New Works Initiative

Department of Theatre and Dance

‌‌New Works Initiative main image

The New Works Initiative at Montclair State University in collaboration with Bisno Productions

THE NEW WORKS INITIATIVE (NWI) is an Artist-in-Residence program and development platform in Montclair State University’s College of the Arts.  NWI is designed as a near-New York City incubator for new plays and musicals and re-explored theatrical works.  
NWI’s mission is to bring together established and emerging playwrights, composers, choreographers, theatre-makers, and directors with MSU theatre students to explore adventurous theatrical works. 
A professional creative team, creator and selected work are chosen annually as the official “NWI Artist, or Artists, in Residence” project. The piece is given a 2-semester residency. Collaboration with faculty and a design team support the project through a workshop phase, a 4-week rehearsal process, tech, and a fully produced production on one of Montclair’s theatrical stages during the Spring semester. 
Through NWI, students have the stimulating opportunity to collaborate with theatre professionals. Professional artists have the freedom to take new risks in developing and launching work. Montclair State is committed to expanding its network of artistic relationships in the professional arena, further establishing the College of the Arts as a vibrant theatrical training destination, exposing students to bold new voices, courageous material, and esteemed talent. 
The New Works Initiative is made possible through the generous support of Bob and Holly Gregory.

2015-2016 Artists in Residence

NW1 Kim Rosenstock 2015-16


Kim Rosenstock (Playwright) has written numerous plays including Tigers be Still which premiered at Roundabout Underground. Commissions include Dallas Theater Center, Roundabout, Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Ars Nova, where she was 2011 Playwright-in-Residence. She holds an MFA in playwriting from Yale School of Drama. Kim resides in LA where she writes for the television show, New Girl.


New Works Initiative Artist in Residence Jesse Joo


Jesse Jou (Director) directed the first workshop of 99 Ways by Kim Rosenstock at the Yale School of Drama. His work has been seen at HERE; Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater, Ars Nova, FSU/Asolo Conservatory, Lark Play Development Center; NY International Fringe Festival; The Kitchen; and Yale Cabaret. Alumnus of the Cherry Lane Mentor Project, Drama League’s Directors Project, Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, the Civilians R&D Group. MFA, Yale School of Drama.


The 2015-2016 Artists in Residence Project:

99 Ways to F*%K a Swan 

99 Ways to F*%k a Swan, play by Kim Rosenstock
directed by Jesse Jou 

Featuring MSU students:

Dino Curia, Rebecca DeMarco, Chris Dubrow, Niall Ng, Joey Palazzo, Kira Player, Angelica Santiago, Michael Sultana and Emma Wagner  

Imani Champion: Stage Manager

April Gormley - Scenic Designer

Eden Tayar - Costume Designer

Michael Arroyo - Lighting Designer

Scott O'Brien - Sound Designer

Assistant Director: Matthew Lopes 

Workshop Reading at The Loft at Ars Nova in New York City in November for Industry Professionals

Production Dates:

March 17, 2016 - 7:30pm

March 18, 2016 - 7:30pm

March 19, 2016 - 2 & 8pm

March 20, 2016 - 2pm

About the Play:  A long, long time ago, Leda makes love to a swan. 3,000 years later, Michelangelo paints a picture.  350 years later, Rudolph impulsively buys it. 128 years later, Dave and Fiona stand in a museum, gazing at what is left. Set in a world of bizarre romantic obsessions, “99 Ways” explores the dark corners of desire, and the eternal mysteries of love.

New Works Initiative student training

NWI Submission Announcement:

2016/ 2017 NWI Artist(s)-in-Residence: Seeking a playwright (or a playwright/ director team), theatre maker/deviser, composer/ lyricist or choreographer for a new full-length work or work in progress. The work can be new, partially developed or presented, but not yet fully produced.

  • Fall Development Workshop: 2 -4 weeks of rehearsal on Montclair State's campus culminating in a staged reading in NYC. NYC Reading: September 22, 2016 (location TBA)
  • Spring 2017 Full Production in the main stage department season, venue and budget appropriate for the demands of the piece (minimum 4 week rehearsal period). Montclair State University performances March 23-26, 2017.

Venues include:

  • Alexander Kasser Theatre, a state of the art 500-seat proscenium theatre
  • Memorial Auditorium, a 988-seat proscenium theatre
  • L. Howard Fox Theatre, a flexible black box

              Artist(s) Fee to be determined by the scope of the project.


  • Preferable minimum of 10 performers/ ensemble members.
  • Age appropriate roles for undergraduates.
  • Artists with a strong commitment to developing work in an artistic educational environment.


A.  Letter of Intent - 1,000 word limit.  Include your name, contact information, representation (if applicable.) Please answer all of the following:

  1. Tell us about your project thus far. What do you hope to accomplish through a development process and in production?
  2. Give a brief description of your project, including any production history, readings, workshops, exploration, etc., and any other relevant information.
  3. What experience do you have working with college students?
  4. Is there anything else you'd like to share that's relevant to your application?

B.  Script/Project Sample - a 15-20-page sample from a full-length script or excerpts (uploaded as a PDF with the play title and your last name in the footer). Please be sure to include page numbers.  We are open to receiving samples that do not come from the beginning of your play. If you feel your sample requires a brief contextual introduction, feel free to include that on the first page. 

C. Full Script – from which you selected your sample (in PDF format with the play title, character breakdown including ages and/or any pertinent info, contact info, your last name in the footer)

D.  Playwright Resume or Bio - (in PDF format)

E.  Other Creative Team Member(s) Information

Does your project currently have a Director involved?  If so:

  1. Director’s Name and Representation (if applicable)
  2. Director Resume/Bio

Does your project currently involve other collaborators? If so:

  1. List names and roles of other collaborators (composer, co-writer, choreographer, etc.)
  2. Other Collaborator Resume #1
  3. Other Collaborator Resume #2
  4. Other Collaborator Resume #3

F.  Casting Information – Please answer all of the following:

  1. Number of actors/ensemble members– include musicians and any pertinent information
  2. Cast Breakdown (ages, ethnicity, specific abilities, etc.)
  3. Additional Information (optional)

G. Production Requirements – if known, please describe the scope of your production, set requirements/concept, logistical considerations, etc.

All submissions will be curated by the NWI Committee (comprised of MSU theatre faculty) in partnership with our producers-in-residence, Bisno Productions. DEADLINE: April 30, 2016.

Send submissions to Andi Stover: