Franco Moschetti, artistic dir.
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Franco Moschetti, artistic dir.
Seeking submissions from playwrights for the Thespis Theater Festival. The Thespis Theater Festival is a playwright’s contest designed to offer writers a chance to direct their own shows, helping them to develop a sense of casting, staging, use of lights and direction. With Thespis, it is our intention to give writers a chance to create their vision from the first stroke of their pen to the last scene of their play. Thespis is not only a festival; it’s a competition as well. Thespis, as well as our wintertime festival, Venus, is hosted by the Cabrini Repertory Theater, a beautiful proscenium theater in uptown Manhattan.
Rehearsal and Production Dates & Locations
Runs June 15-Aug. 31 at the Cabrini Repertory Theater in Manhattan.
Compensation & Union Contract Details
No entry fees required. No pay, but best play wins $3,500. There are also awards for best actor and actress, but theater is not accepting acting submissions at this time.
23 Reasons This Festival is Perfect to Put Your Work Onstage
A 10 week-long festival that allows all shows prime performance times--not Tuesdays at 11 a.m. or Fridays at midnight. And every production gets two weekend shows!
Amazing awards to acknowledge the best play ($3500) and best actor/actress ($500 each)
The opportunity for all cast members to attend every show in the festival for free
Special guidance for playwrights staging their first show to help make their performances a success
Answers to all questions in a matter of hours and most often by the festival's founders. You'll never wait days for an answer.
Knowledgeable staff. We don't staff our festival with seasonal volunteers. All those who work in the festival are dedicated and experienced members of our theater, giving you real answers and a personal touch.
A beautiful 180 seat theater with a proscenium stage and 20-foot high ceilings, and powerful A/C in the summer.
A professional lighting (46 lights) and sound system that's easy to use--even for non-techiesA high-quality projection system to add color, depth and unexpected elements to each sceneA free tutorial on how to use the light/sound/ projection system and expert technical guidance on how to paint the mood of your play
A six-hour tech rehearsal just before your first performance. You have 8 hours in the theater instead of being rushed within a tech time that is merely double your show's run time. That means having the time to make it great instead of compromising in a stressful rush.
Free box office management/ venue handling during performances
Plenty of storage for your props and set pieces during the length of your run
Free use of props and set pieces owned by the theater, saving you transportation time and money
Space in front of the theater to park your vehicle should you need to unload & pack up props and set pieces
An extremely low participation fee
Connection with a professional videographer who will video your show for a low cost
A wonderful award ceremony at the end of the festival
A space in front of the stage that can be used as an orchestra pit
A baby grand piano available to all
A sizeable dressing/green room that can accommodate large ensembles
The opportunity to compete for a fourth performance in front of judges
A prize for Best Play that is large enough to fund another run!!!
What The Thespis Festival Offers
Shows will be not be packed into a cramped festival schedule.
All Thespis shows are scheduled during prime theater going hours. That is why the festival runs longer than two months.
Musicals needing live musicians are more than welcome. We offer a large area in front of the stage for the orchestra to play and the use of a fantastic Baby Grand Piano. (The stage is four feet above floor level.)
A six-hour tech/dress rehearsal (as opposed to getting just double your show’s run time)
Professional, easy-to-use lighting/sound system that anyone on your cast can learn to use
Free lessons on how to use the system
A high-quality image projector and large projection wall (21×12′) at the back of the stage.
Free venue director from the Cabrini Repertory Theater team–you won’t have to hire an outsider.
Constant contact with the Artistic Director of the venue should you have any questions about staging, lighting, sound or theater rules. You will never be forced to wait on answers, causing your production process to be held up.
Email blasts announcing your show to the theater’s mailing list
Set pieces and props that are already stored in the theater, saving you time, energy and money in transporting stage sets.
Storage space for your own props and set pieces should you decide to keep them in the theater during your show’s run.
The possibility to drive your props to the front door of the theater and temporarily park your vehicle there
Free box office management
A beautiful 21′ by 17′ proscenium stage
Every show in the festival will be performed in the Cabrini Repertory Theater—no outside venues will be rented.
All festival participants can see all other festival shows for free.
The possibility to be covered by reviewers should you make it to the finals
An exciting Prize Ceremony
Previous Participants Comments
"I have worked in a variety of NYC festivals and I have never worked with a more accommodating venue than Cabrini Repertory Theater. The management made my cast and crew feel instantaneously comfortable. As artists we were given the support we needed to put on a well-polished production. I would highly recommend Thespis Theater Festival to artists of all ages."
Madeleine Rose Parsigiam – Director of Cal and Grey -Second place, Thespis Festival 2013
"Thespis Theater Festival was an amazing opportunity for my cast and creative team to showcase our work at the professional level. As young artists, it can be difficult to find affordable space and supportive people to sponsor us as we work towards polishing our aesthetic. Franco Moschetti was an invaluable resource to us, being warm, friendly and full of good advice as we went through the festival process. As this was my very first time participating in a festival, I feel very lucky to have had the wonderful folks at Thespis to teach me the ropes. Moreover, the opportunity to extend our show into the Finals portion of the competition was incredibly exciting and made the entire team feel as if they had accomplished something at a much higher level. Thespis Theater Festival has been an incredible experience – bringing together many artists into one collaborative atmosphere. Thank you!"
Lily Raabe – Director of Eaten Voices -Winner Thespis Festival 2012
"I am honored to have been a participant in the Thespis Theater Festival, performing in my show Kennedy/Reagan.I was pleased with the professionalism shown by the management, who were completely prepared and showed me great hospitality.I have been astounded by the high caliber of audience members, many who are very engaged and volunteer helpful comments after the show. I would recommend Thespis to all playwrights as a means of presenting their new work. "
John C. Kendall – Playwright of Reagan/Kennedy