The Playwrights’ Initiative

NextStop Theatre, in Herndon, VA, is proud to announce the creation of The Playwrights’ Initiative. Through this innovative new program, NextStop aims to connect to and strengthen the network of playwrights in the Northern Virginia/DC community by helping to build links directly between artists and providing vital organizational resources needed for cultivating new works of theatre.

The Playwrights’ Initiative will consist of two separate but equally important components. The first will occur on March 23, when NextStop is set to host their inaugural Playwrights’ Mixer and Pitch-fest. NextStop will invite thirty local playwrights to come together to meet and network with each other, as well as area directors and producers. The event will culminate with each playwright “pitching” their work to the entire assembled group. The primary goal of the event will be to provide an opportunity for local playwrights to gather insight from and build relationships with new colleagues (as well as NextStop).

Following the event, all the attending playwrights will be asked to complete a survey to help identify the playwrights and/or works that they were most drawn to (other than their own). Using the feedback and guidance gathered directly from the playwrights, NextStop will select several of the most talked about works and produce a series of free-to-the-public, developmental, staged readings with professional actors and directors, over the next six months.

“I have long aspired for NextStop to get involved in developing new work.” says NextStop’s Artistic Director, Evan Hoffmann. “But I wanted to start by consulting with playwrights. I wanted to find out how we could best serve them and their creative process. Over and over again, I heard playwrights talk about two central challenges. They lamented that the writing process can be very lonely work and that finding the people and space to gain objective feedback is daunting. It is my hope we can help to ease both of those struggles through this program.”

The Playwrights Initiative was developed with and for playwrights and is focused on serving the needs of these artists, who truly hold the keys to the genesis of the entire theatrical creative process. Playwrights who are interested in participating in the program can apply here.

The Playwrights’ Initiative is funded in part by a generous project grant from ARTSFAIRFAX.

 

 

DUE TO POTENTIAL SPACE LIMITATIONS, PLAYWRIGHTS ARE ASKED TO APPLY, USING THIS ONLINE FORM, TO PARTICIPATE IN THE PLAYWRIGHTS’ MIXER AND PITCH-FEST. WE HOPE TO INVITE AS MANY PLAYWRIGHTS AS POSSIBLE, BUT FINAL INVITATIONS WILL BE BASED ON AMOUNT OF RECEIVED INTEREST, CAPACITY, AND (IF NECESSARY) A REVIEW OF APPLICANTS TO ENSURE WE REPRESENT A DIVERSE ARRAY OF EXPERIENCES AND PERSPECTIVES IN THE ROOM.

 

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

What does the Playwrights’ Initiative entail?

The Playwrights’ Initiative is NextStop Theatre’s new effort to connect playwrights in the DC Metro community to each other, as well as to provide a new platform for playwrights to workshop their plays with a professional cast and experienced development team. The process will consist of an initial playwright application, the Playwright’s Mixer and Pitch-fest, and subsequent staged readings, produced at NextStop’s theater in Herndon, Virginia.

The idea for this program was first generated through conversations with numerous local playwrights and intended to be about and for them.

NextStop Theatre Company is dedicated to using the power of theatre to build the bonds of community. We have been a staple of the local community for over 30 years and collaborate with local artists from around the DMV region. For playwrights accepted into this program, we have the ability to provide our significant resources; including space, infrastructure, experience, and professional connections to grow and develop our Northern Virginia theatrical and writing communities.

Who is eligible for this opportunity?

Any playwright from Northern Virginia, DC, or Maryland with a play or a developed idea for a play is welcome to apply.

I’m a playwright from the area. How do I apply?

Complete the online submission form here.

When will I hear back after I submit my application?

Applications are due by March 1, 2019. NextStop may request some additional information and/or materials from applicants following the application deadline. Final selection of participants will be announced by March 8th. The Playwright’s Mixer and Pitch-fest will be held March 23rd.

If I’m selected, what do I need to prepare for the pitch day?

To prepare for the Mixer and Pitch-fest event, just make sure that you are comfortable and prepared to engage with playwrights and other theatre-makers. Know how you want to talk about yourself, your work, and the script you wish to “pitch”. (You will only have two minutes for your Pitch-fest presentation. But that will be after at least an hour of socializing and meeting your fellow artists!)

Where and when will the staged readings be taking place?

All staged readings will be held at NextStop Theatre in Herndon. Each selected play will be given 6-8 hours of rehearsal and performances will be scheduled for select Monday evenings starting in April.

Who will be involved in the staged readings?

Each reading will be assigned a professional director to lead the project. The director will work with NextStop’s program coordinator and the playwright to select a cast for the project. The final presentation will be open to the general public.

What happens if my play is not selected, but I would still like to participate?

It is our hope that even if your play is not selected for a staged reading, you will still benefit from the opportunity to meet and build new relationships with fellow playwrights in our community. All participants will also be invited to all the staged readings and encouraged to attend and provide feedback. Hopefully, we can support and grow together!

I’m an actor or director. How do I get involved?

Actors are invited  to submit their headshot and resume to NextStop’s casting department by emailing casting@nextstoptheatre.org, at any point in the year. Directors are also welcome to submit their interest and resumes to info@nextstoptheatre.org and they will be forwarded to our Artistic Director.

Will NextStop produce the scripts that are workshopped?

NextStop has not made any specific commitment to additional development or full productions of any scripts submitted to the New Works program, at this time. (But you never know what could happen!)