Information about the 2019 Theatre Lab application will be available starting September 25, 2018.
The deadline for application will be November 15 at 5:00 PM EST.
The dates for the 2019 Theatre Lab are July 8-28, 2019 and the Lab will be held at the Sundance Resort in Utah.
US Inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
MENA Inquiries: MENAtheatre@sundance.org
|Deadline to Apply||November 15, 2017 at 5:00pm EST|
|Dates||May 6-27, 2018|
|Size of Lab||Up to 8 Projects|
Hotel/Dar Al-Ma'mûn, Marrakech, Morocco
|Eligibility||US & MENA Playwrights, Directors, Composers & Librettists|
|Description||The annual Theatre Lab, traditionally held in Utah each summer, is returning to Fellah Hotel in partnership with Dar al-Ma'mûn, an artist residency outside of Marrakech, Morocco. Projects will be selected from both US and MENA theatre artists. See below for Application Guidelines to the Theatre Lab.|
|Acting Company||If you are an actor and would like to be considered for the acting company during the Theatre Lab, you are invited to send your headshot and resume; to email@example.com. We will review all submissions with the Theatre Program casting directors. The Theatre Program holds Equity Principal Auditions once per year in New York for US actors. Please refer to the Actors' Equity website for scheduling information. All actors from the MENA region will be invited to participate directly by members of the Theatre Program. Arabic-speaking actors who would like to be considered for the acting company are also invited to send us their headshots and resumes to MENAtheatre@sundance.org.|
|Questions||US Inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
MENA Inquiries: MENAtheatre@sundance.org
As we did in 2016, Sundance will once again offer its annual flagship Theatre Lab in Morocco, available to theatre artists from the United States as well as from the Middle East/North Africa (MENA). This 21-Day residency will utilize actors in workshop. Participants in the Theatre Lab will be selected through an open application process.
Please note: the location of this Lab does not reflect any desire on the part of the Theatre Program to favor content about geopolitics. Plays about all topics and in any genre are encouraged to apply. The Theatre Program has increasingly engaged a broad spectrum of both US-based and artists from the MENA (Middle East/North Africa) region who work in diverse styles and express a wide range of content. We seek participants who yearn to reflect on their work, and those who are eager to embrace a community of world artists, and committed to the idea of the “Global Artist Citizen.” Our Theatre Labs serve as “the space between” the conception of a work and its eventual production - providing artists time for reflection, rehearsal, experimentation and mentoring within the context of an intimate peer-level artistic community. The Lab is not a production Lab, but offers a rare opportunity to focus on unfinished new work needing time and space in which to experiment, re-write, re-conceive and take artistic risks.
We will select up to eight projects for the 2018 Theatre Lab (50% from the US and 50% from the MENA region). Sundance will provide the same level of support and development that has traditionally been offered in Utah (an acting company, a “day-on, day-off” rehearsal schedule, and rigorous dramaturgical support), as well as underwrite all related expenses (including transportation costs, accommodations, meals, stipends and support personnel).
Artists from the United States and from the Middle East & North Africa are encouraged to apply. Theatre-makers creating in English and Arabic are encouraged to apply, but MENA artists creating in other languages will be considered. Submitted work cannot have been previously produced, but may have received prior workshops or readings. Commissioned work is eligible for submission; however, playwrights must obtain written permission from their commissioning organization prior to applying.
Playwrights, directors, composers, ensembles, performance artists, or choreographers may submit applications. Playwrights may suggest a director, but Sundance retains the right to make final decisions on personnel. If you do not have a director attached to your project, please note that Sundance Institute will help to match you up with a director if your play is selected for inclusion in the Theatre Lab. Director-generated projects are also welcome to apply. Sundance Institute is interested in both established and emerging theatre artists, as well as artists making a transition from areas outside of theatre. We also welcome solo performers.
NOTE: Artists may only submit one application. Previous applicants may reapply, but not with previously submitted material.
