Interested in submitting your script to be a part of our 2022 SheATL Festival? Applications will open on November 1, but between now and then, you can read on below to make sure you’re ready to apply.
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 SheATL 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.
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% marginalized genders (including cis women, trans men and women, and non-binary people)
- 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.
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 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, 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
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 design all shows
- A closing night party
- Full ticketing system managed by SheATL 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. We encourage you to get creative to get free or affordable rehearsal space. Have your read-thru in someone’s living room; rehearse in the park when it’s nice out!
“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 US different FROM 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. We provide mentoring and support every step of the way, including a Show Mentor dedicated to be your advocate and personal helper during the process.
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 people of marginalized genders. 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 in leadership. But at the end of the day, we want to show the world that our playwrights produce high-quality work that deserves 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 writer of a marginalized gender (including cis women, trans women, non-binary and gender non-conforming writers), or writing team that is at least 50% marginalized genders, is eligible to apply. We’re also taking adaptations that are directed or adapted by folks of marginalized genders, 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. Just keep in mind that 2-hour run time limit. You can submit a show that runs longer than that in its current form, as long as you're okay with making some trims for the festival.
Plays - again, plays of any size, shape, and form are welcome to apply!
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 8 shows for our She NYC Summer Theater Festival, though we reserve the right to pick as little as 6 or as many as 9 depending on what the submission pool is like. For our She L.A. Summer Theater Festival, we'll pick 5 shows. For Atlanta, we'll pick 3-5.
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 women 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 three different people. The shows that get the highest ratings get passed along to the semi-final round, where they will be read by at least two more script readers, with the highest-scoring shows moving to the finalist round. Starting in February, we’ll be notifying people if they’re finalists on a rolling basis. From there, the finalists are read by our full staff, and we make our final decisions after an in-depth team discussion.
By 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!
Archive: Learn more about the 2021 Festival shows
FOUR WIVES AND A WILL
By Bernette Sherman
A slice of 227 topped with a scoop of Golden Girls in the 2020s, complete with weed, woke folks and wise cracks, and, well – a serious message.
Live performance Wednesday Aug. 25 at 7:30pm
When Will Crossman dies he leaves behind four ex-wives and a daughter. There’s also the mysterious box everyone wants to get their hands on at the reading of the will. Lenora fails to guard it and the truth about Kimberly’s father is revealed. Despite his flaws, Will tries to make some things right through his will.With humor and pointed lines these women show the impact of personal histories on their emotional and mental health – and the importance of self-care. Still, there’s no love lost as bitterness and jealousy threaten to derail the evening.
Bernette Sherman (Playwright and Director) is pleased Four Wives and a Will and SheATL will allow her to become a produced playwright and director. Her primary work is as a spiritual messenger and coach. She’s an Atlanta-based coffee-loving wife, mom, author, former beauty-queen, and former comms professional. She believes bringing her vision of this story to life on the stage requires a hands-on and personal approach. Bernette enjoys traveling, movies, and theater.
AND GOD FORBID IT SHOULD BE SO
By Roz Sullivan-Lovett
A gender play for fairy-tale girls and the foxes that eat them.
Live performance Friday Aug. 27 at 7:30pm
Digital performance Sept. 10 at 7:30pm
And God Forbid It Should Be So is a short exorcism of gendered narratives featuring a spirited maiden, a blood-thirsty bridegroom, and roughly six variations of the 17th– century fairy tale Bluebeard’s Wife. While trapped in the quiet dining room of their own body, a young person scrambles to construct a queer selfhood in time for their future spouse to knock on the door. A story about unimaginable adulthoods and non-binary identity, this play digs up and feasts on the horror of discovering who you are.
Roz Sullivan-Lovett (Playwright) is an early career non-binary playwright and actor originally from Portland, Oregon. Their work has been produced by the Essential Theater, Brave New Works, Muhlenberg College, and the Over Due Theater Company. They’ve also received awards from the Tennessee Williams Festival, Glimmer Train, the Lenaia Festival, and publication in Bayou Magazine. Their work focuses on grief, queer storytelling, and loneliness, but they would like to note that despite that, they’re hilarious.
TO FREE A MOCKINGBIRD
By Grace Aki
Generational trauma is…funny.
Live performance Saturday Aug. 28 at 7:30pm
Digital performance Sept. 11 at 7:30pm
To Free a Mockingbird is a combination of storytelling and stand-up, with heart. We follow Grace’s family’s journey across the sea and through the south. An examination of ‘Gone with the Wind’, family secrets and how our stories get told. To Free A Mockingbird is a vulnerable and daring piece, filled with Grace’s effortless humor and honesty. This is her story and maybe yours as well.
Grace Aki (Playwright) is the reigning Miss North Georgia Agricultural Fair Queen because upon her crowning, she was promised a funnel cake. As an actor she trained at The Barrow Group, and Upright Citizen’s Brigade and regularly performs stand up. For more stories, listen to her podcast ‘Tell me on a Sunday.’ In her spare time she drinks tea, feeds her cat when she BEGS, and illustrates her favorite scenes from films.