SOUND BITES 7.0
Submissions for our 2024 edition will open
November 1st, 2023
When's the deadline to submit and is there a fee to submit?
The deadline for SOUND BITES X is January 1st 2023 and there's no fee to submit!
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 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 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 being 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.
Ready to submit your show?
Theatre Now defines a 10-minute musical as any piece that can be performed in max. 10min, has a beginning, middle, end story arch, and includes music. Having produced over 70 pieces, we want musicals that are diverse, current, test the musical form and communicate a well-crafted story. 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 September 1st 2022 - January 1st, 2023.
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 in foreign languages or that are bilingual. Although the application process is still in English, the work itself may be submitted and performed in any other language if selected.
Each piece must include music.
All submission must be submitted via this website. No physical copies.
Each musical must be ten minutes long maximum. Cuts will be made if accepted.
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, 2023 on the status of their submission with one of the following emails:
An acceptance email into the festival that will include additional information to confirm their involvement.
A waitlist email. 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.*
All selected musical pieces must adhere to the following
(Dates for SOUND BITES X)
Sunday February 26, 2023 6-9PM
1st meeting with all of the SOUND BITES authors from 6-9pm Zoom
To go over the basic parameters of SOUND BITES and to confirm participation.
February through March 31st, 2023
Finding Your Creative Team: All Creative Teams for each musical must be submitted for review on the Participant’s Hub by Thursday April 3rd.
Sunday March 19, 2023 from 6-9pm
2nd Meeting (In person - 520 Eighth Avenue, Studio D, NYC) - All SOUND BITES authors and any participants they have so far to go over requirements and deadlines.
Friday March 31, 2023
DEADLINE for Directors, Choreographers, Music Director and Stage Managers.
Friday Apr 7, 2023
DEADLINE for all casting.
Sunday April 16, 2023 from 6-9pm
3rd Meeting (In person - 520 Eighth Avenue, Studio D, NYC) all SOUND BITES Authors & Directors for Production Meeting.
Sometime between April 17-22
Walk-thru of the theatre (Merkin Hall) 11 - 12 pm - All authors and directors
Friday April 22nd, 2023
DEADLINE Final Program Submission
Rehearsal space available in Studio E at 520 8th Ave, 3rd FL
April 24th through May 5th
Saturday May 6, 2023 9am to 7pm
Run-Thru of all 10 shows
Sunday, May 7, 2023
AM Load out of rehearsal space/Load-in to theater
1:00-11:00 Setup / Tech (one-hour meal break, TBD, between 4-7:30pm)
Monday, May 8, 2023
1:00 - 6:30 Full Dress Rehearsal (one-hour meal break, TBD, between 4-6:30pm)
7:00-9:30 Performance - SOUND BITES X
9:30-10:30 Load Out
* All dates and times are subject to change.*
Each musical is to be staged & performed off-book. The show's material should be the focus in the telling the story.
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.
Writers/Directors are responsible for providing their own sound cues, with our assistance.
Writers are responsible for finding their Creative Team & Actors, but if needed Theatre Now can assist with our in-house casting director. 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 in-house casting director. 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.
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: We highly encourage that each musical provides a stage manager who would be available to attend rehearsals and work as crew/backstage during the performance.
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.
From the grant funding Theatre Now receives, free or partial reimbursement will be provided for rehearsal space for each musical.
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.
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.
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 and funders have included Disney Theatrical Productions, Music Theatre International, NYC Cultural Affairs, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts, National Alliance of Musical Theatre (NAMT).