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2017 MASS MoCA FAQ

What is the MASS MoCA Lab?

This lab focuses on the creation of new musical theatre work and on work generated by acting companies or ensembles. We support 2-3 projects at this lab. Projects at this lab are cast individually and rehearse daily.

What are the dates of the 2018 MASS MoCA Lab?

The dates for this year’s  lab are December 3- 17, 2017, this includes travel days.

Where is the MASS MoCA Lab held?

The Lab is held in North Adams, MA at the Massachusetts Museums of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA).

How can I apply to the MASS MoCA Lab?

We do not take open submissions for this Lab. Applicants have to be invited to apply.

How do I get invited to apply for this Lab?

Sundance needs to be familiar with your work. The best way to introduce us to your work is by applying to our open submission application for our July Lab. Please check our website in the Fall for more information about this application process.

I really do have the perfect project for Sundance, can I please apply to the MASS MoCA Lab?

We cannot take additional submissions for this lab. You must be invited to apply. We will only accept and consider a very small number of projects. These projects have already been researched by our Staff. If you want to submit to Sundance, please submit to our summer Lab. Our website will be updated in the fall with more information.

What type of projects are accepted?

Sundance looks for original, compelling human stories that reflect the independent vision of the theatre artists. We are interested in supporting a diverse and daring group of theatre artists who tell unique stories, present material in a new form or conceptualize existing material with an innovative vision. We look for writers and collaborators who are interested in genuinely exploring their material. Submitted projects must be original works. This lab is focused on musicals and devised projects.

What does Sundance look for?

First and foremost, we look for projects that reflect an originality and “independent spirit.” We’re particularly interested in proactive new work from lesser heard voices and work that looks at familiar topics in an unfamiliar way. Once we have established that a project warrants our interest, we look for clues that applicants have strongly identified their objectives in the supporting materials – both long-term and in the context of the Lab. Some projects aren’t suited to a highly collaborative Lab environment, and projects that only need a polish before they’re ready for productions are not for us. Generating artists should have genuine questions about their play that can be answered in a collaborative Lab environment where trying out new ideas is encouraged.

Do I have to be at the Lab for the entire time?

If you project is selected, you must be available to be at the Lab for its entirety.

Does Sundance provide my travel to the Lab?

Sundance will provide transport to Massachusetts. We will also provide lodging and meals for you and the rest of your creative team attached to your project.

Will I receive a fee/stipend for my participation?

Sundance provides a stipend for all artists. Artists who attend the Lab will receive $1000 USD ($500USD/week x two weeks).

My project is a musical, do I have to submit the music tracks electronically?

There is a very strong preference that everything be submitted electronically, this goes in accordance with Sundance’s greening initiative and it makes it much easier for our readers.

Must I have the rights to the song, the book or other materials that my play or musical is based on?

Yes. If you are including any materials for which you are not the writer/creator, you must obtain the rights prior to submitting. If you do not have the rights, we cannot accept your project.

What if my play is commissioned by another theatre?

We do accept plays that are commissioned by other theatres or producers; however, you must obtain written permission from the commissioning organization stating that they support your application.

Can I bring my own dramaturg?

Sundance provides dramaturgical support that is customized to each individual project, and once a project is accepted into the Lab, there will be an opportunity to discuss what model is best for your play. In some cases, Sundance would consider a dramaturg who “comes with” a project, particularly if that dramaturg is one of the generative artists. We tend to discourage the practice of including dramaturgs employed by institutions that have commissioned or committed to a future production of a play.

Sundance is a time for the generative artists to explore their impulses as independently as they can, and not in tandem with the needs of a future institution. In the case of work that is commissioned or committed to production, we have done well with a process whereby the Lab dramaturg  “passes the baton” to the dramaturg at the producing institution.

Who do I contact with additional questions?

Please email theatre@sundance.org