Archive for July 17, 2010

“So you think you can WRITE” (Part II) and KELT competition

The following was sent to me by an American friend of mine, Jessica Lewis, who lives in Almaty.  She is the director of KELT (Kazakhstan English Language Theater) and has some amazing good things happening with the energy that is there among the Kazakh young people.  They just put on a production of “Grease” this spring and it was a huge success.  I wish I could have just dropped down from Astana to take in that production.  They had done a GREAT job last fall of “The Grinch that Stole Christmas.” Amazing talent in the expat community along with the Kazakh actors.  Yes, good things are in store for KELT and I do hope they migrate north to Astana to have a permanent theater company here at our new university.

For now with a continuation of my challenge of “So you think you can write” I am putting out the guidelines for a competition that KELT is putting on for one act plays. $800 will go to the Grand Prize winner along with many other prizes for other winners. Please read the following and consider throwing your hat into the ring.  If you have further questions, please go to their website at and get more information.

Kazakhstan English Language Theater Presents

The 2011 KELT National Playwriting Competition


Sponsored by HSBC Bank

We are looking for scripts that explore the fundamental changes in Kazakhstani mentality,

social structure, and way of life, since the formation of the Republic of Kazakhstan.


1. To empower the voices in Kazakhstan of those who lived through and experienced the after-effects of Soviet times.

2. To celebrate and critique the generational differences of those who lived under Soviet rule and those who never knew Soviet lifestyle.

3. To promote and increase international awareness of the Kazakhstani culture from the perspective of Kazakhstani nationals.


1. Plays submitted must be the original work of the playwright and must have never been fully produced previously.

2. Multiple submissions from one applicant will be accepted.

3. Kazakhstani and non-Kazakhstani citizens are eligible; submissions will not be accepted by anyone under the age of eighteen (unless special permission is granted by the KELT Playwriting Competition Committee).

4. Musicals are NOT eligible.


1. Four winners will be chosen. The Grand Prize winner will receive an award of $800.00, First, Second, and Third Place will each receive $300.00.

2. The four winners’ scripts will be performed in Almaty in  April for the 2011 KELT One-Act Festival as well as performed as a part of the 2011 KELT U.S. Summer Tour.


1. Submission deadline is October 31st, 2010.  Winners will be announced in December 2010.

2. If you would like to receive feedback on your script prior to the submission deadline, scripts must be emailed no later than September 1st.

o      Several script re-writes are the main ingredient to writing a good play. Receiving feedback from the KELT Playwriting Committee will have no bearing on whether or not your script is chosen, but it will serve as guidance for your script revisions.

3. The judges’ decisions are final and no communication or correspondence will be entered into regarding the selection or judging of the winning plays. Ten finalists will be notified.

Submission Guidelines


1. Content should be influenced by, but not limited to the interpretation of the competition title and description listed above.

2. Scripts must be performed in a time no less than 20 minutes and no more than 40 minutes.

3. Plays should be written with a Western and International audience in mind. The plays will be performed in the United States where the average American knows little to nothing about the history of Kazakhstan.

4. Plays should be capable of being performed within a simplistic stage setting as the four winners will be performed subsequently on all performance days. Plays should contain simple scene changes and limited lighting, sound, special effects and prop requirements.

5. Script should not contain more than ten characters, unless they can doubled.


1. All scripts must be submitted in the original language AND English. It is the responsibility of the applicant to get the script translated from Russian or Kazakh before submission.

2. Submissions must be sent via e-mail in Microsoft Word to Anatoliy Ogay

3. A 12-point font of Times New Roman and one inch margins must be used.

4. The applicant’s name must only appear on the Entry Form and not anywhere in the document of the script itself. The scripts are judged anonymously.

5. The 2011 KELT National Playwriting Competition Entry Form must be submitted along with the script. (Either attach or copy and paste it into the body of the e-mail.)

6. Scripts should have a clear separation between different characters speaking. (See the example below.)

SORIN. Do you know, my boy, I like literary men. I once

passionately desired two things: to marry, and to become an

author. I have succeeded in neither. It must be pleasant to be

even an insignificant author.

TREPLIEFF. [Listening] I hear footsteps! [He embraces his uncle]

I cannot live without her; even the sound of her footsteps is

music to me. I am madly happy. [He goes quickly to meet NINA, who

comes in at that moment] My enchantress! My girl of dreams!


The panel of judges will assess each script independently and anonymously, taking into consideration the criteria set out below.

1. Criteria

o      PLOT (Structure)

Creativity of plot development , originality of plot idea


Raises challenging issues and questions relevant to Kazakhstani culture today

o      CHARACTERIZATION (Development of characters)

Empathy with characters

o      DIALOGUE (Economy of language)

Relevance to plot, relevance to characters, dialogue flow

o      PLAY OVERALL (Audience appeal)

*Any further inquiry or questions may be addressed to Anatoliy Ogay and sent to

**For additional information about Kazakhstan English Language Theater, please visit

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