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Human Rights New Works Festival2018-10-19T21:08:33+00:00
An Artists' Passion

Amid the backdrop of today’s hate-filled rhetoric and Birmingham’s fractured past, RMTC is working to spark world-changing conversations – one individual at a time. For through great art, we explore issues and emotions too difficult for mere words. And, this exploration opens us to consider the life of another – our fellow man.

LEARN MORE ABOUT RMTC

Festival Details

Think globally. Act Locally.

Each year, RMTC will host a two-day festival of powerful work that will inspire, engage, and transform audiences. With panel discussions, dramatic readings of new works, lectures from prominent advocates, and even a workshop-version of a curated piece, RMTC will lead our city in a human rights’ experience unlike any other.

From a national call for submissions, our committee will select four new works to be read at the festival.  Our hope is to continue our relationship with our writers long after the festival.

The backdrop of today’s hate-filled rhetoric and Birmingham’s fractured past, RMTC is working to spark world-changing conversations – one individual at a time. For through great art, we explore issues and emotions too difficult for mere words. And, this exploration opens us to consider the life of another – our fellow man.

VIEW FESTIVAL TIMELINE

How the festival will explore human rights.

STAGED READINGS

After a week of preparation, actors read aloud from scripts, incorporating minimal stage movement without costumes or sets. These presentations are typically followed by a talkback with the writers and director.

WORKSHOP

Actors perform the work, memorized or script-in-hand, with minimal set, costuming, and staging. This is often considered the first performance of a new work, giving the creative team a feel for the flow of the piece.

PRODUCTION

Performances featuring full production of set, costuming, props, and staging. These often feature a public presence, such as critical reviews, advertisements, or publicity releases.

TALK-BACKS

After certain performances, such as opening night, the audience joins in an informal discussion with the cast, creative team, designers, and/or directors of the production. This gives audience members a chance to ask questions, offer feedback, and learn more about the show.

PANEL DISCUSSIONS

A selected group of panelists, who share differing perspectives, join in a live or virtual discussion about a specific topic. These are usually conducted in a moderated format, featuring a question-answer session with the audience at the conclusion.

Celebration, Commemoration,
and Conversation.

2013 Production of “The MLK Project” by Priscilla Hancock Cooper and Cheryl L. Davis

Festival Timeline

March 21-23, 2019

TBA
 March 21, 2019
  • TBA
TBA
March 22, 2019
  • TBA
TBA
March 22, 2019
  • TBA
TBA
 March 23, 2019
  • TBA

Submissions

Be a part of the movement.

New Works Criteria for Submission:

Beginning March 19, 2018, Red Mountain Theatre Company will be accepting submissions for plays and musicals for the 2019 Human Rights New Works Festival. Submissions to the Festival.. Submissions to the Festival must be original full-length work that prominently features at least one Human Rights issue, theme, or topic (no more than 2.5 hours in length; one-acts must be no shorter than 90 minutes). Human Rights topics include, but are not limited to: censorship/free speech, women’s rights, racial discrimination/injustice, genocide/war crimes, children’s rights, religious discrimination, immigration/refugees, criminal justice system/incarceration, poverty, LGBTQ rights.
If the work is based on, or an adaptation of, a pre-existing work (novel, movie, etc.), any and all underlying rights must be obtained and proof must be provided. The author(s) must be entitled to grant performance rights to the work. Any submission that does not adhere to these guidelines may not be considered.
Playwrights, composers, lyricists, librettists, and agents will be asked to provide the following materials with their submissions:
  • Synopsis of the work (max 1 page) as a PDF file.
  • First 10 pages of the script/libretto (do not count title page, character description page, etc., as part of the 10 pages) as a PDF file.
  • For musicals, full demo recordings as individual, labeled .mp3 files in a Dropbox folder or Soundcloud playlist (must provide recordings of at least 6 songs from the show).
  • Bio and contact info for each creator of the work (playwright, composer, lyricist, bookwriter/librettist).
  • List of any attached artists, producers, or other parties.
  • For musicals, 1 sheet music sample of a song from the show as a PDF file.
  • Proof that any/ all underlying rights have been legally obtained for works based on, or adaptations of, a pre-existing work (novel, movie, etc.).
  • E-mail submission materials as attachments or Dropbox link to: festassociate@redmountaintheatre.org.
Please do not call Red Mountain Theatre Company as we are not staffed to handle such inquiries. Upon receiving your complete submissions package, you will be contacted regarding ongoing details and logistics of the selection process. Thank you for your interest in the Human Rights Festival of New Works.

Inspire, engage, and transform audiences.

2010 Production of “Barnstormer” by Cheryl L. Davis & Doug Cohen

Our Leadership

Keith Cromwell

Keith Cromwell

Executive Director

Red Mountain Theatre Company Executive Director Keith Cromwell has a 25-year directing and performing career that includes numerous awards and involvement with the Actors’ Equity Association, Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, American Guild of Variety Artists, and Screen Actors Guild.

