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Call for Submissions (Alberta): Verb Theatre Experiment Lab & New Play Commission Program

The Virgin Trial – Alberta Theatre Projects
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Call for Submissions (Alberta): Verb Theatre Experiment Lab & New Play Commission Program

Calling all theatre creators! Do you have a project on your heart that you want to test out in a rehearsal studio with some collaborators? Or maybe you need to rent a projector to see if that cool technique you’ve imagined actually works? Or maybe you’ve got a creative risk that you want to take, and you need a week with a tuba player and a goat to give it a go?

Here at Verb, we are interested in creative risk-taking. We love scripts that tell stories in ways that push the boundaries of what theatre can do and what theatre can be. We are interested in theatre that touches on contemporary conversations and ideas. We’re looking for the theatre of tomorrow.

Often, however, this means that the work we are interested in just hasn’t been created yet, so we are opening up our doors and accepting proposals from playwrights and creators who are interested in using a bit of time to hash out a new form or style of theatre in a rehearsal room with our help. We’ll offer you whatever resources we can – rehearsal space, time, a bit of money, expertise – and invest in your idea, and maybe your show will even end up on a Verb stage one day! Or maybe we’ll all just burn off our eyebrows and never tell anyone. Failure is totally acceptable in the lab.

The Verb Theatre Experiment Lab is accepting applications from artists who have a creative question they want to ask and need a bit of financial support to find the answer. Ideally, we’re looking for projects or ideas that Verb might one day like to produce or support, so we prefer submissions for projects that don’t yet have a firm production date ahead.

Through the Experiment Lab, you may apply for funds to cover materials, artist fees, rental fees, and studio space.

We all know that the pandemic has been hard on theatre artists, especially those whose work centres intimacy and the live nature of theatre. Thanks to the Calgary Arts Development Recovery Fund, we are happy to announce we are going to invest $15,000 in new play development over the coming months through our Experiment Lab and New Play Commission Program. We are accepting applications from professional artists only, with a focus on playwrights and theatre creators who have a new work that needs some support. Priority will go to work that aligns with Verb’s mission and vision. We welcome applications from creators of all backgrounds and experiences.

The amount of financial support we can offer each project will vary. We expect that projects under the Experiment Lab Program will take anywhere from one afternoon to a couple of full-time weeks, so the financial support we provide could be used to pay artist fees, purchase experiment materials, photocopy scripts, etc. We can also work with you to secure studio space. Financial support provided for a Verb Commission may additionally cover living expenses. We recommend requests of $500 – $2500 for the Experiment Lab Program and $2500 – $5000 for a Commission. If accepted, you are welcome to apply for additional project granting through external granting bodies, and we will happily help with that in whatever way we can!

What to Submit: In a single PDF or Doc File, please include the following:

  • A one-page proposal about the project (experiment or commission) you wish to undertake, explaining your dramatic questions, the challenges, how you’d like to use your time, and what makes the project exciting! It would be also helpful to list what kinds of resources you require (actors, technology, space, etc.) to successfully complete your project, and if applying for a commission, how is your idea a perfect fit for Verb? Give us as much passion and detail in one page as possible, and if we need more info, we’ll ask!
  • A current resume or cv for each core contributor of the application
  • Requested funding amount (if applying for an Experiment Lab Project, please include a budget)
  • *Optional* Additional support material (up to 10 pages)

Who is eligible to submit: Calgary-based professional artists (playwrights and creators, including actors, directors, designers, choreographers, etc.)

Deadline: November 30, 2020. Please submit by email to

Only successful applicants will be contacted.

More information about the Verb Experiment Lab and the New Play Commission program can be found at

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to reach out to


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