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The Sundance Institute Theatre Program advances the work of risk-taking theatre artists by providing rare developmental opportunities that support artists throughout their careers. By providing a continuum of support, we ultimately hope to contribute to a meaningful and engaging cultural dialogue between artists and their audiences.

Led by Artistic Director Philip Himberg and Producing Director Christopher Hibma, the Sundance Institute Theatre Program focuses on the development of new work for the stage. In response to the changing needs of the field, the Theatre Program hosts a range of creative Labs throughout the year and across the country: Theatre Lab at the Sundance Resort, Playwrights Retreat at Ucross Foundation, Theatre Lab at MASS MoCA, and Sundance Institute East Africa. Past activities have also included a Theatre Lab at White Oak, and a Theatre Lab on Governors Island in New York. The Theatre Program takes a unique approach to supporting works-in-progress from a variety of styles and in various phases of conception.

“The space that defines the Sundance Institute Theatre Program is that precious wedge of time between ‘idea’ and ‘production’ when artists dream, leap into their discomfort, their unknown, and get closer to their vision.” —Philip Himberg, Artistic Director

The Lab environment is an atmosphere solely focused on development in which mentors (Creative Advisors), dramaturgs, peers, actors in the Lab ensemble, and Sundance Institute artistic staff work with the playwright Fellow to address the compelling needs of her/his text. These collaborations encourage a high level of risk-taking and innovation before projects proceed on to production, where audiences and producers often exert new pressures on the play.

The Sundance Institute Theatre Program develops work from across the U.S. as well as from around the world. The Theatre Program becomes familiar with the work of playwrights and theatre practitioners through its annual submission process for the Theatre Lab. Submissions outside of this annual process and agent submissions are not accepted. However, the Theatre Program, with generous support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, has scouts in various cities around the U.S. and internationally. Scouts regularly see work in Los Angeles, Seattle, Minneapolis, Chicago, Austin, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Washington D.C and New York. Scouts are not publically identified in each community. If you are a playwright, and would like the Sundance Institute to know about your work, please email invitations to confirmed readings and productions to theatre@sundance.org. Due to the large number of invitations, the Sundance Institute cannot guarantee a visit or response.

Support the work of the Theatre Program.

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