“Bun in the Oven”: Monday, October 28th
Stories about pregnancy from the mother, father, or grandparent’s point of view, stories exploring not wanting a child, baby mama or baby daddy, high school pregnancy, unexpected pregnancy, abortion, or stories about baking or anything cooked in an oven (restaurant or bakery owners, bake sales, passion for baking, etc)
“When in Rome”: Monday, December 16th
Stories of adventures in Rome or Italy, times when one adapted to a culture different from one’s own, funny stories of crazy happenings in foreign countries or relatively unknown parts of our country or with extraordinary people, times one surprised oneself by acting completely out of character
“Silver Lining”: Monday, January 27th
Stories of dark moments/events in life that felt insurmountable at the time (divorce, illness, death, moving, losing a job, losing a friend, natural disaster) but produced unexpectedly positive results, means justifying the end type stories that have a positive spin/ending. Also, high stakes stories about anything with a literal silver lining (handcuffs, luxury goods, jewelry, etc).
“No Strings Attached”: Monday, February 17th
Stories of all types of love connections, especially those without a stated commitment. Sexy, flirty, “friends with benefits” stories perhaps involving internet dating. Or times when you had little to no responsibility like taking a year off before college, extended travel, a time of homelessness or joblessness, etc.
“Elephant in the Room”: Monday, March 17th
Stories about an extremely uncomfortable situation during which an obvious truth (like weight gain/loss, sex change, new spouse, job loss, loss of hair, plastic surgery, etc. ) is ignored or not discussed by the people present/involved. Stories might include uncomfortable and memorable holiday gatherings, bridal/baby showers, weddings or funerals. Also stories involving elephants in or out of the zoo, circus, or on safari!
“Ducks in a Row”: Monday, April 14th
Stories about the impulse to get organized (whether you listen to it or not!) and “getting your shit together” in order to be able to proceed to the next phase of life (buying a house, settling down with a significant other, having kids, retirement, crafting a will, dealing with an inheritance, opening a business, etc). Also stories of OCD, anal-retentiveness or any kind of obsessive behaviors. Finally, stories of ducks taking over your pool, your neighborhood pond/lake, or pet ducks in the city or at a lakehouse.
“The Whole Enchilada”: Monday, May 5th
Stories of yearning for and receiving/achieving (or not!) the whole or the best of something/someone (all the details for a wedding or major event, accepting a person for the good & the bad). Also stories about setting a big goal and working towards it and/or getting everything you ask for and the consequences/benefits of that. Also, stories relating to Mexican food: the consumption, preparation and/or business of it.
“Lost in Translation”: Friday, June 20th
This special show will be produced at the Dallas Museum of Art in conjunction with their initiative beginning in 2013 to host a U.S. naturalization ceremony annually for recent immigrants. We are seeking stories from American immigrants about how difficult it is to gain U.S. citizenship, the poignancy of the moment of naturalization, and what life is like afterwards. Share what it was that instigated such a major life change, what it was like growing up in another country and how it feels to learn and use a whole new language as an adult.
How Can I Participate in Oral Fixation?
To submit your story for consideration, please read this information carefully then fill out the following form in its entirety for producer Nicole Stewart.
What are the Requirements for My Submission?
Your story must be true, have happened to you, and must be between 1200-1500 words in length. If your story does not exhibit an obvious and direct connection to the theme, it will not be considered. It is advised that you write a piece specifically for a theme that speaks to you as opposed to attempting to tailor a piece you’ve already written to fit in with one or more of the themes. Neither poetry nor songs are acceptable submissions.
What are you Looking For?
We are most interested in tales of transformative times of life: times when an event or series of events changed you. You were one person before and became someone new afterwards and that difference is still with you today. As far as tying in with the theme, we’re looking for either a literal or a figurative take on the theme. See below for suggested takes on each theme. We love stories that are funny, thrilling, horrifying, exhilarating, embarrassing, sexy, poignant, bold, raw, revealing, and any combination of the above. The show is generally R-rated so avoid profanity unless essential and feel free to include the raw truth on matters of sex, drugs, and violence.
What do you Suggest as far as Story Structure?
The most compelling stories possess a clear beginning, middle and end. In the beginning, share the context of your life before the story happened. Remember that YOU are the main character of your story (yes, please tell it in 1st person) and that your character must be developed. Don’t assume the audience knows anything about you. We need to understand who you were (and where and what you were doing) before the event or series of events began so that we relate to you and root for you as you move through your journey. Along the way, let us in on why you made the choices you did and how you were thinking and feeling at the time. Dialogue can be a useful tool. In the end, reflect on how you have changed because of your story. Let us in on where you are today and why this story remains significant to you. Stories are most often told in chronological order, but that is not a requirement if you are inspired to create an alternate structure.
What Kind of Tone is Appropriate?
