Sundance Institute Announces Expansion of Theatre Program

Sundance Institute Theatre Program announces two new artist labs to be held in 2010 at Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MOCA) and New York’s Governors Island

Announces Call for Entries: Theatre Lab at Mass MoCA (March 28-April 11, 2010)
Theatre Lab on Governor’s Island (May 23-June 6, 2010);
New Deadline for All Submissions is October 12, 2009

Sundance Institute announced today the expansion of its Theatre Program with two new labs: the first to be held at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MassMoCA) from March 28-April 11, 2010, and the second to be held on New York’s Governors Island from May 23-June 6, 2010. The labs are two-week developmental retreats designed to provide private, creative environments for
playwrights, directors, composers and librettists to devise new work with the support of dramaturgs and full casts. Participants will be chosen from an open submission process. The Program is interested in both established and emerging theatre artists, as well as artists making a transition from areas outside of theatre.  Artists are encouraged to apply quickly; the deadline for submissions is October
12, 2009. These two labs will temporarily replace the annual Sundance Theatre Lab, held in Utah each July, while upgrades and construction take place at the Sundance Resort. Visit for full submission details.

“We are thrilled to expand the Sundance Institute Theatre Program to these unique environments,” said Philip Himberg, Producing Artistic Director, Sundance Institute Theatre Program.” Sundance Institute labs provide a crucible for innovative developmental work. They are more than a place to “rehearse”; they are environments that encourage and support risk-taking, experimentation, and rigorous re-writing and re-imagining. MassMoca and Governor’s Island both provide a connection with nature, which is integral to our view of nurturing the creative
process, and both have been generous with their resources and rehearsal space – critical gifts during this economic climate. We are thrilled and grateful that these venues will allow us to continue our 33 years of supporting theatre artists while our home base in Sundance, Utah undergoes some vital renovations.”

Sundance Institute Theatre Lab at Mass MoCA
North Adams, Massachusetts
March 28-April 11, 2010
This is a new, two-week development retreat for theatre artists held at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, ranked among the most visited institutions in the United States dedicated to new art. Since opening in 1999, MassMoCA has become one of the world’s premier centers for making and showing the best art of our time. More than 80 major new works of art and more than 50 performances have been created through fabrication and rehearsal residencies in North Adams. The Sundance Institute Theatre Lab at Mass MoCA offers an opportunity and process for an independent-minded community of artists to engage with their work, ask questions, build text and take risks.

Sundance Institute Theatre Lab on Governors Island
May 23-June 6, 2010
The Sundance Institute Theatre Program is honored to be selected as the first theatre group to use the Island. This is a new, two-week development retreat for theatre artists held on and in collaboration with New York’s Governors Island Preservation & Education Corporation. The Theatre Lab on Governors Island will provide a creative environment (artsists will take a short ferry ride to the island daily from the Battery Maritime Building at the southern tip of Manhattan) for playwrights, directors, composers and librettists to develop new work with the full support of dramaturgs and full casts. This lab will celebrate the diversity and rich resources of New York Harbor while providing a protective canopy of private time and space in which to create.

The Sundance Institute Theatre Program welcomes applications for projects at any stage of development. Submitted work cannot have been previously produced, but may have received prior labs or readings. In addition, projects scheduled to receive a production before July 11, 2010 (Mass MoCA Lab) and September 6, 2010 (Governors Island Lab), are not eligible. Commissioned work is eligible for submission.

Playwrights, directors, composers, ensembles, performance artists or choreographers may submit applications. Playwright/director teams are permitted and encouraged to apply together; however, because many emerging playwrights do not have access to a director, Sundance Institute is positioned to match these artists with an experienced director.

Participants must be available for the entire length of each lab. Artists can only submit one application. Previous applicants may re-apply, but not with previously submitted material.

Through open submissions, Sundance Institute Theatre Program considers an estimated 600 projects. Each full-time Fellow (playwright, director, and collaborator) receives a $500 honorarium and company of actors (if applicable), selected by Sundance Institute in collaboration with the Fellows, to support their project.  It provides professional actors, dramaturges and playwrights rehearsal space and stage management for the collaborative team working on each project. At the end of each lab, projects will culminate in an informal presentation for the community only, followed by a feedback session with Sundance artistic staff and
guest Creative Advisors. Actors are selected for their professionalism, versatility and suitability for the development process. Actors operate on a Special Agreement with Actors’ Equity Association during the Theatre Labs.

Sundance Institute Theatre Program
Through its developmental activities at the Sundance Institute Playwright’s Retreat at Ucross, the Sundance Institute Theatre Lab at White Oak, Sundance Institute East Africa,and two new pilot theatre programs at Mass MoCA and Governors Island, The Sundance Institute Theatre Program identifies and assists emerging theatre artists,
contributes to the creative growth of established artists, and encourages and supports the development of new work for the stage. Under the guidance of Producing Artistic Director Philip Himberg, more than 85% of the work coming out of the Program’s labs has found professional production at theatres across the United States, Mexico and Europe. Recent productions of Sundance-developed work include: Passing Strange by Stew and Heidi Rodewald, which won the 2008 Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical and Grey Gardens by Doug Wright, Scott Frankel and Michael Korie.

Sundance Institute
Founded by Robert Redford in 1981, Sundance Institute is a not-for-profit organization that fosters the development of original storytelling in film and theatre, and presents the annual Sundance Film Festival. Internationally recognized for its artistic development programs for directors, screenwriters, producers, film composers, playwrights and theatre artists, Sundance Institute has nurtured such
projects as Angels in America, Spring Awakening, Boys Don’t Cry, Sin Nombre, Born into Brothels and Trouble the Water.


Brooks Addicott  / 435.658.3456
Amy McGee
/ 310-492-2333

Source: Sundance Institute

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