Sunday, November 14, 2010

Call for submissions: 2011 SummerWorks Theatre Festival

While November 15 is the deadline for applications to the Toronto Fringe Festival, the applications have opened for the other summer theatre festival in Toronto, SummerWorks. This year, SummerWorks takes place from August 4-14. It's a juried festival that only takes 35 plays during its 11-day run. Their focus is on new Canadian works and writers from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply.You do not have to be a Toronto resident.

To apply, you must fill out the application form (both online and a hard copy) and send in your support material and two cheques. The first $25 reading fee is non-refundable. The second $700 fee is an entrance fee that only gets cashed if your project is accepted. All other cheques are destroyed. The artistic producer of the festival Michael Rubenfeld reads all of the submissions with a jury consisting of four theatre professionals.

The deadline for entries is 6pm on Tuesday, February 1, 2011.


Welcome to SummerWorks and thank you for looking to the Festival as a place to premiere or showcase your work. This form will give you some more information about us and help guide you with your application.


SummerWorks 2011 is a juried theatre festival of approximately 35 one-act plays that runs for eleven days from August 4-14, 2011 in Toronto. We feature primarily new Canadian work, complemented by international premieres, new visions of contemporary Canadian plays and interpretations of classics. SummerWorks is a developmental festival, supporting new work that has a clear artistic vision and/or explores a specific theatrical aesthetic. We encourage risk, questions, and creative exploration while insisting on accessibility, integrity and professionalism.

SummerWorks is the place where dedicated, professional artists are free to explore new territory and take artistic risks. We look to introduce professional artists from diverse communities and be inspired by our similarities and differences.

Now in our 21st year, SummerWorks continues to support the artistic visions of the participants in the festival by providing them with the best possible production resources at the lowest cost, attracting the largest possible audience, and facilitating artistic and professional career assistance. The Festival provides a complete framework, which includes the renting of professional venues, hiring of technical staff, lighting designers, festival publicity and marketing, ticket sales, technical and performance scheduling, and front of house management. Participating companies pay a small Entrance Fee and receive 85% of their box office revenue.


You must include two fees with your application. The first is a $25.00 Reading Fee that is non-refundable. The second is the Entrance Fee of $700. Cheques can be made out to “SummerWorks Theatre Festival” and Entrance Fee cheques may be post-dated for April 1st, 2011. Applications will not be accepted unless both fees are included. The Festival does not require a certified cheque. The Entrance Fee cheques P.O. Box 12, Station C, Toronto, ON. M6J 3M7. will not be cashed until companies that are successfully chosen by the jury have been contacted. Cheques for applications that are not selected will be destroyed immediately.


A jury of four theatre professionals, including the artistic producer, will read all submissions. Please follow the guidelines below when putting together your proposal.
*All applications must include ONE Application Form and TWO copies of the following.

1. Letter of Intent: Maximum 2 pages, giving an overview of your work in your community, this project, where it is at in its development, what you plan to do, and how you plan to do it. What excites you about it? Why is SummerWorks the right festival for your production? This is your way of introducing yourselves and your work to our jury.
2. The Play: Please include two copies of the play. Unfinished works in progress are also acceptable. If the play has not yet been written, a synopsis and complete description should be submitted. For non text-based work, a proposal/project description outlining the production should be included.
3. Support Materials: (Optional) These can include DVDs, CDs, resumes, short bios of key members in your team or letters of support from professional artists if the jury may be unfamiliar with your work.


Applications will be assessed based on artistic merit, clarity of vision, and balance with the other plays selected. SummerWorks receives on average over 150 applications. Please keep in mind that we are programming productions, so the more we can envision the piece off the page, the better. Share your passion with us! Be honest and concise, but heartfelt.


The deadline for submissions is Tuesday, February 1, 2011 by 6:00 p.m. All submissions must be received or postmarked by this date.

Applications can be mailed to:

SummerWorks Theatre Festival
P.O. Box 12, Station C
Toronto, ON
M6J 3M7

A drop box will also be set up at the SummerWorks Office, 1087 Queen St. West (Entrance in the alley off Dovercourt) from January 28 – February 1.

Successful applicants will be contacted by April 1st


SummerWorks welcomes proposals for site-specific work that will be considered in addition to the 35 in-house productions if they conform to the following parameters.

• Shows must be set offsite for a specific artistic reason to be articulated in your proposal.
• Proof of permit or letter of support for use of your offsite venue must be submitted with your application.
• All offsite venues must be within the SummerWorks parameters of Dovercourt and Queen to Bathurst and Queen unless discussed with the Artistic Producer in advance.

We recommend that potential offsite producers contact us directly about their application – email is preferred.

• Maximum show length is 60 minutes or 75 minutes. Please check one or the other. SummerWorks 2011 has space for up to 35 companies.
• Participating companies are responsible for obtaining the relevant production rights for their shows and performers. If anyone in your company has a membership in a guild, union, or other professional association, you must acquire the necessary releases, or pay the required fees to the respective organization. If you are producing an existing play, you are responsible for obtaining the relevant rights from or paying the required fees to the playwright or his/her agent.
• Partial fee refunds of $500 will be given to participants who cancel by May 15, 2011. No refunds will be made for cancellations after that date. Notice of withdrawal from the Festival must be made in writing to the Artistic Producer.
• As this is a juried festival, and while we are aware of and sympathetic to the natural evolution of a project, if your production differs significantly from your application either in content or production personnel, SummerWorks reserves the right to rescind your invitation.

If you have any further questions with regards to your application or about the Festival
in general, please visit our website at or contact us by email
Best of luck and we look forward to reading your submissions.

Michael Rubenfeld
Artistic Producer

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