Bay Street Selects Semi-Finalists For its 2023 New Works Festival

Submissions for the 2023 New Works Festival opened October 1, 2022, and closed just more than a week later when 300 submissions were received.

By: Jan. 25, 2023
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Bay Street Selects Semi-Finalists For its 2023 New Works Festival

Bay Street Theater & Sag Harbor Center for the Arts is pleased to announce that the selection process for the 9th annual Title Wave: The 2023 New Works Festival has entered the semi-finalist phase with 30 works selected to continue on to the next round. Submissions for the 2023 New Works Festival opened October 1, 2022, and closed just more than a week later when 300 submissions were received.

"In my third year as the Literary Manager of Bay Street, I'm so pleased to see the way the festival has grown and evolved," says Hope Villanueva, Literary Manager at Bay Street. "After starting in the pandemic with streamed offerings, then on to live audiences last year-who brought excited conversations on all manner of topics-I'm thrilled to have many wonderful writers and plays to pick from this season. As always, I hope that we can challenge and laugh and make audiences think. I can't wait until we can announce our finalists and selections for 2023."

From 300 submissions received by playwrights from around the country, the field was narrowed down to the top 10 percent after a round of scoring by a panel of readers. Over the next few weeks, these 30 plays will be read by the artistic leadership staff at Bay Street, who through discussion and recommendation will further narrow down the selections to just 5 to 7 finalists. Only four of those will then be selected as pieces to be read at the New Works Festival, scheduled for May 5-7.

Of the 30 semi-finalist plays selected:

  • 53% are written by female playwrights, 47% male
  • 50% are written by white playwrights, 50% written by black, indigenous, or people of color.
  • 57% of plays feature five characters or less, 43% with six or more characters

Established in 2014, the New Works Festival is an annual presentation of new plays and musicals and an opportunity for playwrights to work on their play in-person with directors and professional actors. New Works plays and musicals represent a broad array of voices, viewpoints, cultures, and styles. The works presented are stories we haven't heard, make us feel joy and humanity, and take us on new journeys. The festival is a process of growth and development for not only the playwrights and their works, but for the creative team at Bay Street who are looking to learn from new talent. Double Helix, a new musical by Madeline Myers premiering at Bay Street's 2023 Mainstage season, was a play presented at the 2022 New Works Festival.

Bay Street Theater is a year-round, not-for-profit professional theater and community cultural center, which endeavors to innovate, educate, and entertain a diverse community through the practice of the performing arts. It serves as a social and cultural gathering place, an educational resource, and a home for a community of artists.



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