Now in our third year, Corkscrew Theater Festival is a curated presentation of new work by early career artists concentrated over four weeks at the Paradise Factory Theater in the summer of 2019. This year’s festival, running July 10-August 4, will contain four fully realized productions receiving ten performances each, and four “reading slots” for work to be heard publicly for the first time. Corkscrew seeks projects that demonstrate real collaboration, especially if they are being created through innovative or nontraditional partnerships or models.
We believe in increasing access to professional production opportunities for a wide range of early career artists and enabling their success in those opportunities. We enthusiastically support under-represented artists of all or no genders, artists of color, and LGBTQIA+ artists. Corkscrew’s model is an extension of our belief that we can do more together than we can individually: by presenting our work in a festival setting that facilitates meaningful collaboration between and among its artists, we mutually benefit.
From selection to final curtain, we provide casting assistance, design roundtables, a weekly Writers’ Group, readings in springtime for each of the four productions, a coordinated marketing campaign, and regular face-to-face meetings with our festival staff. We guarantee at least sixteen hours of technical rehearsal time and curtain times at prime theater-going hours. As a festival large enough to break through the clutter, yet still intimately connected to its artists, we are uniquely positioned to pursue external validation in the form of reviews, press features, and audience testimony. Though Corkscrew ‘presents’ rather than ‘produces’ the shows — meaning each production should plan to lead their own fundraising efforts — the festival provides the resources listed above for free and thus covers a lot of the costs associated with mounting a production. While there are many summer festivals, we believe this artist-centric approach distinguishes us within the New York theater community.
The result? Four weeks, four productions, four readings, forty-four performances, and YOU. We want you to apply to participate in this festival!
The application is not meant to kill you! We’re looking for the following materials:
A full draft of a script
Lead artist bios (broadly defined as Playwright/creator, Director, Producer, any other notable creative partners).
One or more work samples (photos, audio, or video)
Short answers (100-200 words) to five open-ended questions about the project.
Why do you want to undertake this project?
What is the key collaborative relationship of this project?
What are your goals concerning the development of this work?
What is a key production (i.e., design) element of this project?
Who would want to see this show?
Applications will be accepted through November 23, 2018. Phone interviews will take place January 3-10, 2019. All applicants will be notified of their status by February 14.
Our application is live! Fill out this informational google form. This is where you’ll upload your short answers, script, and any other supporting materials.
➨ Please Note that to complete the form, you’ll need to have or create a Google Account (you can create one here). We use a host of Google products to run Corkscrew, including interviews conducted by Google Hangout.
Development. Each production will recieve space to hold a reading or other developmental showing of their work in May. In addition, our artistic leadership - experienced playwrights, directors, and producers accustomed to working in this setting - are here for you throughout the process. You’ll also be working alongside three other productions - a network big enough to be helpful, yet small enough to be personal.
Performances. Every production will have 10 performances over the course of the four weeks of the festival - and none of them will be at those random times, like 2pm on Tuesday or 4pm on Thursday. We’re talking about 10 performances on weekday evenings, or matinee, early evening, or evenings on weekends. We handle things like venue managers, front-of-house staff, and box office for our black box theater, which seats 60.
Tech Time. Every production will receive between 16-21 hours of tech time. During performances, productions will be “in rep” with each other (meaning that, for example, three different plays may perform in the space on the same day). All productions will have at least one hour before their show to restore their set on stage, and at least one hour after the show to remove and store it off-stage.
Marketing. As a festival, we’re committed to getting your show seen. Beyond the built-in advantage of three other shows bringing audiences into the theater where you’ll be playing, we’re committed as a festival (with actual people and money) to marketing your show.
Affordability. There are no fees for applying to or participating in Corkscrew Theater Festival, and we will split ticket revenues with each production.
Development. We want to dare artists to dive into that passion project or flesh out that “unproducible” idea. We’re here for you over a series of one-on-one meetings, arranging informal gatherings to hear your work aloud, and providing a sounding board as you do your work heading into July.
Performances. With the understanding that nothing will be considered “finished,” participants in our Reading series will get 2-3 hours in the space ahead of their public showing to smooth out the kinks, get used to the space, and give the best representation of their work.
Follow-up. We’re experienced at parsing audience feedback, and helping you discover where your project should head next.
Affordability. There are no fees for applying or having your reading in Corkscrew Theater Festival. Tickets for the reading will be free.
Corkscrew is not limited in terms of genre, content, or theme. All kinds of theater (so long as you consider it theater) are welcome! The evaluative criteria we’ll use to choose the work presented in the festival are as follows:
Passion for the project
Creation through a key collaborative relationship (either traditional, like director and playwright, or innovative, like a devising team, or writer and designer, or sisters/collaborators, or anything else!)
Belief in the relationship between development and production, and clear-cut goals for each phase.
For help finding collaborators, we recommend checking out the following…
➨ U.S. Theatre Director Resources - a Facebook group
➨ New Play Exchange - a digital library of scripts by living playwrights
➨ Latinx Theatre Directors - a Google Sheet
➨ Black Women Theatre Directors - a Google Sheet
➨ Asian American Stage Directors - a Google Sheet
➨ Full Series of Google Sheet Databases (including the ones above)