CALLING ALL FEMALE SINGER SONGWRITERS – HELP GIVE ‘BEA’ A VOICE!

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ARC is pleased to announce an open call for submissions to their GIVE BEA A VOICE! song-writing competition. The successful composition will play a feature role in their upcoming North American Premiere of Bea by UK playwright Mick Gordon.

Bea will debut at the Factory Theatre Studio on May 8, 2013 and run for 21 performances. The play centres on a young woman suffering a chronic, debilitating condition which has confined to her to bed for eight years. Struggling to express herself and her wishes to her mother and hercaregiver, her joyful spirit shines out through moments of fantasy and imagination.

“Music is at the heart of the dramatic journey of this play. We are looking for the right original song to give a voice to our heroine and offer new emotional insight for our audience,” said Aleksandar Lukac, director of ARC’s production of Bea. “There is so much talent throughout the GTA and I look forward to seeing what our musicians come up with.”

“Give Bea a Voice!” Contest Details
The contest provides songwriters to have an original composition featured as part of a professional theatre production in Toronto. Through the contest, the Actors Repertory Company hopes to highlight new musical talent and connect the independent theatre and music sectors. Songwriters, bands and music groups of all ages, experiences and genres are invited to participate.

Step 1: Read the contest details, and the play description below.
Step 2: Compose your masterpiece.
Step 3: Upload a recording of your original composition to YouTube (video or just audio is great) and submit the link, along with your contact info (name, email and phone number) by April 12, 2013.

Send submissions to: givebeaavoice@arcstage.com

All entries should:
• feature female vocals and express a woman’s point of view
• be comprised of wholly original material that is in the copyright domain of the composer
• serve the dramatic context of the play
• be in duration between 2 minutes and 10 minutes

On April 15, 2013, at 10:00 AM, a shortlist of finalist songs will be announced, and the videos will be uploaded to ARC’s Facebook site. It is then up to our audience to help us select the winner. The entry with the most “Likes” will be featured in ARC’s production of Bea.

The contest closes at 11:59 PM on April 21, 2013. Those submitting the winning entry will be contacted shortly thereafter.

The Winning entrants will receive:
• Full professional SOCAN payments and credit for the use of the song.
• An invitation to perform a set as part of the Opening Night Reception at The Factory Theatre on May 8, 2013.

All Shortlist Entries will receive an invitation to attend the Opening Night performance of Bea, on May 8, 2013.

For any further questions regarding the contest, please feel free to email the organizers at: givebeaavoice@arcstage.com

Thank you and Good Luck!

Contest Timeline
Friday, April 12th, 8:00 PM – Deadline for submissions
Saturday, April 13th – The shortlist is decided on. Bands contacted.
Monday, April 15th, 10:00 AM – Voting opens online.
Monday, April 21th 11:59 PM – Voting closes. Winner announced!
Wednesday, May 8th – Opening Night Gala of BEA.

Play Description
Bea was first produced by the Soho Theatre in the UK and was written by Mick Gordon – one of the most prominent contemporary theatre voices in Great Britain. Bea (Beatrice) is a young woman with a chronic, debilitating condition that has confined her to bed for eight years. She needs constant care: someone else has to feed her, to wash her, to dress her. Her mother – a prickly, protective barrister – hires campy and verbally incontinent Ray as her daughter’s new caretaker. In this verbose new friend, Bea is able to find someone with whom she can communicate, in whom she can confide, and who is able to help her as she makes her plans for her final exit. While Bea can barely move, she lives a vivid life through her imagination. Her inner-self dances and sings, and yet Bea is aware of the hopelessness of her condition and makes the decision to end her life on her own terms. But she needs help.

Even though this heartbreaking decision is at the core of the play, the piece itself is upbeat and hopeful – reflecting Bea’s true character. It is a play about life and living, the power of spirit and the need for compassion.

The song is meant to be placed in the final scene of the play. Bea’s mother has reluctantly accepted her daughter’s request to help her leave this world. They are sitting together and running through the short list of Bea’s accomplishments over the past 8 years – number of earrings she had made, baths she took, twitches her body made and endless days filled with excruciating pain. Eight years lost or not? Small victories are remembered– hair and nails done, daily picks of dresses, six days of dancing and one clumsy attempt at tipsy sex. Hardly enough for someone of Bea’s exuberance. The music should accompany the administration of morphine and subsequent “liberation” of Bea – accompanied by two screams – that of happiness from Bea and that of ultimate horror from her mother. This is the end of the show and the music should definitely bring the audience down to the harsh reality of Bea’s death.

Mick Gordon has aptly described the primary focus of the work as ‘empathy’ and the play examines how we understand and experience the pain of others. Bea is a powerful, mature work that addresses the tragedy of a life-loving woman and culminates in a final act that is powerful, frightening, brave and a beautiful cathartic experience.

If you would like to review a script sample, please email your request to: givebeaavoice@arcstage.com

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