Frequently Asked Questions

Can I resubmit a play I have previously submitted to The Lab?

Yes. If you would like to resubmit a play, and we have NOT requested that you do so, please reach out to  Let us know if the play has been revised since your previous submission, and any other circumstances around your desire to resubmit the play.

Does “hands-on dramaturgy” mean the writer cedes control in the Residency?

No. The playwright’s vision is the guiding force behind all the work.

Before a play is selected for a Residency, the Lab Directors and the playwright will have spoken in depth about the playwright’s vision and goals for their play. The Lab Directors will have expressed what in the play has sparked connection for them, where they have questions, and where they see room for further development. If a common understanding and direction is formed, the play is selected for a Residency and undergoes a process of concentrated development.

When you say you look for a demonstration of “craft” in a play, what
do you mean?

Recognizing the many traditions and styles that can inhabit and inform craft, here are some elements we look for:

  • The play establishes a consistent theatrical world(s), and there is a sense that the world of the play has been chosen to give greater meaning to the content.
  • The play maintains an established style and tone.
  • The chosen language of the play illuminates character or the world of the play.
  • The action of the play builds, and that build is connected to and illuminates the ideas of the play.
  • There is a sense of movement in the play, and a logic to that movement whether we understand it yet or not.
  • There is purpose in how the parts of the play fit together and an awareness of how time functions in the play.

Is there any fee to be involved in The New Jersey Play Lab Residencies?

No. The New Jersey Play Lab is a free opportunity for playwrights. There is no cost to the playwright, either for submission or for inclusion, in a Residency. At this time, we are not able to offer compensation to the playwright for participation in a Residency.

Where will The Residencies take place?

A Residency consists of multiple script meetings, and potentially, a table reading, public reading, and/or a 29-hour reading. The script meetings will take place in a location that is mutually convenient for the playwright and The New Jersey Play Lab Artistic Staff. Please note most of our work to date has taken place in Morris and Essex County.

Will the Lab produce my play?

No, we are not a producing entity. We are solely a play development lab.

What happens when The Residencies are over? Will the Lab reach out to producing entities on my behalf?

The Lab will promote the plays we develop to theatres that produce new work, and will facilitate connections and opportunities for our playwrights.

Will the New Jersey Play Lab ask for participation in the future financial life of the play?

No. The New Jersey Play Lab will not seek any subsidiary rights or any stake in the future financial life of the plays we develop. We do ask that developmental credit be included on all copies of all manuscripts, in all publications, and on all promotional materials for productions of the plays we develop in our Residencies.

Can I submit a play that has been produced?

Maybe. Contact us with specifics and we’ll discuss.

Can I submit a musical?

At this time, due to budget constraints, we are not accepting musical submissions, but it is our hope to open our process up to musicals in the future.

Can I submit a play that has been commissioned by another entity and/or is scheduled for production?

Yes, as long as the commissioning entity is fine with our collaboration, and the planned production is after our Residency period.

Can I submit a play that I worked on in a PlayGym class? 

Absolutely, but please know that that plays worked on in PlayGym will receive no preferential treatment. They will be evaluated as all other submissions.

Will I have input into casting and be permitted to be at all rehearsals for all readings of my play?

Yes, the playwright will have input into casting, and will be REQUIRED to be at all rehearsals for all readings.

What if I have a director attached to my play?

If we feel your director has the necessary experience and is willing to participate in our dramaturgical process, we will gladly bring them on board to direct the Residency readings. If we feel it is in the play’s best interest to bring on a different director for the Residency readings, we will make it clear to the second director that the writer already has another director attached to the play for any potential productions.

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