New York, NY 10011
The Misfits is currently seeking submissions for BREAK THE RITUAL, a new commission series.
Calling all creators: writers, directors, designers, songwriters, technicians, developers, instructors, magicians, chefs, sound engineers, etc. If you create something, you’re who we’re looking for.
About The Misfits: The Misfits is dedicated to creating bold theatrical events that push the boundaries of what audiences have come to expect from traditional theatre—experiences that invite social connection and provoke deeper conversation. NYC-based. 501c3 nonprofit. Reimagining the audience and artist experience. Past development work: Bro Lyfe by Justin Kuritzkes (2016, reading), House Plant by Sarah Einspanier (2018, workshop). U.S. Presenter of Oh Heroine How I Love You (2019) at NYPL at Jefferson Market and Consulting Producer of the world-premiere of Sarah Einspanier’s House Plant (2020) at NYTW Next Door. www.themisfitstheatre.org
About the series: BREAK THE RITUAL was developed out of a challenge we set for ourselves: “In light of current circumstances: how might we bring our mission to life?” (with a main principle of creating community within an experience). The intent of the series is to collectively process the moment we’re living in through our relationship with daily rituals culminating in an experience designed around (or for) that ritual.
About the submission process: this is a PAID opportunity ($500 for each creative lead, per cycle). This is for three different cycles to be produced over the course of 2021 (with the first cycle being produced in mid-April). Applicants must be no younger than 18. You do not have to be a writer (just a creator in some form). If your concept is virtual, you do not have to be located in NYC. You can submit as an individual or with up to one collaborator (note that if you’re submitting as an individual we may explore commissioning you with another individual applicant). We’ll be closing submissions by 12:00 pm ET on March 1st, and conducting interviews in the weeks following (the earlier you submit, the better). We’re looking for starter ideas, not a fully fleshed out concept as we’ll be collaborating with you on refining the final concept (and developing and shaping it along the process).
More about BREAK THE RITUAL: We’re not creating Zoom readings, rather experiences that creatively engage audiences in processing the moment we’re in. We’ve designed this as a rapid-generation commission, time-boxed with limited drafts and limited rehearsal. We’re not going for polish—we’re producing in a spirit of prototype and experimentation. Here are some design principles (and how they showed up in our beta cycle at the end of 2020):
1/ Break into a ritual and consider the audience experience as a build on that ritual
[for our beta test cycle: we created an experience around cooking dinner]
2/ Explore a central question/theme
[for our beta test cycle: our creative leads set out to explore the question of “what does it mean to be alone in quarantine?”]
3/ Co-build the process with the creative leads
[for our beta test cycle: we created a process and a timeline in collaboration with a playwright and a director]
4/ Engage a community in the development process
[for our beta test cycle: we hosted three “listening sessions” (a hybrid between a focus group and a brainstorm with 3-4 participants) which the creative leads used as inspiration and fodder for the content of the experience]
5/ Create an experience no longer than 60 minutes and no shorter than 5 minutes
[for our beta test cycle: we commissioned a “cookalong experience” that was 60-minutes end-to-end (the time it took to cook the recipe) that had (1) a host introducing the experience, (2) a 20-minute scripted “Zoom date” with recipe preparation built into the script so the audience could follow along, (3) a facilitated discussion coming out of the zoom date where audiences got to connect with one another while their recipe cooked on the stove - by the time the experience came to a close, audience members had a prepared dinner]
6/ Learn and listen; prototype and iterate
[for our beta test cycle: we led with a spirit of experimentation, willing to try different approaches at each test performance]
7/ Build rapidly
[for our beta test cycle: our playwright submitted only two drafts and our creative leads collectively delivered a completed experience within a month, hosting four 60-90 minute rehearsals (table work, refinement, dry tech, full tech) and two performances]
8/ Bring our audience engagement thinking to life
[for our beta test cycle: we worked closely with the playwright and director to build a full experience around the script they created guided by our methodology and design principles for audience engagement]
9/ Create an experience of the moment
[for our beta test cycle: our playwright created a script that explored many realities that came up for the participants of our listening sessions (e.g. race in America, bigotry, online Zoom dating, Tiger King, binge-watching TV shows, unemployment, quarantine, etc.)]
10/ Do it live
[for our beta test cycle: we did every performance live, cooking and all]
If interested, please fill out the form here: https://forms.gle/Afnw3FKuZi1zoKEC7
March 1, 2021 - December 31, 2021