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Sunday, December 11, 2022

Native Voices: Call for Musicals 2023


Deadline: December 15, 2022


*Please note that Native Voices only accepts submissions written for the stage or theatre by American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, and First Nations artists.

We at Native Voices believe stories are medicine. We believe many plays live inside every one of us. We believe representation matters, and for far too long, our stories have been absent from the American Stage.

Native Voices at the Autry, a theatre company dedicated to the development and production of new works for the stage by American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, and First Nations playwrights, is happy to announce this request for MUSICAL proposals for multigenerational audiences that center young people and their lives, their challenges, and their agency.

Through Generation Now, a partnership with four other theatre companies - Children's Theatre Company, Latino Theater Company, Ma-Yi, and Penumbra - and generously funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Native Voices will co-commission four playwrights over the next five years to create and develop three straight plays and one musical for young people to serve a multigenerational audience.

We are looking for writers to create work for the most important audience in the world, that of young people. This is an audience whose life you can change in one afternoon, an audience who will remember your work for the rest of their lives. Creating work for young people and families is to create work for an engaged, attentive, critical, enthusiastic, and completely open audience.

With this work, you introduce them to the extraordinary power of theatre, a world of image, language, story, and theatricality. Write for an audience who isn’t jaded, cynical, or bored with theatre. Write for an audience that will demand you to be honest, to be brave, to surprise them, and to challenge them. Native people have told stories for centuries, write for that audience, the original audience - everyone.

Selected playwrights/writing teams will receive $25,000 USD in total for a MUSICAL, the creation and development of a script and score. Native Voices and Children’s Theatre Company will each host one workshop with artistic support from a dramaturg, director, stage manager, and cast of actors. Playwright(s)’ transportation and lodging will be provided for both workshops. While the goal of this collaboration is for a full production in Los Angeles and Minneapolis, it is not guaranteed or funded by this commission.

Proposals can include the following:
  • Description of topic, plot, characters, character relationships, and/or concept for proposed musical 
– What is the central question you want to explore in your play? What ideas do you want to investigate? Why is this particular topic important now?
– We highly encourage you to share a synopsis or pitch (100 words max) of your musical’s plot as part of your proposal. Please note that we welcome and expect changes to your original pitch over the course of the process, should you be selected, so this need not be set in stone. We are, however, excited to get a glimpse into your characters’ world, no matter the stage in development.
  • Reason(s) why multigenerational work interests you 
– What message do you hope an audience can take away from this play? 
–  Note that it is not important that you have written for this audience before.
  • Other artists attached to the project 
– Are you writing with another person? Are there community members who would need to be consulted?
– As this is a musical, do you have a composer or musical director you want to work with? This is not a requirement, we are happy to pair you with the right team!

Ideas for inspiration:
  • Are there events happening today or in history that inspire you and need to be told?
  • What stories inspired and delighted you as a child?
  • Are there albums or songwriters who inspire you?
  • If there are books or songs that you are interested in exploring, we can look into rights.

Selection Process:

Proposals are requested by December 15, 2022. They should be a maximum of two pages and submitted as a PDF document through this form. A 20-page sample of your previous work is also requested. This does not need to be a play for multigeneration audiences. Send us your best work!

Based on a thoughtful proposal, selected playwrights will be invited to discuss submitted ideas with Native Voices and Children’s Theatre Company. One commission for a musical will be awarded in 2023.

*Please note: This round of proposals must be for a new musical, having never been produced or developed by another artistic institution and must be by American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, and First Nations artists. Both new and established playwrights are encouraged to submit.

**If you have any questions or if the deadline creates a barrier to your submission, please feel free to email Elisa Blandford, eblandford@theautry.org.

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