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Theatre Lab FAQ

01. What are the dates of the Theatre Lab?
02. How are projects selected?
03. What does Sundance look for?
04. Do you accept international submissions?
05. Do I have to be at the Lab for the entire time?
06. Does Sundance pay for my travel to Utah?
07. Can I receive feedback on my submission?
08. I submitted last year, but have done major rewrites and the play is much different. Can I submit again?
09. Is it a problem that I don't have a director?
10. What if my director is attached to more than one project?
11. Can I submit multiple projects?
12. Do you prefer if I send in a hardcopy of my play, instead of submitting it electronically?
13. Can you waive the application fee?
14. Must I have the rights to the song or book that my play or musical is based on?
15. How do I submit music, or other additional materials?
16. What if my play is commissioned by another theatre?
17. Can I bring my own dramaturg?
18. What if my submitted project has already been produced?
19. Can I submit a play that is not completed?
20. There's already a scheduled production of the project I want to submit, is this okay?
21. Can I take my children to the Lab?
22. Can I take my dog to the Lab?

 

1. What are the dates of the 2014 Theater Lab?
The dates for the 2014 Theatre Lab are July 7-27, 2014.

2. How are projects selected?
All submissions – generally between 700 and 900 annually – are read in their entirety and evaluated by qualified play readers from around the country. Roughly a third of the plays are read a second time, and some receive further evaluation. Our artistic staff then narrows the field to the top 25-30 submissions, which are then evaluated by an Advisory Committee comprised of established playwrights, dramaturgs, and directors. The Artistic Director makes the final selections and extends personal invitations to join the Theatre Lab.

3. What does Sundance look for?
First and foremost, we look for projects that reflect an originality and "independent spirit.” We're interested in provocative new work from unheard voices and work that looks at familiar topics in an unfamiliar way. Once we have established that a project warrants our interest, we look for clues that applicants have strongly identified their objectives in the supporting materials-- both long-term and in the context of the 18-day Lab. Some projects aren't suited to a highly collaborative Lab environment, while others only need a polish before they're ready for productions. If your project is too far along, it's not for us. We aspire to diversity and balance in our selections, and cross-over artists, ensemble work, political plays, and projects that defy categorization have all found a home at Sundance.

4. Do you accept international submissions?
Yes, we do accept international submissions.

5. Do I have to be at the Lab for the entire time?
If your project is selected, you are expected to be at the Lab for the entire three weeks. If you have a scheduling conflict, we suggest that you do not submit this year, and submit in a future season.

6. Does Sundance pay for my travel to Utah?
Sundance provides lodging, meals and an economy roundtrip plane ticket for you and the rest of the creative team attached to your project.

7. Can I receive feedback on my submission?
Sundance Institute does not provide feedback on submitted projects.

8. I submitted last year, but have done major rewrites and the play is much different. Can I submit again?
We do not accept plays that have been previously submitted, and we do not make exceptions to that rule.

9. What if I don't have a director?
It is not a problem if you do not have a director. If selected, we will work with you to find a director that will best complement your project.

10. What if my director is attached to more than one project?
A director can be attached to more than one project. If both projects are accepted into this year's Lab, the director will have to select only one project to work on. The director cannot work on more than one project at the Lab.

11. Can I submit multiple projects?
You can only submit one project per year.

12. Do you prefer if I send in a hardcopy of my play, instead of submitting it electronically?
We require everyone to submit their projects electronically if at all possible. We understand that some international applicants may not have reliable access to the internet. If this is the case, please call Ignacia Delgado at 646-822-9564 so that we can determine the best way for you to submit.

13. Can you waive the application fee?
No. Unfortunately, we cannot waive the application fee.

14. Must I have the rights to the song or book that my play or musical is based on?
Yes. If you are including any materials for which you are not the writer/creator, you must obtain the rights prior to submitting. If you do not have the rights, we cannot accept your project.

15. How do I submit music, or other additional materials?
Please submit music and additional materials by mail. Our mailing address is:

Sundance Institute Theatre Program
Log Number:
180 Varick St, Suite 1330
New York, NY 10014

Please make sure that your log number (received after applying online) is clearly marked on the outside of your envelope and on all materials submitted.

16. What if my play is commissioned by another theatre?
We do accept plays that are commissioned by other theatres or producers, however, you must obtain written permission from the commissioning organization stating that they support your application.

17. Can I bring my own dramaturg?
Sundance provides dramaturgical support that is customized to each individual project, and once a project is accepted into the Lab, there will be an opportunity to discuss what model is best for your play. In some cases Sundance would consider a dramaturg who “comes with” a project, particularly if that dramaturg is one of the generative artists. We tend to discourage the practice of including dramaturgs employed by institutions that have commissioned or committed to a future production of a play.
Sundance is a time for the generative artists to explore their impulses as independently as they can, and not in tandem with the needs of a future institution. In the case of work that is commissioned or committed to production, we have done well with a process whereby the Lab dramaturg "passes the baton" to the dramaturg at the producing institution.

18. What if my submitted project has already been produced?
We can only accept projects that have NOT been produced. A produced project is defined as a project that has been reviewed by critics. We do accept plays that have had a previous workshop, or developmental opportunities.

19. Can I submit a play that is not completed?
We do accept plays in various stages of development. We recommend that you submit more than an outline of the project. An actual draft—even it it’s incomplete-- is most helpful in evaluating your project.

20. There’s already a scheduled production of the project I want to submit, is this okay?
We do accept projects that are already scheduled for a production, but only if the production’s rehearsal period doesn’t begin until on or after October 27, 2014. Because of our agreement with Actors Equity Association, there must be a period of at least 90 days after the final day of the Lab.

21. Can I take my children to the Lab?
Sundance Institute strives to provide a family-friendly environment. However, it is our experience that the responsibilities of parenting can be counter-productive to the work that this unique opportunity offers. We strongly encourage families with children to make other childcare arrangements at home during the Lab. An alternative is to consider a three-day visit during the Lab. Please contact the Theatre Program if you have questions about families or guests.

22. Can I take my dog to the Lab?
No. Animals are not permitted at the Sundance Resort during the Lab.