New Works Initiative

Department of Theatre and Dance

An Opportunity for Professional Artists

The New Works Initiative (NWI) is a special project of the Department of Theatre and Dance at Montclair State University committed to the development and production of new original works in theatre and dance. Modeled after the Sundance Lab in Utah and the Eugene O’Neill Memorial Theater Center in Connecticut, Montclair State University’s New Works Initiative aims to be a home where the American professional performance community can experiment with and develop exciting new professional work that incorporates MSU’s theater and dance students.

Each year through a national submission process, one NWI project is chosen for workshop development on the Montclair State University campus. The professional creative team of the selected project (one to four artists) is supported through artist fees, travel and accommodations (if necessary), dedicated rehearsal space(s), stage management support and an auditioned student cast. 

NWI is underwritten by Robert S. and Holly J. Gregory.

NWI Project Support

Fees and Travel

  • Selected NWI artists receive a fee of $2,500 to choreograph and stage their dance project. Additional funds are available for subsequent rehearsals.
  • Whenever possible, NWI will help with transportation for artists living outside the New York metropolitan area.


  • All NWI projects will be cast through an audition process involving the Department of Theatre and Dance students.
  • All NWI projects will have a student stage management team.
  • NWI projects, when appropriate, may have a student technician assigned to deal with rep light plot and sound issues.
  • NWI projects will receive full design and tech support. The design support may comprise both professional and student designers.


  • The following venues are available for NWI rehearsals, workshops and productions
  • Additional spaces are also available for rehearsal use, including Life Hall studios 123 and 124 in the College of the Arts at Montclair State University.

Marketing Support

NWI workshops and productions will be part of the Department’s performance season and season marketing. NWI will be included in brochures, on the Department’s Web site and in its marketing materials.



NWI is interested in both established and emerging theatre/dance artists. Work submitted cannot have been previously produced. Projects already scheduled for production are ineligible. Contracted commissions do not affect the selection of projects for NWI.

Applicants may only submit one application each year.


The NWI Application is provided in a Word document format. It is suggested that you save it before completing it. The cells will expand as you input data.

Once completed, the application should be mailed to:

New Works Initiative
126 Life Hall
Montclair, New Jersey 07043

For further information please contact NWI at