Submission Information

SUBMISSIONS FOR SOUND BITES 7.0 has CLOSED. Please check back in the fall of 2022 for information about our next SOUND BITES Festival.

 When's the deadline to submit and is there a fee to submit?

Check back fall 2022 for submissions for next SOUNDBITES. 

Click here for submission guidelines.


Who chooses the musicals?

A group of diverse industry 12 professional adjudicators that includes producers, literary managers, directors, professional performers, and writers from previous SOUND BITES guided by our Theatre Now staff members. We guide the committee to consider artistic quality, uniqueness and diversity of the pieces so the evening represents a wide range of styles and types of musicals. BIPOC writers, LGBTQ+ writers, and writers with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.


Do I need to live in the NYC area to participate?

No, however if chosen, as writer, you would need someone to represent you and attend all required meetings if you do not live in the area.


How much does it cost?

As Theatre Now is an artist service organization, and as the Producer of SOUND BITES, we cover the majority of your expenses and costs. We're the only short musical theatre festival that offer artists honorariums and rehearsal reimbursements for each piece. That said, there are some out-of-pocket costs depending on your show's requirements (cast & creative team size, number of rehearsals, size of rehearsal space, etc.) and personal choice. Most of these costs relate to specific set-dressing, props and costumes for your show and additional personnel such as musicians.

Submissions require a letter of recommendation. What should that include?

Your letter should be written by a theatre professional who can talk about the piece itself or you as a theatre artist.


Ready to submit your show?

SUBMISSIONS FOR SOUND BITES 7.0 has CLOSED. Please check back in the fall of 2021 for information about our next SOUND BITES Festival

Have more questions? Please email us at




Theatre Now defines a 10-minute musical as any piece that can be performed, has a beginning, middle, and end story arch, and includes music. Having produced 60 pieces, we want musicals that are diverse, current, test the musical form and communicate a well-crafted story in ten minutes. We accept musicals across all styles and genres, as well as consider foreign language and/or bilingual scripts. We strongly encourage submissions from female writers, BIPOC and LGBTQ+ writers.

Please review the following criteria thoroughly before sending your submission:


  • Ten-minute musicals will be accepted from October 1st 2020 - January 12th, 2021.SUBMISSIONS FOR SOUND BITES 7.0 has CLOSED. Please check back in the fall of 2021 for information about our next SOUND BITES Festival.

  • Submissions won’t be considered before or after the deadline.

  • Musical theatre writers can only submit up to two scripts.

  • The story must have a beginning, middle, and end.

  • We also accept submissions for works in foreign languages or that are bilingual. Although the application process is still in English, the work itself may be submitted and, if selected, performed in any other language.  

  • Each piece must include music.

  • We won't accept physical scripts, all submission must be submitted via this website. 

  • Each musical must be no more than ten minutes long. If you submit material longer than ten minutes, be prepared to cut material if accepted into the festival.  

  • Longer one-acts or full-length musicals will not be considered.

  • A musical may be a previously produced work with a production history.

  • Though we have no formal script formatting guidelines, all scripts must be easy to read.

  • The volume of submissions prevents us from providing feedback on all submissions.

  • If your piece is visual (ie. Choreography heavy), please include video footage or detailed descriptions. 


We expect to contact all writers by the end of January, 2021 on the status of their submission and receive one of three emails:


  • TWO musicals will receive an acceptance email into the festival and will be provided additional information to confirm their involvement. 

  • ONE musicals will receive a WAIT LIST email. These selections will be mentioned in the festival program as runner ups. In the event an accepted musical declines their participation, a selected wait listed musical will be notified to serve as a replacement.

  • The remaining musicals will receive a "not selected" email and are encouraged to submit again next year.


*All criteria is subject to change and without notice.*


If your musical piece is selected for the festival

below is the timeline each writing team would be asked to follow:

(Dates for SOUND BITES 7.0)


The week of January 25th, 2021: Notification of selected musicals


Sunday, February 21st , 2021 / 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM, First Meeting

Location: Zoom Meeting


February through March 11th, 2021, Finding Your Creative Team:

All Creative Teams for each musical must be submitted for review on the Participant’s Hub by Thursday March 11th.


Monday, March 15th, 2021 / 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM, Second Meeting & Walk-Thru (Subject to confirmation)

Location: 129 W 67th St, New York, NY 10023, Merkin Hall At Kaufman Music Center


Sunday, March 14th through Thursday, April 1st, 2021, Casting Period

All casting or each musical must be submitted for final approval on the Participant’s Hub by Thursday, April 1st.


