Screaming Weenie and Clean Sheets

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While the article title might suggest a punk band from the 70s, in reality Clean Sheets is the annual offering of original queer-themed plays by Canadian playwrights produced by local arts group, Screaming Weenie Productions. Now preparing for their second year, the call has gone out for submissions for their 2010 showcase.

The idea of Clean Sheets came to Screaming Weenie Managing Artistic Director, Seán Cummings and Associate Artistic Director, Chris Gatchalian back in 2006 while they were working together on production of Broken at the Firehall.  This was the second time the two had worked together as playwright (Gatchalian) and director (Cummings) and found the process so rewarding that according to Cummings they wanted to “do something about the relative paucity of queer play development activity in Canada”.

“We decided then and there to create a national event that would offer audiences sneak previews of exciting new queer-themed works-in-development, a theatregoing experience whose rewards are altogether different from seeing full  productions of finished work and that, above all else, would be a laboratory, or “flourishing stop,” for that most underpaid, tragic, yet time-honoured of theatre practitioners: the playwright”, explained Cumming.

Fast forward three years and the first of what is expected to be annual editions of Clean Sheets was held immediately following the Vancouver Pride celebrations in August of 2009.  Included in this inaugral run were four shows that Cummings and Gatchalian characterized as “not only the very best of the work submitted, but also diverse takes on the queer experience”.

James Fagan Tait, Shaira Holman and David C. Jones in workshop of A Good Death
James Fagan Tait, Shaira Holman and David C. Jones in the 2009 workshop of A Good Death.  Photo by Sakino Sepulveda

Now getting ready for its second year, applications for Clean Sheets 2010 are now being accepted through February 15, 2010.  Up to four will be selected from submitted scripts and will be workshopped and given a staged reading by professional directors and actors at the Queer Arts Festival in Vancouver taking place the week following the Vancouver Pride Celebrations in 2010 (August 3 to 8, 2010).  One of the plays could also potentially be featured as part of Queerly Canadian Studio Production in Vancouver in 2010/2011.

Clean Sheets 2010
Application deadline – 15 February 2010

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