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Saturday, September 26, 2015

Metropolitan Playhouse Living Literature Festival: January 2016

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The Transcendentalists

Deadline - September 30, 2015


Metropolitan Playhouse presents its 10th Annual Living Literature Festival, devoted to Transcendentalists.

Scheduled for January 11th through January 24th, 2016, the festival is a collection of new plays celebrating the spirit of the artists, philosophers, and social experiementers who sought a way through the mundane to live in spiritual harmony. The transcendental movement of the early 19th century included varied thinkers and artists, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau being two of the best known, but embracing Bronson Alcott, Louisa May Alcott, Charles Lane, Walt Whitman, Margaret Fuller, William Henry Furness, Elizabeth Palmer Peabody, and many others. Ventures included the utopian communities of Brook Farm and Fruitlands, Thoreau's experiment at Walden, and publications ranging from sermons to pamphlets to books to the journal The Dial. Meanwhile, detractors such as Mark Twain and Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote memorable satires of the movement. Beginning with any of these figures or writings, adaptations of author's works, biographical pieces exploring their lives, or works inspired by their aspirations are all welcome.

The annual festival is a co-production of Metropolitan Playhouse and the participating artists. Metropolitan will curate, host, and promote the festival, while the participants will create and perform the plays in the festival. There is no fee for submission or participation, though costs of rehearsal, costuming, and equipage are born by the participants. Proceeds will be divided evenly between Metropolitan and the participants.

Submissions are welcome from individual artists and performance companies alike. Co-producers will take responsibility for conceiving and creating their contribution to the festival, with use of Metropolitan's space and physical resources. Metropolitan will coordinate and promote the festival as a part of its 24th Season.

Submissions may be solo-performances, one-acts, or full length performances (though none longer than 1 hour and 45 minutes). There are no restrictions concerning style. Adaptations, biographies, fantasies, and treatises, as well as song/poetry/dance cycles will all be considered. Selection by Metropolitan Playhouse will be based on artistic quality, feasibility of production, relationship to literature and lives of the Transcendental movement, and suitability for the venue.

No scripts alone! Please note, we are seeking submissions of performances which we will present. We are NOT seeking scripts for Metropolitan to produce. We will not provide directors or actors for productions.


Submissions will be accepted by e-mail or snail mail.
E-mail submissions MUST be pdf documents (all others will be discarded unopened).

Include in submissions:
Cover sheet with
Name of Company/Artist taking responsibility for producing the work

Project Title
Author, Person, or Subject who inspired the work (and specific titles of inspiring works, as applicable)
Performance Length (Max. 1 hr, 45 min. This is extremely important for scheduling.)

Contact Person
Telephone Contact
E-mail Contact
Project narrative of no more than 2 pages
Key artist biographies and, if applicable, company history
Sample text (may be the script for the proposed performance or a comparable work by the key artist(s))

Submission Deadline: September 30 , 2015

Mail to:
Metropolitan Playhouse
220 E. 4th Street
New York, NY 10009
Attn: Living Literature

E-mail to:

Metropolitan will invite collaborators to be a part of the festival within two weeks of submission deadline.

Contact Alex Roe at (212) 995-8410 or transcend@metropolitanplayhouse.org.

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