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Submissions Guidelines

Musical Cafe’s Next Stages


Musical Cafe will provide physical or online venue for developmental readings, as well as a dramaturg and a composer-mentor for those readings.  Musical Cafe can assist with casting and/or with identifying a potential director, if requested.


The Creative Team will be financially responsible for: paying honoraria for actors and director (if any), copies of script and score. The estimated cost of participation is $500-$600 for your show’s two table readings. The Creative Team will also provide recordings of music to be played during the readings, or will arrange for suitable live performances -- members of the Creative Team may sing/play songs, but should not otherwise be actors for the readings.


Eligibility Requirements:


1. At least one member of the creative [i.e. writing] team must be a resident of one of the following Northern California counties:  Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Benito, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma, or Yolo.


2. If your show is selected for the Next Stages program, all team members become Play Cafe members prior to your first table reading. (Play Cafe membership is open to all interested theatre artists- see


3. Your script and story must be substantially complete. Music and lyrics should be at least 50% complete.


4. Your show must be previously unproduced (other than developmental productions).


5.  If the show is an adaptation of another work, you must own the rights to underlying material, unless it is in the public domain.


6.  The music must be original.


7.  Unless book, lyrics and music were all written by the same person, you must have a written collaboration agreement.


What to Submit:


1.   A short synopsis of the show (maximum one page).


2.  A numbered list of songs, showing the titles and which character(s) sings. Please insert the song numbers in the synopsis to show where they occur.


3.  25 pages of the libretto, properly formatted, with a cover sheet giving your contact information. Please send as a pdf.*


4.  Recordings of three songs, in mp3 format or streamable from a web service.


5.  The written score of one of the three songs in pdf format.*


6.  A statement of the show’s developmental history and your plans and goals for the show, both with the Musical Cafe development process and long term (maximum one page).


7.   A short biographical statement for each member of the creative team (no more than 300 words each).


8. Links to the show’s web site and the creative team’s individual web sites, if any.


*Formatting guidelines for a musical script and/or score are available at


Send the above materials to Richard Jennings:

Questions may also be sent to the same email address.

Please send everything in one email.

Incomplete submissions will not be considered.


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