What is The Crowbait Club?

Crowbait Club is a loose (very, very loose) affiliation/gathering of theatre artists from all over southern Maine. There are no "members," per se, and everyone - EVERYONE - is welcome. You come to the Deathmatch, pay your $5.00 cover, and that's all there is to it. The whole point of The Crowbait Club is to eliminate all the barriers to theatre arts.

What is a "Theatre Deathmatch"?

Each monthly Crowbait Club meeting is a Theatre Deathmatch. Ten plays enter, one play leaves victorious. The winning plays are determined thusly: At the end of Act I, each audience member drops a token in the box for the play she or he liked best. Same drill for Act II. After the votes have been tallied, the playwrights for the Act I favorite and the Act II favorite are brought up on stage, and the winner is determined by audience applause. The winning playwright gets a lovely parting gift, and the play is fully produced the following September as a part of The Crowbait Club's annual King of Crows short play festival.

Also at the end of the evening, the Deathmatch Host chooses (at her or his sole discretion) the three actors that put on the best performances of the evening. The three actors are brought up on stage, and, as with the playwrights, the "best" actor is chosen by audience applause. The Best Actor also gets a lovely parting gift.

How much does it cost?

Each Theatre Deathmatch has a $5 cover, payable in cash at the door. Your $5 lets you act, submit a play, watch the show, or any combination of the above.

When does the Crowbait Club meet?

Theatre Deathmatches take place the first Wednesday of each month.

Where does the Crowbait Club meet?

Our home is the Portland Ballet Studio Theater, 517 Forest Ave., Portland, ME 04101.

What time does the Crowbait Club meet?

Doors open at 7:30. The Theatre Deathmatch begins promptly at 8pm, and ends at approximately 10pm.

Must I bring a script?

No, of course not, but PLEASE DO! CBC's mission is to encourage the development of theatre artists, and we get the most joy from seeing brand new playwrights discover their unique voices. People have come to CBC with the first play they've ever written, had that play win the night, seen that play produced in King of Crows the following September, then submitted that play to other theaters and had it produced across the country. Seriously. Theatre Deathmatch script selection is random; enter your name in the Playwright Bucket at the door.

If you do bring a play, it must be 10 minutes or less. Scripts that go over time will be cut short and disqualified. We suggest 5-7 pages in standard playwriting format. You must bring enough copies of your script for each character. We strongly suggest page numbers and staples. Plays are chosen randomly. We apologize in advance if your play isn't selected due to time constraints.

Must I act?

No, of course not, but PLEASE DO! There are some well known Portland actors that got their starts at The Crowbait Club. And, there is no memorization required; all plays are done as "cold reads." Casting is random; enter your name in the Actor Buckets (male or female) at the door.

How many plays are performed in each Deathmatch?

The standard Theatre Deathmatch consists of five plays in Act I and five plays in Act II. On rare occasions we will squeeze another play into an Act if the plays are running short.

Are the Theatre Deathmatches appropriate for children?

Well, we don't want to tell you how to raise your kids... But, the plays are PG-13 at best, many are a solid R, and some are definitely NC-17. So, as they say, "parental discretion is advised."