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Monday, January 9, 2023

B Street Theatre Fourth annual New Comedies Festival


Deadline: March 1, 2023
or once we reach 300 submissions


B Street Theatre is taking submissions for the fourth annual New Comedies Festival, which will take place from August 13 – 20, 2023 at The Sofia: Home of B Street Theatre.

In the ever-changing landscape of our country and the American theatre, B Street is soliciting submissions of comedies in all shapes and sizes for their fourth annual New Comedies Festival. 

We encourage local, national and international artists to submit full-length comedic plays during our open submission process. We encourage pieces to include elements of romance, dark comedy, farce, satire, physical comedy, commedia dell’arte, improv, stand-up, audience participation, music, etc. 

Following the submission process, B Street will select four plays to receive staged readings in the festival. Following the festival, the audience members who attended all four readings will receive an opportunity to give feedback about which script(s) they would like to see fully produced on the B Street Theatre Mainstage. Their feedback will be vetted by B Street Artistic Staff and a minimum of one selected script will receive a full production on the Mainstage within a year of the festival closing.

The works submitted must meet the following criteria:

The playwright must be 18 years of age and have the right to work in the United States.

The play must not have had a professional production, or be scheduled to have a professional production, prior to December 31, 2024. 

A professional production means that the artists working on the show were compensated for their time, and that all of the theatrical elements one hopes to see in a production were present.

We are seeking to develop comedies of all shapes and sizes; however, we request that all plays be full-length. For the purposes of this festival, we are defining full-length as being no shorter than an hour and ten minutes. 

Solo pieces and theatre for young audience pieces will be accepted.

In light of production budgets and limitations, scripts should require 7 or fewer actors. There is no limit on the number of characters a single actor may play.

We accept both original and adapted works, provided that the rights to any material not in the public domain have been granted in writing, and a copy of the release is emailed along with the script.

While we encourage playwrights to submit “plays with music”, we are unable to accept submissions of original musicals at this time. 

We ask that if a play contains songs that would need to be licensed separately, the playwright list the titles and writers of said songs in the front of the script with the casting breakdown.

Playwright must be available and present in Sacramento for the entirety of the festival (August 13 – 20, 2023). B Street Theatre provides round-trip travel, housing and stipend for the playwrights of the four, selected finalist scripts.

The script must meet the script formatting requirements set by B Street Theatre that are listed below.

Submissions must be submitted in PDF form; however, we ask that playwrights ensure they have an editable version of the script (Word, Final Draft, etc.) if selected for the festival.

Submissions must be blind scripts with the playwright’s name and contact information (or representation contact information) removed from the title pages.

Due to the submission cap (see below), playwrights are only permitted to submit one script.

Submissions that do not meet the above requirements will not be accepted.

Please Note: Due to organizational bandwidth and our desire to have each submitted play be read by a number of qualified and committed readers, we will only be accepting 300 submissions for this year’s festival on a first-come-first-serve basis. 

We will also be notifying 25 waitlisted submissions that will be officially accepted into the festival prior to the first round of reading if any of the 300 submissions do not meet the festival requirements listed above. The portal for submissions will open at midnight on December 26, 2022 and will close once we reach 300 submissions. If we do not reach 300 submissions, the portal will close at midnight on March 1, 2023.

Selection ProcessWe will solicit the help of volunteer readers to read the submitted scripts. These readers may include but are not limited to the following: B Street Artistic Staff, B Street Company Members, industry playwrights, industry dramaturgs and other industry professionals.

There will be two rounds of reading for outside readers and each reader will read between 5 and 10 scripts each round. Each script will be read by at minimum of two readers per round. There will be a third, final round of reading for B Street Artistic Staff only in order to choose the finalists from a short-list of scripts that have been evaluated in rounds one and two of reading.

The reading of scripts will take place over a two-month period and the final four scripts will be chosen no later than June 1, 2023.

How to Apply

Playwrights interested in submitting a play for consideration in the New Comedies Festival should send the following to B Street Theatre between December 26, 2022 and March 1, 2023. Online submissions via the link below are preferred but playwrights may mail their submissions to the address below.

Attn: New Comedies Festival B Street Theatre 2700 Capitol Avenue, Sacramento, CA 95816

Online Application Link: https://bstreettheatre.wufoo.com/forms/r6ibx2e1ng6g3m/

Please contact literary@bstreettheatre.org with any questions. No phone calls, please.

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