Clay & Water 2021

Applications for our
Third Annual Playwrights’ (virtual) Retreat

Application Window:  September 20, 2020 – October 31, 2020

Retreat Dates:  Feb 5 – Feb 21, 2021*

All on Zoom!

Like many other theatres, we are feeling the effects of COVID-19. In order to keep our writers, our actors, and our audience safe, we are moving Clay & Water 2021, our Third Annual Playwrights’ Retreat online. This year, the virtual retreat will provide playwrights with the opportunity to work with a dramaturg at no cost to the writers.

* Note: You do not have to be available all day, every day during that time period. See Requirements and Guidelines below for more information about the schedule.


For our 3rd foray into new play development, selected playwrights can participate from their own homes. The Retreat will be slightly longer to enable writers to continue to work at their survival jobs, if necessary, while still providing the developmental readings and plenty of opportunities to interact with each other.

And…drum roll, please—all participants will get two meetings with a dramaturg as they work on their scripts and two Zoom readings of their play (one private, one public).

The dramaturg’s role in the context of this retreat is to provide the playwright with critical feedback, notes, and suggestions on the script. They are here to assist you in shaping your play into the next stage of development, and they can be a set of fresh eyes throughout the process. The dramaturg can also assist with research pertaining to the play’s themes, time period, and support material, if applicable. In addition, the dramaturg is someone who can act as an audience member and really get the feel for the show as a spectator, providing key insight to the play’s strength’s and weaknesses.

No travel required.

The entire Retreat will take place on Zoom.

Each playwright will get 2 one-on-one meetings with a dramaturg and 2 developmental readings (one private, one public) of a single work-in-progress.

We will provide local actors for readings.

The first reading will include you, actors, your dramaturg, and Clamour staff.

The second reading will be open to the public at no charge. It will be fully understood to be an unrehearsed, cold reading for development and NOT performance.

There will be a moderated audience feedback session after your public reading. (Don’t worry! Our audiences are supportive.)

We do ask you to be available for two informal meet-and-greet Q&A sessions with local students to answer questions about the craft and business of playwriting. These will be held during the school day within the two week span of the Retreat, so you must be able to take an hour or so out of your daily schedule twice during the Retreat.

There will be several informal group check-ins throughout the Retreat providing opportunities to get to know your fellow writers and dramaturgs, share experiences and tips, and socialize with each other.


Please read and follow these guidelines and application material carefully.

In order to apply, you must:

  • Have a completed draft
    – Draft of a full-length, unproduced non-musical play (60-120 pages) in a standard play script format that requires 2 to 4 actors to perform. (Plays that have had previous developmental readings are acceptable.)
    – No monologues, please.
    – The submitted script should have a character breakdown page immediately following the title page.
    –You may have more than 4 characters as long as all characters can be played by a maximum of 4 actors.
    – We understand that, in revising, you may discover a need for an additional character, and we can be somewhat flexible for the final reading, but we urge you not to hope to circumvent this actor cap by cutting an army out of the submitted draft with a view to adding them later.  We want to provide a stipend to each of our actors. Please help us make that a realistic goal.
  • Be willing and able to work with a dramaturg
    – If you do not think your draft is able to be improved and/or are not willing to seriously consider rewrites, this is not the Retreat for you.
  • Be able to spend significant time during this 17 day period (evenings/weekends are fine) working on your script on your own.
  • Be available for these activities:
    Opening Night & First Weekend (Friday – Sunday)
    – Friday, the first evening of the Retreat – Welcome meeting on Zoom
    – Saturday or Sunday – a one-on-one Zoom meeting with your dramaturg
    Week 1 (Monday – Sunday)
    – Monday evening – group check-in
    – Tuesday – Sunday – a private reading of your play (you, actors, dramaturg, and Clamour staff) at some point during this time to be followed by another one-on-one meeting with your dramaturg
    – Also, at a time TBD this week and next – approximately 1 hour at a time during a normal school day twice to attend a Zoom Q&A session with our local students. (Please note: We have to schedule these Q&A sessions in consultation with the teachers. We will try to have one this week and one the following week, but the final dates are TBD, and we hope you can be flexible as we figure that out.)
    – Friday evening – group cocktail hour
    – Sunday afternoon – group check-in
    Week 2 (Monday – Sunday)
    – Tuesday evening – group check-in
    – Wednesday evening – group cocktail hour
    – Thursday – Sunday – Public readings (1 Thursday evening, 1 Friday evening, 2 Saturday, 1 Sunday)
    – Sunday evening – Wrap-Up group meeting

Your application should consist of 2 things:

  1. An email introducing yourself both personally and professionally. Please include:
    – Full contact information (name, address, phone number)
    – Title of the play you are submitting
    – Brief synopsis of the play
    – Brief description of what you think is the next step in your revisions
  2. Your 60-120 page script in standard play format in a 12-point font as an attached PDF. Please name your file: LastName, FirstName – Title.pdf. (We can rename it if we have to, but it would be helpful if you’d save us that step. This naming convention allows us to quickly locate your material.)

The application window is from

9:00 am Eastern time September 20, 2020 to midnight Eastern time October 31, 2020.

Applications received before or after those dates and times will not be considered.

Questions may be sent at any time.

Send your material to:  Elaine at

There is no fee to submit or to participate.

If you applied to a previous retreat and were not accepted at that time, by all means, please apply again.  We’re looking for the right combination of people, so many factors go into selection. You should never feel that not being chosen in any given year is a reflection on your writing.

If you were accepted and attended a previous retreat, as much as we would love to see you again, we’d like to keep meeting new people.  We will probably not be able to invite you back again at this time.

Please do not apply if you cannot arrange to attend the sessions outlined.  The private readings are for individual writers and do not require the full group attendance.  We do ask all playwrights to make every effort to attend the public readings of their colleagues.

We are hoping to provide a meal subsidy for the Welcome session and, perhaps, some snacks for the cocktail hours, but we cannot promise that, yet.

Clamour Theatre Company is committed to diversity of race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual preference, and experience.


And thank you to the restaurants and many other contributors to our “No Starving Artists” Fund who are helping to feed our guests while they are here!

  • Janet Peterson, dōTERRA Essential Oils
  • Connell CPR Training
  • Annie Grogan
  • The Stokes Family, supporters of Clay County Literacy Coalition
  • Anonymous Finally Friday donor
  • Hair Pros Salon
  • Something Special
  • Two Chic's Eclectic Mix
  • The Guitar Station
  • The Treasure Box
  • Gail Mugler
  • Visual FX
  • Chaney's Home Improvement
  • The Sheik Sandwiches (GCS)
  • Walgreen's
  • Lynne Vincent to Wear


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