unseason artists

After more than a year of being dark, the First Pres Theater is back and nearly ready to open its doors once again to produce some amazing stage productions. We’re looking for 4 artists to help us kick-start our season the right way by creating relevant and eye catching title artwork. Earn 200 bucks if you’re one of the selected artists!

Here’s the scoop!

  • Submit samples (jpg files) of your work to Carrie Winebrenner at cwinebrenner@firstpresfortwayne.org by midnight on June 13th;
  • We will inform selected artists by June 18th;
  • Sketch / or mock-up design deadline is June 28th;
  • Completed artwork formatted for posters (11 x 17 – including showtimes and dates) and social media (1:1, 2:1, 2:3) deadline is July 12th.

Here’s the showdown! (Please indicate a 1st and 2nd show pick if you have a preference)

“God’s Favorite” by Neil Simon

Synopsis: Successful businessman Joe Benjamin has admittedly had a wonderful life. He has a successful business selling boxes while living with his family in their beautiful Long Island mansion. Joe, being a devout religious man, attributes all of his success and happiness to the big “G”: God. But when an eccentric messenger from God visits Joe all hell breaks loose! Joe, God’s favorite servant, is being put to the test; he must either renounce his faith in God or suffer severe consequences. The jokes and tests of faith fly fast and furious as Neil Simon spins a contemporary morality tale, while masterfully avoiding the easy slide into sacrilege like no other in this hilarious comedy.

Key theme: Theodicy…bad things happening to good people, not unlike those of us trying to survive a pandemic, wondering “why me?”

“The Wolves” by Sarah DeLappe

Synopsis: In this contemporary, slice-of-life, Pulitzer-Prize finalist play, The Wolves follows the 9 teenage girls–members of an indoor soccer team–as they warm up, engage in banter and one-upmanship, and fight battles big and small with each other and themselves. As the teammates warm up in sync, a symphony of overlapping dialogue spills out their concerns, including menstruation (pads or tampons?), is Coach hung over?, eating disorders, sexual pressure, the new girl, and the Khmer Rouge (what it is, how to pronounce it, and do they need to know about it–“We don’t do genocides ’til senior year.”) By the season’s and the play’s end, amidst the wins and losses, rivalries and tragedies, they are warriors tested and ready–they are The Wolves.

Key theme: Real life, real concerns of young women.

“Bad Seed” by Maxwell Anderson

Synopsis: Eight-year-old Rhoda Penmark appears to be what every little girl brought up in a loving home should be. Outwardly, she is charming, polite and intelligent beyond her years. To most adults, she’s every parent’s dream: obedient, well-groomed, and compliant. She reads books, does her homework, and practices her piano scales, all without being asked by her parents. However, most children keep their distance from her, sensing there is something not quite right about her.

The Bad Seed “thriller” storyline is a dark one about evil and its possible genesis as embodied in a pre-teen girl. Are evil or empathy something “caused” by nature or nurture (as perhaps as Freud might ask back in his hey-days)?

Key themes: The play takes some major swipes at the dominance of an affluent white culture in America. It also brings front-and-center issues of bullying long before it was a catchphrase.

“Sylvia” by A.R. Gurney

Synopsis: Greg and Kate have moved to the city after twenty-two years of child rearing in the suburbs. Greg’s career as a financial trader is winding down, while Kate’s career, as public school English teacher is beginning to offer her more opportunities. Greg brings home a stray dog he found in the park – or that found him – bearing only the name “Sylvia” on her nametag. A street-smart Labradoodle, Sylvia becomes a major bone of contention between husband and wife.

Sylvia offers Greg an escape from the frustrations of his job and the unknown of middle age. To Kate, she becomes a rival for affection. And Sylvia thinks Kate just doesn’t understand the relationship between man and dog!

Thus a delicious and dizzy romantic triangle between Greg, Kate and a pooch called Sylvia ensues, who, as Kate puts it, eats a serious hole in their relationship.

Key themes: A.R. Gurney’s Sylvia is a smart, silly, sophisticated, and occasionally salty comedy about relationships, nature, and growing older…not that any of us know about that…

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