Through open submissions, we consider an estimated hundreds of projects. Sundance Institute looks for original, compelling human stories that reflect the independent vision of the theatre artist. We are interested in supporting a diverse and daring group of theatre artists who tell unique stories, present material in a new form, or conceptualize existing material with an innovative vision. Sundance is an environment that encourages and supports risk-taking, experimentation, and rigorous rewriting and re-imagining. It is not a place to simply rehearse your text, or to polish what you feel is a nearly completed draft.
Projects may be submitted in English, Arabic or French. If you are a MENA artist and would like to submit a project in a language other than Arabic or French, please contact us to verify that your working language can be supported by our MENA-based Lab.
NOTE: All applicants must be available for the entire duration of each Lab.
What Sundance Institute Provides
- Roundtrip Economy Airfare
- Airport Transfers
- Private Accommodation
- Three meals/day
- $500 USD/week stipend = $1500 USD total
- Inclusive of parties & receptions
- Financial support to secure travel visas (if needed)
Additionally, the Theatre Program provides actors, dramaturgs, rehearsal space, and stage management for the collaborative team working on each project. Projects rehearse on alternating days, giving writers the opportunity to rewrite or regroup when they're not in rehearsal (actors are frequently double-cast working on two projects on alternate days). At the end of the Theatre Lab, projects will culminate in an informal presentation for the Lab community only, followed by an artist-led conversation with Sundance Institute artistic staff and guest Creative Advisors.
Each full-time Fellow (playwright, director, or other creative collaborator) is assigned a company of actors (if applicable), selected by Sundance Institute in collaboration with the Fellows, to support their project. Actors are selected from the US and the MENA region for their professionalism, versatility, suitability for the development process and of course fluency in the language of the project.
How to Apply
Complete the online application form and upload your materials electronically. Materials to include:
- Script Draft of your play or musical (unprotected Word or PDF document)
- MENA Applicants - Guidelines for formatting
- Artistic Statement (If applying as a playwright/director team, Sundance Institute requires a statement from both the playwright and director)
- Describe the status of the project, including prior readings and workshops, and what you hope to accomplish at the Lab. Include comments on the content, style of the piece, and the team's objectives for the workshop.
- Resumes/Bios for each collaborator
- Letter of permission from a commissioning organization (if applicable)
- $35 non-refundable application processing fee payable by credit card (waived for MENA applicants)
NOTE TO MENA APPLICANTS: Materials must be submitted directly to MENAtheatre@sundance.org. Applications are accepted in Arabic, English and French.
NOTE: If you do not have access to the Internet, please call the Theatre Program at +1-646-822-9564 and we will work with you to submit your materials using alternative methods. Please make every effort to utilize the online application as it ensures the safe delivery of your application and supports the Sundance Institute’s environmental stewardship.
The deadline for submission is November 15, 2017 at 5:00pm EST. Applicants will be notified on or before February 15, 2018.
Common Questions / FAQ
1. What are the dates of the 2018 Theater Lab?The dates for the 2018 Theatre Lab are May 6-27, 2018, this includes travel days. If you are traveling internationally, there may be an additional day(s) of travel.
2. Who can apply?Any professional theatre-makers are encouraged to apply: playwrights, directors, ensembles, etc.
3. What type of projects are accepted?Sundance looks for original, compelling human stories that reflect the independent vision of the theatre artist. We are interested in supporting a diverse and daring group of theatre artists who tell unique stories, present material in a new form, or conceptualize existing material with an innovative vision. We look for writers and collaborators who are interested in genuinely exploring their material. Plays, musicals, dance theatre, performances and solo projects are all eligible. Submitted projects must be original works. We are most interested in stories that you feel need to be told by you at this moment in time.
4. 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 world. Our artistic staff 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 Lab.
5. What does Sundance look for?First and foremost, we look for projects that reflect an originality and “independent spirit.” We're particularly interested in provocative new work from lesser heard 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 Lab. Some projects aren't suited to a highly collaborative Lab environment, and projects that only need a polish before they're ready for productions are 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. Please Note: we do NOT favor projects about geopolitics or the region. Playwrights are welcomed to apply with any and all topics and in any genre.
