Submission Information



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

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 2022 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 2022 - January 12th, 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 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, 2023 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)


1st meeting with all of the SOUND BITES authors

Sunday March 13 from 6-9pm Zoom

To go over the basic parameters of SOUND BITES and to confirm participation


March through April 3rd, 2022, Finding Your Creative Team:

All Creative Teams for each musical must be submitted for review on the Participant’s Hub by Thursday April 3rd.


2nd Meeting (In person - Studio D) - All SOUND BITES Authors and any participants they have so far

Sunday April 3 from 6-9pm 

To go over requirements and deadlines

DEADLINE for Directors, Choreographers, Music Director and Stage Managers

Friday Apr 22, 2022


3rd Meeting (In person - Studio D) all SOUND BITES Authors & Directors

Sunday May 1 from 6-9pm 

Production Meeting


Sometime between May 2-8 - Walk-thru of the theatre (Merkin Hall)

11 - 12 pm - All authors and directors


DEADLINE - All casting

Friday Apr 22, 2022


Rehearsal space available in Studio E at 520 8th Ave, 3rd FL

May 9th through May 20th 


DEADLINE Final Program Submission

Friday May 6, 2022


Run-Thru of all 10 shows

Saturday May 21 9am to 7pm 


Load out of rehearsal space/Load-in to theatre

Sunday May 22 - afternoon


Work-light rehearsal on stage at Merkin Hall

Sunday evening May 22


Tech rehearsal with lights & sound

Monday May 23 from 9am to 6pm



7pm curtain - Monday May 23rd

* 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.