WHY THIS PROJECT
Theater is an important part of our culture from Greek comedies and tragedies through to the golden age of Shakespearean drama and the modern plays and musicals of Broadway and beyond. Until now, modern science fiction and fantasy stage plays have largely flown beneath the radar in comparison to published mainstream stage plays, and many of these plays have not been published or performed outside of the SF&F convention, fan, and theater communities. These plays are an important part of the science fiction and fantasy cannon as they represent the unique cross-section of writers who are producing work at a time when these genres are blooming.
The publication of Geek Theater will make these plays accessible to theater groups, schools, actors/actresses, critics, and readers who love discovering new science fiction and fantasy in all of its forms.
ABOUT GEEK THEATER
Geek Theater includes an assortment of stage plays, which range from full-length to monologues. Our goal is to showcase the exciting plays being written for the theater by well-known science fiction and fantasy authors and playwrights. The exact combination of play lengths will be determined as we develop the final selection of pieces for the anthology. However, we've already confirmed the bulk of the plays that will be included within the anthology.
OUR AUTHORS & PLAYWRIGHTS
The Table of Contents for Geek Theater is still being developed. However, are thrilled to already have a strong group of authors and playwrights who will be featured in the anthology. As the final pieces are added are confirmed, we'll share them with you first. In the meantime, here are Geek Theater's authors and playwrights in alphabetical order.
Jeanne Beckwith’s plays have been performed from coast to coast and in between. Her play, A War Story at the Rialto, was recently produced by the State Theatre of Turkey in Ankara and Istanbul. Another play Opportunity of a Lifetime was selected best SciFi Play by Red Tale Theatre and received a staged reading in NYC . It was presented as a radio play by the Thistle Dew Theater in Sacramento this past January. Selections from her play, Love Letters Made Easy, produced by Lost Nation Theatre, Montpelier VT, in 2010, were published in Smith and Kraus’s 2011 Best Scenes and Monologues for Women. She is a member of the Dramatist’s Guild and lives in Vermont with her husband, the writer, F. Brett Cox and teaches theatre and English at Norwich University.
Cecil Castellucci is the award winning author of books and graphic novels for young adults including Boy Proof, The Plain Janes, First Day on Earth, The Year of the Beasts, Tin Star and Odd Duck. Her short stories have been published in Strange Horizons, YARN, Tor.com, and various anthologies including, Teeth, After and Interfictions 2 and her librettos have been presented by ECM+. She is the YA editor of the Los Angeles Review of Books, Children’s Correspondence Coordinator for The Rumpus and a two time Macdowell Fellow.
F. Brett Cox's fiction, poetry, essays, and reviews have appeared in numerous publications. Forthcoming in 2014 are new stories in the anthologies Shadows and Tall Trees, War Stories, and Tales in Firelight and Shadow. His plays have been presented in staged readings at the Last Frontier Theater Conference in Alaska, and in performance at TenFest and the Burlington Fringe Festival in Vermont. With Andy Duncan, he co-edited the anthology Crossroads: Tales of the Southern Literary Fantastic (Tor, 2004), and he currently serves as Vice-President of the Board of Directors of the Shirley Jackson Award. A native of North Carolina, Brett is Associate Professor of English at Norwich University and lives in Vermont with his wife, playwright Jeanne Beckwith.
Andrea Hairston is the Artistic Director of Chrysalis Theatre and a Theatre professor at Smith College. Her plays have been produced at Yale Rep, Rites and Reason, the Kennedy Center, StageWest, and on Public Radio and Television. She has translated plays by Michael Ende and Kaca Celan from German to English. Ms. Hairston has received an NEA Grant to Playwrights, a Rockefeller/NEA Grant for New Works, and a Ford Foundation Grant. Since 1997, her plays produced by Chrysalis Theatre, Soul Repairs, Lonely Stardust, Hummingbird Flying Backward, and Dispatches have been sf plays. Archangels of Funk, a sci-fi theatre jam, garnered her a Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellowship in 2003. Also a novelist, Ms. Hairston is the author of Redwood and Wildfire, winner of the 2011 Tiptree and Carl Brandon Kindred Awards and Mindscape, shortlisted for the Phillip K Dick and Tiptree Awards, and winner of the Carl Brandon Parallax Award. Lonely Stardust—a collection of plays and essays is out in 2014.
James Patrick Kelly has won the Hugo, Nebula and Locus awards; his fiction has been translated into twenty-two languages. His audioplays have been produced by SciFi.com, Audible.com and Escape Pod. He has written ten minute, one act and full length plays for the theater with several productions Off-Off-Broadway as well as in Honolulu, HI, Nantucket, MA, Poughkeepsie, NY, and Portsmouth and Manchester, NH. He writes a column on the Internet for Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine and is on the faculty of the Stonecoast Creative Writing MFA Program at the University of Southern Maine.
John Kessel is the author of the novels Good News from Outer Space and Corrupting Dr. Nice and in collaboration with James Patrick Kelly, Freedom Beach. His short story collections are Meeting in Infinity, The Pure Product, The Baum Plan for Financial Independence and Other Stories and The Collected Kessel. His fiction has twice received the Nebula Award, in addition to the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award and the James Tiptree Jr. Award for fiction dealing with gender issues. His story “Buffalo” was voted best short story of 1992 by the readers of Locus magazine. In 2009 his story “Pride and Prometheus” received both the Nebula Award and the Shirley Jackson Award. Kessel’s play “Faustfeathers” won the Paul Green Playwright's Prize, and his story “A Clean Escape'” was adapted as an episode of the ABC TV series Masters of Science Fiction. He appeared in the independent feature film The Delicate Art of the Rifle, directed by Dante Harper. Kessel has taught American literature and fiction writing at North Carolina State University since 1982.
