About the SheATL Summer Theater Festival
What is a Theater Festival?
The typical theater festival is an opportunity for playwrights to self-produce their work in full onstage, for a paying audience. Festivals have multiple shows which all share resources (like the theater itself, front-of-house staff and supplies, and technical equipment), making the process far less expensive for everyone than producing your show in full on your own. If you’ve done readings already and feel like you’re ready to take the next step of seeing your piece fully staged, a festival is probably the right fit for you!
How is SheATL Different?
We pride ourselves on providing more for less. As a registered non-profit, we’re able to charge no participation fee, and you get the full SheATL staff on your team to co-produce your show with you! We take care of most of the logistics, so you can focus on the creative parts of producing your show.
Specifically, we provide a Show Mentor — that’s a SheNYC staff member who guides you along the way. We also have a tiered ticket pricing program, in which patrons can choose to donate $5 per ticket back to the writer.
Are you a writer in the Southeast United States with a full-length show?
Script submissions for the 2021 Atlanta Festival are now open, with applications due by December 15th, 2020 at 11:59pm. Read on below to learn more about the Festival process.
What kind of shows we accept:
- Full-lengths only (running time between 1 and 2 hours)
- Plays, musicals, or adaptations
- The writing team must be at least 50% womxn-identifying
- The writing team must be based in the Southeast United States
What kind of shows we do not accept:
- Short plays or short musicals (less than one hour)
- Pieces that are adapted from works that are not public domain or that you can’t prove you have the rights to produce
We help you produce your show. What does that mean, exactly?
Note that we are monitoring the Covid-19 situation closely, and may change any of the below to comply with local guidelines and to protect the safety of our artists & staff.
She ATL Provides:
The rental of the theater and all of the equipment that goes inside of it:
- All light rentals
- All curtain rentals
- Laptop and speaker system for sound cues
- Miscellaneous tech items like gaff tape, common tools, etc
- A tech slot to tech your show
- General Liability Insurance for your time inside the theater (note that this does not cover your rehearsal time outside of the theater; you may be required to get additional insurance for AEA if you hire AEA actors)
We provide the staff IN the theater to make your tech and performances run smoothly, including:
- A Production Manager and Associate Production Manager to run your tech and call your show
- A lighting designer to design your lights and program the light board during your tech
- 1-2 additional backstage crew members to use in a way that best fits your show
- Full front of house staff – Ushers, Box Office, Concessions, and House Manager
SOME SET PIECES & PROPS
- We provide some limited miscellaneous set pieces that will be shared by all of the shows, exact pieces TBD. In the past, we’ve had tables, chairs, and couches to offer to all of our productions. Our Production Manager will poll the shows in advance of tech to get an idea of what the furniture needs may be.
- An upright piano or keyboard in the space, if needed
MARKETING & ADVERTISING
- We have a marketing campaign advertising the festival as a whole with social media ads, Google Ads, and various ads on other digital outlets that theatergoers frequent
- We made an individualized ad for your show and turn it into a paid social media ad
A SHOW MENTOR
- Unique to She NYC’s festivals, we provide a Mentor to each show. This is a member of our Festival staff who is there to guide you through the festival process, offer advice, and be an extra set of hands to help out as needed.
Some other tools and items we provide are:
- Playbill printing for all shows
- A closing night party with awards determined by a panel of industry judges
- Full ticketing system managed by She ATL Box Office staff
- A life-long community of artists who will support all of your work in the future!
CAST AND CREATIVE TEAM
You can choose to work with Union or non-Union artists.
- If you do hire AEA actors, you will need to manage your contract or code with them and provide the insurance required by AEA (your show mentor can help explain!)
Any additional set, costumes, and props that aren’t covered by our shared pieces.
If your show requires a band, you/your musicians should bring their own instruments beyond a piano.
REHEARSAL STUDIO SPACE
You handle the entire rehearsal process before you get into the She ATL Theater. Booking rehearsal studios tends to be the biggest expense in your budget, so we encourage you to think creatively. Have your read-thru in someone’s living room; rehearse in the park when it’s nice out!
