Hometown Anonymous

Center Stage Theatre is seeking true tales of the immigrant experience. Tell us your story!

Hometown Anonymous uses theatre as a starting point to collect and explore the unique stories of a community, and to weave them into a detailed picture of the incredible stories that surround us every day. We are looking for true, personal experiences around the topic of immigration. Our goal is to collect stories across the immigration spectrum, from grandchildren of the Irish diaspora to recent arrivals from Southeast Asia, to place them side by side, and connect them to the wider national discussion on immigration. Once the stories have been submitted, a team of playwrights, actors and other theatre artists, working through a multi-step development process, will weave these narrative threads into a cohesive fabric: a full length play to be performed in December of 2016 by and for the community. The final phase of the project is a public exhibition of the stories and the materials used in the creation of the play, to run alongside performances and continue into the future, which will become part of the Midland County Historical Society permanent collection.

Hometown Anonymous is play development process whereby members of the community submit their stories anonymously, and those stories are developed by a team of theatre artists into a full length play that examines a specific subject, but incorporates the true stories and characters of the community for which it is performed.

Submissions are accepted February 1 – July 1, 2016. This will allow us to develop the play in time for its world premiere in December of 2016.

Specifically, we are seeking true stories that provide insight into the immigrant experience. The Great Lakes Bay Region is brimming with people who arrived here from all parts of the world, from great-grandparents who fled Ireland over a century ago, to chemists from Southeast Asia who arrived last week. We want to hear your story, whether it’s your personal experience or family lore passed down through the generations. All of us came from somewhere, and that journey is an exciting and illuminating part of who we are as a community.

Immigration is a loud and passionate part of the national conversation in 2016. The goal of Hometown Anonymous is to encourage our community to engage in that conversation locally, with their friends and neighbors, rather than experiencing it solely through the lens of the media. We would like to invite you, and your story, to be a part of that conversation.

Submission Guidelines:

  • You may upload your story in either Word or PDF format below.
  • There is no restriction on length, but please no book manuscripts.
  • Files must be 2MB or less.
  • Text only. Please do not include graphics.
  • Please do not sign your submission or provide contact information.
  • Gossip or submissions of a malicious nature will not be accepted.
  • Stories may also be dropped off or mailed (in print or digital format, including recordings) to:
    Midland Center for the Arts
    attn: Dexter Brigham
    1801 W. St. Andrews Rd.
    Midland, MI    48640

No. Should you desire to receive credit for your story, just let us know how you would like to be acknowledged. Our plan is to present the submitted stories in their unaltered form as part of the exhibit, and as the play is a creative work, we will ensure that all authorship is attributed where and when desired. Anonymity is available to anyone who wishes to share difficult stories and participate in the project without fear of identification.

No. If you choose to share your story as part of the Hometown Anonymous project, you will be giving us permission to incorporate your story into our play and include it in the public exhibit, but retain all other rights. We make no claims to exclusivity.

  • Your story may appear as part of a publicly performed dramatic work.
  • There is no guarantee, implied or explicit, that your story will be included in the final work.
  • Creative license may be taken with the portrayal of the story, including but not limited to the changing of names and/or gender, combining and/or splitting characters, and altering location and/or time period.
  • You will not receive any royalties or ownership rights of the completed play of Hometown Anonymous.

We are here to answer any questions, offer clarification or to even help document your story!

Hometown Anonymous submissions were accepted through July 1, 2016.  Thank you to all of those who submitted their amazing stories!