James Morrow has been writing fiction ever since, as a seven-year-old living in the Philadelphia suburbs, he dictated “The Story of the Dog Family” to his mother, who dutifully typed it up and bound the pages with yarn. This three-page, six-chapter fantasy resides in the author’s private archives. Upon reaching adulthood, Jim proceeded to write nine novels, the majority in satiric-theological mode, among them Only Begotten Daughter (World Fantasy Award), Towing Jehovah (World Fantasy Award), Blameless in Abaddon (New York Times Notable Book of the Year), The Last Witchfinder (called “provocative book-club bait” by critic Janet Maslin), and The Philosopher’s Apprentice (“an ingenious riff on Frankenstein” according to NPR). Jim’s stand-alone novellas include City of Truth (Nebula Award), Shambling Towards Hiroshima (Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award), and The Madonna and the Starship (forthcoming). The early months of 2015 will bring the author’s latest postmodern historical epic, Galápagos Regained (St. Martin’s Press).
August Schulenburg’s plays have been produced and developed by such groups as the Lark Play Development Center, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Chelsea Playhouse, Theater for the New City, Portland Stage Company, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, New Amerikan Theatre, MTWorks, Adaptive Arts TheatreLAB and Flux Theatre Ensemble, where he is the Artistic Director. He is a 2013-14 Lark Playwrights Workshop Fellow and a member of the Propulsion Lab for Mission to (dit)Mars. His work has also been published in the New York Theater Review, Stage and Screen, Indie Theater Now, Midway Journal, NoPassport Press and in two issues of Carrier Pigeon. He also writes for film and television with MozzleStead Productions.
Adam Szymkowicz’s plays have been produced throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe. He received a Playwright’s Diploma from The Juilliard School's Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program and an MFA from Columbia University where he was the Dean’s Fellow. Szymkowicz is a two-time Lecomte du Nouy Prize winner, the premiere Resident Playwright at The Chance Theater in Anaheim, CA and the first playwright to participate in Bloomington Playwrights Projects’ Square One Series. His plays are published by Dramatists Play Service, Samuel French, Playscripts, Original Works Publishing, Indie Theater Now and featured in New York Theatre Review ’07 and ’09, NYTE’s Cino Nights, and numerous Smith and Kraus books. He has written articles for Howlround, New York Theatre Magazine and The Brooklyn Rail and has interviewed over 600 playwrights on his blog.
WHO ARE WE
Jen Gunnels is the Theatre Editor/Drama Critic for the New York Review of Science Fiction and a contributing editor in performance for the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. She received her PhD in Theatre History and Criticism at the University of Texas at Austin and has contributed scholarly essays to several journals and books. She also started the Forum for Science Fiction in the Theatre on Facebook for artists and scholars in science fiction theatre to share ideas and build community.
Erin Underwood is a writer, editor and publisher. She is also the founder of Underwords Press, specializing in science fiction for young adults and other specialty science fiction projects. Her fiction, nonfiction, and interviews have appeared online and in print. Erin is the co-editor of Futuredaze2: Reprise in addition to co-authoring a quarterly column for The Bulletin, published by the Science Fiction Writers of America.
ABOUT UNDERWORDS PRESS
Underwords Press, established in 2012, is a small press whose mission is to publish and promote short science fiction for young adult readers as well as other specialty science fiction and fantasy projects. Futuredaze, our first anthology, has received strong praise from trade publications such as Booklist, ForeWords, Tangent Online, and Locus, as well as from authors such as Piers Anthony, C.J. Cherryh, and Kevin J. Anderson. The second edition of the series is due out in August 2014--Futuredaze 2: Reprise is a reprint anthology of young adult science fiction.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Backers are the key to Geek Theater's success. However, we also need help spreading the word about our project and would deeply appreciate your help sharing Geek Theater with your friends and family in order to help support science fiction and fantasy theater.
$3,500 Goal: Reaching our Kickstarter goal of $3,500 will enable us to cover the bulk of Geek Theater's production costs, including cover art, copyediting, typesetting, and some of the author payments.
$5,000: We can pay for all of our production and art costs and will cover the estimated author payments.
$7,000: By reaching our stretch goal of $7,000, Geek Theater will include even more plays and will allow us to pay our authors at a higher rate.
Risks and challenges
We believe in the importance of Geek Theater, and we are committed to publishing this anthology. However, the key to Geek Theater's success is hitting our initial goal to fund this project.
We also plan to make it available for purchase through the retail book market, including major online book sellers and neighborhood bookstores. We're taking a chance that the book market is ready for an anthology like Geek Theater since nothing else like it exists. That's why Kickstarter is crucial in helping to fund Geek Theater's production costs.
Geek Theater is a project that we are passionate about publishing, and we appreciate your help in making this anthology a reality.
~ Jen Gunnels & Erin Underwood
Each play will include performance rights information so that theater groups know who to contact in order to produce the play. Also, each playwright will manage his or her own royalties and none of those fees will be coming to Underwords Press because we wanted to make sure that our playwrights maintain full control of their plays and receive all of the royalties for performances.
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