Prospect Seeks Applicants for 2021 Musical Theater Lab

Prospect Theater Company seeks applicants to participate in the 15th installment of its annual musical theater laboratory program.  Each year, Prospect's lab brings together writing teams to create short musicals in response to a curated assignment.  The 6-week program culminates in a public presentation of the new works generated through the lab process.

For the 2021 lab, we are planning a return to in-person writer meetings, rehearsals, and culminating performance.  Robust safety measures will be in place for all in-person work, and everyone involved will be required to participate in those precautions.  All participating writers (and other artists and staff, as well as audience members for the final performance) will need to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination.  In cases with extenuating circumstances, writer participation via Zoom may be possible.

This year's assignment theme stems from our focus on limited cast size for this lab cycle.  Each selected writing team will asked to create a short (8-9 minute) musical for three performers, which is in some way inspired by that three-person concept.

Works generated in the lab will be presented in a one-night-only, concert-style public performance on Wednesday, November 17, 2021 @ 7:30pm at Symphony Space (2537 Broadway, NYC) in the Peter J. Sharp Theater.  Click here to view Symphony Space's safety protocols -- masks will be required of audience members as well.

Application deadline:  Friday, September 17, 2021 @ 11:59pm

Questions?  Need to request a deadline extension until Mon. 9/20 @ 5p?  Please email


Selected lab writers will be invited to pitch three concepts for three-person-cast projects.  All subjects and styles are welcome!  With the input of the curatorial team, writing teams will select one of these ideas to develop into an 8-9 minute long musical.  The short, new works will be written between Oct. 5 - Nov. 2, and then workshopped and rehearsed between Nov. 3 - 16, and presented as a single evening. The culminating lab presentation will be directed by Prospect's Associate Artistic Director Dev Bondarin, and presented on Wed., Nov. 17th @ 7:30p at Symphony Space.



  • 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), email, phone, and a brief bio for each member of the writing team.  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. 

  • DEADLINE:  11:59pm on Friday Sept 17, 2021.


As this program is intended to build new relationships for writing teams, we hope writers will be as intimately and frequently involved with the lab process as possible.  Please review the timeline below to confirm the team’s availability for this project.  If you will be out of NYC, or otherwise 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 Thurs Sept 23, 2021.  We begin with a Meet & Greet with writers and the director on Tuesday, Oct. 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, drawn from Prospect’s network of alumni performers and other recommendations.  For the 2021 Lab, in a change from previous years that is driven by our safety precautions, cast size will be limited to three performers who are dedicated to working on one primary project.  Writers are welcome and encouraged at rehearsals, to take place over a two week period. The rehearsals will be a combination of daytimes and evenings based on schedules submitted by the teams.


Fri Sept 17 - Application Deadline

Thurs Sept 23 - Writing teams notified on our about this date.

Tues Oct 5 - First group meeting of writers in evening (in person)
Fri Oct 8 - Show concept pitches due.
Tues Oct 12 - Cast breakdown due.
Wed Oct 20 - Second group meeting of writers in evening (in person)
Fri Oct 22 - Libretto first draft due.
Between Oct 23 - Oct. 30 - Individual writer team meetings with director to be scheduled (over Zoom)
Tues Nov 2 - Completed rehearsal drafts of script and score due.
Wed Nov 3 - Earliest 1st rehearsal date.
Between Nov 4 - 16 - Rehearsals for each piece scheduled during this period (in person)
Wed Nov 17 - Afternoon technical rehearsal / sound check at Symphony Space. 7:30pm performance.


  • Artists, including writers, receive a modest honorarium 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), Message In A Bottle (2019), and Move Meant (2020).