At the middle and end of every semester, Second Stage opens an application form for directors looking to put on shows during the upcoming theatrical season. After we close the form to any further submissions, we meet as a staff to curate the next season. We are restricted by the school on the number of shows we can produce per semester, so we can only pick up to twelve shows to produce.
This page aims to provide some insight in how we decide which shows to pick and what to include in your application to make it as strong as possible. Additionally, never underestimate the power of reaching out to a staff member. Communicating with us even before your show gets accepted often lets us know that you are passionate about your project and want to take full responsibility for the performance. We expect shows to communicate regularly once they get accepted, so please don’t be scared to reach out to us at any point with any questions!
+ Plays, Musicals, and More
Second Stage welcomes any kind of production including plays, musicals, dance showcases, devised pieces, sound performances, and anything else you can think of. The most important factor to consider is why do you want to put your choice of show up through Second Stage. Beyond that, the choice of production is entirely yours! We do not interfere or involve ourselves in the creative process of our productions—our role is solely administrative and technical.
Our only request is that your choice of show reflects Wesleyan's unique social and cultural environment and isn't offensive or insensitive to students on campus. Please consider factors such as diversity and inclusivity when picking your show and assembling your team.
+ Performance Locations
In your show application, you have to rank your desired locations and times for your proposed production. Most people gravitate towards the Patricelli '92 Theater, but there is a wealth of available performance spaces that provide unique atmospheres! Additionally, the '92 is not available to us every weekend of the semester, but don't be afraid to rank it first if you really desire and feel the need for a typical, large theatrical space.
Click here to learn more about the performance locations that past Second Stage productions have used!
+ Production Teams
Shows must fill the following essential crew positions before submitting their application:
- Stage Manager
- Lighting Designer
- Set Designer
- Sound Designer
- Costume Designer
- Props Designer
Additionally, musicals should fill the positions of Music Director (Pit & Vocal Directors as necessary), Choreographer (if any dance is involved), and Sound Engineer (for any production that plans on using microphones).
For more information on any of these positions or production positions in general, please see our page on Production Teams Positions.
We do not evaluate requested budgets as part of our selection process. We ask for estimated budgets in our show application form because it lets us expedite the budget approval process if your show gets selected. If you feel that you have justification for your requested budget, then go for it! Be sure to talk to our current Right & Royalties staffer to get a sense of how much you should budget for rights (it’s usually more than you except, especially for musicals!).
+ Winter Intensive
Winter Intensive is an opportunity for one show to go up early in the spring semester and rehearse on campus over winter break. Since this opportunity is only available to a single production, we require that shows have a convincing reason why this early, intensive rehearsal period is necessary to the show's development beyond just going up early or getting more focused rehearsal time. For example, a good justification for applying to go up for a winter intensive could be wanting to develop a collaborative or devised piece.
Showflow is when all of Second Stage staff meets to discuss the show applications and curate the new theatrical season. In our evaluations, we try to holistically consider factors such as motivation/reason for putting on a show, diversity of teams, inclusivity of new or inexperienced designers, strong leadership, adherence to Second Stage policies, direct communication or outreach to Second Stage staffers, and more. In the end, we have a hard limit of how many shows we can select per semester, so if we receive too many applications there is always the possibility your show may be rejected.
If you are confused or unsure about how we select shows, please feel free to reach out to one of our Outreach & Development staffers to learn more.