Emerging Writers Residency

 


 The Circle in the Square Theatre School

Emerging Writers Residency 

Program Director: Natalie Wilson
Advisory Committee: Galia Backal and Billy Bustamante
CITSTS Artistic Director: Jeanne Slater 

 A new works incubator that offers theater writers a six week residency at our premier acting conservatory to develop a play or musical, culminating in a presentation on the Circle in the Square Broadway stage.

Application dates: Sept 15-30, 2023     Residency dates: Jan-Mar or Mar-April 2024


Our Mission 

The Circle in the Square Theatre School (CITSTS) Emerging Writers Residency aims to support the future of the theater industry with a truly collaborative residency. The program will nurture both writers and actors while developing new trailblazing plays and musicals that celebrate underrepresented stories and challenge theater norms.

Due to the pandemic, many developmental spaces and residencies had to close their doors; we aim to fill that gap by providing writers a home for their developmental process. As educators, we have also noticed a gap in which students have not been given the tools to know how to support new work. This residency will give our students the experience needed to become true collaborators in a play or musical’s development.



SUBMISSIONS HAVE BEEN FILLED FOR THE 2023-24 SEASON! 

The CITSTS Emerging Writers Residency offers writers a creative space, an acting troupe, and time to develop their work. One musical and one play will be chosen each year, with a strong emphasis on works created by writers currently underrepresented in the theatrical cannon. The two selected pieces will be workshopped for six weeks each, with CITSTS student actors and faculty directors. Each piece will receive a public reading on the Circle in the Square Broadway stage at the end of that six weeks.

What we are looking for in a script

  • Full-length works with a complete script/score in early stages of development (we love a 1st draft!)
  • Works that have NOT been previously produced
  • LARGE CASTS! Both plays and musicals must have a minimum of 6 roles (not including ensemble for the musical). Note: as we are casting only within our student body, flexible casting may be necessary
  • Characters should provide substantial and challenging roles for a diverse array of actors (both racial and gender diversity)

Residency Schedule

Writers will be in residency at CITSTS for six to seven weeks either late January to March, or March to April, 2024. Writers will have 2 class sessions per week to workshop their piece with CITSTS students and a CITSTS faculty director (plus a music director for the musical). At the end of the six weeks, there will be a presentation on the Circle in the Square Broadway stage!

Writers must be available for one of the below blocks in their entirety, with at least one member from the writing team present at each and every session (except where marked “optional”). All sessions are held at Circle in the Square Theatre School, below the Broadway theatre at 1633 Broadway, NYC. For writers who are not local to NYC, there is an option to zoom in to the class sessions. No housing or transportation is provided.

BLOCK 1: January 18  – March 11, 2024

Class sessions:

  • Week 1: Thurs 1/18: 5-6:30pm (optional); Fri 1/19: 4-6pm
  • Week 2: Thurs 1/25: 5-6:30pm; Friday 1/26: 4-6pm
  • Week 3: Thurs 2/1: 5-6:30pm; Friday Feb 2: 4-6pm
  • Week 4: Wed 2/7: 10am-2pm; Thurs 2/8: 5-6:30pm
  • Week 5: Thurs 2/15: 5-6:30pm
  • Week 6: Thurs 2/22: 5-6:30pm; Friday 2/23: 4-6pm
  • Week 7: Thurs 2/29: 5-6:30pm

Presentation on Circle in the Square Theatre stage: tentatively Monday evening March 11th, pending Broadway theater production schedule

BLOCK 2: March 14 – April 29, 2024

  • Week 1: Thurs 3/14: 5-6:30pm (optional)
  • Week 2: Thurs 3/21: 5-6:30pm; Friday 3/22: 4-6pm
  • Week 3: Thurs 3/28: 5-6:30pm; Friday 3/29: 4-6pm
  • Week 3: Thurs 4/4 10am – 2pm; Friday Apr 5: 4-6pm
  • Week 4: Thurs 4/11: 5-6:30pm; Friday 4/12: 4-6pm
  • Week 5: Thurs 4/18: 5-6:30pm
  • Week 6: Thurs 4/25: 5-6:30pm; Friday 4/26: 4-6pm

Presentation on Circle in the Square Theatre Stage: tentatively Monday evening April 29th, pending Broadway theater production schedule

Reminder: you must be available for ALL of the class session dates for at least ONE of the above blocks!

Additionally, student auditions for BOTH works will be held 10am-2pm Tuesday Dec 5th, 2023. Writers are encouraged to attend (in person or virtually) but it is not required.

Writer/Composer Honorariums

Each writer will receive an honorarium of $500, not to exceed a total of $1000 for the musical writing team. (If a musical team has more than 2 collaborators, $1000 will be divided evenly amongst the team)

In addition to the honorarium, the Residency provides the following benefits:

  • all printing/photocopies/binders needed for the workshop
  • access to the CITSTS library and rehearsal rooms as a space to write outside of the session times
    complimentary tickets to the show playing on the Broadway stage when available.