Monday, April 19th through Saturday, May 1st, 2021, Rehearsal Period

Location: Various Locations


Saturday, April 17th, 2021 / 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM, Production Meeting

Location: ART New York, 520 8th Avenue, New York, NY 10018 - 3rd Floor, Studio TBD


Saturday, April 24th, 2020 / 9:00 AM – 10:00 PM, Festival Work-Thru

Location: ART New York, 520 8th Avenue, New York, NY 10018 - 3rd Floor, Studio TBD


Sunday, May 2nd, 2021, Work-Light Dress Rehearsal – 6:30 PM – 10:00 PM

Location: 129 W 67th St, New York, NY 10023, Merkin Hall At Kaufman Music Center


Monday, May 3rd, 2021, TECH / ALL DAY – 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Location: 129 W 67th St, New York, NY 10023, Merkin Hall At Kaufman Music Center


Monday, May 3rd, 2021 / 7:00 PM, SOUND BITES 7.0 - PERFORMANCE

129 W 67th St, New York, NY 10023, Merkin Hall At Kaufman Music Center


Post-Show Writers Meeting

Saturday, May 8th, 2021 / 12:30 PM – 5:30 PM (Hour Time Slots) (Five Teams)

Saturday, May 15th, 2021 / 12:30 PM – 5:30 PM (Hour Time Slots) (Five Teams)

Location: Theatre Now Office - ART New York, 520 8th Avenue, New York, NY 10018 - Suite 305​

* All dates and times are subject to change.*


Each musical is to be staged & performed off-book. “Production elements” should be kept at a minimum, as the songs and material should be the focus. 


Set and Props

Theatre Now will provide traditional black boxes in various sizes, chairs, stools, and tables in a few different sizes and shapes. If you need additional items that is up to your team but please keep it to a minimum to keep the focus on the writing. Your team will be responsible for their own props and any additional set pieces as long as they can be set up and removed quickly during transitions. ​​



There will be general color washes with the capability to be isolated in areas as well as the use of a limited number of specials.



Each team is responsible for providing their own costumes.


Sound Cues

Writers/Directors are responsible for providing their own sound cues, with our assistance.




Writers are responsible for finding their Creative Team & Actors. As SOUND BITES is a festival for the betterment of writers and their work, unless a writer wrote their piece as a vehicle exclusively for themselves, we do not recommend a writer to perform or direct their own piece. We feel it’s important that the script be able to stand on its own, as they benefit participating solely as writers.


  • Director: We have a number of directors we know who have contacted us who are interested in directing pieces in the festival. We would probably be able to match a writing team up with someone if need be.


  • Music Director: A composer can/may choose to act as their show’s own Music Director or we can help you find one if needed. However, many of the composers choose to music direct their own pieces.


  • Actors: Actors can be Union, Non-Union, or a combination of both. We can help with casting through our files. Most actors, even some highly accomplished with Broadway credits, will usually be willing to work on a new piece. However, you will need to work around their schedules. (TEN ACTORS MAX)


  • Choreographer: This position is not required and is at your discretion if you choose to work with one.


  • Musicians: Each creative team is responsible for providing their own musicians at their discretion pending their show’s needs.  


  • Stage Manager: Each musical will be provided a stage manager. Each stage manager will be assigned multiple  shows, and they may not be available to attend all rehearsals but will work as crew or backstage during the performance.


Theatre Now can help you find artists to fill these roles, if necessary. We can put an ad in Playbill, Backstage, and/or Breakdown Services. We will provide you with the headshots & resumes we receive and we may suggest artists we know and/or have worked with previously.





Theatre Now bridges the gap between early readings and fully-produced theatrical runs by offering staged and performed developmental productions to pieces that are ready to live on their feet. We strive for continuity and growth in our production process by collaborating with artists. Below is how we do that.

We provide one of the largest venues available through a New York City theatre festival. At 449 seats, Merkin Hall at Kaufman Music Center is the perfect Off-Broadway venue to showcase your work.


Rehearsal Reimbursements

From the grant funding Theatre Now receives, free or partial reimbursement will be provided for rehearsal space for each musical.


Artist Honorariums

Theatre Now will provide honorariums for participating artists (actors, director, choreographer and musical director) in every musical, based on available funding. 


Work through Rehearsal with Producers

The weekend before the festival, individual work through rehearsals will be held with the SOUND BITES producers to privately present their pieces and receive creative feedback.


Dress Rehearsal

Community is important to us, therefore we have a final open dress rehearsal for all SOUND BITES participants to attend and watch each other's pieces. This also gives actors the opportunity to run their show in front of an audience before the performance. 


Post-Show Wrap-up

Growth is a core value of ours. After the festival is over, we meet with each writing team to reflect on the process in an effort to improve the festival each year and learning about the other projects writers may be working on post SOUND BITES.

Our Industry Sponsors

We love our sponsors! Our sponsors include Disney Theatrical Productions, Music Theatre International, NYC Cultural Affairs, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts.