Benjamin H. Moore and Samantha Massell in the 2022 New Works staged reading of "Double Helix." COURTESY BAY STREET THEATER
Joe Kinosian in the 2022 New Works staged reading of the musical "One-Man Titanic." COURTESY BAY STREET THEATER
Socorro Santiago and Jose Febus in the 2022 New Works staged reading of "Atacama." COURTESY BAY STREET THEATER
The selection process for Bay Street Theater’s 9th annual “Title Wave: The 2023 New Works Festival” has entered the semi-finalist phase with 30 works selected to continue on to the next round. Submissions for the 2023 New Works Festival opened October 1 and closed just more than a week later when 300 submissions were received.
“In my third year as the literary manager of Bay Street, I’m so pleased to see the way the festival has grown and evolved,” says Hope Villanueva. “After starting in the pandemic with streamed offerings, then on to live audiences last year — who brought excited conversations on all manner of topics — I’m thrilled to have many wonderful writers and plays to pick from this season. As always, I hope that we can challenge and laugh and make audiences think. I can’t wait until we can announce our finalists and selections for 2023.”
From 300 submissions received by playwrights from around the country, the field was narrowed to the top 10 percent after a round of scoring by a panel of readers. Over the next few weeks, these 30 plays will be read by the artistic leadership staff at Bay Street, who through discussion and recommendation will further narrow down the selections to just five to seven finalists. Only four of those will then be selected as pieces to be read at the New Works Festival, scheduled for May 5 to 7.
Of the semi-finalist plays selected, 53 percent are written by female playwrights, 47 percent male; 50 percent are written by white playwrights, 50 percent written by Black, Indigenous or People of Color; 57 percent of plays feature five characters or less, 43 percent have six or more characters.
Established in 2014, the New Works Festival is an annual presentation of new plays and musicals and an opportunity for playwrights to work on their play in-person with directors and professional actors. New Works plays and musicals represent a broad array of voices, viewpoints, cultures, and styles. The festival is a process of growth and development for not only the playwrights and their works, but for the creative team at Bay Street who are looking to learn from new talent. “Double Helix,” a new musical by Madeline Myers premiering at Bay Street in summer 2023, was a play presented at the 2022 New Works Festival.
One fine body…