*New to 2021: Due to a generous grant, we’re able to cover the first $200 toward rehearsal studios!*
“ELBOW GREASE” MARKETING
While we manage paid ads for the festival, we need your help to spread the word about your show to your networks! You likely won’t need or want to put money into this — just some old-fashioned effort of starting an Instagram for your show, emailing your network to let them know about your performances, and otherwise spreading the word to family & friends.
Get a sneak peek behind the scenes of the SheATL shows by following us on Instagram!
Frequently Asked Questions
What makes the She ATL Arts Summer Theater Festival different than other theater festivals?
We’re working to create a network of professionals and artists that are devoted to promoting the voices of women in theater — not just put up your show and never hear from you again. We have meetings where all of the writers gather together to mingle, and hope that the other writers and artists involved in the festival will become lifelong friends, mentors, and supporters.
Does it cost anything to participate in the festival?
For our first year in Atlanta, we’re trying something new: no festival participation fees! That means it’s free to be a part of the program. You will be asked to put down a security deposit to secure your place in the festival, if selected, which you will receive back at the completion of the festival program. This protects us in case someone doesn’t follow through with their production.
Otherwise, see above for the list of things She ATL provides versus what you provide: you are financially responsible for those elements. Your show mentor can help you set up a Kickstarter or do a fundraiser to help cover those costs!
What are we looking for?
You’ve got an awesome show. We’ve got an awesome festival. It’s like a match made in heaven.
We look simply for shows that are high-quality and written by women. We like to have a good mix of genres in each festival – plays, musicals, comedies, dramas, experimental works, and more. We also are partial to shows with themes that fit our mission of women’s empowerment. But at the end of the day, we want to show the world that women writers produce high-quality work that deserve to be seen on Broadway and stages around the country – so, the number one factor in our decision-making is how well-written your show is.
Who can apply?
Any woman-identifying writer, or writing team that is at least 50% women, is eligible to apply. So, have a three person team? If music and lyrics are both by women, and the book is by a man, you’re good to go. If you’re a man with a half-finished work, consider pairing with a woman writer, and we’ll take ya! We’re also taking adaptations that are directed or adapted by women, even if they were originally written by men. We only accept full-length shows for the Festival (no short plays), though note that there is a 2-hour run time limit for your performance.
What kind of shows can apply?
Musicals – musicals of any size, shape, and form are welcome to apply. There is especially a lack of women composers getting their work produced in NYC, so we definitely love getting submissions from musical ladies.
Plays – again, plays of any size, shape, and form are welcome to apply! Bonus points if it has a strong female character at its center.
Adaptations – are you a woman director or adapter who wants to do a reverse-gender production of King Lear? We love that. Just make sure you are actually able to obtain the rights to your show (sometimes, special rights have to be obtained if you want to adapt or change gender roles), or better yet, take a public domain play.
How many shows are picked and how will we pick them?
We’re aiming to take 3-4 shows for our She ATL Summer Theater Festival, though we reserve the right to pick as little as 2 or as many as 5 depending on what the submission pool is like.
We’re judging the shows based on two things: The quality of the writing, and the relevance to our mission. Mostly, we’re focused on giving female writers the notoriety and publicity they deserve, so the subject matter of your show will only play into the judging if we have a really tight race between two shows. If we’ve got one slot left and two equally awesome shows, and one is about Napoleon and one is about Molly Pitcher, we’ll probably pick the Molly Pitcher one.
How does the selection process work?
You submit your scripts and application materials by the submission deadline. We pass your script around to a team of script readers, so each script will be read by at least two different people. The shows that get the highest ratings get passed along to the final round, where they will be read by at least two more script readers. Starting in February, we’ll be notifying people if they’re finalists.
By the end of April, all of our selected participants will be notified, and we can start getting to work!
If I submitted a show in the past, can I submit again?
You sure can! You can submit the same show again, particularly if you’ve revised it, or a new show. If you’ve already had a show produced in the Festival, you can also submit a new show for this year.
Will we get feedback on our submissions?
Due to the high volume of submissions, we’re not able to automatically offer feedback on every script. However, if you email us after the script vetting process is over, we’re happy to send you notes from our readers!