The New Works Lab is the play development program of The Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights (ALAP), a support and service organization for Southern California playwrights.
The Lab is intended to help playwrights by providing initial readings of new plays which have reached that stage of development where hearing them out loud, with professional actors reading the roles, is the most logical, helpful next step. A moderated post-reading discussion helps the playwright focus on what works, what doesn’t, and where the play needs to go from that point.
ALAP partners with local theatres to present the readings, and by so doing also helps foster relationships between Los Angeles-area playwrights and theatres. These relationships have often led to further collaborations.
The Lab and its partner theatres have produced readings of new plays since 2002. Among the theatre companies that have hosted the Lab are Alliance Repertory Company, Company of Angels, the Coop Theatre Company, Ensemble Studio Theatre - LA, Greenway Arts Alliance, Met Theatre, Moving Arts, Pacific Resident Theatre, Powerhouse Theatre, Rogue Machine Theatre, Secret Rose Theatre, Theatre 40, Theater Unleashed, Three Roses Players, Theatre Neo, Vox Humana Theatre Company, and WriteAct Repertory Theatre.
Since the New Works Lab is for the playwright’s benefit, it is not open to the public; only theatre professionals from the participating theatre and selected guests of the playwright may attend. If the playwright agrees, a small number of ALAP members may apply to attend as well, though at the playwright’s request, the reading may be closed to all outsiders.
Writers who have been through the Lab process report that they benefited greatly from the readings, and received helpful feedback which spurred them to significant improvements in their plays. Several works have gone on to public staged readings, full productions, and significant awards, and many writers have established warm and lasting relationships with their host theatres.
The New Works Lab was founded, coordinated, and moderated by Isabel Storey from 2002 to 2009. In 2010, Teri Graves took on the role of New Works Lab Coordinator, and turned the reins over to Alison Hills in 2012. Jonathan Munoz-Proulx has been Lab Coordinator since January 2013.
1. The Lab accepts submissions of full-length plays, or one-act plays longer than 30 pages. Submissions must be UNPRODUCED. A play is considered produced if it has been performed in front of a paying audience with the performers off book. You may submit one play at a time. If your play is not selected, you may submit the same play again up to three times within one calendar year.
2. Electronic submissions are required, and must be received by the deadline announced for each Lab. Please consult the latest issue of the ALAP newsletter for the current deadline, or subscribe to the ALAP email list for notification. Submissions should be e-mailed to NewWorks@LAPlaywrights.org. We strongly advise submitting your play as a PDF: ALAP assumes no responsibility for plays which cannot be read due to word-processing program or other software incompatibilities or defects. Receipt of your submission will be acknowledged by an email from the Lab Coordinator.
3. Only current members of ALAP are eligible to submit to the New Works Lab. If your play is the work of more than one author, all authors must be ALAP members. Membership must be valid through the date of the Lab for your play to be considered. If you are not a current member, a dues check for $45 for one year's membership ($20 for current full-time students), or $300 for Lifetime Membership, must be received by ALAP by the deadline. If you are unsure of your membership status, please write Co-Chair Dan Berkowitz at DanB@LAPlaywrights.org.
4. Playwrights whose plays are selected must agree to attend the New Works Lab reading and participate in the post-play discussion.
5. Play selections are made by the host theatres, not by ALAP. If your play is selected, you will be notified within approximately two months after the submission deadline.
If you have questions about the New Works Lab, or the submission procedure, please contact New Works Lab Coordinator Jonathan Munoz-Proulx at JMunozProulx@LAPlaywrights.org.
[Revised December 2014]