Emerging Artists Program

A longtime dream of the Renaissance Theatre (Mansfield, Ohio) was realized with the creation of the Emerging Artists Program at Theatre 166. Under the direction of and created by Artistic Director Michael Thomas, the goal of the program is to guide, encourage, support, and advocate for artists of all ages who wish to find their own voice through the creation of original work. By establishing an environment that promotes the importance of self-expression, risk-taking, and collaboration, the Theatre 166 Emerging Artists Program is designed to foster and translate an artist’s creative thinking into smart, vital, and thought-provoking new works.

In November of 2020, the Renaissance was informed that they had received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, recognizing the importance of the Emerging Artists Program and generously funding it. This is the first time the Renaissance has received such a prestigious award from the NEA.

2022-2023 Season

The Renaissance Theatre is seeking actors to participate in their upcoming The 2022-2023 Emerging Artists Festival of New Plays and Musicals. This year’s festival includes five new works. The time commitment for each project is six consecutive days (with the exception of the musical “Trollop”, which will meet for two weeks). Actors will work with the director and playwright for five rehearsals to finetune and rehearse for the Saturday evening performance. Dates for each reading are listed with a short description. Compensation includes a $25 gas stipend and two complimentary tickets to the reading. Actors wishing to participate are asked to send a photo and resume to [email protected]. Please put “Emerging Artists Festival” in the subject line of your email and be sure to note which reading you are interested in. For more information, please contact [email protected]

Trollop: The Trials and Titillations of the Infamous Moll Flanders

A New Musical. Book and Lyrics by Shley Snider, Music by Darryl Pickett, Additional material by Jessica Ammel, Produced by Holly Marie Weber

Moll Flanders has two dreams: to be rich and important. But in 17th-century England, that’s easier said than done. This new musical, a mixture of rock and Baroque, is based on the classic novel by Daniel Defoe. Deemed scandalous at the time it was first written, the story explores women’s issues, sexuality, and censorship as we follow the irrepressible Moll from her birth in prison, to the heights of society.

Rehearsals: January 2–13, 2023 at 6:00–10:00 PM
Performances/Readings: January 13–14, 2023 at 8:00 PM

Gloria Mundi

A New Play by Pamela Morgan

When Gloria is visited by an angel of God with news of the second Messiah, she’s convinced she has a second chance at motherhood. But Jody thinks she’s using again. As the truth slowly unravels, Gloria must wrestle with the demons of her past, Jody must reconcile the specters of his future, and both must confront the very real threat of Harold, Gloria’s recovery counselor.

Rehearsals: January 16–20, 2023 at 6:00–10:00 PM
Performances/Readings: January 20–21, 2023 at 8:00 PM

Funnie: Or, the Most Lamentable Comedie of Jane the Foole

A New Comedy by Jessica Moss

A hilarious and thought-provoking new play by Julliard-trained playwright Jessica Moss. Set in the court of King Henry the VIII, it tells the story of Jane the Foole, the first and only recorded female jester ever to serve the royalty. Is it possible to succeed when you live in a world where you’re not seen as a person?

Rehearsals: January 23–27, 2023 at 6:00–10:00 PM
Performances/Readings: January 27–28, 2023 at 8:00 PM

Women Most Wicked

A New Play by Alan Kilpatrick

Alan Kilpatrick wrote this dark comedy set in London’s Madame Tussaud’s Chamber of Horrors in 2016. When the exhibit is scheduled to close, Kate Webster and Amelia Dryer, now wax figures of notorious 19th century murderesses, recount their lives and speculate about their futures before they are consigned to the junk heap.

Rehearsals: January 30–February 3, 2023 at 6:00–10:00 PM
Performances/Readings: February 3–4, 2023 at 8:00 PM

The Sweet Everlasting

A New Play by Frances Limoncelli, Based on the novel by Judson Mitcham

Based upon the prize-winning novel by Georgia poet laureate, this adaptation by Frances Limoncelli tells the story of sharecropper's son, mill worker, and ex-convict, Ellis Burt. For a brief and cherished time there was a woman, and then a child, too, who had been a kind of salvation to him. Then they were gone, leaving Ellis to carry on with the burden of what he had done to them, and of the ruin he brought down upon them all.

Rehearsals: May 1–5, 2023 at 6:00–10:00 PM
Performances/Readings: May 5–6, 2023 at 8:00 PM

2023-2024 Season Submissions

The Emerging Artists Program is accepting full-length play, musical, screenplay, and documentary submissions for their 2022-2023 season. Seven to ten scripts will be selected for readings. From these, one to three will be selected for our workshopping phase. Authors whose work has been chosen for workshop will receive a $500 Emerging Artist Award.

When to Submit

Submissions will be accepted January 31st through February 28th, 2023.

What to Submit

  • Name, Address, Phone Number, Email, Short Bio, and Resume
  • A ten-page sample of the play/musical/screenplay
  • The first pages of the file must include:
    • Title of the play
    • Character breakdown and description (Please include total number of characters)
    • One page (or less) synopsis of the play
    • A paragraph describing the development history of the play/musical/screenplay you are submitting
  • Please DO NOT send full scripts at this point. All script samples must be submitted in PDF format using 12pt Times New Roman font, with a title page that lists characters and settings. Authors of scripts chosen for readings will be notified by email within 60 days of their submission. Please do not call or email to check on the status of your script.

Where to Submit

[email protected]

Please include “Script Submission for Emerging Artists” in the subject box of your email.
Only one submission per playwright
Only unproduced submissions accepted
Plays and musicals must be full-length. No one-acts will be accepted at this time. Screenplays and documentary treatments may be full-length or short films.

About the Renaissance Theatre, Theatre 166

The Renaissance Theatre is a 1400-seat, 1929 Warner Brothers movie palace located at 138 Park Avenue West in Mansfield, Ohio. Theatre 166, the Ren’s 125-seat black box space, is located at 166 Park Avenue West in Mansfield, adjacent to the main theatre. The Renaissance produces three main stage and three studio productions each season, along with live concerts, family programming, youth theatre performances, the Mansfield Symphony, and the Miss Ohio Scholarship Program. The Emerging Artists Program presents three to five productions each season. Past original programming developed at the Renaissance has included:

  • 2010 Sentimental Journey: Voices of World War II (Play with Music)
  • 2011 Remember Me Always (Musical)
  • 2012 The Unforgettable Marvelenes (Musical Revue)
  • 2013 Twilight Gardens (Musical)
  • 2014 Count: The Legend of Dracula (Ballet)
  • 2015 Creole Cinderella (Ballet)
  • 2016 Hot Mess: A Lethal New Musical (Musical)
  • 2017 Sentimental Journey with the Mansfield Symphony (Play with Music)
  • 2018 The Last Act (Musical)
  • 2019 At Last: An Evening with Etta James (Musical)
  • 2020 QuaRENtine Creations (Streaming Series)
  • 2021 Heartaches (Teleplay)
  • 2022
    • Young and Unsullied: The Redemption of Ruby Crowe (Play)
    • This Too Shall Pass (Musical)
    • Desde Mi Corazón (Documentary Film)

For more information, email [email protected]