Famous For Fifteen Minutes
How It All Started
Famous for 15 Minutes was started by Tom Coash, Kelvin Hastings-Smith and Phillip Jones back in 2002. 15-minute scripts written by Bermuda residents, with no more than 4 characters, no children, limited set and props (no helicopters) are submitted to an off-shore reading committee. The committee changes annually and scripts are submitted anonymously. A final six are chosen by this reading committee for production at BMDS. Directors are assigned scripts, auditions held, and the final six plays are performed. A judge then selects the overall winner of each festival (again, with no knowledge of who wrote what script) and this winner is then awarded the Golden Inkwell trophy.
Since 2002, close to 300 new scripts have been submitted for consideration! 42 different playwrights making the final six and 238 new and varied characters have graced the BMDS stage - making us examine our own lives, making us laugh out loud or quietly shed a tear or two.
The net proceeds of Famous goes to the BMDS Charitable Trust which provides annual bursaries to Bermudian Performing Arts students in accredited institutions.
The Famous For Fifteen Minutes Playwriting Festival is a BMDS production
- The play must be no more than 15 minutes in length when performed.
- No more than four actors/characters.
- No children.
- No musicals.
- No helicopters!
- Basic box set design.
- Minimum set dressing and props. Stage Manager and Producer(s) have final decision on set pieces - size, appearance, number and design.
- The playwright must be a resident of Bermuda at the date of submission and final performance.
- A maximum of two scripts may be submitted. However, only one script will be eligible for inclusion in the final six, if selected. If two are included in the final six, the playwright will choose which one will be performed and judged.
- Jointly written scripts may be submitted. However, each script will receive only one complimentary seat, and any cash prizes, gifts etc. will be shared equally between playwrights. All contributors will be acknowledged in publicity.
- Scripts shall be submitted in double-line spacing.
- If scripts are submitted in electronic form, no hard copy submission is necessary. Scripts should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Scripts will not be returned once submitted.
- Playwrights may submit scripts previously submitted, however rewrites are recommended.
- Plays must be original and never previously performed.
- The originally submitted script will be the script judged by the celebrity judge and not the final performance script.
- A submission deadline will be set approximately 6-8 weeks prior to the performance date for the Festival.
- Submissions received after this date will not be accepted for consideration for the current Festival. The playwright will have to resubmit in subsequent years if he/she wishes it to be considered.
- The scripts that have been received in accordance with 1. in this section will be considered by an independent and anonymous panel of judges on an anonymous basis (i.e. the script will have no identifying marks of the playwright when sent to the judges).
- The decision of the judges is final.
- No correspondence or enquiry in relation to the judges' decision will be entertained or entered into.
- The six winning scripts will be performed by BMDS at Daylesford Theatre during the current annual Famous for Fifteen Minutes Playwriting Festival.
- The six winning playwrights shall be notified of the judges' decision as soon as possible. Playwrights should not make contact with BMDS, the producer(s) or any person connected with the Festival prior to the decision being published.
- On a date to be announced a list of the successful playwrights will be published on the BMDS website and on the notice board at Daylesford.
- The winning scripts will be circulated to the six appointed directors who shall read the scripts and give each a score of 1-6 (with 1 being the highest score) as to their preference to direct.
- No playwright may influence any of the directors to direct their play.
- In the event of a tie the producer(s) and any committee which the producer(s) may form for this purpose will decide the allocation of plays to directors.
- The playwright and director shall meet and discuss the script as soon as it has been allocated. Such discussions will be collaborative with a view to casting, setting and technical requirements.
- The playwright shall attend auditions and be on hand to assist the director in casting the play.
- The playwright may be asked to change the gender or ages of characters in their play to conform with those who have auditioned.
- The playwright shall be available to the director during rehearsals and shall deliver any re-writes to the director and producer(s) on a timely basis and in any event not less than 2 weeks prior to opening night.
- Any discussion concerning the direction of the play shall be on a confidential basis with the director and producer(s). Under no circumstances is the playwright to direct or give 'notes' to the actors.
- The playwright will make him/herself available at all times for media interviews, photographs, BMDS marketing and promotions. If the playwright is approached for interview other than through the production team, such approach must be referred to the producer(s)/publicity officer.
- The playwright must (unless exceptional circumstances prevail) attend the final night performance.
- A theatre professional will be in attendance for the Festival and shall make the award of the 'Golden Inkwell' trophy to the playwright who in his/her opinion is the overall winner.
- The award will be made on the writing and NOT on the acting or production of the individual play.
- In addition to the 'Golden Inkwell' the overall winner shall receive a monetary prize.
- The winner shall have the award on 'loan' for a period of up to three months after which it shall be returned to the producer(s) for engraving. The trophy will then be on display at Daylesford and awarded in subsequent years.
- The play must be no more than 15 minutes in length when performed.
- Calls for those members of BMDS who wish to apply to direct a play in this Festival will be made well in advance of the script deadline.
- The producer(s)/drama committee shall appoint directors from the pool of applicants or will make their own selection as appropriate.
- Directors will be provided with a copy of the six winning scripts to read from which each director will give each script a mark of between 1-6 (1 being the highest) by way of preference for the script they would like to direct.
- The director will forward the marks to the producer(s) who will then assess the scores of all the directors and allocate the scripts to the directors as appropriate.
- Having been allocated the script, the director will meet with the playwright to discuss casting, staging, setting and other technical issues.
- The director will attend the auditions and with the assistance of the playwright cast the play.
- The director will rehearse the play to performance standard ready for the Dress Rehearsal and opening night performance.
- The playwright will be available to the director during rehearsals.
- The director shall receive the playwright's rewrites (if any) not less than two weeks prior to opening night.
- Rehearsal space will be allocated to each play. Given space constraints at Daylesford this may mean that rehearsal space has to be used in rotation each night. Every effort will be made to have each play rehearse on the Daylesford stage prior to the Dress rehearsal.
- A director is free to find alternative rehearsal space. BMDS will not be responsible for any additional costs of alternative space.
- The director will collaborate with the production team and take such steps as are necessary to bring the play on for performance.
- The director shall be available to attend the final night performance.
- In the event of any problems experienced by the director during the preparations for the performance, the producer(s) should be consulted. The producer(s) will liaise as appropriate with the Drama Committee if the problem is not capable of resolution.
- The playwright, director and producer(s) shall receive a free ticket for the opening night performance.
- Playwrights will receive one free ticket for the final night - Gala Night - and an option to purchase one additional ticket which will have been allocated to the playwright. If a play has more than one writer, only one complimentary ticket will be available but additional seats can be allocated for purchase.
- Two tickets for the final night - Gala Night - will be allocated to each of the directors, producer(s) and trustees of the BMDS Charitable Trust. These tickets must be purchased.
- In the event that the playwright, director or producer does not take up their allocation of tickets, they are to notify the Box Office manager/Producer by a date specified at beginning of the production process, in order that the allocation can be released to the general public.