Running June–August 2009, the annual conferences serve as an incubator for new works from established and emerging artists. The O'Neill Center has posted a deadline of Oct. 17 for Playwright Conference submissions. The deadline for the Musical Theatre Conference is Dec. 1.
Playwrights whose scripts are selected are guaranteed room, board and round-trip transportation to and from the Conference. Those playwrights selected to participate in the 2009 Conference agree to be in residence for the entire length of the conference.
For the Musical Theater Conference, creators work with a director, music director and company of Equity performers, and are able to experiment with re-writes and revisions, and discuss their work in-depth with artistic staff, peers, visiting professionals and audiences. A stipend, room and board and transportation are provided for each artist selected.
"This Conference belongs to the playwrights, and I believe that it is imperative to allow the playwrights who submit their work the opportunity to have their plays read and considered seriously for the conference. I remain committed to the open submission process and it is a priority for the Playwrights Conference to seek out the best writers through this endeavor," said Playwrights Conference artistic director Wendy C. Goldberg in a statement.
Playwrights who have participated in the Conference include David Cale, Joseph Chaikin, Kia Corthron, John Guare, Israel Horovitz, David Henry Hwang, David Lindsay-Abaire, Adam Rapp, Mark Ravenhill, Regina Taylor, Wendy Wasserstein and August Wilson. Paulette Haupt, co-founder and artistic director of the National Music Theater Conference describes the open submission policy as "the heart of our mission since the inception of the Conference in 1978. We look forward to hearing from the next generation of writers and composers who seek to explore their projects with peer professionals in the field and gain a clearer perception of the work still needed to be done to complete their vision."
Among the musicals and creators with roots at the O'Neill Center's National Musical Theater Conference are Tan Dun, Kirsten Childs, Andrew Lippa, Joe Masteroff, Steven Sater, Duncan Sheik and Jeannine Tesori. Noted award-winning musicals include Arthur Kopit, Mario Fratti and Maury Yeston's Nine; Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx's Avenue Q; as well as Lin-Manuel Miranda and Quiara Alegría Hudes' In the Heights.
Detailed guidelines for each program are provided on the O'Neill website at www.TheONeill.org
The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center was founded in 1964 and is based in Waterford, CT. Programs at the Center include the Puppetry Conference, Playwrights Conference, Critics Institute, Music Theater Conference and the National Theater Institute. The Monte Cristo Cottage, O'Neill's childhood home, is also owned and operated by the group.