NEW JERSEY REPERTORY COMPANY-Call for Submissions for 'Fire Escape Plays'

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NEW JERSEY REPERTORY COMPANY-Call for Submissions for 'Fire Escape Plays'

New Jersey Repertory Company (NJ Rep), located at 179 Broadway in Long Branch, closed its season on March 13 as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic. Like most theaters across the country the date of resumption of productions is uncertain at this time and is dependent on how public spaces reopen and how local, state, and Federal regulations and guidelines evolve.

As part of its current strategy NJ Rep plans on resuming its main stage season next Spring with the understanding that flexibility is necessary and that the ever-changing impact of the pandemic will ultimately dictate whether this projected opening is accelerated or delayed further. The theater, however, is in a unique position because its buildings at its West End Arts Center, at 132 West End Avenue, have fire escapes that offer the opportunity for innovative thinking and the possibility of presenting plays outdoors sooner with both audiences and actors engaged in social distancing.

As a consequence, the theater is soliciting the submission of 30-45 minute plays or musicals that are newly written and previously unproduced, and that can be staged on a multilevel fire escape. Playwrights should keep in mind that cast size is limited to 1-3 actors and performers will be on separate levels with separate entrances and there will be no physical contact. Audiences will sit in their cars as in a drive-in movie or in safely distanced and designated spaces with portable seats.

The theater is planning that the fire escape plays will become a part of its ongoing programming, so there is no deadline at this time. Plays should be submitted electronically to and should contain the full script, a cast breakdown, and a brief synopsis.

NEW JERSEY REPERTORY COMPANY-Call for Submissions for 'Fire Escape Plays'

The idea for the fire escape plays is the result of the current pandemic and the need to explore the use of outdoor spaces. It is also inspired by Tennessee Williams' opening stage directions for "The Glass Menagerie" where a fire escape is the setting for pivotal moments in the play. As Williams describes: The apartment faces an alley and is entered by a fire-escape, a structure whose name is a touch of accidental poetic truth...always burning with the slow and implacable fires of human desperation.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of NJ Rep

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