifting through scam artists and egomaniacs as I began my search for collaborators in theater and film. Suddenly, an abundance of bands and musical artists presented themselves with cooperative spirits of passion and oneness and very quickly soaked up the majority of my creative time and energy. I thought I might have stepped outside of theater altogether. ‘Yeah,’ I thought, ‘I guess NYC thespians comprise a rather hideous species; industry is a murderer of all beautiful concepts, etc.’

One day I was connected to Boomerang Theatre Company for an audition. I was alerted that the role in question would involve partial nudity but, after a week-long (possibly internal) exclamation of, ‘OH GOOD, MORE BLEEPING BUFFOONS TRYING TO GET ME NAKED UNDER THE GUISE OF A THEATER PRODUCTION,’ I met Tim Errickson and discovered in him and his colleagues sincerity, talent, and dedication of a caliber I had not yet encountered in this city. Soon I was enjoying Boomerang’s new works and innovative classical re-tellings from both audience and performer perspectives, and feeling incredulously grateful to have found a nurturing creative home amongst tremendous talent, vision, and goodness. The First Flight readings I’ve had the joy of acting in have given me wonderful scene partners, challenging material that I find engaging and relevant, and invaluable connections to people I admire and am so fortunate to now call collaborators. The Rock-N-Roles 24-hour play festival tradition has done the same in addition to demanding a spontaneous deepening expansion of my memory and of my improvisational skills and general fearlessness as both actor and musician, which is something I could be spending my money on trying to achieve in a class. I hope to see this kind of environment continually supported and thriving for many years to come.

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Gabby Sherba in “Drunken Angel” by James Comtois in Boomerang’s ROCK-N-ROLES: Country Rock Bootleg

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Boom Artists, Boomerang Support, donations, First Flight, First Flight New Play Festival, fundraising, How you can help, Indie Theatre Community, New Plays

The Boomerang Community: Adam Kraar

As part of our campaign to support new play development in 2017, we’ve asked members of Boomerang’s artistic family to write about our company and what makes us unique for them. We hope that you will recognize our distinctive contribution to New York City theatre with a financial gift this holiday season. We’re challenging donors to commit to a recurring donation of $10 or $25 per month for the entirety of 2017. You can make your pledge here.

But don’t take our word for it…

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No doubt your radar is already jammed with a jillion appeals from theatres of all sizes.  So what makes Boomerang Theatre Company different from all the other companies seeking your support?

It seems to me that Boomerang Theatre does not “have an agenda.”  Oh, they have a mission – “producing… plays that add to the vibrancy of the national theatre canon.”  But, unlike so many other theatre companies, there’s a remarkable purity about their artistic choices and their support of artists.

My experience with Boomerang is as a playwright (three of my plays were developed in their First Flight New Play Festival) and audience member.

What struck me instantly about the New Play Festival is that Tim Errickson, the artistic director, makes it all about serving each particular play – and playwright.  Way too often in the world of new play development, the “agenda” for the process comes from the theatre’s preconceived aesthetic or their set ideas of how development time should be used.  Not so at Boomerang:  Tim (who’s also an accomplished playwright) understands that not all plays benefit from the same developmental trajectory – and he trusts that playwrights know a lot about what will advance their scripts.

For each of the plays I worked on, the Festival was truly a Springboard. Dream of a Deer at Dusk went on to become a finalist in the National Playwrights Conference, won an award from Theatre Squared, and has been offered a regional production next season.  In Loco Parentis was a finalist for the Trustus New Plays Festival, was selected for a week-long workshop at High Desert New Play Development and will be part of this season’s “America Rising” series at Bristol Riverside Theatre.

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Playwright Adam Kraar (far right) with the cast of his play DREAM OF A DEER AT DUSK in The First Flight New Play Festival

What’s Boomerang’s secret sauce?  I believe it includes two crucial ingredients.  First, a bold integrity about their artistic choices.  Boomerang’s season is never predictable, and always wonderfully eclectic.  Second, they provide artists with a genuinely safe space to explore new work and then share it with an audience.

Please consider giving this unique theatre company a donation!

You can make a tax deductible recurring donation here.

2017 Season, Boom Artists, First Flight, First Flight New Play Festival, Indie Theatre Community, New Plays, Opportunities

Deadline for the 2017 First Flight Festival approaches

Hey folks…Just a reminder that the deadline for submitting your work for the 2017 FIRST FLIGHT New Play Festival is Oct 15th at 11:59pm EST(!). We’ve already received a record number of submissions, lets keep it going.

You can find all the details on how to submit here.

And for an idea of the type of work we develop, please check out the lineups of past festivals here.

Thanks much!

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2017 Season, First Flight, First Flight New Play Festival, Indie Theatre Community, New Plays, Opportunities

Open Submission Season for 2017 First Flight New Play Festival

After more than a few delays, the Open Submission Season for the 2017 First Flight Festival will begin on Wednesday September 15th at 12:01 AM EST and close on Saturday October 15th at 11:59 PM EST.

We don’t really have many rules about submitting, and what ones we do have are there to make the process easier on both the playwright and our staff. Basically, we try to direct people away from submitting things that are a better fit elsewhere. For example, we’ve only produced an evening of One Act Plays for an extended run once in 18 years, so we don’t seek to develop them. Same goes with musicals and children’s plays.

So what do we respond to?

