Q. What is Sound Bites?
Sound Bites is a musical theatre festival which showcase ten 10-minute musicals or musical excerpts in one evening. Do you have a 10-minute musical or 10-minute musical excerpt of a full-scale musical? Any 10-minute piece that can be performed and includes music qualifies! The Annual Sound Bites Festival of little musicals is perfect for you. Sound Bites offers a unique opportunity for talented writers, composers, and lyricists to showcase their work in front of audiences and industry professionals. Through an open submission process, Theatre Now New York will select the ten best 10-minute musicals or musical excerpts which will then be presented in New York City. Each musical will compete for Festival Awards and for possible inclusion in future new works development programing with Theatre Now New York. Sound Bites gives an exhilarating opportunity for artists of all theatrical disciplines at any point in their careers in getting their work seen and possibly developed further or even produced.
Q. Who is presenting Sound Bites?
The Annual Sound Bites 10-minute Musical Theatre Festival is being presented by Theatre Now New York, a theatre company that develops and produces new plays and musicals. For more information on Theatre Now New York go to www.TNNY.org.
Q. When will I be able to submit my musical?
Submissions for the Sound Bites 4.0 Festival will be accepted beginning on March 1, 2016.
Q. When was Sound Bites 3.0 presented?
Sound Bites 3.0 Festival was presented on January 18, 2016, at 7:00 pm.
Q. When will Sound Bites 4.0 be presented?
Sound Bites 4.0 Festival will be presented on a Monday in the Winter of 2017 at 7:00 pm.
Q. Why do you charge a submission fee?
We charge a nominal $10 submission fee for three reasons:
1. There is a cost in processing submissions and this helps defray some of those costs.
2. Some of the money is used to buy snacks for the adjudicators when we meet to choose the finalists and snacks put them in a good mood.
3. Most importantly, we have found that by charging even a small submission fee, the submitters are more likely to be serious about being a part of the festival and we receive a higher level of quality submissions.
Q. Besides the submission fee what other costs will I need to incur?
The cost all depends on what your piece requires, the resources that are available to you, and who you want or need to pay.
For example, if you (or someone on your team) volunteers as the music director and the actors are able to wear clothes from their own wardrobe and you have enough space to rehearse, then your costs could be low, at the very least subway reimbursement and the cost of script & music copies.
On the other hand, if you need to pay a music director or others, require period costumes and intricate props and rent commercial rehearsal space your costs would be much higher.
If your piece is accepted into the festival you will be responsible for all basic production needs including rehearsal studio space, script & music copying, and any costumes, props, etc. as well as any fees you choose to pay to any of the performers or others involved in your piece. Most festival participants are able to keep costs down by utilizing discounted rehearsal spaces we can make available to you as well as keeping costumes and props to a minimum. Many also have access to rehearsal space on their own and are additionally able to borrow any production elements needed. Almost all participants (directors, music directors, actors, musicians etc.) volunteer their services and understand that this is a valuable process in the development of new musicals.
I'm sorry we’re not able to give you actual figures but as you can see the costs can vary greatly. We will however, do what we can to help you through the process, making it as cost effective as possible while at the same time creating a successful presentation. We don't expect, nor do we feel it is necessary, to have overly elaborate presentations and that a more 'bare bones' presentation will focus more on the work itself. We do expect the pieces to be staged and off book, above the level of a reading.
Q. What does Theatre Now New York provide?
We provide the theater on the day of the performance and for tech that day along with a running crew of interns led by our stage manager. We also provide lights and a lighting designer to give each piece as much as can be accomplished in a one-day tech with a small rep plot. We provide basic stage furniture such as an assortment of black box cubes and simple chairs. We also publicize the event and invite high-level industry personnel that includes New York producers and regional theatre artistic directors and literary managers. We are very proud of the level of professionals we are able to attract who are interested in the work we do and participate with us on many levels throughout the year including Sound Bites.
Q. Is there a charge for tickets? Where does the money go?
Full price and discounted tickets to Sound Bites range from $15 to $50. Sound Bites is produced as a benefit and clearance for all union members is through Theatre Authority, Inc. The money raised through ticket sales and sponsorships go to pay for the theater, insurance, our promotion costs and all the other Sound Bites expenses we cover. All additional income goes directly to support our programs throughout the year that creates and develops new plays and musicals such as our Raw Reading Series, workshops and future productions of new works.
Q. Are comps available?
Each participating Sound Bites writer (book writer, composer, lyricist), director & choreographer will receive one comp ticket for Sound Bites. Additional top price tickets will be on sale and can be ordered before they go on sale to the public. Bona-fide industry professionals (producers, directors, literary agents etc.) will receive complimentary tickets based on availability at the time of the reservation. Please understand that we have a very limited number of seats and that this is a benefit that helps develop new works.