A military brat, Keith was born in North Africa, graduated from James Madison University, and spent 25-years as a performer and director, on and off Broadway and around the world. He arrived in Birmingham more than a dozen years ago as a guest artist to direct a show for what was then known as Summerfest. He planned to stay a few months and head back to New York. But, six months later, he had fallen in love with the city, bought a house, and accepted the position of Executive Director. Since that time, under Keith’s leadership, the organization, whose name later changed to Red Mountain Theatre Company, grew its budget from half a million to more than 3 million, increased the full time staff  to 18, and literally put Birmingham on the artistic map. He is a longstanding member of Actors’ Equity Association, The Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, The American Guild of Variety Artists, and The Screen Actors Guild. Keith serves on the board of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre and within that organization sits on the New Works Selection Committee and is actively engaged in the National Fund for New Musicals.  In 2016, Keith was awarded membership in the Broadway League. He has participated on granting review panels for the National Endowment for the Arts and the Alabama State Council on the Arts. His industry connections and diligence in growing relationships with Broadway and national artists has not only opened doors of connection for Red Mountain Theatre students – who have gone on to successful careers in Broadway, film, and TV – but provided positive recognition for Birmingham across the nation and created incredible artistic experiences for our city. In 2014, Keith led the organization into position as a lead producer on Broadway’s The Bridges of Madison County.

Keith is a graduate of Leadership Birmingham, Leadership Alabama, served on The Cultural Arts Committee for Birmingham City Schools, Cultural Alliance of Greater Birmingham Steering Committee, Youth Leadership Forum, and the Arts Committee of Birmingham-Southern College’s Norton Board. Keith was the recipient of the National Conference for Community and Justice’s 2017 Brotherhood Award. Keith was named a Birmingham Business Journal’s CEO Awards finalist and voted one of “365 People You Should Know in Birmingham” (Birmingham Magazine).  Keith is dedicated to the renaissance of this great city and continuing to forge a place for the arts and cultural sector to be recognized as a valuable asset leading the city of Birmingham into its dynamic future.

 
Matt Schicker

Matt Schicker

FESTIVAL DIRECTOR

With more than two decades of experience in the theatre industry, Matt advances musicals and plays through strategic creative and business developmental steps as a self-title “Show Shepherd.”

Matt advances musicals and plays through strategic creative and business developmental steps. Selected current and past projects since 2002 include LMNOP – A New Muzical (TUTS Underground 2015, Goodspeed Musicals 2013, NYC Developmental Lab 2012; dir. Joe Calarco); Frida (Ogunquit Playhouse reading); Into the Wild and Joe Iconis’ Broadway Bounty Hunter (Rhinebeck Writers Retreat developmental readings); Tonight’s Star (an audience-interactive concert with cutting-edge mobile technology); The Spiritualist; Mother Jones In Heaven; Harriet (NYMF 2014 with an all-star cast featuring Lillias White); Unlock’d; Got To Be There (dir. Dan Knechtges); Liberty Smith; In a Heartbeat (featuring Tony winner Lena Hall); Pooch (dir. Gabriel Barre); and Trav’lin, among others. He was co-producer of the original musical Yank!, which had a hit run Off-Broadway in 2010 at The York Theatre Company (Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel, and Outer Critics Circle Award nominations), and received workshops co-produced with the Roundabout Theatre Company and The Old Globe Theatre/NAMCO in 2011 (dir. David Cromer). He was Executive Producer of the Yank! Original Off-Broadway Cast Album on PS Classics. Matt currently is New Works Director for Ogunquit Playhouse (Maine). As Producer for East of Doheny Productions, Matt previously collaborated with Goodspeed Musicals on the August 2010 production of the new musical Radio Girl (dir. Christopher Gattelli). Formerly Producing Artistic Director of Playhouse on the Green (CT); Membership Director of National Alliance for Musical Theatre (NAMT) 2005-2008; Marketing/Press Director for The Pearl Theatre Company Off-Broadway 2004-2005; Producer for The Gallery Players Theatre (Brooklyn) 2003-2008; Communications Officer at The Juilliard School 1999-2004. Board of Directors: New York Theatre Barn and the HAIR Tribes Foundation. Member, National Alliance for Musical Theatre (NAMT). www.shepherdingshows.com.

 
Matt Schicker

Kenita Miller

artistic adviser

We look forward to working with Kenita  in developing a festival that brings light to some of our greatest challenges.

Bway: The Color Purple (Celie), Xanadu (Erato/Kira understudy) Off B’way: Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin (Granny) Encores!, Bella: an American Tall Tale (Miss Cabbagestalk/Mama), Merrily We Roll Along (Encores!), Wild Party(Encores!), Langston In Harlem (Zora Neale Hurston-Drama Desk Nom./ Audelco Award), Working (Drama Desk Award), Avenue Q. Regional: Parade (Minnie McKnight, Angela/2014 Barrymore Award Outstanding Featured Actress), Once On This Island (Timoune/ Mama Euralie), Ragtime (Sarah) Film/TV: “Sesame Street,” “Hostages,” “Blacklist.” Follow me on Twitter! @miller_kenita

Red Mountain Theatre Company

We’re committed to building new works of theatre.

For 14 years under Keith Cromwell’s direction, RMTC has focused its efforts on giving a platform to such powerful, essential stories as those of Nelson Mandela and Fannie Lou Hamer. We are redoubling our efforts in our mission of human rights advocacy through the ancient art of theatre.

LEARN MORE ABOUT RMTC
#StageRights

Contact Us

Matt Schicker

Matt Schicker

FESTIVAL DIRECTOR

Email Matt

Our Sponsors

For more information on how you can be part of the festival, please contact:
Contact Lynne Hutton at developmentdir@redmountaintheatre.org

Readings Sponsor

Contact Lynne Hutton at developmentdir@redmountaintheatre.org

Sponsor of Artistic Advisor, Billy Porter

Contact Lynne Hutton at developmentdir@redmountaintheatre.org