Stage Reading Series

Starfest: the musical
Book and lyricis by Mario Farwell
Music by Stratos Diamantis

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The show was in development for many years.  Workshops at the St. Louis Writers Group helped develop the play to the point where it was ready for production. The play was produced in October 2016 at the Chapel in St. Louis.

The Story opens with our dashing hero, Starfest battling the maniacal villain Zerker, who is bent on world domination! Along the way two earthlings are caught up in the melee and taken across the universe for the adventure of their lives! This musical adventure is a parody of classic Science Fiction shows like Flash Gordan and Buck Rodgers and promises to be an action packed crowd pleaser! Starfest is produced by the St. Louis Writers Group, a division of First Run Theatre. The St. Louis Writers' Group was formed to help playwrights, screenwriters and writers of musical theatre develop their work through readings, discussions and workshops. We have readings on the first Monday of every month and workshop the third Monday of the month.

Submission Guidelines


Joan of Arc premiere at the Chapel March 2013

The Stage Reading Series will give writers an opportunity to experience a rigorous developmental process of readings and workshops, culminating with their scripts being presented on stage with movement (using limited props and set pieces) and performed by skilled actors. This experience will be an invaluable tool in getting a script polished and ready for marketing.

The Selection Committee
• Will be made up of three regular participants of the St. Louis Writers’ Group (writers, directors, actors, patrons) with a strong knowledge of theatre.
• Committee members are to serve one-year terms. Terms are to be staggered so that there are always two experienced members on the committee.
Selection Requirements
• All submissions must have received at least two readings or workshops, at the St. Louis Writers’ Group. (Most will probably need several workshops to become solid enough for consideration.)
• Selected submissions should be technically well constructed, intelligently written, entertaining, and show strong potential for wide audience appeal.
• Staging ability required. A play or musical requiring a large cast would probably be impractical on a small or zero budget. A stage narrator will describe the physical world of the play (sets, lights, special effects).

Joan of Arc was the second stage reading of a musical at the Chapel. Watch the complete video by clicking on the image of Joan of Arc.

Icarus Wings by Mario Farwell premiere at the Chapel 2012

Directors and Dramaturges Selection
Experienced directors and dramaturges (optional) needed to orchestrate the process to a successful conclusion and will be chosen next in our process.

Directors and dramaturges Recruitment Process:
• Announcements/Requests for referrals at St. Louis Writers’ Group
• Postings on the discussion group
• Postings on Audition St. Louis
• Press releases to media and local theatres

Actor Selection
Actors will be chosen, at the discretion of the director and writer either by (posted) auditions or personally contacting desired actors.

Workshops and Readings
• The first stage reading will be held once the team (director, actors and dramaturge) is selected. (It will establish how much work will need to be done on the script to get it on its feet, and determine if the play needs major revisions [or slight tweaking] before the next reading.)
• Workshops and readings to continue until the writer and director agree that the play is ready for staging and blocking elements to be added.
• Performance date set and venue secured.

• Adequate stage, sound, and lighting equipment required.• Donated or nominal rental fees preferred.
• Theatres schools, churches and other nonprofit entities with suitable venues will be researched. When an adequate venue is found, contact should be made with the proper authority and the space secured for the required performance dates. (Examples: St. Louis Ethical Society, The Chapel, YMCAs, Crestwood Mall theatres.)
Performance Schedule
• One weekend (Friday, Saturday Sunday) for each stage reading.
• Discussions (Q&A) will be held after each performance to gauge audience response. (This feedback is invaluable in final rewrites.)
Writers will stipulate, in writing, to acknowledgement to The St. Louis Writers Group as a developmental organization in all future productions of the selected work.