Bucks County Playhouse producers Alexander Fraser, Robyn Goodman and Josh Fiedler announced a new partnership with producer and director Kiran Merchant to create The South Asian Artistic Initiative – a multi-disciplinary artistic program dedicated to promoting, showcasing and building an awareness of the impact of arts and artists of South Asian heritage.
“The South Asian artist community is growing and thriving globally, however, there are not enough platforms for these artists to showcase their talent,” said Merchant. “I am honored and excited to be collaborating on the SAAI effort with Bucks County Playhouse. This multifaceted program will not only enhance awareness of artists of South Asian heritage and their work in diverse disciplines from theater, film/TV, dance and music, literature and visual arts, but also allow artists to be able to collaborate and exchange ideas on a multi-cultural, multi-disciplinary level.”
“Over the years, we’ve seen a rise in opportunities for actors, but the same hasn’t been true for playwrights,” said Fiedler. “With the launch of this initiative, we can provide a platform for young writers and help develop work that will result in a more diverse, engaging community at the Playhouse and in the larger theater community.”
The SAAI will officially launch in 2022 with its first South Asian Playwrights Festival. Through Feb. 28, the Playhouse is accepting play submissions by South Asian writers. Finalists will receive a stipend, as well as mentorship from prominent members of the arts community. One of the plays will be selected for future development. The actual festival dates will be announced shortly.
“From the audience perspective, the festival has the ability to introduce diverse themes of subject matters into the Playhouse about this community while providing a valuable creative outlet for these artists,” said Merchant.
Interested writers should submit a cover letter, resume and/or an artist’s statement, along with their full script in PDF format, using the web form at buckscountyplayhouse.org/saai. If submitting a musical script, include demos in an mp3 format if available. Because of the volume of submissions, only work that is in line with The South Asian Artistic Initiative’s mission and artistic values will receive a response. Questions can be sent to SAAIfestival@buckscountyplayhouse.org.