Bucks County Playhouse producers Alexander Fraser, Robyn Goodman, and Josh Fiedler have announced a new partnership with producer, director Kiran Merchant to create The South Asian Artistic Initiative (SAAI) — a multi-disciplinary artistic program dedicated to promoting, showcasing, and building an awareness of the impact of arts and artists of South Asian heritage.
Designed to provide a platform for the exploration of South Asian Artists working in the performing, visual and literary arts as well as highlighting their talent, the SAAI continues a long tradition of supporting new artists at the Playhouse that began with the theater’s inception by a small group of artists in 1939.
“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.
“This multi-faceted 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.”
The SAAI will officially launch in 2022 with its first South Asian Playwrights Festival. From now until 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. Festival dates will be announced shortly. Award-winning playwright Rajiv Joseph (“Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo”), Christian Parker (former associate artistic director of The Atlantic Theater Company), Merchant and Playhouse producers Goodman, Fraser and Fiedler will select the finalists.
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. Complete information and the full submission form is available at buckscountyplayhouse.org/SAAI.
Questions about the program may be emailed to SAAIfestival@buckscountyplayhouse.org
The South Asian Playwrights Festival is only the first of many artistic activities planned via the new initiative. Over the next few years, the SAAI will include a variety of events, opportunities for conversation and productions including film festivals showcasing seminal works by and featuring South Asian artists; panels and discussions featuring prominent members of film, theater, and television; as well as readings and festivals of plays and other literary works by South Asian playwrights.