Monday, July 04, 2005

University Blues

Transylvania University - a liberal arts college in Lexington Kentucky, ranked among the top liberal arts colleges in America

Jeff sent me this E-mail from Bob Jones University:


Apples of Gold
Original Drama Scripts
What to Submit

Only original plays will be considered including:
* Full-length plays
* One-act plays
* Reader's theatre
* Chamber theatre

Please do not submit short sketches (skits or monologues).
Derivative works will be considered only if the playwright can prove
that they have legal rights to publish the work.
* Derivative works may fall into one of two categories: scripts about
Christian heroes (missionaries, etc.) based on biographies or
autobiographies, and scripts compiled from various sources such as
literature, diaries, letters, and so on.
* Biographical material must include a complete and properly formatted
bibliography.

All plays should be suitable for high school age and adult actors.
Plays solely for children are not being solicited at this time.

How to Submit (hard copy and electronic formats accepted)

Send a typed or computer-generated submission following these guidelines:
* All Pages should be numbered.
* Avoid using more than one or two fonts in the entire document.
* The Title Page should include the following:
1. The title, centered
2. Author's name
3. Appropriate contact information (your name, mailing address, phone,
fax, email, etc.)
* Subsequent pages should include:
1. Dramatis Personae-characters should appear in an order that allows
relationships to be clarified. A brief description should follow each
character name.
2. The Time-followed by a brief description if necessary
3. The Place-followed by a brief description
4. The Acts-list each act separately (noting time and place) including numbered scenes
5. Additional notes (at the end of the play)
o Prop lists
o Stage diagrams
o Costume notes
o Bibliographical information

Send hard copy submissions to the following address:
Drama Scripts
Secondary Authors Department
Bob Jones University Press
Greenville, SC 29614

Include a self-addressed, stamped envelope with sufficient postage if
you wish your submission returned to you. Email submissions are also
accepted and may be sent to plarson@bju.edu. Play submissions are
accepted at any time. However, plays are reviewed only during the
months of December, May, June, and July. Please expect a six- to
eight-week response time. Please do not expect a lengthy response.
There are agencies that provide an evaluation of submitted works, but
we do not have the staff to offer that service. Please note that we
publish only a small percentage of the scripts that we receive each year.

Tips

The content must reflect a Christian worldview.
Submissions will be rejected if they include any of the following elements:
* Witchcraft/occult
* Needless violence
* Sexual innuendo or overtly sexual themes
* Scatological realism
* Profanity
* Characters who engage in unscriptural activities without a biblical consequence

Scripts will not be published with dialogue containing minced oaths
such as "gee, gosh, golly, darn, heck." All facts presented in
submitted scripts should be carefully researched. Provide appropriate
documentation of source material.
We do not solicit novels, short stories, devotional materials, or poetry.

Christian worldview defined

Every play contains a set of values; certain concepts are affirmed,
while others are condemned. Every work of literature expresses a
worldview. A seemingly innocuous play with no drinking, swearing, or
sexual innuendo may be unacceptable because it either fails to
recognize the existence of God or gives a false picture of God. Leonard
Bernstein's definition of art as "Cosmos in Chaos" is incorrect; only
God can give order to the chaotic world in which we live. Shakespearean
drama presumes an orderly (moral) universe, one in which life is given
value. Existential drama, in contrast, presents a meaningless, hostile
universe in which man can only despair. In an ordered universe the
consequences of evil are depicted and the rewards of righteousness are
at least assumed. In a chaotic world there is no such morality.

Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman is an example of a technically
well-written play that embodies an objectionable worldview. It is often
hailed as the greatest American drama of the twentieth century.
Conceivably, Christian actors and directors could learn from Miller's
techniques of characterization and plot construction. However, Miller
gives his audiences a hopeless world of shattered ideals and hostile,
meaningless circumstances. There is no God in this play. The audience
is presented a picture of fallen man hopelessly struggling towards
death. Christians know that this is not the whole story. There is hope.

Some modern dramas go beyond the embodiment of a worldview to an
explicit, programmatic didacticism. They are written to communicate an
objective message to the audience. In Henrik Ibsen's play A Doll's
House, the dominant character, Nora Helmer, is trapped by the
insensitivity of her husband, Torvald. Ibsen elicits our sympathy for
Nora and then, at the climax of the play, has her walk out on her
husband-a solution we would reject. Not only is the worldview of this
play objectionable to Christians, but the objective message is also
unacceptable.

BJU Press is seeking plays that can be used to educate and edify teens
and adults in churches and school groups. We want our materials to be
an educational resource but with a distinctly Christian philosophy of
education. For educational purposes our plays need not always present
an overtly Christian message; however, they must have an underlying
Christian worldview. We want to strengthen and promote biblical
Christianity whenever we can and never undermine it.

Our Acceptance Procedure

Your script submission will be reviewed by a script editor. Based on a
favorable response, the script editor will work with you on major or
minor revisions. Once an acceptable final script is achieved, a
contract will be offered for outright purchase of your script. We do
not collect or dispense royalties at this time.

Our Goal

We aim to produce high-quality plays for school and church groups,
which present a Christian worldview while providing the participants
with the opportunity to develop performance skills, to work together as
a team, to provoke critical thinking, and to glorify God. The Press
seeks full-length plays with original, well-rounded characters,
innovative, believable plots and an underlying worldview that is
compatible with the Christian philosophy as revealed in the Holy Bible.

It is the intent that scripts published by the BJU press should not
usurp the proper supremacy of the preaching of the Word in public
worship services. Drama may be used to supplement, but should never
replace, diminish, or compete with this God-ordained means of
proclaiming the Word.

1 comment:

Carlie said...

hmm. No Death of a Salesman? No Doll's House?
I'm guessing that Inherit the Wind and the Crucible are also not up their alley.....
or my all time fave An Inspector Calls.....
why would you bother writing that play? just perform a cheeseball miracle play about changelings or something!