Olney Theatre Center Now Accepting Submissions for New Work Proposals

The deadline has been extended to May 8, 2024.

By: Apr. 17, 2024
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Olney Theatre Center Now Accepting Submissions for New Work Proposals Olney Theatre Center is accepting submissions for new team-developed work with a deadline extended to May 8, 2024, as part of the 2024-25 Vanguard Arts Fund. Since launching in 2017 with seed money from the Eugene B. Casey Foundation, the Vanguard Arts Fund has provided developmental support to diverse teams of artists interested in creating theatrical works. Whether the project is in the early drafts of a new play or finishing up the first song of a musical, Olney Theatre Center provides workshop time, a stipend, housing for out-of-town artists, and additional resources/support to advance the various stages of a work’s development process. Artists own their ideas and the work they create as part of this workshop selection; Olney Theatre’s involvement is to support the artist(s) and their project with hopes of producing their work in a future season.
Prior VAF projects that have gone on to be included in Olney Theatre Center’s season are critically acclaimed hits like A.D. 16, created by playwright Bekah Brunstetter, composer/screenwriter Cinco Paul, and director Stephen Brackett which has Broadway expectations; the world premiere dramatic comedy The Joy That Carries You co-written by Awa Sal Secka and Dani Stoller which captured the Helen Hayes Outstanding New Play Award; and the ground-breaking Deaf and hearing production of Meredith Willson’s The Music Man which was also recognized at the Helen Hayes Awards with wins for Outstanding Lead Performer in a Musical and Outstanding Direction of a Musical.
Said Artistic Director Jason Loewith, “To have developed four projects that have not only made it into our season, but then have three of them go on to receive Helen Hayes recognition really exceeds our expectations given the relatively brief life of the Vanguard Arts Fund. As the Fund grows in reputation, I know we’ll see ever-more exciting works to share and advance.”
A successful proposal for new work will bring together more than one generative artist in an interdisciplinary fashion to explore new or classic stories. Olney Theatre Center is interested in hearing from directors, actors, playwrights, designers, stage managers - anyone with a great idea and a great plan to pursue their artistic visions. 2023-24 selected VAF projects include an athletic, feminist pop musical called Built For This with music and lyrics by Kira Stone and book by Lauren Gunderson; Song of the Exile, a collaboration between director Seema Sueko, Native Hawaiian novelist Kiana Davenport, and composer/sound designer André Pluess, adapting Davenport’s novel of the same title; and Candlelight, an original multimedia play with music conceived by Jordan Friend and Jenna Place.
To submit a proposal for the 2024-25 Vanguard Arts Fund, visit olneytheatre.org/vaf to learn more and complete an application form by May 8, 2024 at 11:59 PM.  A Vanguard Arts Fund selected project will receive up to one week of workshop space, a stipend, travel and housing provided for out-of-town artists, Olney Theatre staff casting resources and additional support, and shared vehicles/gas paid by the theatre. Selection for the 24-25 Vanguard Arts Fund will be announced in June 2024. For further questions, email vanguard@olneytheatre.org.


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