Submissions

Signature Theatre is committed to the development of new work and has one of the largest musical theater commissioning programs in the country. Signature Theatre does not accept unsolicited scripts.

Call for Submissions for SigWorks: Signature Theatre/Yale Composer Partnership

Signature Theatre in Washington, D.C. and The Shen Family Foundation through its Ted & Mary Jo Shen Charitable Gift Fund have joined forces to create The Signature Theatre/Yale Composer Partnership. The partnership offers career-building opportunities for young composers who are either students of, or recent graduates of, The Shen Curriculum for Musical Theater at Yale University. Promising Yale artists who have been involved in the Shen Curriculum will have the chance to develop their ideas, bringing new approaches and vitality to the genre.

The Partnership provides two distinct opportunities for young composers:

I. THE SIGNATURE/SHEN ARTIST: UNDERGRADUATE OPPORTUNITY
The Signature/Shen Artist program is an undergraduate opportunity open to Yale College seniors who have taken courses in The Shen Curriculum for Musical Theater. One Signature/Shen Artist is awarded annually. The year-long program has three components:

Three-week intensive summer workshop (full-time)
The Signature/Shen artist will engage in a one-week writing work session with professional mentors, followed by a two-week workshop of a new work. Signature Theatre will provide a director, musical director, and cast for a presentation to Signature Theatre audiences at the end of the first week. An additional reading for Signature Theatre audiences will occur at the end of the second week in order to allow the resident to undertake rewrites during the workshop period. The artist will receive housing and a stipend for this three-week period.

Five-week production internship (full-time)
As Signature Theatre mounts a world premiere production during its season, the Signature/Shen Artist will be in the rehearsal room for a five-week period. The artist will serve as an intern on the production and observe and assist as the show is developed for production. The proximity and involvement will introduce the artist to all aspects of mounting a world premiere production and operating a nonprofit theatre. The artist will receive housing and a stipend for this five-week period.

Residency (part-time)
Over the course of a full year (July – June), the artist will be able to engage with the Signature Theatre artistic staff for advice, support, and answers to dramaturgy questions. The artist may attend Signature Theatre performances throughout the year.

TO APPLY: Applicants must be seniors at Yale University and have taken more than one course in the Shen Curriculum for Musical Theater. Applications are to consist of the following:

  • One-page biography, along with additional biographies of any collaborators
  • Artistic statement of what drives you as a composer/artist/team.
  • Five demo recordings of songs that best define you as a composer/lyricist. Songs do not have to be from the show you propose to work on.
  • One-page summary of the show you would like to work on.
  • A list of courses taken in the Shen Curriculum for Musical Theater

Signature Theatre will select the honoree after reviewing all the applicants. The Theatre is looking for new, exciting and original composers’ voices that possess exceptional individuality and harmonic sophistication. The composer may include a book writer/lyricist as part of the writing team. The additional writer(s) on the team do not need to be Yale students/graduates. Most consideration for this award will be put on the composer’s talents, originality and potential.

Signature is looking for modest size musicals. The recipient must be able to attend the workshop dates in the Summer 2019; this is non-negotiable. Scheduling of the internship component is dependent on the Theatre’s season schedule. The Theatre reserves the right to not award this grant if no applicant meets the requirements.

Deadline for Submissions is December 1, 2018. Award announcement is February 1, 2019. Workshop begins in Summer 2019.

Submissions should be sent through the Dropbox link below:

submit materials

II. THE SIGNATURE THEATRE/YALE GRADUATE WORKSHOP

The Signature Theatre/Yale Graduate Workshop offers career-building opportunities to Yale University composers and their writing teams within five years of the composer’s graduation. Yale graduates beginning with the Class of 2013 are eligible for this year’s award. The additional writers on the team do not need to be Yale graduates.

The Signature Theatre/Yale Graduate Workshop offers a two-week workshop of a musical currently in development. Signature Theatre will provide a director, musical director and a cast of actors to develop the piece over a two-week period in the summer of 2019. There will be two presentations for Signature audiences during the workshop process – one at the end of the first week, and another at the end of the second week to allow the writers to undertake rewrites during the workshop period.

Signature is looking for modest size musicals. The composer/writers will receive housing and a stipend for two weeks.

TO APPLY: Yale University composers who have graduated from 2013 – 2018 must supply:

  • One page biography of each writer
  • An artistic statement of what drives you as a composer/writer team
  • First 25 pages of the script
  • 5 demos of songs from the show
  • A list of courses taken at Yale in the Shen Curriculum for Musical Theater

Writers must be available for the exclusive two-week period; this is non-negotiable.

Deadline for Submissions is December 15, 2018. Notification will be made by February 1, 2019. Workshop begins in Summer 2019.

Submissions should be sent through the Dropbox link below:

submit materials

This program is made possible by The Shen Family Foundation, Signature Theatre and The Shen Curriculum for Musical Theatre, Yale University.

ABOUT THE SHEN FAMILY FOUNDATION

The Shen Family Foundation, through its Ted & Mary Jo Shen Charitable Gift Fund, provides funding for commissions and not-for-profit productions of works by musical theater composers whose writing is distinguished by exceptional individuality and an advanced harmonic sensibility. Since 2002 it has provided major funding to Signature Theatre for 20 commissions of new musicals, more than 30 productions of works by Stephen Sondheim, more than 60 productions of works by other contemporary composers and 20 cast recordings. It also has endowed the permanent funding for the Shen Curriculum for Musical Theater at Yale University. More information on the Foundation’s grants can be found on its website at shenfamilyfoundation.org.