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Prospect Seeks Applicants for 2020 Music Theater Lab

Prospect Theater Company seeks applicants to participate in the 14th installment of its annual musical theater laboratory program.  Each year, Prospect's lab brings together 6-8 writing teams to create short musicals in response to a curated assignment.  The 6-week program culminates in a public presentation of these new works.

For the 2020 lab process, Prospect is adding a choreography component to the lab, in order to explore movement as an inspiring element of short-form storytelling. 

Musical theater writing teams will come together to create original musicals inspired by the concept of "Movement."  We will engage with both physical movement of the body, and the evolving "movements" of thought throughout history and across cultures.  Each 10-minute piece will be challenged to use movement or dance as a key element in telling its short story.  The cast will include a shared ensemble of both "singer-actor" storytellers, as well as a separate corps of dance storytellers. 

For 2020, Prospect is seeking both writing team and choreographer applicants for the lab.  Selected writing teams will each be assigned a choreography collaborator; writers and choreographers will apply independently from each other but are invited to express interest in working together.  Collaborative discussion and an assigned movement prompt will provide the spark for this year’s writing assignment.

Works generated in the lab will be presented in two public performances on Feb 17-18, 2020 @ 7pm at The Ailey Citigroup Theater (405 West 55th St.), a flexible state-of-the-art performance space.

CHOREOGRAPHERS ONLY - Application deadline extended to Monday, Dec. 23rd at 12pm noon!


For the 2020 lab, 6-8 writing teams will be selected to write short (8-10 minute) musicals. Additionally, an equal number of choreographers will be selected as collaborative partners for the writing teams.  The 2020 lab (exact title to be determined) will incorporate dance and / or movement pieces as a key element of the storytelling in each original musical.  The short, new works will be written between Jan 5 - Feb 2, and then workshopped and rehearsed between Feb 3 - 16, and presented as a single evening. The culminating lab production will be presented for two public performances.  The lab presentation will be directed by Dev Bondarin.



  • We strive to keep our open application process simple and efficient with a quick turnaround.

  • Artists are asked to submit the name, role (composer, lyricist, bookwriter, choreographer), email, phone, and a bio for each member of the writing team (or for the choreographer). Individual writers who wear multiple hats may also apply.

  • Writers are asked to include links to 3 sample songs (either mp3s or videos are acceptable) along with a brief scene sample.  Work samples that are representative of the collaborative team applying are best.  If the application marks a new collaboration, please be clear in describing the relevance of each sample to the application. 

  • Choreographers are asked to submit a link to an online video reel and a brief statement about their work.

  • DEADLINE:  11:59pm on Thursday Dec 19, 2019.


We hope writers will be as intimately and frequently involved with the process as possible, so please review the timeline below to confirm the team’s availability for this project.  If you will be out of NYC, or unavailable for much of the process, it is best to wait for a future cycle to apply.  We expect selected teams will be notified on or around Monday Dec 23, 2019.

We begin with a Meet & Greet with writers, choreographers, and the director on Sunday, Jan. 5th to discuss the general process. If you apply, please hold this date open.

The lab presentation will be performed by a versatile and diverse cast of actor-singers and dancers, drawn from Prospect’s network of alumni performers and other recommendations. There will be approximately two weeks of rehearsal.  Writers are welcome and encouraged at these rehearsals. The rehearsals will be a combination of daytimes and evenings.


Thurs. Dec 19— Submission deadline.

Mon. Dec 23 — Applicants notified of acceptance.

Sun. Jan. 5, time TBD — First lab meeting.  Meet & Greet with writers, choreographers, and director.  Team assignments formalized and discussion of the process.

Jan. 21-23 TBD — 1st Draft due/check in meeting with writers. Individual writer meetings with the director will follow over the next week.

Feb 2 — Final draft due.

Feb 3 — Rehearsals begin on or just after this date.  Exact rehearsal schedule TBD between Feb 3 - 16.

Mon. Feb 17 - Afternoon tech / dress and evening public Performance #1 at 7pm.

Tues. Feb 18 — Performance #2 @ 7pm.


  • Artists, including writers, receive a modest stipend for their participation in the lab.

  • Writers retain all copyright/ownership of their work.

  • Writers who have previously participated in the lab are welcome to re-apply, but not in the session immediately following their participation. (Ie: Writers may not participate in two back to back labs, they must take one year off before re-applying.)

Previous lab projects include Museum Pieces (2008), Map Quest (2009), Snapshots (2010), Souvenir Stories (2011), Rites of Passage (2012), Portraits (2013), Street Seen (2014), By The Numbers (2015), Stage Fright (2015), Archetype (2016), World Views (2017), Monument (2018) and Message In A Bottle (2019).

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