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344 East 14th Street
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347-878-5771

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Submission Guidelines

Seeking Full-length Jewish plays and musicals. Read more to submit.  

The Jewish Plays Project (David Winitsky, Artistic Director) is excited to announce the opening of Project Submissions for future Jewish Plays Project Seasons. Submissions are open as of November 15. 2017, and will close on or about January 31, 2018.

2017-18 marks Season #7 for the JPP, a significant number in Jewish life, so we’re doing some things differently than in the past.

what’s different this year?

1. We are NOT accepting new submissions for THE Jewish Playwriting Contest. This year’s Contest is a BEST OF, with all entrants selected from our previous 62 featured plays. You can learn more here.

2. However, the JPP believes deeply in an accepting and investigating an open and wide-ranging variety of new plays. As such, we will still be accepting new, unproduced, unpublished full-length plays and musicals on Jewish themes.

Accordingly:

  • We WILL be accepting new project submissions.

  • There is no specific development program set up for the plays in this submission process. Our goal is to keep the gates open wide for new voices and new ideas.

  • Repeat submissions will only be reviewed in MAJOR changes have been made to the script.

3. We are currently preparing a totally new way to interact with our writers. Keep an eye out here for more info on the JPP’s PITCH SLAM.

What remains the same?

 

1. DIVERSITY: 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.

 

2. CONTENT PREFERENCES: The JPP seeks plays that find the intersection between Jewish identity and a larger sense of 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.

Be bold. Think differently about what Jewish theater can be. Strive for epic size and impact. Embrace the emotional, the mystical, the theatrical. Tackle the challenging, the controversial, the provocative. We are unafraid to walk these roads with you. 

The JPP advances plays at all stages of development. We have worked with playwrights completing production drafts, but have a soft spot for plays that are still at the exploratory or idea stage. Nothing excites us more than helping a playwright discover their own Jewish play.

 

3. ELIGIBILITY: Full-length or short plays or musicals that deal with contemporary Jewish themes that have never been produced in New York City. The following must be true of a submitted play:

  1. It contains significant Jewish themes, characters, content, or points of view.

  2. 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).

  3. It does NOT fall into the beloved category of "ethnically stereotypical comedy" (No 'Yiddishemammeh" plays, no "My Afternoon With Bubbe", no "Jewlicious")

  4. 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).

  5. It has not had a full production in the NY Metro region, or a major regional theater (LORT C or above).

  6. The play has never been published in any form.

So – let’s get to the fun part.

 

SUBMISSION: Entries will be accepted on a rolling basis, starting in November and extending through January 31, 2018. Each submitting playwright must fill out the Project Application form (www.jewishplaysproject.org/submit). Playwrights will upload their play to the form as a PDF with their name removed (all plays are reviewed blind). There is no fee to submit, but there is a one (1) submission per person rule.

 

VETTING PROCESS: Plays will be reviewed on a rolling basis (this is NEW. There is NO set schedule for play review, acceptance or programs). Senior JPP artistic staff and advisors will review open submissions, submissions by agents and managers, and work by recent alumni of major graduate writing programs for consideration for other developmental opportunities, including:

OPEN: Festival of New Jewish Theater at the 14th Street Y

Over the course of the two-week Festival writers are given time for revisions and research as well as 29-hours of rehearsals with JPP staff, Jewish dramaturgs, and some of New York’s best actors, directors and designers. These workshops are presented for the public and the industry.

 

G-d's Honest Truth by Renee Calarco, Photo Danielle Staif

G-d's Honest Truth by Renee Calarco, Photo Danielle Staif

Rabbi Soffin and JPP Artists

Rabbi Soffin and JPP Artists

Renegade Reading Series: a periodic, as-needed in-house reading series for plays that spark the JPP’s interest.

Artist Shabbats: Friday night the JPP way. JPP supporters host discussions of a new play in private homes led by JPP staff, Jewish dramaturgs and the playwright.

 

DEVELOPMENT PROCESS: The JPP provides high-quality theatrical developmental support for all projects, including time with in-house dramaturgs, access to experts when needed, and matches with great actors and directors.

In addition, we have pioneered what we 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. This specific intentionality is what distinguishes the JPP from other high-level new play development houses.

 

OTHER STUFF

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.

REPEAT SUBMISSIONS: Plays that were submitted in 2012-2017 seasons are generally NOT eligible for resubmission. These plays are still cataloged in our minds, and we appreciate your sending them our way.

However, if you can make a significant argument that you have made MAJOR changes and updates to the work, and that we need to see the exciting new directions you’ve taken, please send the play.

 

ABOUT THE JEWISH PLAYS PROJECT: The Jewish Plays Project puts bold, progressive Jewish conversations on world stages. The JPP’s innovative and competitive development vehicle invests emerging artists in their Jewish identity; engages Jewish communities in the vetting, selecting and championing of new voices; and secures mainstream production opportunities for the best new plays. • www.jewishplaysproject.org

To date, the JPP has advanced 34 new plays, 18 of which have gone on to production in New York, Boston, London, Detroit, Tel Aviv and around the US (see www.jewishplaysproject.org/success for more). Together with the OPEN Festival, the JPP has featured some of the country’s most exciting next-generation artists (Yehuda Hyman, Daniella Topol, Robert Askins, Brooke Berman, Sarah Gancher, MJ Kaufman, Irene Sankoff and David Hein, Lauren Feldman, Jonathan Caren, Marc Bruni, Resident Director Benjamin Kamine, and tons of others).

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:

David Winitsky, Artistic Director

David@jewishplaysproject.org • 347.878.5771