The SheNYC Summer Theater Festival

The city’s premiere festival showcasing the new, original works of women writers, composers, & directors


Returning to NYC this summer for our fifth season!

July 27-August 9th, 2020

The Connelly Theatre

Tickets on sale in June

Join our Artist Directory to get involved in this summer's shows!

Not Your Typical Summer Theater Festival.

We empower women 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 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 SheNYC Different?

We pride ourselves on providing more for less. As a registered non-profit, we’re able to charge a comparatively low program fees of $550 (compare to other festivals), and in return you get the full SheNYC 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 ticket sales sharing program, in which we provide you a ticket sales goal based on your show’s size and genre, and you get a cash prize if you hit the goal. We also allow patrons choose to donate $5 per ticket back to the writer. 

SheNYC Provides:


The rental of the Connelly Theater in the East Village, a beautiful 99-seat proscenium theatre 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 4.5-hour long tech slot to tech your show
  • General Liability Insurance for your time inside the theater (note that this is separate from the insurance required by 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


  • 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.
  • We also have a Materials for the Arts (MFTA) membership, which provides free materials for arts nonprofits. We’ll set up a group visit to their warehouse in Queens so you can get free set, props, and costume items.
  • An upright piano in the space


  • 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​


  • Unique to SheNYC, 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: 

  • We pay for your first $200 in rehearsal studio space
  • Playbill printing for all shows
  • A closing night party with awards determined by a panel of industry judges
  • Full ticketing system managed by SheNYC Box Office staff
  • Casting session to kick off your casting search
  • A customized ticket sales goal with a cash prize if you hit it
  • Discounted rehearsal studio space
  • A life-long community of artists who will support all of your work in the future!

You provide:


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 or MFTA warehouse.
  • If your show requires a band, you/your musicians should bring their own instruments beyond a piano.​


You handle the entire rehearsal process before you get into the SheNYC Theater. Booking rehearsal studios tends to be the biggest expense in your budget, so we have some partnerships with local studios to get you steep discounts on those costs.

*New to 2020: Due to a generous grant, we’re able to cover the first $200 toward rehearsal studios!*


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.

How Does The Festival Work?

April 2020: We notify all shows of their acceptance to the festival. (We will also let you know if you’re not accepted.) You then accept your slot and pay your program fee.

May: All the fun stuff starts! We’ll have a meet and greet, info session, and group audition session. The Festival organizes it and gets people signed up for auditions, and any shows are welcome to come cast. That’s just a courtesy to help you get started — if you want to hold additional auditions or callbacks, that’s up to you and your creative team to organize so you can best account for your show’s specific needs.

June: Start rehearsals for your show! This is the part where you and your creative team take over. Our staff will be checking in about your progress, answer any questions, and to help market your show. NOTE that you will only have 4.5 hours to tech your show, and 15-30 minutes to load-in and load out, so we recommend you keep it simple when it comes to tech elements. 

July/August: The 2020 SheNYC Festival will run from July 27-August 9th in the Connelly Theater.

Each show will get a 4.5-hour tech and dress rehearsal, followed by 2 performances within those two weeks. We will also leave a few empty performance slots in the schedule so that any show that sells out its first two performances can add extra performances.