6. Do you accept international submissions?In terms of international submissions, we only accept applications at this time from artists from the Middle East and North Africa who are creating new works in Arabic (classical or dialect). MENA theatre-makers working in English or French can be considered too, and we welcome international submissions by diaspora artists from the Middle East and North Africa, currently residing in the EU or elsewhere.
7. What is an artistic statement?Your artistic statement should tell us what you’re writing about and why, and should include your goals for your time at the Lab. What do you hope to accomplish? (i.e., specific questions with which you are engaged or frustrated: about story, character, style or anything else that can be explored in a collaborative Lab environment where trying out new ideas is encouraged.)
8. Do you accept work in foreign languages?Yes. Artists should write in the language in which they ‘dream’ - in which they feel most comfortable. Traditionally, Sundance’s main working language has been English. If selected, translations of work will be discussed for each project. Projects in Arabic (all dialects) are encouraged.
9. Do I have to be at the Lab for the entire time?Yes. If your project is selected, you must be available to be at the Lab for its entirety. If you have a scheduling conflict, we suggest that you do not submit this year, and submit in a future season.
10. Does Sundance pay for my travel to the Lab?Yes. Sundance provides economy round trip plane tickets. Travel for the Theatre Lab will be to/from Marrakech, Morocco. We will also provide lodging and meals for you and the rest of the creative team attached to your project.
11. Will I receive a fee/stipend for my participation in the Lab?Yes. Sundance does provide a stipend for all full-time Fellows. For the 2018 Theatre Lab, Fellows will receive $1500 USD at the end of the Lab.
12. Can I receive feedback on my submission?No. Sundance Institute does not provide feedback on submitted projects.
13. I submitted last year, but have done major rewrites and the project is much different. Can I submit again?No. We do not accept projects that have been previously submitted, and we do not make exceptions to this rule.
14. I am a playwright, but I don't have a director attached to my project, can I still submit?Yes. 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.
15. What if a playwright or a director is attached to more than one project?Playwrights may only be attached to one project. A director can be attached to more than one project. If both projects are accepted into the 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.
16. 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. We understand that some applicants may not have reliable access to the internet. If this is the case, contact us for an alternative submission process.
17. Do you accept “blind” submissions? (a “blind” submission is a submission where the creator’s name does not appear on the script)No, we do not ask that scripts be blind.
18. My project is a musical, do I have to submit the music tracks electronically?There is a very strong preference that everything be submitted electronically, in accordance with Sundance’s environmental awareness and it makes it much easier for our readers.
19. Can you waive the application fee?Unfortunately we cannot waive the application fee for US applicants. The fee is waived for MENA applicants.
20. Must I have the rights to the song, the book or other materials 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.
21. What if my play is commissioned?We do accept plays that are commissioned by other organizations; however, you must obtain written permission from the commissioning organization stating that they support your application.
22. Can I bring my own dramaturg?In most cases, no. 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 production. 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.
23. Can I bring my own actors?Sundance will work with each selected project on identifying the best actors for your project. If you have been working with specific actors during the development of your project, and you feel they are integral to the creation of the piece (if the piece was written for a specific performer, for instance, or devised with its actors), please indicate this in the Other Collaborators section of your application.
24. 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.
25. Can I submit a play that is not completed?Yes. We 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. We are only interested in plays that you feel need work and experimentation.
26. Does Sundance produce my project after the Lab?No. Sundance only provides developmental support. Sundance is not a producer and it not committed to producing your project at any point after the Lab. Sundance will, however, have a conversation with each alumni project about the continuing life of your project.
27. Can I bring my children to the Lab?While Sundance Institute strives to provide a family-friendly environment, it is our experience that the responsibilities of parenting can be counterproductive to the work that this unique opportunity offers. We strongly encourage families with children to make other childcare arrangements at home during the Lab. Please contact the Theatre Program if you have questions about families or guests.
28. Can I bring my dog to the Lab?No animals are permitted at the Lab.
29. I am an actor not attached to any submitted project. Can I be considered for the acting company during the Lab?
30. Who do I contact with additional questions?