Strange Sun’s goal is to create magical theater, but we know that magic can be elusive, and often takes time and care to manifest. The Greenhouse was created to give theater artists the resources they need to coax the magic from their work, and nurture and grow the seeds of their artistic vision.
Part of our mission for creating exciting new theater is to bring the finest theater artists together with dynamic audiences to focus upon our shared humanity, releasing us from the ordinary and igniting us with the power of possibility. “Possibility” is an exciting word, one that theater artists engage with every time a writer sits down to a blank page, a director picks up a script for the first time, or an actor walks into their first rehearsal. It is ever-present when the lights dim and an audience takes the journey of a new play.
Our aim is to engage with artists throughout this entire process. Each 2 year Greenhouse cycle begins has a focus we feel will inspire dialogue amongst artist, audience and community. The Greenhouse will be open to submissions yearly, and throughout the course of each theatrical season we will be working with plays in different cycles of the Greenhouse process.
THE TWO YEAR GREENHOUSE CYCLE
Our Greenhouse reading series ON BOOK is our chance to sow the seeds of new work. We will have a 3-month open submission process for scripts based upon our theme for that year. Once scripts have arrived they will be read and curated by our Artistic staff as well as Board Members and Founding Artists.
We will select 4 or 5 full-length scripts to go through the ON BOOK process. Each script will receive a professional reading. We will team each playwright with a director, actors, and other necessary production staff. Each play will get 6 hours of rehearsal (at least 2 full rehearsal readings) and a staged reading with an audience. Strange Sun will work in concert with the playwright to create a feedback form or talkback session for audience members to help facilitate growth of the piece.
After the public reading and the compilation of all feedback, Strange Sun Artistic Staff will set up a meeting with each playwright to discuss the work, questions, feedback on the process, etc.
AT THE TABLE:
At this point Strange Sun will select 1 or 2 of the plays from the reading series to move on to the next level of development: AT THE TABLE. This is our spring, a chance for the playwright to watch their work blossom with the collaboration of a directorial vision. This cycle occurs between 6 and 8 months after the initial on book process, depending on where the play is in its completion.
AT THE TABLE provides dramaturgical support for each playwright as well 20 hours of rehearsal time for a playwright and director to work with a full cast. We have found the AT THE TABLE process yields great results with a month long process consisting of 10 hours of rehearsal in one week, a two-week hiatus for playwright to process the work that has been done, and then another 10 hours of rehearsal. Throughout the cycle the director as well as the Artistic Staff at Strange Sun are available for dramaturgical support. This phase of the GREENHOUSE has no public performance element, unless the creative team feels it is necessary.
After AT THE TABLE there is another chance for a reflection and feedback with Strange Sun Artistic staff. At this point we set a meeting with writer and director in order to talk through the process as a whole, and create a vision for a possible future production. We will then pick one play from the Greenhouse to be fully produced ON THE STAGE.
ON THE STAGE:
This is our Mainstage Production, the point in the process that a play leaves the incubator of the Greenhouse in order to thrive under the light of the Strange Sun as an enduring and magical piece of theater.
Our Mainstage Productions are currently produced under an Actor’s Equity Showcase Agreement in a 75-99 seat theater. Strange Sun fully produces the play; the writer is not responsible for any production duties. Whenever possible, assuming good creative chemistry, we keep the entire artistic group together (playwright / director / actors) for the entire Greenhouse process. At this point we also hire a full creative team (Set Design / Costumes / Lights / Sound) as well as PR and marketing staff to publicize our productions.
Focus: Female Theater Artists
All submissions must be written by women, and the playwright must be amenable to a female director
The concern over the lack of opportunities for women in theater has grown to a very loud roar, and we are committed to addressing this issue. We believe it’s important not just for the Strange Sun Theater Company to explore work created by women, but we’d also like to give these artists the chance for their work to be seen and produced by the larger community of theater artists. As the goal of a Greenhouse is to nurture plants that will then thrive outside of it, The Strange Sun Greenhouse strives to give these new works, driven by women, a NYC production and NYC reviews, and thereby put them on the radar of theater companies all over the world. In this way our sphere of impact can become wider than our own artistic community, and even our own city.
Focus: Science and Art
Science and the Arts are intricately linked, as they both seek to answer the age-old questions of humanity. Many people see science as a debunker of myth, but in actuality science can be just as magical as imagination. What is more spectacular than the feats of Mother Nature, the beauty of the human body, or the alchemy of a lab? Strange Sun will seek plays that explore the interplay of science and art.