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Sunday, August 9, 2020

Virtual Theater Festival seeks 10-minute plays or musicals

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Deadline: August 13, 2020  Midnight Pacific Time


BROADWAY THEATRE STUDIO, creators of the long-running IMBIBLE series of Off-Broadway musicals, will produce its first VIRTUAL THEATRE FESTIVAL for live-online productions. BTS has partnered with theatre media icon PLAYBILL to host the festival, which will run exclusively on Playbill.com. BETERRIFIC, industry leaders in live-streaming productions, to provide the cutting-edge technology and experience necessary to successfully translate the live theatre experience to live-online. BTS is assembling a distinguished panel of judges to choose a winning production, and there will also be an Audience Choice winner selected by festival viewers. 

Each winner will receive a $1,500 cash prize. PLAYBILL VTF LIVE is currently scheduled to run October 23-25, and Theatre fans looking to view the festival will be able to purchase an All-Access Virtual Festival Pass for only $2.99 with $1 from each ticket going to THE ACTORS FUND.

Please READ CAREFULLY before submitting your application.
  • Seeking ten-minute original, fully-produced plays or musicals. Submissions must be no shorter than eight (8) minutes, and no longer than ten (10) minutes.
  • Submissions may have been previously produced, as long as you or your company created the work and it has not been published or licensed.
  • You may submit more than one production, simply complete a separate application for each work.
  • Accepted productions will be given a broadcast time during the festival in which to present their live show on VTF.Live.
  • Productions will be asked to demonstrate that their broadcast is live, though it is not necessary that all, or even any, actors/crew be in the same place -- we’re looking for creativity here.
  • At this time, we are only able to accept submissions from the U.S.
  • There is no fee to submit or present in the festival.
  • All submissions are due by midnight Pacific Time on August 13th.

Two prizes will be awarded:
-$1,500 for Judges’ Choice
-$1,500 for Audience’s Choice

Each season, Playbill VTF Live presents participants with a unique production challenge to overcome, selected based on real-world theatre production trends and priorities. The Fall 2020 Production Challenge is:

Each member of your cast, crew, and production team must be in separate locations. Actors may have one (1) stagehand on location with them, but all other production team members must be individually isolated.

If your show is accepted to Playbill VTF Live, you will be given a slot in which to produce your show, virtually. We are NOT producing your show, but are merely presenting it. You or your producing organization must hire your own cast, crew, and staff, run your own rehearsals, record your own live performance, etc. Your show must be produced in accordance with your place of residence’s COVID-19 guidelines.

Accepted shows will be scheduled into a single time slot for a LIVE performance during the festival broadcast. All shows must demonstrate that they are performing live by opening from a designated Starting Line shot of actors holding cell phone clocks visible to the judges (this shot will not be considered part of the performance). Any show that is prerecorded, or contains prerecorded portions, will be disqualified.

There will be a strict one-minute grace period allowed on either end of the time requirement to allow for the inherently unpredictable nature of live theatre. To maintain fairness, shows that run under or over the required times with the grace periods (under 7 or over 11 minutes) will not be eligible for prizes.

BeTerrific, the technology partner for Playbill VTF Live, will provide the technical elements to present your video stream live during the festival broadcast. All recording equipment will be up to the production company to provide – BeTerrific will ONLY be broadcasting your fully-produced and uploaded live video stream. We are working with BeTerrific to have equipment available for rental upon request, though this is not required to participate and we can’t guarantee the equipment you need will be available.

Playbill VTF Live will select 12 Participants and 6 Alternates. In the event a Participant is unable to present their work, an Alternate will be selected to participate. All applicants will receive acceptance status notification (i.e. Participant, Alternate, or Declined). Notification of acceptance status will be sent on or about August 24th, and confirmation is due from Participants by August 31st. At that time, if you are accepted and confirmed, you will receive a Participant’s Packet. Applicants may be asked to speak with our Technical Director to confirm production capabilities prior to final acceptance into the festival.

For the Judge’s Choice Award, productions will be evaluated on:
–General Audience Appeal – Does the production appeal to a wide range of audiences?
–Theme – Does the production have a clear concept?
–Execution – Does production effectively communicate its concept?
–Effective Use of “Live Online” – How well does the production make use of live online theater?
–Overall Performance – How well are all elements of the production presented?

The Audience Choice Award will be given to the production that receives the most votes from ticketed festival attendees.

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