Our first-ever Digital Poetry Slam co-hosted and emceed by Claudia Alick!
“The lunatic, the lover, and the poet, are of imagination all compact.”
― William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Hello! I’m Claudia Alick, the host of Cal Shakes SLAM: Midsummer, a digital engagement with the Bay Area Slam Poetry Community. Click here to find out more about me: ClaudiaAlick.com. Basically, I am a producer of a social justice Transmedia company, national theater leader, and local poet.
Some of you might be asking, what is a poetry slam? Click on our Partner Slams to find out more: Berkeley Poetry Slam, Oakland Poetry Slam, RichOak Alchemy Slam, Tourettes Without Regrets. You could say a poetry slam is an excuse for audience and poets to connect using the frame of a contest. The Bay Area has one of the most active, talented, and prolific poetry communities in our country addressing the ever-present issues of life, love, grief, jealousy, magic, and mystery that Shakespeare’s poetic voice also addresses so well. What better way to engage our community with our production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream?
How Does It Work?
We designed our digital slam to allow us to engage across space and time using the magic of the Internet. Submissions end on May 6, 2019, and the finalists will be invited to the show of A Midsummer Night’s Dream on Thursday, May 23 to perform their poems live for the final round of the slam!
- Round One takes place online
- Poets will fill out the form below and submit their video to either the Open Mic or Slam
- All participants are available to win the most likes on their YouTube video prize
- Round one will begin with invited calibration poets who will present poems to test the system and give everyone a chance to practice judging
- A maximum of 30 poets will go on to Round Two
- The selected poets will be viewed by a panel of judges
- Judges vote online with scores ranging between zero and ten. The highest and lowest score are dropped, giving each performance a rating between zero and thirty points
- We will begin sharing scoring results with the audience the second week of the contest
- The 3 Finalists will perform their poems live at The California Shakespeare Theater
- Judges will be chosen from the audience
- Winning poets will receive cash prizes, tickets to plays, and a gift bag
Rules For Participating Poets
- All Poetry must be written by the performer.
- 3 minutes or less.
- The calibration poets can present poems that are not inspired by A Midsummer Night’s Dream. They are not eligible to win Cal Shakes SLAM Champion Title.
- Slam poems must be inspired by A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
- Slam Poem must specifically reference A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
- Only one submission per poet in poetry slam.
- Unlimited submission to Open Mic!
- Open Mic participants can present ANY poem inspired by Shakespeare.
- This is an ALL AGES Slam. Please refrain from using profanity.
SUBMISSION DATE DEADLINE: May 6, 2019
ABOUT A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM
Every production of Shakespeare is different. We can only guess at the exciting work happening between the artists on this creative team in the rehearsal room. We do know that Director Tyne Rafaeli is breaking open power dynamics running through A Midsummer Night’s Dream inspiring us to ask the following questions.
How are we in balance with nature? How are we in balance with each other? How do we share power? What does consent look like? Real consent. What happens when drugs get involved? What happens when privilege is turned on its head? How do class and representation play in the entertainment we create and consume?
Below is a plot synopsis, and here is a link to the full script to provide inspiration!
In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, residents of Athens mix with fairies from a local forest, with comic results. In the city, Theseus, Duke of Athens, is to marry Hippolyta, queen of the Amazons. Bottom the weaver and his friends rehearse in the woods a play they hope to stage for the wedding celebrations. Four young Athenians are in a romantic tangle. Lysander and Demetrius love Hermia; she loves Lysander and her friend Helena loves Demetrius. Hermia’s father, Egeus, commands Hermia to marry Demetrius, and Theseus supports the father’s right. All four young Athenians end up in the woods, where Robin Goodfellow, who serves the fairy king Oberon, puts flower juice on the eyes of Lysander, and then Demetrius, unintentionally causing both to love Helena. Oberon, who is quarreling with his wife, Titania, uses the flower juice on her eyes. She falls in love with Bottom, who now, thanks to Robin Goodfellow, wears an ass’s head. As the lovers sleep, Robin Goodfellow restores Lysander’s love for Hermia, so that now each young woman is matched with the man she loves. Oberon disenchants Titania and removes Bottom’s ass’s head. The two young couples join the royal couple in getting married, and Bottom rejoins his friends to perform the play.