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Prospect Seeks Applicants for
2023 Musical Theater Lab

Prospect Theater Company seeks applicants to participate in the 17th installment of its annual musical theater laboratory program.  Details below -- submit by Mon. Sept 18th!  Each year, Prospect's lab brings together writing teams to create short musicals in response to a curated assignment.  The 6-week program meets in person, and culminates in a public presentation of the new works generated through the lab process.  The 2023 lab features in-person writer meetings, rehearsals, and a culminating public performance on Nov. 16th!


Pictured above:  Prospect's 2021 Musical Theater Lab, RULE OF THREE, at Symphony Space.

L to R:  Anessa Marie, Tatiana Wechsler, MinJi Kim, Amy Jo Jackson.  Photo by Richard Termine.


This year's lab (title TBD) will be food themed! The writing prompt and organizing idea for the evening will be based around courses of an elaborate potluck dinner, where everyone brings something to the table.  Each writing team will be responsible for creating one "course" of the meal.  What are you hungering for?  What feeds you?  What makes a meal?  The connection to food may be literal -- flapjacks for dinner, anyone? -- or metaphorical!  We look forward to exploring all facets of this theme in our curatorial process with the selected writing teams.

Each lab writing team will create a short (8-10 minute) musical inspired by the writing prompt, to be performed by a cast of 2-4 performers.

Works generated in the lab will be presented in a one-night-only, concert-style public performance on Thursday, November 16, 2023 @ 7:30pm at Symphony Space (2537 Broadway, NYC) in the Peter J. Sharp Theater.

Application deadline:  Monday, September 18, 2023 @ 11:59pm

Questions?  Please email


Selected lab writers will be invited to pitch three show concepts.  With curatorial input, writing teams will select one of these ideas to develop into an 8-10 minute long musical.  The short, new works will be written between Oct. 4 - Nov. 1, and then workshopped and rehearsed between Nov. 2 - 15, and presented as a single evening's concert.

The culminating lab presentation will be directed by Dev Bondarin, Prospect's Associate Artistic Director.



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

  • Please submit the name, role (composer, lyricist, bookwriter), pronouns, and a brief bio / info for each member of the writing team. 

  • Writers should apply with their intended collaborator(s).  Individual "team of one" writers who wear multiple hats may also apply.  New collaborative teams may also apply.  (Prospect doesn't create teams or pair writers.)

  • 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 Monday Sept 18, 2023.


We invite writers to be as intimately and frequently engaged with the lab process as possible.  Please review the timeline below to confirm the team’s availability for this project.  The lab intentionally operates on a compact timeline and incorporates random, playful elements in order to encourage writers to make bold and in-the-moment choices in their creative process.  If you or your team members will be unavailable for much of the planned process, it is best to wait for a future cycle to apply. 

Teams will be notified not later than Tues Sept 26, 2023.  We will begin with a Meet & Greet with writers and the director on Wed., Oct. 4 to discuss the general process.  If you apply, please try to hold this date -- as well as Wed., Oct. 18 evening -- open for in person group lab meetings.

The 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 2023 Lab, cast size will be limited to 2-4 performers who are dedicated to working on one primary project.  Writers are encouraged to be at rehearsals, which take place over a two week period at a location in Manhattan, to be determined. The rehearsals will be a combination of day and evening time slots based on availability schedules submitted by the writing teams.


Wed Oct. 4  - First group meeting of writers in evening (please hold this evening open for the meeting.)
Mon Oct. 9 - Show concept pitches due.
Sat Oct. 14 - Cast breakdown due.
Wed Oct. 18 - Second group meeting of writers in evening (please hold this evening open for the meeting.)
Mon Oct. 23 - Libretto first draft due.
Between Oct. 24 - Oct. 31 - Individual writer team meetings with director to be scheduled.  
Wed Nov. 1 - Completed rehearsal drafts of script and score due.

Thurs Nov. 2 - Earliest first rehearsal date.
Between Nov. 2 - 15 - Rehearsals for each piece scheduled during this period.
Thurs Nov. 16 - Afternoon technical rehearsal / sound check at Symphony Space. 7:30pm performance.


  • 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), Move Meant (2020), Rule of Three (2021), Caption This (2022).

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