Play Reading Committee

Our Play Reading Committee (PRC), elected by the Membership, has the responsibility of selecting the shows that are then voted upon by the Membership. 

Play Reading Committee (PRC) members for 2019-2020 are:

Jon Nuquist
Kristin Hughes* 
Alicia Jeanne O'Dwyer
Phyllis Uloth 
 Ben Delatizky
Kate Gluck
* Chairperson
2020-2021 Final Four Shows

COMEDIES

 

One Slight Hitch

Written by Lewis Black

3m, 4w

It's Courtney's wedding day, and her mom, Delia, is making sure that everything is perfect. The groom is perfect, the dress is perfect, and the decorations (assuming they arrive) will be perfect. Then, like in any good farce the doorbell rings. And all hell breaks loose. So much for perfect.

 

 

 

Round and Round the Garden

by Alan Ayckbourn

3m, 3w

Three siblings spend a disastrous weekend in the country with their spouses and significant others. Sarah's desperate attempts to have a nice, civilized week end culminate, not surprisingly, in disaster. Ruth, Norman's wife, is summoned but Norman still contrives to cause havoc involving, finally, all three women. Matters are not helped by such events as the slow thinking Tom mistaking Ruth's intentions during a conversation they have together. Eventually the horrific week end draws to a close. The four visitors depart, but even at the last moment Norman manages, deliberately or not, to wreck all plans by driving his car into Reg's. Back they all troop, now facing having to stay. Norman finds himself spurned by all three women and is left protesting with injured innocence that he only meant to make everyone happy. Round and Round the Garden is part of The Norman Conquests trilogy.

 


Mystery

 

Night Watch

by Lucille Fletcher

5m, 4w

Unable to sleep, Elaine Wheeler paces the living room of her Manhattan townhouse, troubled by unsettling memories and vague fears. Her husband tries to comfort her, but when he steps away for a moment Elaine screams as she sees (or believes she sees) the body of a dead man in the window across the way. The police are called, but find nothing except an empty chair. Elaine's terror grows as shortly thereafter she sees still another body—this time a woman's—but by now the police are skeptical and pay no heed to her frantic pleas. Her husband, claiming that Elaine may be on the verge of a breakdown, calls in a lady psychiatrist, who agrees with his suggestion that Elaine should commit herself to a sanitarium for treatment. From this point on, the plot moves quickly and grippingly as those involved—Elaine's old friend and house guest Blanche; the inquisitive and rather sinister man who lives next door; and the nosy German maid Helga—all contribute to the deepening suspense and mystery of the play as it draws towards its riveting and chilling climax.

 

 

 

Musical

 

BatBoy the Musical

story and book by Keythe Farley and Brian Flemming, music and lyrics by Laurence O'Keefe

2m, 2w, 6+ (flexible casting)

Based on a story in The Weekly World News, BAT BOY: THE MUSICAL is a musical comedy/horror show about a half boy/half bat creature who is discovered in a cave near Hope Falls, West Virginia. For lack of a better solution, the local sheriff brings Bat Boy to the home of the town veterinarian, Dr. Parker, where he is eventually accepted as a member of the family and taught to act like a "normal" boy by the veterinarian's wife, Meredith, and teenage daughter, Shelley. Bat Boy is happy with his new life, but when he naively tries to fit in with the narrow-minded people of Hope Falls, they turn on him, prodded by the machinations of Dr. Parker, who secretly despises Bat Boy. Shelley and Bat Boy, who have fallen in love, run away together from the ignorant townfolk and have a blissful coupling in the woods, but their happiness is shattered when Meredith arrives and reveals a secret. Soon the entire town arrives and hears the shocking story of Bat Boy's unholy origin.

 


Season Subscriptions will be available starting in early May


 The Play Submission Period for the 2020-2021 Season Has Closed!

Burlington Players Play Selection Process
(Effective August 2015)

The Burlington Players have a period of time, (6 – 8 weeks) during which any member can submit a show for consideration. A member is anyone who has paid dues and worked with the Players in any capacity in the last year. A voting member is anyone who has paid dues and helped on the last 2 of 3 or 3 of 6 shows.  We also include any service to our youth organizations.(Help is defined as showing up for clean the theater night, ushering, etc. ANY service at all counts.)

Members are asked to adhere to the following guidelines:

Please submit only shows that you have read or seen, and send the following information to the Play Reading Committee (PRC) PRC@burlingtonplayers.com

  • Title and Author
  • Publishing House (who controls the performance rights)
  • Genre (i.e., comedy, drama, musical, thriller)
  • Cast size and breakdown (i.e. number of men, number of women)
A ballot with the full list of submitted shows is included in our September show’s playbill for audience voting. Audience members are asked to vote for what they would like to see as our next season and the member that gets closest is awarded a season subscription.  In the event that more than one audience ballot most closely matches the chosen season, one of those ballots will be chosen at random for the free season subscription. Audience members are encouraged to vote for only one musical due to resource constraints mounting more than one musical per season. The purpose of balloting the audience is to allow the subscribers and audience to have a voice in the play selection process and to give them a sense of participation in the organization.

