Submissions for the 2018-2019 Rough Draft Reading Series will open August 1, 2017 and remain open until May 31, 2018.
Rough Draft Reading Program Overview:
The Rough Draft Reading (RDR) Program at 5th Wall Productions is a part of our new play development process. Each month, one previously unpublished and unproduced play will receive a staged reading, followed by a a critical response session with the audience. At the end of each season, TWO of the Rough Draft Reading selections will be chosen to receive a workshop production.
What kind of plays are you looking for?
5th Wall is currently accepting submissions of full-length, unpublished, unproduced stage plays. The plays do not have to be production-ready. In fact, most of our choices are in need of further development. Our mission is to give these development opportunities to new pieces, and 5th Wall staff will work closely with the writers to improve the work. Submissions will be judged for overall quality, length, style, and producibility. We strive to find plays that tell new stories, ask tough questions, provoke thought, and challenge both actors and audiences. Submissions are not exclusive to local playwrights, though some preference will be given to writers who are able to attend the reading.
How do I submit a script?
RDR submissions can be e-mailed in PDF format to our literary manager at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is there a fee?
What do I need to include with my submission?
Please include your name, address, phone number and email address on the cover page of your script. We would like plays to include a synopsis, character breakdown, and development history. Please also include any specific feedback you would like from the 5th Wall staff and/or what questions you would ask the audience during the talkback session at the reading. You may also include a brief biography (not required).
How should my play be formatted?
There is a great resource on play formatting by Samuel French here.
What is the deadline for submission?
Submissions for the 2018-2019 season will close at 11:59 pm EST on May 31, 2018.
When will I find out if my play is selected?
Writers will be notified by email when we have received your submission. If your play is chosen for a Rough Draft Reading, you will be notified by July 31, 2018.
If at any time you would like to receive an update on the status of your submission, feel free to send an email to email@example.com.
When are the RDR’s presented?
RDR events are typically held on the third Monday of each month (with the exception of November and December). Scripts are assigned a director and a cast, and in most cases scripts are given two rehearsals during the week prior to the reading. Writers are invited to attend rehearsals and the RDR event, but it is not required.
What happens in the Critical Response session?
The model we use for the critical response talkback was developed by Liz Lerman, and is used by many institutions including the New York Theatre Workshop. It is structured in a way that ensures that feedback remains constructive and to the point. The four steps of the Critical Response Process are:
- The audience is asked to make statements of meaning regarding the work.
- The writer asks questions of the audience.
- The audience then gets to ask questions of the writer.
- Members of the audience ask if the writer would like to hear opinions or suggestions about certain aspects of the play. The writer must give permission for the opinion or suggestion to be heard.
Learn more about the Critical Response Process here.
Are writers paid for RDR’s or given compensation for travel?
We do not offer pay or travel stipends for RDR participation. We feel that the benefit of the program is the development opportunity itself. Participation is voluntary for all involved. Writers who are not local may participate in the process through web based video conferencing.
What happens next?
5th Wall will select TWO of the RDR scripts to be workshopped into full productions in the following season. Writers will again be invited to participate in the workshop process, which will typically be the first two weeks of the six week rehearsal period. Writers are also welcome to attend a press-preview and opening night of the production. Writers will be compensated 10% of ticket sales for workshop productions.
What if my play has already been produced* or published?
Previously produced or published plays will not be considered for Rough Draft Readings, but may be considered for production in an upcoming season. Please specify if the play you are submitting has already been published or produced and include production history, if applicable.
*Plays that have had three or more performances for a paying audience will be considered previously produced.