Open Call for Writing Collaborator

The Metal Shop Performance Lab

N/A, N / A


Jan 15, 2021


Jan 12, 2021

The Metal Shop Performance Lab seeks a queer femme BIPOC writer to collaborate in the development of an interactive solo show for a queer femme BIPOC performer in the virtual space.

Excited by the potential of online performance to create community across virtual space, director Alex Mallory and performer Grace Dolezal-Ng are seeking a writing collaborator to join in devising a real-time, interactive performance for Grace and a virtual audience. The Metal Shop Performance Lab is producing a 40-hour development workshop in early 2021 to engage deeply in experimental, collaborative, and intersectional feminist processes.

Our goal is to address the grief, paralysis, mental health challenges, and unexpected humor of our present moment with authenticity, vulnerability, and the belief that we need each other in order to heal. We are interested in creating this new piece for an audience of queer BIPOC young adults and the particular challenges they face. Our key source of inspiration is Duncan Macmillan and Jonny Donahoe’s Every Brilliant Thing, in which the performer involves each member of the audience in telling the story through assigned lines and guided improvisations. We intend to build on this foundation to embrace the contributions of individual audience members and to open into a community conversation where the audience members can share stories, time, and resources.

We seek a partner in the workshop process who will write from devising exercises and take inspiration from the rehearsal room as well as contributing and incorporating their own ideas. The ideal collaborator is interested in experimenting with virtual theatrical form and community building through live audience interaction. Ownership of all writing contributions will remain with the author; ownership over rights to performance will be collectively shared.

Theoretical 40-hour workshop schedule:
All meetings, rehearsals, and workshops will take place online. Schedule will be amended based on collaborator needs.

  • Late February: initial meeting and exchange of ideas/inspirations (2 hours)
  • Early March: Collaborative brainstorm and devising exercises (8 hours)
  • Week-long break for processing and individual work (10 hours)
  • Mid-Late March: Workshopping text and performance ideas (15 hours)
  • Late March/Early April: Tech and Public presentation of work-in-progress (5 hours)

Compensation: $1000 for 40 hours of collaborative process to take place between late February and early April 2021. Additional fee/royalties to be negotiated for further process/performances.

To submit for consideration: Please send a note of interest (1-2 par) and a PDF writing sample (up to 5 pages monologue/prose or 10 pages dialogue/poetry) to

About The Metal Shop Performance Lab:
Founded in August 2019 in Chicago, The Metal Shop’s mission is to create theatrical events that foster radical community-building and authentic exchange between artists and audiences. The Metal Shop’s projects experiment with old and new methods of theatrical process and community-based practice in order to generate community conversations and to forge something new with the individual members of its audience every night.

About the Collaborators:

Grace Dolezal-Ng is an actor/director from the Bay Area in CA. She recently graduated from Northwestern University with a B.A in Communications, majoring in Theatre. Grace is passionate about building empathy in theatrical process and production. At NU, she served as the Artistic Director of Spectrum Theatre Company, a company dedicated to producing sociopolitical theatre and exploring the intersections of activism and art. As a performer and as a director, Grace has worked on a myriad of genres including: new work, musicals, contemporary and classic plays, adaptations, documentary theatre, and theatre for young audiences. Most recently, she was the Assistant Director to Vanessa Stalling for the Goodman Theatre’s production of Roe in Feb 2020. Grace is a proud recipient of the Herb Alpert Emerging Young Artist Award.

Alex Mallory is the director of The Metal Shop Performance Lab. She is interested in constructing new work and deconstructing classics with a focus on mental health, sexual health, and reproductive justice for young women. Her practice investigates how rehearsing authenticity and authorship in theatrical process helps to create productive, brave spaces for conversations on personal and collective histories of violence for artists and audience members. Alex works with military veterans to facilitate healing with classical theater training through DE-CRUIT, where she is the Chicago Area Regional Coordinator. She has directed and produced veterans’ stories with Piven Theatre, The Telling Project, LaGuardia Community College, and the Veteran Artist Program, with whom she produced THE HOME SHOW at Lincoln Center in 2015. Alex holds an MFA in Directing from Northwestern University and a BA from Stanford University where she received the Louis Sudler Prize in Creative Arts and the Sherifa Omade Edoga Prize for work involving social issues. Associate Member, SDC.






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