Play Reading Committee (PRC)

The Play Reading Committee (PRC) is a comprised of 6 people, Five will be elected each year at the annual meeting. The remaining PRC member will be a current Board member selected by the Board, and will be the Board Liaison to the PRC as well as a fully serving PRC member. The full set of plays (typically between 30 and 50 shows) are submitted by the membership to the PRC.

Leadership

The PRC Chair or Co-Chairs are voted on by the committee at the earliest convenience and will be responsible for delegating or completing all tasks, including but not limited to collecting play submissions, balloting, tracking rankings, getting scripts, communicating with the Board, and leading the Marathon.

Scheduling

Before the beginning of the season, the Board will schedule the Cut to 30, Cut to 12, and Marathon Play Selection Process meetings. This will facilitate the PRC management of the play selection process.

Balloting

The PRC’s first task is assembling and preparing the submitted titles. These titles are submitted to the appointed PRC member for the collection and preparation of the play selection ballot which is inserted in the first regular season (usually September) show’s program. Then, after the first show closes, the PRC collects the ballots and counts the number of audience votes for each play. The top ten plays, by audience vote, are then noted.

Solicitation of Directors

At the same time that the ballot is being presented to the audience, an email with the same list of plays is sent by the PRC to the list of Certified Directors to solicit interest. Director interest will be included as part of the criteria for both the Cut-to-30 and Cut-to-12 tasks.

Cut to 30

Within 30 days of the closing of the first show of the season, the PRC will reduce the number of shows from the total number of original submissions including audience ballots, to 30. This Cut-to-30 MUST include the top 10 shows with the most audience votes; however, any show may be removed from the list in the event that rights cannot be secured, is not a full show, has overly challenging cast or technical requirements, or other unusual circumstances.

The Committee may choose the additional 20 titles using any criteria they see fit.

The Cut-to-30 is then approved by the membership at a general membership meeting, scheduled by the board as soon as possible, but no later than the first week of December. This meeting typically precedes the monthly Board of Directors meeting and the entire PRC along with the general membership, is encouraged to attend. Any audience top 10 show removed from the Cut-to-30 list should be specifically discussed at that meeting. The voting membership then approves the Cut-to-30 with a simple majority (50% plus one vote) approving.

Cut to 12

The next step is for the PRC to cut from 30 to 12. Every script on the cut to 30 must be read by at least 3 members of the committee.  Prior to reading, the PRC determines its voting procedure based on the established criteria. It can be by whatever objective means it sees fit, in any given season, as long as all shows are evaluated against the same criteria.  

Examples of criteria include (in no particular order):
  • Artistic Considerations
    • Quality of material
    • Play reader opinion
    • Director interest
    • Technical Challenges
    • Casting Challenges
    • Balance of type (drama, comedy, musical, mystery, etc)
    • Talent pool availability due to other recent productions in the area 
  • Business Considerations
    • Audience appeal
      • Length
      • Period (e.g., Shakespeare, classical, old)
      • Name recognition
      • Audience fatigue (too many other productions in the area recently) 
      • Is being produced in the area in the next season
      • Balance of type (drama, comedy, musical, mystery, etc)
    • Cost of production
      • Royalties
      • Stipends
      • Production costs
The Cut-to-12 is scheduled by the board and is then presented at a general membership meeting for approval, before the end of the third week of January. If a member (a general member or a PRC member) feels very strongly about a script that was submitted from the original list of submissions in that season, they may make a motion to reinstate it to this cut. A vote of the membership is then made; which requires at least 60% of the members at the meeting voting affirmative. If reinstated, the member making the motion is then responsible for presenting it at the Marathon. As many as two shows may be reinstated. A member may make a motion to reinstate more than 2 shows for that season; however; an affirmative vote of at least 60% of the voting members at the meeting is required to approve the change. The entire list of the Cut-to-12 is voted by the membership at the meeting, with a simple majority (50% plus one vote) approving.

The Marathon

The Marathon takes place in January or February on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. The PRC members each present 2 or 3 shows from the cut to 12 for consideration.  

They have 10 minutes to present a scene (using members from the community to read), play music, talk about the show, etc. They can present it in any way they like.  

There is then 5 minutes of discussion (technical challenges, nudity, language, casting challenges, controversial topics, etc.)

After all shows have been presented, the voting members vote for 8 shows by secret ballot. There is then a vote for 4 shows from the 8, again by secret ballot. In the event of a tie at this ballot, the 8-to-4 vote is made again. If the same tie exists after the second vote, then there is a run-off between the shows that tied to determine the winner. Once the votes have been tallied, there is a final yes/no vote by the membership on whether or not the season is accepted by the membership. In the event that the season is voted down, discussions are held and consecutive re-votes/discussions of all of the 8 shows are held until a final season (set of four shows) receives the majority vote. Voting members are urged to evaluate the season in its entirety (e.g. a ‘balanced season’) and financial / resource requirements (e.g. limit to one musical per season).

Once the season is voted in the PRC is discharged for that year.

Selection Process Changes

Changes to this process can be proposed by any voting member, discussed by the sitting PRC, and if approved by a super majority of the sitting PRC (60%) will then be forwarded to the next Annual Membership meeting for a vote by the entire membership. Changes are effective for the next play reading cycle after they are approved.