The medium of writing personal nonfiction for the stage needs not be poetic or formal. Rather, your story should read in a way that sounds authentically YOU as if you were telling a dear friend about a time in your life they don’t know much about. Allow your personality, sense of humor and point of view to show through your writing.
What is the Editing Process Like?
Your submission will be considered a first draft. It is the story itself, its connection to the theme, and your ability to submit a story appropriate to the topic that is considered most heavily. If you are accepted, then you’ll go through an editing process to pull forth the truthiest, juiciest parts of your story and get you ready for the stage. This involves a couple of thirty minute video conferences with Nicole Stewart during which she will ask you probative questions designed to stimulate your memory and flesh out the most relevant details of your story. In between each session, you’ll be expected to apply the notes given to you into an updated draft. Your draft will be finalized by the Friday before the Saturday rehearsal. It must read aloud at approximately 8 minutes.
What Happens at Rehearsal?
At the rehearsal, you’ll meet the other storytellers, get acquainted with the space, receive training on how to best perform your story and get a chance to read your story aloud both for time and for notes on your delivery. On the night of the show you’ll read your story from the page.
How Do I Pick a Show to Submit For?
See which you respond to instinctively. There are a few ideas listed with each theme, but feel free to come up with your own unique take. Then strap yourself to a chair and spit your story out onto the page- sometimes this is the hardest part so turn off your internet connection, put on some music and/or light a candle, and dig into your memory to mine the best, most relevant parts of your life experience that resonate with the theme you selected.
When Do I Submit?
Submissions may be sent in well in advance. You are encouraged to strike when the iron is hot- when inspiration finds you. But note that casting won’t be finalized until the dates listed under submission deadlines. In other words, if you submit a story in October for the March theme, don’t worry if you haven’t been notified one way or the other until late February.
What is the Time Commitment?
In addition to the 2-3 thirty-minute editing sessions over the three week period after you are cast, you’ll need to set aside time for working on your revisions (allow 2 hours each for 2-3 revisions). You’ll be expected to rehearse your story on your own by reading it aloud several times before the group rehearsal. Then you must attend the two-hour mandatory rehearsal the Saturday before the show (exact time and rehearsal location will be stated in your acceptance package). Finally, you will be expected to be at the venue from approximately 5-10pm on the night of the show. Be sure to confirm your availability for both the performance and the rehearsal before submitting.
“Bun in the Oven”
Submission Deadline: Friday, October 4th @ 5pm
Casting Announced: Monday, October 7th @ 5pm
Rehearsal: Saturday, October 26th @ 12pm
Performance: Monday, October 28th @ 8pm
“When in Rome”
Submission Deadline: Friday, November 15th @ 5pm
Casting Announced: Monday, November 18th @ 5pm
Rehearsal: Saturday, December 14th @ 12pm
Performance: Monday, December 16th @ 8pm
Submission Deadline: Friday, January 3rd @ 5pm (*DEADLINE EXTENDED!)
Casting Announced: Monday, January 6th @ 5pm
Rehearsal: Saturday, January 25th @ 12pm
Performance: Monday, January 27th @ 8pm
“No Strings Attached”
Submission Deadline: Tuesday, January 28th @ 5pm (*DEADLINE EXTENDED!)
Casting Announced: Wednesday, January 29th @ 6pm (NEW DATE)
Rehearsal: Saturday, February 15th @ 12pm
Performance: Monday, February 17th @ 8pm
“Elephant in the Room”
Submission Deadline: Friday, February 21st @ 6pm
Casting Announced: Monday, February 24th @ 6pm
Rehearsal: Saturday, March 15th @ 12pm
Performance: Monday, March 17th @ 8pm
“Ducks in a Row”
Submission Deadline: Friday, March 21st @ 6pm
Casting Announced: Monday, March 24th @ 6pm
Rehearsal: Saturday, April 12th @ 12pm
Performance: Monday, April 14th @ 8pm
“The Whole Enchilada”
Submission Deadline: Friday, April 18th @ 6pm
Casting Announced: Monday, April 21st @ 6pm
Rehearsal: Saturday, May 3rd @ 12pm
Performance on Monday, May 5th @ 8pm
“Lost in Translation”
Submission Deadline: Friday, May 16th @ 6pm
Casting Announced: Monday, May 19th @ 6pm
Performance: Friday, June 20th @ 9pm (at Horchow Auditorium in the Dallas Museum of Art)
To submit your story for consideration, please read the DETAILS tab thoroughly then fill out the following form for producer Nicole Stewart.
Be sure to include the show for which you’d like to be considered. You may submit for multiple shows, just send separately.
*Please note: All Season 3 shows are on Monday evenings at 8:00pm at The Winspear Opera House with a two-hour mandatory rehearsal the Saturday afternoon prior from 12:00-2:00pm. Be sure to confirm your availability for both the performance and the rehearsal before submitting. “Lost in Translation” is not part of Season 3 but you can still submit for it here.