New Submission Guidelines
Seeking Full-length Jewish plays and musicals. Read more to submit.
NEW PLAY & MUSICAL SUBMISSION GUIDELINES
The Jewish Plays Project (David Winitsky, Artistic Director) is excited to announce the opening of Project Submissions for future Jewish Plays Project Seasons.
AN IMPORTANT NOTE: SUBMISSIONS ARE OPEN TO ARTISTS OF ALL BACKGROUNDS, DENOMINATIONS, FAITHS, CREEDS, RELIGIONS and other IDEALS. We believe that Jewish identity and culture are specific manifestations of universal human cravings for spiritual, ethical, moral and worldly joy. “Matrilineal descent” is neither important nor necessary.
SUBMISSION DEADLINE: Starting in 2019, the Jewish Plays Project now accepts scripts for new Jewish plays and musicals on an open, rolling basis – there is no submission deadline.
SUBMISSION PROCESS: Fill out the Project Application Form and attach a play to the form as a PDF. Your play must be submitted with your name and identifying information removed (all plays are reviewed blind). We do not charge a fee to submit (cause we kinda think submission fees are lame).
Submitted plays and musicals will be considered for:
Jewish Playwriting Contest: our national, community-powered search for the most exciting new Jewish plays;
Artist Shabbats: small-group, private sessions focused on one new play;
NYC Readings: public and industry presentations in prominent NYC venues of new plays and musicals that are ready for production;
OPEN: Festival of New Jewish Theater at the 14th Street Y: our ever-changing showcase of new work at our East Village NYC home.
Renegade Readings: rapid response readings for new plays in critical stages of development.
MUSICALS: The JPP does develop musicals (see our workshops of David Hein and Irene Sankoff’s Mitzvah and Deborah Yarchun’s And You Shall Be a Blessing). Submitted musicals must include links to recordings of at least 3 songs to be reviewed.
ELIGIBILITY: The following must be true of a submitted play or musical:
It contains significant Jewish themes, characters, content, or points of view.
It is not a Holocaust play (stories that deal directly with the history of the Shoah, its survivors and their children, or the World War II period more generally).
It does NOT fall into the beloved category of "ethnically stereotypical comedy" (No 'Yiddishemammeh" plays, no "My Afternoon With Bubbe", no "Jewlicious")
It is in English, or primarily in English – we love plays that play with language as a theatrical tool, and plays that explore the differences in language. It just needs to be primarily accessible by an English speaking audience. (We welcome translations).
It is full length, meaning over 75 minutes in length.
It has not had a full production in the NY Metro region, or a major regional theater (LORT C or above).
The play has never been published in any form.
+ DEVELOPMENT PROCESS
The JPP brings all the tools of new play development to bear on the plays we select: dramaturgical consultation and research; the involvement of collaborating artists - including directors, designers and actors - at all stages as needed; private and public presentations; and industry advocacy.
What distinguishes the JPP process is what we call Jewish Dramaturgy. We base our exploration of the theatrical needs of a play around the central issue of its Jewish content and ideas, continuing to ask the question “What is the Jewish here?” When possible, we will bring prominent Jewish thought leaders (clergy, scholars, professionals and artists) into the room to join the development process, and extend the Jewish learning.
+ INTENTION (Kavanah)
We partner with great writers who not only have a great idea for a play, but have a heartfelt intention to write a Jewish play. To us, this means that during the development process, the writer is committed to making decisions about the progress of the play (or musical) that enhance and deepen the Jewish content, spirit, ideas and values in the work.
This is where the JPP development process differs from other NPD venues. We will ask you to “make your play more Jewish”. We will back this up with the expertise, support and resources to investigate how that works in your play.
This does NOT mean asking writers to add more prayer, or Jewish melodies, or latkes. It does not mean privileging Jewish characters or settings. It does not mean more Jewish mothers or bar mitzvah jokes.
It means seeking intersectionality with all our brothers and sisters. It means embracing change and building diversity. It means stirring revolution and sparking resistance. It means bringing the best of Jewish history - the radical intellectual tradition that is core to the Jewish spirit - into the 21st Century.
It means digging deep and asking how identifying as or being identified as Jewish affects our sense of self, of community, and of thinking about our place in the world.
We believe great Jewish stories/plays lead to great questions and conversations about our multiple Jewish identities, and that rigorous conversation and questions lead to great plays. It is important to the JPP to identify writers during the selection process who share these intentions.
+ CONTENT PREFERENCES
The JPP seeks plays that find the intersection between Jewish identity and global self. We want to look at the places where Jewish ideas, traditions, stories, myths, culture (and yes, religion) impact, inform, and hopefully improve our lives.
While we value history, we will always lean toward plays that tackle vibrant strands of today’s world: social justice, economic justice, diversity, strong women in Jewish life, LGBTQ inclusion, new perspectives on Israel, environmentalism, and interfaith relations in addition to deep conversations about our complex and multifaceted identities.
"Culture is the glue that holds the Jewish community together," says JPP Board Member Barbara Wind. We believe this is true. Help us make more glue! Show us the stories that keep you – a creative, intellectual – invested in the community. Tell us why Jewish matters in 2019.
In 2019, the JPP is particularly interested in:
Anti-Semites and the Jews Who Love Them
We’re not “they sky is falling” kinda folk, but we recognize that anti-Semitism is back in a big way. That’s not news. What is new is the bizarre kinships springing up these days.
- Anti-Semitism on the political Right: From the Twitterverse to the White House to Lakewood, NJ, Jews are spending an awful lot of time with some unsavory folks. Can we get to the bottom of that?
- Anti-Semitism on the political Left: From Alice Walker to Jeremy Corbyn to Linda Sarsour, some very smart people are saying some very troubling things. How do we find common ground with our progressive colleagues?
How Jews Became White Folks and What that says about Race in America
80 years ago, Jews weren’t really white. Then, gradually, we were, with profound impacts on relationships to other American minority groups. What’s the state of Jewish whiteness today? What’s the state of Jews and the multicultural project as a whole?
(with all due respect to Professor Karen Brodkin)
American Jews and American Muslims: A New Day
From protests of the Travel Ban, to the restoration of desecrated Jewish cemeteries, to supporting Tree of Life, American Jews and American Muslims have been close by each other’s side. Can this be the start of a era in this complex relationship?
+ SELECTION PROCESS
Every submitted play is reviewed by two members of the JPP staff and at least one or our 50-member Artist Panel. Senior JPP artistic staff and advisors will review submissions by agents and managers, as well as work by recent alumni of major graduate playwriting programs.
The JPP will respond to all submitted plays in a timely manner.
- If the JPP selects your play for development, you will be informed prior to public announcement of the selection.
- If we are definitely NOT going to be able to work on your play, we will let you know as soon as we can. We don’t want to keep anyone hanging.
- If we have announced a selection of plays that doesn’t include yours, but we have not notified you that we are passing on your play, that means your play is intriguing to someone on our Reading Panels. Your play isn't necessarily next in line, and we may not yet know here or if it fits into our programming; we simply found interesting and worthy of keeping in cosideration. PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT US - doing so will not accelerate our work on your play.
+ REPEAT SUBMISSIONS
If you have submitted your play to the JPP before, it is still eligible (with the exception of previous Contest winners). However, before you resubmit, consider whether one of the following is true: a) you have made significant rewrites to the play; b) your play has received additional development by an outside theater company (i.e. something outside a table read at your house); or c) you feel that something in the current zeitgeist has shifted the context around your play and made it newly relevant. We believe that the right play may simply need to find the right play or the right time or the right reader, but we ask you to be aware of our limited resources.