Each resident playwright acts as the artistic director of their own seven-year new play laboratory, utilizing a menu of programming resources to pursue their artistic and career goals. Their Lab work is housed in a mindfully cultivated environment, free from financial and critical pressures, with guidance and support from a dedicated staff who encourage expansive and strategic thinking. Writers map their own journeys with complete creative authority.
Each resident playwright has unlimited ability to schedule one or two-day play readings or working sessions with volunteer collaborators, calendar permitting, on a first-come first-serve basis, with casting support from New Dramatists staff. Writers decide at which point it is helpful to invite an audience into their development process, and all public readings are free of charge.
In partnership with several donors, we are able to offer approximately 20 opportunities each year for writers to program 29-hour extended workshops for new plays, musicals, collaborative explorations, and ambitious "impossible" projects. Writers are granted unlimited use of workspaces, access to a peer artistic community, and professional collaborators. They choose their own projects and design their own development processes. All writers and their collaborators are compensated financially when working on extended workshops in the Lab.
Each year, we offer two in-house retreats for 5 writers and companies of collaborators with programming intended to spark collaboration and artistic growth.
New Dramatists’ array of practical resources for playwrights illustrate our founding principal, that playwrights are one another’s greatest resource. Staff work to support connection and foster community through a range of physical and virtual resources: in-person meetings, a public manuscript library, shared web-based platforms, computing & office resources, as well as three residence rooms and a stocked pantry. Playwrights find at New Dramatists everything an itinerant, professional artist needs in a home base – here they can host a conference call, print brand new pages, query other resident writers about a sensitive issue through a secure listserv, find a quiet place to write away from their children, or even do laundry.
In addition, New Dramatists provides financial resources in the form of reimburement for childcare and administration of awards.
The life source of New Dramatists is our ever-changing company of playwrights. Each year, through the annual admissions cycle, we consider anew the question, “What is a New Dramatist?” Selecting a new group of incoming playwrights is a cyclical process of self-reflection, renewal and redefinition. It is our belief that this contemplation keeps the organization and playwright community vibrant, and ensures that we continue to represent emerging new writers and trends in American theatre.
All U.S. citizens are eligible to apply for residency if they are able to meet the submission requirements, including 2 full-length original plays, a statement of intent, and a biography or resume. We accept applications online during a window each summer.