The SheLA Summer Theater Festival is the premier festival for new, original, creative works by gender-marginalized playwrights and composers in Los Angeles.

Digital Performances are still available through July 30!

Follow @SheLAArts on Instagram to get a behind-the-scenes look at the Festival! 

The 2022 SheLA Theater Festival

These five original plays made it to the top of a pool of nearly 300 plays submitted from around the world. They will had two performances each during the week of July 11-17 at the Zephyr Theatre in Hollywood.

You can still watch our digital performances through July 30th!

Award Winners

Our in-person performances have concluded! At our wrap party, we announced our Festival award winners:

Best Production: The Firefly Web

Best Ensemble: too much skin

Best Script: Erika Hakmiller, a kid

Best Director: Erika Jenko, The Firefly Web

Best Actor: Haley Ashlin, a kid

Best Supporting Actor: Carrie Madsen, Electra

Best Production Design: Hakugame

 

 

a kid

By Erika Hakmiller

Agnes is pitching a play that recounts her trip to Virginia to meet with a former director from her childhood community theatre. The trip becomes more and more complicated as memories of her various experiences as a 17-year-old help her realize that her time as “a kid” surrounded by adults in the theatre wasn’t as simple as she had previously thought.

a kid performed on July 16 and 17. It was filmed and will be available for a Video-on-Demand Digital performance!

The video premieres Saturday, July 23rd at 7pm PST and will be available until the following Saturday at midnight.

Electra

By Luz Lorenzana Twigg

Electra is devastated when her mother, a successful white feminist Senator & self-appointed leader of the #metoo movement, cancels her father, a human rights lawyer, over allegations of cheating and sexual assault. Passionate and full of rage, Electra wrestles with the inheritance of her biracial identity as she plots to exact justice on her mother. An evisceration of cancel culture, this contemporary adaptation of Sophocles’ masterpiece asks the question: what do you have left when the deed is done?

Electra ran on July 14th and 16th and will not be available for digital performances.

Hakugame

By Skylar Rae

A young prisoner named Raika, slated for death, is spared by her executioner under the condition she must become his apprentice. Throughout her journey, she finds herself stalked by the presence of a beast called Hakugame, who tempts her with the promise of protection in exchange for blood. The result is a violent tale about coming to terms with trauma, choices, and the transformative forces that shape us.

Hakugame performed on July 12 and 16. It was filmed and will be available for a Video-on-Demand Digital performance!

The video premieres Wednesday, July 20th at 7pm PST and will be available until the following Wednesday at midnight.

The Firefly Web

By Erika Jenko

Twins Lane & Jasper return home for their yearly summer visit, which coincides with a 10-year family anniversary. While there, their childhood lake house transports the twins to memories 10 years prior. 10 years prior when their sensitivities to death were just developing. When life was simply about forts and buried treasure, or was it? As the memories become tangled in the present, Lane & Jasper must face their darkest fears that took shape all those years ago. The firefly jars have been sitting on the dock for a decade. Waiting to glow.

The Firefly Web performed on July 13 and 17. It was filmed and will be available for a Video-On-Demand Digital Performance!

The video premieres Thursday, July 21st at 7pm PST and will be available until the following Thursday at midnight.

too much skin

By Carolene Joy Cabrera King

A Filipino American brother, sister, and friend battle assimilation and white supremacist culture, forging their own identity in the United States. In interactions about dating, explorations of the stereotypes of being a “China Doll” or a “Dragon Lady”, and the desire to forge their own paths, Darna, Jun, and Christian move from worlds of make-believe in cosplay and video game land into their real world, trying to shed the expectations of the dominant culture to become more of who they really are.

too much skin performed on July 15 and 16. It was filmed and will be available for a Video-On-Demand Digital Performance!

The video premieres Friday, July 22nd at 7pm PST and will be available until the following Friday at midnight.

We participate in Playwrights Welcome! If you’re a member of the Dramatists Guild, you can show us your Guild ID at the door for a complementary ticket for in-person performances at SheLA. (Subject to availability.)

Artist Directory 

Are you a stage manager, director, choreographer, musical director, or designer? Add your name to our Artist Directory. We’ll send the writers this list of artists as a reference to help them fill in any blanks on their production teams.

Pro Tip: Write “Festival Producer” or “Festival Volunteer” under “what’s your specialty” if you’re interested in volunteering for the Festival as a whole!

2023 Script Submissions

Script submissions for the 2023 SheLA Theater Festival will open in September, 2022. If you’re interested in submitting, read on below for more details!

We empower gender-marginalized writers to self-produce their work, in a safe environment with subsidized costs and mentorship along the way. 

 

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 developmental 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!

There is no participation fee to participate in the SheLA Summer Theater Festival.

Photo: We’re Not Friends by Caroline Ullman at SheLA 2021. Photo credit: Sophia Goodin Photography.

We empower gender-marginalized writers to self-produce their work, in a safe environment with subsidized costs and mentorship along the way. 

 

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 developmental 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!

There is no participation fee to participate in the SheLA Summer Theater Festival.

SheLA Provides:

THEATER RENTAL

The rental of a theatre and all of the equipment that goes inside of it is the biggest expense when you’re trying to self-produce. But when you’re in the Festival, SheLA covers it, including:

  • All light rentals
  • Laptop and speaker system for sound cues
  • Miscellaneous tech items like gaff tape, common tools, etc.
  • A 5-hour long tech slot to tech your show
  • General Liability insurance for your time inside the theater

THEATER STAFF

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 to get an idea of what the furniture needs may be, and then will let all shows know what we can provide.

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 SheLA, 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.

MISCELLANEOUS

Some other tools and items we provide are:

  • Programs for all shows
  • A reimbursement of $200 for your rehearsal expenses
  • A closing night party with awards determined by a panel of industry judges
  • Full ticketing system managed by SheLA Box Office staff
  • Outreach to local organizations that may apply to your show’s subject matter
  • Production photography & videography
  • Our Tip The Writers program allows patrons to leave you a tip, which we pay out to you at the end of the Festival
  • A life-long community of artists who will support all of your work in the future!

You Provide:

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, make sure you’re paying them the amount that your contract mandates, and provide the insurance required by AEA (your show mentor can help explain!).

Note that SheLA provides a lighting designer. You are welcome to hire your own lighting designer to work alongside ours if you would like. Since you’ve only got a small amount of time to tech your show and load in and out, we encourage you to keep design elements simple, but if you would like a set, props, or costume designer, you’re responsible for finding and hiring those people for your show.

DESIGN PIECES

Any set, costumes, and props that aren’t covered by our shared pieces.

If your show has live music, you or your musicians bring their own instruments. There is no piano in the space.

 

REHEARSAL STUDIO SPACE

You handle the entire rehearsal process before you get into the SheLA Theater. Booking rehearsal studios tends to be the biggest expense in your budget, so we encourage creativity – have your read-through in someone’s living room; rehearse outside in a park when it’s nice out! SheLA will reimburse you up to $200 for these expenses.

“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 creating social media pages for your show, emailing your network to let them know about your performances, and otherwise spreading the word to family & friends.

Photo: We’re Not Friends by Caroline Ullman at SheLA 2021. Photo credit: Sophia Goodin Photography.