When we receive a new play submission (and again this year, we are only accepting submissions electronically, because trees), each 10 page sample is read and evaluated on the following questions:

  • Does the play speak to our modern cultural moment in some way?
  • Does the play use Language in an interesting way?
  • Does the script feel like a play rather than a movie or TV show?
  • Is there anything crazy that could make producing or developing the play difficult (i.e. requires onstage Magician, live animals, a cast of 90 year olds or all children, etc)? (This isn’t a deal breaker; we like wild things sometimes)
  • Would you like to see this show?

So that’s it. Every submission is read by at least one person on the Literary Team (Go Team Literary!) , with the above 5 questions answered for each one. From there, we generally select 25-30 plays as Finalists and ask playwrights to submit the full script (rather than just the sample). A different member of Team Literary takes a look at the full script, using the same 5 questions. From there, we just keep passing the plays around and gathering feedback using this 5 question criteria. It ain’t scientific, but it’s what we’ve got.

Thanks for taking a look at this, and send us your awesome plays!

To see our complete submission Guidelines, click here. To see a recent history of plays we’ve developed in First Flight, click here

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2016 Season, Boom Artists, First Flight, First Flight New Play Festival, Indie Theatre Community, New Plays

Play Submissions Guidelines is a hot topic right now

Hello all! As many people know, Boomerang’s regular open submission window for The First Flight New Play Festival is August 1st-September 1st. This year we are updating our submission guidelines, and since we are still working on those, the open window will be August 15th-September 15th, 2016.

We’ve been getting a lot of requests for our guidelines lately, and we are looking forward to posting the 2016 criteria within the next two weeks. Most things probably will not change. But we’ll review them all to ensure they’re up to date.

The dates and location for the next First Flight New Play Festival have not been finalized yet.

Thanks to all for your patience with this!

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2016 Season, 2017 Season, 20th Anniversary Season, Boom Artists, Boomerang Support, First Flight, First Flight New Play Festival, How you can help, Indie Theatre Community, New Plays, Planning, Rep Season, Rock and Roles, Shakespeare

New and improved us!

Hello all…We’re very excited to see Spring recently (although the recent snows and rains make it feel a little undecided still), and with that I wanted to reach out and talk about Boomerang’s 2016 and 2017 Season programming, which will be different from years past.

First, a little context: We’ve been programming the same way nearly since our inception in 1999. We produce Shakespeare plays outdoors, a rotating rep indoors, and a new play development festival. These three programs have been terrific for us, allowing us to work with tremendous artists and introducing us to so many people. But as we approach our 20th Anniversary season in 2018, we’re thinking about new ways to produce work, and new ways to serve both artists and audiences.

This refection couples along with the fact that a number of plays or projects we’ve developed have not reached any audiences yet. Internally, we talk about this “back log” all the time, plays that are SO good, can you believe no one has produced this yet, or projects that need the last bit of time and effort before debuting for the world. We often let these projects go if they didn’t fit into one of our three programs.

But no longer.

Our 2016 and 2017 season will be spent doing three things:

  1. Taking on these projects that inspire us creatively, getting them onstage rather than withering on the page. If they fit in as an outdoor show or a rep show, great. If not, we’re doing them anyway.
  2. We’re going to explore how technology can be used to extend the audience for the shows we’re producing. Does a show close with us and then move to become an indie film? Does it get adapted to webisodes? We want each project to have those opportunities, both to share the work with more people and also to support artists’ careers and exposure.
  3. We’re going to solve the question of space going forward. We have been itinerant since the closing of CenterStageNY, and whether we build a space or partner with an existing one, we’re going to find a home that we can support and that can support us.

Ok, but what does this all mean?

Our first project in this 2016/2017/2018 initiative will be LOVELESS TEXAS, a terrific new musical based on Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost. Boomerang Associate Artistic Director Cailin Heffernan and composer Henry Aronson have been working with us on this project for nearly a decade, and we are delighted to support this show to its premiere. We’ll be doing a workshop of new material in May, and looking for a full production in late 2016 or early 2017.

All of our efforts will go into LOVELESS, and as a result we will not be producing a Shakespeare play this summer. We’ll be back in 2017.

Following LOVELESS, we have a short list of plays we are going to produce in 2017/2018. They include THE RECKLESS SEASON by Lauren Ferebee, my own play WARM ROSES, and Eric Overmyer’s THE HELIOTROPE BOUQUET BY SCOTT JOPLIN AND LOUIS CHAUVIN. And there are more as well. We are also going to resume efforts to bring Jamie Pachino’s WAVING GOODBYE to our company. We’ve been very close before on that one, and it’s a labor of love for me. With any luck, it’ll be the signature production of our 20th anniversary season in our new artistic home.

In addition to all of this, we will still continue to present the FIRST FLIGHT New Play Festival and our incredible ROCK-N-ROLES events. We love our community and want everyone to join us in creating new work and new experiences.

If you feel like you want to make a donation to support these efforts you can do that here. And you can visit our website here to keep up on all these developments.

That’s it for now, sorry for the long post. We love you all and appreciate all the affection you’ve shown our little company for 18 years.

Thanks!

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2016 Season, Boom Artists, First Flight, First Flight New Play Festival, Indie Theatre Community, New Plays

Photos from FIRST FLIGHT

We had a great week working on new plays during FIRST FLIGHT. Thank you to all the people to contributed to the further development of these scripts, including actors, directors and our audiences.

Here’s a few snap shots of the action…

THE SNOWMAKER by Aleks Merilo

 

DISCREET GLOBAL ASSETS by Lauren Ferebee

 

THE MARBLE MUSE by Diane Baia Hale

 

INCOMPLEAT WORKS by Dennis Agle Jr.

 

BLANQUITA by Zack Calhoon