Premiere Stages, the professional theatre in residence at Kean University, is committed to supporting emerging playwrights through the development and production of new plays. Under the umbrella of the Premiere Stages Play Festival, Premiere produces a biannual commissioning program for New Jersey playwrights entitled Liberty Live. Now in its third incarnation, Liberty Live is a unique partnership with Kean’s Liberty Hall Museum that features a production of a new play that celebrates New Jersey history, tours of the museum, interactive displays, workshops for children and talk-backs with local historians. Past Liberty Live initiatives have focused on Westfield and Elizabeth.
Aspiring and established playwrights are invited to submit proposals for new one-act plays to Premiere Stages. Playwrights must be affiliated with New Jersey (current residents or natives of the state). The commissioned writer will be awarded $1000, and the script will be developed in 2015 and professionally produced in November 2016 at Liberty Hall Museum. Premiere seeks proposals for 45 – 60 minute plays that explore an event or events of historical significance that celebrate New Jersey’s rich and diverse history.
For 2015/2016, Premiere Stages will accept proposals that explore any inspired play about New Jersey history. However, the selection panel is particularly interested in plays that explore one of the following subjects:
· Events that helped the Union cause in the American Civil War (in celebration of the 150th Anniversary)
· The dramatization of events that have happened in the township of Plainfield
· The unique friendship between Albert Einstein and Marian Anderson
Three of the submitted proposals will be selected as finalists and playwrights will be interviewed. Proposals are due by June 30, 2015. The winning proposal will be selected by August 15, 2015 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 $1000 award. The winning play will be developed from August through November 2015 and three staged readings will be held in November 2015 at Premiere Stages. Community leaders, historians, school administrators and patrons will be invited to attend the readings to provide feedback and solidify partnership opportunities.
From November 2015 through November 2016, 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. The project will culminate with a fully produced Equity production at Premiere Stages in November 2016.
“This was one of the more gratifying projects I’ve been involved with since I started writing plays,” said James Christy, the playwright of At Liberty Hall, the 2013/14 Commission. “From the beginning of the submission process this was an exciting experience for me. As a history buff, I was fascinated as I began to research stories from the past of Elizabeth, New Jersey.”
Submission guidelines are now available, and there is no fee to enter.
Please visit www.kean.edu/premierestages/liberty.php or email firstname.lastname@example.org 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 the Director of the Liberty Hall Museum, William Schroh.
Premiere Stages is made possible in part through funding from The New Jersey State Council on the Arts, The Shubert Foundation, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, The Northfield Bank Foundation, The New Jersey Historical Commission, The Provident Bank Foundation, The Hudson City Savings Bank Foundation, Union County HEART Grants, The Hyde and Watson Foundation, The Union Foundation, E.J. Grassmann Trust, The New Jersey Theatre Alliance, The Westfield Foundation, The New Jersey Historical Commission, and through the generous support of individual patrons. Discover Jersey Arts is our marketing partner. Visit www.JerseyArts.com for more information about other arts programming happening around the Garden State.
For more information, please visit www.kean.edu/premierestages.