SUBMISSIONS HAVE BEEN FILLED FOR THE 2023-24 SEASON! 

Submissions open September 15th, and close at 11:59pm September 30th, 2023. For this first year of the program, we are limiting submissions to the first 50 plays and first 50 musicals submitted.

Please read these through carefully and prepare your materials before you start the submission form. All of the below documents will be submitted as PDFs using the file names exactly as instructed below. (fill in the [ ] with the title of your play or musical)

If you have any questions please email our Program Director: Natalie Wilson at nwilson@circlesquare.org.

SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS FOR PLAYS: 

  1. Full Script (file name: [PlayTitle]_SCRIPT.pdf)
    note: for the first round, the first 20 pages will be read
  2. Cast List (file name: [PlayTitle]_CAST. pdf)
    Include the following information:

    1. Character name
    2. Gender and if FLEXIBLE or NOT FLEXIBLE
    3. Race/ethnicity and if FLEXIBLE or NOT FLEXIBLE
    4. Age (note: ages must be flexible, as the actors are all college students) 
  3. Synopsis (file name: [PlayTitle]_SYNOPSIS.pdf)
    500 words or less
  4. Development history of the play (file name: [PlayTitle]_DEVELOPMENT. pdf)
    500 words or less
    If you have none, that is perfectly great, you may skip this step!
  5. Goals for the Residency (file name: [PlayTitle]_GOALS. pdf) Include how your developmental goals would support an educational process. 500 words or less
  6. Playwright bio (file name: [PlayTitle]_BIO. pdf)
    500 words or less.
  7. EDI Statement (file name: [PlayTitle]_EDI.pdf)
    CITSTS Emerging Writers Residency is committed to amplifying under-represented voices in the American theater. In that spirit, is there anything you’d like us to know about how your identity intersects with/impacts the work you create? 500 words or less. (optional)
  8. $25 application fee


SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS FOR MUSICALS: 

  1. Full Script (file name: [ShowTitle]_SCRIPT.pdf)
    Songs must be indicated where they begin.
    note: for the first round, the first 20 pages will be read
  2. Cast List (file name: [ShowTitle]_CAST.pdf)
    Include the following information for all Principle and Secondary characters (i.e. NOT ensemble):

    • Character name
    • Gender and if FLEXIBLE or NOT FLEXIBLE
    • Race/ethnicity and if FLEXIBLE or NOT FLEXIBLE
    • Age (note: ages must be flexible, as the actors are all college students) 
    • Voice Type including range (e.g. G3 – F5)
      • If your musical has an ensemble, list how many, their voice types, and any gender/ethnicity requirements.
  3. Synopsis (file name: [ShowTitle]_SYNOPSIS.pdf)
    500 words or less.
  4. Development history of the musical (file name: [ShowTitle]_DEVELOPMENT.pdf)
    500 words or less
    If you have none, that is perfectly great, you may skip this step!
  5. Goals for the workshop (file name: [ShowTitle]_GOALS. pdf) Include how your workshop goals would support a student educational process. 500 words or less
  6. Full Song List: (file name: [ShowTitle]_SONGS.pdf)
    A single PDF of your song list for your full piece, including all songs outside of your five submitted demos. Include the full title of each song, character names, and the page number of the script where each song begins.
  7. MP3s or MP4s of demos of 5 songs. (file name: [ShowTitle]_[SongTitle].mp3 or mp4)
    These demos do not need to be highly produced: the composer singing is fine, midi tracks are fine. Note: Semi-finalists may be asked to provide up to 5 additional tracks. 
  8. Writer Bios (file name: [ShowTitle]_BIOS.pdf)
    Include bios for each member of the team (composer, lyricist, bookwriter) submitted as a single combined PDF. 500 words or less per writer.
  9. EDI Statement (file name: [ShowTitle]_EDI.pdf)
    CITSTS Emerging Writers Residency is committed to amplifying under-represented voices in the American theater. In that spirit, is there anything you’d like us to know about how the identities of the members of your creative team intersect with/impact the work you create? 500 words or less. (optional)
  10. $25 application fee


Selection process and timeline

  • Submissions close at 11:59pm on Sept 30th. Limit of 50 plays, 50 musicals.
  • By Nov 1st, five plays and five musicals will be notified that they have been selected as semi-final Musical semi-finalists may be asked to provide up to five additional demo tracks.
  • Nov 13th-17th semi-finalist writers will have interviews with the New Works Residency Panel. The purpose of these interviews is two-fold: 1) for the writers and faculty directors to meet and get a sense if there’s a good creative fit for the project; 2) to ensure that the educational setting will be productive for both the writers and our students.
  • After the interviews, three plays and three musicals will move to the final round, where the full scripts will be read blind by a panel of industry artistic directors outside of CITSTS.
  • By Dec 1st, one play and one musical will be chosen and writers notified.
  • Student Auditions for both works will be Dec 5th (writers welcome and encouraged to be present, but not required)

  • All photos on this page by Circle Alum Carl Bindman 22′