Q. Can I submit more than one piece?
Yes. Each 10-minute musical submitted must be submitted separately, each accompanied by a separate $10 submission fee.
Q. I am interested in submitting a piece for the Sound Bites competition but before I do I was wondering what sort of instrumentation to arrange for. If these are musicals, what do you expect in terms of the musicians? Is it just whatever I can fit on a stage?
We provide and electric keyboard that will be placed onstage. Our stage manager will let you know exactly where it will be placed. In addition, many of the participants have added drums, guitars, and other musicians and instruments. It really is up to you, but do understand it will reduce your playing area. All instruments will need to be provided by you but if the same instruments are used in multiple pieces (such as drums) sharing is not only possible but encouraged.
Q. What is provided in terms of sound?
We provide an amp for the electric keyboard. Everything else is performed acoustically unless you bring in your own additional amps and equipment.
Q. Where is Sound Bites performed?
We expect to use the same venue we used for Sound Bites 3.0 and Sound Bites 2014 which is the 47th Street Theatre located at 304 West 47th Street at 8th Avenue in New York City. The 47th Street Theatre is a 190 seat legitimate Off-Broadway theater located in the heart of the theatre district in NYC. We make floor plans and staging diagrams available to all participants.
Q. How do I know if my application was received?
Q. I have read about your Sound Bites project with great interest and would like to submit a project. Prior to doing so, I am hoping you might be able to give me more information about the performance dates. My ability to submit depends on when the project will happen and if my work were to be selected, I do not want to discover that the performers and I cannot make the schedule.
We currently have the Sound Bites 4.0 date to be announced soon. For more information on dates look on the Timeline 4.0 page.
Q. What format and what form do you expect with regards to the actually submitted materials?
The libretto (script) of the entire 10-minute piece or the exact 10-minute excerpt if from a larger piece is best if submitted as a PDF but we will also accept Word documents.
The music should be submitted as an MP3 or MP4 and each song can be submitted separately or as one piece with ‘tracks’. The musical submissions can be as simple as the composer singing at the piano or fully produced in a studio or taped from a live performance. We understand and take all of that into consideration so it may be useful to let us know how and where the music was recorded.
In addition to the above, you may OPTIONALLY include YouTube videos or any other supporting materials that may or may not be looked at by the adjudicators.
Q. Who are the adjudicators that choose the pieces to be presented?
A group of 12 hand-picked adjudicators is assembled and they include industry professionals made up of producers, literary managers, directors, TNNY staff members, performers and a few of the writers from Sound Bites 3.0 and Sound Bites 2014. Each adjudicator receives all the submission materials and is asked to rate each one from 1-10 through a series of 10 questions which we tabulate. They also have the opportunity to comment in free form about the piece, as well. After all of the adjudicators have submitted their scores and comments, those who are available, meet and each piece is discussed as a group. We then narrow it down to 15 finalists and eventually choose the top 10 to be invited to participate. The remaining 5 are the runner-ups.
Q. Regarding the Sound Bites 10-Minute Festival - are you looking for 10 sequential minutes from a larger work or can the arc of the story be condensed into a 10-minute presentation through narration, etc...?
We want each 10-minute piece to stand on its own. It can be written as a 10-minute musical, be an excerpt of full-length musicals or be something that you pieced together for Sound Bites. Anything is possible as long as it is 10 minutes in length and stands on its own as a full piece.
Q. My piece isn’t really a musical in the traditional sense, it’s more like performance art or dance…does it qualify for submission?
The only requirement for submission is that it is a piece that can be performed live, is 10 minutes in length and contains music. We’re looking to include the widest variety of material from traditional to ground breaking.
Q. Almost ready to go with my script and MP3. Wondered if I should attach the piano and vocals score?
You may submit anything additional as optional material. Optional supporting materials are not required and may or may not be looked at by the adjudicators.
Q. Do you help with direction if my work is selected as a finalist? Or with casting?
We have a number of directors we know who have contacted us who are interested in directing pieces in the festival, most of them at no cost except for reimbursement of expenses and we would probably be able to match you up with someone. We can also help with finding a music director if needed but that would most likely come at a cost of any way from $30 to $60 per hour for rehearsals. However, many of the composers choose to music direct their own piece. We can help with casting through our files and most actors (even some highly accomplished with Broadway credits) will usually be willing to work on a new piece and only require subway reimbursement and snacks at rehearsals, although you will need to work around their schedules. We are also more than happy to place casting notices for you.
Q. Can I use performers in my piece who are members of Actors Equity (AEA)?
Yes. Sound Bites is presented as a benefit with the proceeds going to help support our programs that create and develop new plays and musicals, and as such, all union performers are cleared through Theatre Authority, Inc.
For Guidelines Click Here.
To Submit Click Here.