OYL's LeaseLab invites playwrights from the US and abroad to work collaboratively with the OYL Artistic ensemble in the creation of new work. Collectively we take broad theatrical concepts from very early development to final draft stage. LeaseLab is a a phased process over twelve months, comprising of a series of workshops and usually involving three script drafts.
The primary goal of LeaseLab is to give playwrights the opportunity to develop work collaboratively alongside the OYL ensemble with the intention of a world premiere in New York City.
LeaseLab is a professional development program and selected playwrights receive a commission fee and workshop stipend.
As of 2014, LeaseLab is built around a concept provided by OYL on which playwrights are invited to collaborate with us to create a new work.
There are three aesthetic considerations we look for in submitted work. 1) Does the writing explore the idea of 'collective storytelling' in some way? 2) Is the writing open enough to allow for physcial expression through movement/dance? 3) Does the writing exhibit non-conventional playwriting structure? (for example written without scene headings, character names, stage directions). These are explained in more detail below:
1. Collective Storytelling.
We are interested in stories told from a group or shared perspective, in whatever form this may take.
We are an ensemble company - artists who work together consistently over long periods - and through this form we have found a reflection in approaching work from the perspective of a collective consciousness.
We seek to draw audiences into the experience as a participant, an accomplice, a part of the group, as culpable.
Theatrically a Greek chorus is defined, in part, as a collective voice contextualized by each individual participant's different experience of the shared event. We draw on this ancient principle as we modernize the chorus into a contemporary form.
As a highly physical company with a strong focus on movement, and with a resident movement director, we are espectially interested in writing that is open to this kind of expression. Successful submissions will undergo a rigorous physical exploration as the first step in their development. Writing that explores unique and magical worlds is strongly encouraged.
We are drawn to writing that explores unconventional structure, possibly as straight prose without scene headings, character names, stage directions (but still written specifically for the stage). We weight non-linear story-telling heavily in our selection process
International and US-based playwrights with and without professional credits are invited to submit works-in-progress in the form of treatments, monologue/s, a handful of scenes or first drafts of original work that connects to the aesthetic considerations above. Invitations to participate in LeaseLab are based wholly on the quality of the work submitted. Early drafts are encouraged.
OYL provides for all workshop-related costs, but does not provide airfare, housing (if required) or meals for playwrights during workshop periods. OYL will make every attempt to work with each selected playwright to find funding for such costs.
Please click HERE to submit your work.
- Each LeaseLab development process is unique to the selected playwright’s personality, style of writing and submitted material.
- On selection, the playwright and OYL artistic staff begin a dialogue to define the process to be undertaken to ensure all parties understand and agree to unique and specific parameters.
- The LeaseLab is designed to challenge playwrights to reach beyond their comfort zone, work quickly and respond to the input of the OYL collaborators. However within the collaborative structure, it is OYL’s primary focus to ensure a safe environment for the playwright that assists their creative process, without undue pressure.
- In the early stages of the workshop, the process is reading and discussion-based, with new material being tested on a daily basis
- When the playwright’s work is ready, basic staging is applied and ongoing group dialogue scheduled into the workday
- Playwrights are given a draft series of minor deadlines at the outset of the workshop, which may shift according to how the work develops
- The workshop concludes with three workshop performances, with basic staging applied for invited audiences. Audiences are encouraged to take part in post-performance feedback discussions with the cast, OYL artistic staff and the playwright
- Workshop rehearsals continue on the days between performances.