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Detroit New Works Festival Guidelines

General guidelines

  • Full-length or one-act plays and musicals accepted (no song cycles or adaptations)
  • Must address one of the following: equality and diversity, mental health, and/or social issues
  • Must have never been produced
  • Must be able to be produced with minimal set, costume, and prop requirements in accordance with Outvisible’s commitment to imaginative and minimalistic theatre
  • Must be able to be produced with eight actors or less
  • Musicals must be able to be played with only one pianist (production winner may be able to add additional instrumental scoring)
  • Must be able to attend festival April 21-23 in Allen Park, Michigan (just south of Detroit)

Round One

Outvisible will accept entries until midnight on January 31, 2017. Please read submission guidelines carefully or submit early in case revisions are needed. Submissions which do not meet guidelines will not be considered.

Submissions will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Script concept and structure
  • Inclusion of equality and diversity, mental health, and/or social issues
  • Feasibility of production in a small, black box space with no more than 8 actors and limited set/props
  • Likelihood of being produced successfully to appeal to a wide audience
  • Overall quality of work submitted

25 semi-finalists will be chosen.

Round Two

If selected as one of 12 semifinalists, entrants will be notified on or before February 15, 2017.

  • A panel of readers from around the community will further assess works with the same evaluative criteria in mind as round one
  • Reading panel to be announced shortly.

Five finalists will be selected through this round.

Round Three

If selected as one of five finalists, entrants will be notified on or before March 10, 2017.

If you submit a drama or comedy, this means:

  • We will assemble a cast and read your show
  • At least one rehearsal will be scheduled with the cast reading your script, which you are welcome and encouraged to attend in an observational capacity only
  • A 30 minute talkback will occur after the reading which will also be recorded and made available to you to aid in script development

If you submit a musical, this means:

  • We will assemble a cast and perform your show
  • A pianist will be present to play live
  • At least one rehearsal will be scheduled with the cast performing your script, which you are welcome and encouraged to attend in an observational capacity only
  • A 30 minute talkback will occur after the reading which will also be recorded and made available to you to aid in script/libretto/score development

One winner will be chosen on April 23, 2017.

Round Four

One winner will be chosen and announced on April 23, 2017 on the last day of the Festival.

Winner will be chosen based on:

  • Production most likely to be successfully staged at Outvisible
  • Potential of script for production
  • Audience feedback and reception
  • Potential of working relationship between Outvisible staff and playwright/writing team

The winner will receive:

  • The opportunity to continue workshopping their script over the next one to two years with Outvisible
  • Continued feedback on work revisions
  • A fully staged production of their play, produced by Outvisible
  • A $250 stipend once full production closes (we are hoping to increase this number)

Submission guidelines for all works

  • Playwright/creative team gives Outvisible permission to publicize play in print, electronically, or on any other media; playwright/creative team are also expected to participate in publicizing their reading should their play be selected as a semi-finalist
  • If published, Outvisible must be able to produce staged reading of work without paying royalty or licensing fees
  • If chosen as a finalist, playwright/creative team is welcome to attend casting and/or rehearsals for their staged reading, but Outvisible cannot offset any cost incurred
  • If chosen as the winner of the DNWF and playwright/creative team accepts the prize package of their work being developed and produced with Outvisible, playwright/creative team has the right to be present at casting, rehearsals, and performances and is welcomed throughout the creative process, throughout which the artistic integrity of their work will be upheld; Outvisible will make every effort to offset cost of playwright/creative team attending at least one performance but cannot guarantee any travel stipends at any point during the development process
  • If chosen as a finalist and playwright/creative team accepts the prize package of their work being developed and produced with Outvisible, working relationship between both parties must remain amiable and open to feedback; if any time, either playwright/creative team or Outvisible/Outvisible’s production staff feel as though the working relationship is unsatisfactory to the point of irreparably stagnating or halting the creative process, one or both parties may dissolve working relationship and cease further production development
  • Playwright/creative team retain creative license and all copyrights to their work, however, should their work be chosen as a finalist and they choose to accept the prize package of their work being developed and produced with Outvisible, any future publication of play must publish script development credits to Outvisible Theatre Company, its cast, and production team.
  • Playwright/creative team agrees to indemnify and hold harmless Outvisible Theatre Company, its parent company, Center Stage Studios, and any of Center Stage Studio’s affiliates from any liability that may occur relating to your performance for the festival in general as well as in any subsequent future development and/or production of work

Submission guidelines for musicals

Musicals must be submitted with the following:

  • Piano/vocal score which is able to be played solely by one pianist
  • Recording of all songs (including any instrumental interludes, overtures, etc) in digital format: songs uploaded to a shared Google Drive (shared with adriane@artsdetroit.org) preferred, but will consider most digital submissions (please make sure they are presented in order in which they would be performed in the show)
  • If selected as semi-finalist, creative team must provide digital reference tracks for all songs for cast vocals