New York Children's Theater Festival Now Accepting Submissions for Spring 2014


Submissions for The New York Children's Theater Festival will be accepted July 1 to August 12, 2013, it was announced today by Festival co-founders Michael Shawn Lewis, Chelsey Shannon and Renee Barnett. Now in its third year, The New York Children's Theater Festival continues to provide a birthplace in New York City for new live children's entertainment and serve as a platform for writers and producers who are passionate about developing innovative theatrical experiences for children, with the chance to have their work showcased on the New York stage.

According to Lewis, "The first two years of our Festival have been an exceptional growth process. Our audiences have been supportive and have shown excitement for the productions we are bringing to them, and we see what an important role this festival has in the live family entertainment industry in New York City. We are proud to be in our third year and want to encourage any playwright, anywhere in the world, to please send us their submissions. We are seeking highly entertaining, original, and exciting works for kids. Our team of industry experts is ready to find the next big show!"

When someone submits an entry to The New York Children's Theater Festival, the work is adjudicated by a panel of Children's Theater experts. The entire process is anonymous and extensive. The New York Children's Theater Festival chooses the final works that will be presented each spring. In addition, in an effort to assist the artists in their development, the Festival principals will also provide feedback to finalists who are not chosen to participate in the Festival. "We hope that this professional feedback will be helpful in introducing interesting avenues of creative development for works not chosen to be showcased this year. We want all of those who submit to get something productive out of this process," co-founder Shannon explains. In addition to feedback, all artists who submit for the 2014 Festival Season will also receive admittance to the NYCTF fall symposium series.

The aim of The New York Children's Theater Festival is to serve family audiences by supporting artists and industry professionals within the genre of live children's entertainment and to foster critical awareness for the art form. Co-founder Barnett adds, "We hope this festival will continue to foster the growth of diverse theater for young audiences. It is important to the livelihood of theater and to audiences of all ages."

The inaugural Festival has reached over 1,000 audience members each year and has already seen results for its participants: Go Green!received Honorable Mention in the Jackie White Memorial National Children's Playwriting Contest (Columbia Entertainment Company, Columbia, MO), and Scheme of the Super Bullies is in the planning stages of launching a local tour through The Sarah Lawrence College Theatre Outreach Program.

The New York Children's Theater Festival will premiere April 25, 2014 and will feature four winning submissions who will produce their works for the New York City stage. Musicals, plays, puppetry, event presentations, and any other live theatrical form of children's entertainment are encouraged. Work that has been previously produced may also be submitted for consideration. Details at

All submissions will be read by a team of 30 industry professionals including artists, writers, producers and designers from leading national theaters, Broadway, and children's television. The finalists will be adjudicated by a Festival Panel of ten top industry leaders including participating advisory board members.

The New York Children's Theater Festival is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. More at

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