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Submissions Now Open For The Premiere Stages 2021/2022 Liberty Live Commission

Submissions Now Open For The Premiere Stages 2021/2022 Liberty Live Commission

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Submissions Now Open For The Premiere Stages 2021/2022 Liberty Live Commission

Premiere Stages, the professional theatre in residence at Kean University, will start accepting submissions on Monday, June 15, 2020 for the 2021/2022 Liberty Live Commission, a biennial commissioning program for New Jersey playwrights in partnership with Kean's Liberty Hall Museum.

Now in its sixth incarnation, Liberty Live culminates with a professional Equity production of a new play that celebrates New Jersey history. Past winners include Talking to Westfield by E.M. Lewis (2012), At Liberty Hall by James Christy (2013/2014), My Lord, What a Night by Deborah Brevoort (2015/2016) and Black Tom Island by Martin Casella (2017/2018), and Robey by Joe Sutton (2019/2020). The fully staged production of Robey has been postponed to September 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Playwrights are invited to submit proposals for new plays about New Jersey history to Premiere Stages. Playwrights must be current residents of the state of New Jersey. The panel will consider any relevant topics and has also indicated that stories pertaining to the struggle for civil rights in New Jersey will be given strong consideration. Additional topics of interest include the 1967 Newark riots; Thomas Mundy Peterson of Perth Amboy, the first African American to cast a vote under the protection of the 15th Amendment; the construction of the Atlantic City Boardwalk; the Negro Leagues' presence in New Jersey when baseball was segregated; America's first "Crime of the Century"- the kidnapping of the Lindbergh Baby; and the Hindenburg Tragedy.

Proposals are due by September 1, 2020. A shortlist of the submitted proposals will be selected as finalists and playwrights will be interviewed. The winning proposal will be selected by November 30, 2020, and that playwright will be commissioned to write a play based on the submitted proposal. Upon completion of the first draft, the playwright will receive a $2,000 award. The winning play will be developed from November 2020 through October 2021 and will include three staged readings in October 2021 at Premiere Stages. From November 2021 through October 2022, Premiere Stages will work with the playwright to continue to develop the play. Premiere Stages will also forge collaborations and partnerships with organizations and groups statewide. A full Equity production will be performed at Liberty Hall Museum in October 2022.

Premiere Stages is dedicated to supporting a diverse group of writers; playwrights of all backgrounds, ages, and experience levels are encouraged to apply. There are no restrictions on casting; characters may be of any age, gender, or race. Premiere Stages serves a wide audience and is dedicated to celebrating the wide diversity that enriches New Jersey.

Submission guidelines are now available, and there is no fee to enter. Please visit or email for full guidelines. All entries are evaluated by a panel of theatre professionals and historians in consultation with Premiere's Producing Artistic Director, John J. Wooten, and Liberty Hall Museum's Executive Director, Rachel Goldberg.

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