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The SheLA Summer Theater Festival is the premier festival for new, original, creative works by gender-marginalized playwrights and composers in Los Angeles.

Follow @SheLAArts on Instagram to get a behind-the-scenes look at the Festival! 

The SheLA Summer Theater Festival is the premier festival for new, original, creative works by gender-marginalized playwrights and composers in Los Angeles.

Follow @SheLAArts on Instagram to get a behind-the-scenes look at the Festival! 

GET TICKETS TODAY!

The 2024 SheLA Theater Festival will happen July 16-21 at The Zephyr Theatre in West Hollywood. 

Read on below for more information about each of the Festival shows that will hit the SheLA stage this summer!

GET THE 3-SHOW PASS!

Lots of shows look good? Select the “3-Show Pass” when you click below!

For $75, you get: A single ticket to see 3 different shows in the festival + a free companion ticket to 1 of those shows + 1 free digital ticket to watch a virtual show in any of our cities!

After you purchase the pass, a member of our team will reach out within a few days with instructions on how to select your performances.

Accessibility

Click Here to download our Theater Accessibility Guide.

When you purchase a ticket, you will have a receipt emailed to you automatically. We will also send you a reminder email the day before the show. All tickets will be held at the box office under the purchaser’s name. 

The venue is wheelchair accessible for seating. Note that while the restroom is accessible without stairs, there are no wide stalls in the bathroom. There are seating options with no stairs, and seating for companions to wheelchair users.

We are also happy to reserve seats for patrons with low-vision and hearing loss. If you have any access needs, including requesting ASL interpretation or an audio-described performance, please email us at Ticketing@shenycarts.org

The theater has only all-gender restrooms. 

FESTIVAL SCHEDULE

SheLA Performance Schedule July 16 at 7:30: Here Comes The Night July 17 at 7:30: Ink and Paint July 18 at 7:30: Zora and Langston July 19 at 7:30: Blanche Stuart Scott July 20th: 12pm - Zora and Langston. 2:30pm - Here Comes the Night. 6pm - Break. 8pm - Ink and Paint. July 21: 12pm - Blanche Stuart Scott. 3pm - Break.

DIGITAL TICKETS

View the performances online from July 23-July 30

Can’t make it to the in-person performances? Don’t worry! Select performances will have Digital Tickets available, so you can watch online.

When choosing your performance date, select “Digital ticket” to get the video of a live performance, which will be viewable online from Tuesday July 23 through Tuesday July 30. The video will be emailed to you on July 23, and you can watch any time within that window at your convenience.

MEET THE SHOWS

Blanche Stuart Scott by Kristen Ritter

blanche stuart scott

By Kristen Ritter

A historical-ish comedy about the literal lengths women must go to be recognized in their time.

It’s 1910 and the future is now! Blanche Stuart Scott decides she must become one of the first women to drive across the entire country, and nothing — not outlaws, not girl scouts, not even Gertie, her cynical reporter companion for the journey — will prevent her from going down in the history books. But when the women pick up a mysterious third passenger, will they be able to get the Model 38 Overland across the finish line?

Content Notice: This play includes historical depictions and discussions of sexism in America. The production uses prop guns that are never fired.

Friday, July 19 at 7:30pm
Sunday, July 21 at 12pm

Break by Caroline Ullman

break

By Caroline Ullman

A comedy about navigating friendships and relationships in your early 20s, and knowing when to say goodbye.

College seniors Nora and Elliot have been dating for five years. When their high school friends stage an intervention for their relationship, they’re quick to dismiss any accusations that either of them have been unhappy. Determined to be proven right, Sam, Annie and Nico begin to take drastic measures to try and split up what they proclaim to be a doomed couple. Secrets are revealed, friendships are tested, and a lot of marijuana is ingested. Can Nora and Elliot’s relationship survive? And are these decade-old friendships worth saving?

Saturday, July 20 at 6pm
Sunday, July 21 at 3pm

Here Comes The Night by Lisa Kenner Grissom

here comes the night

By Lisa Kenner Grissom

A play about the abortion divide, and how far female friendship can go to bridge it.

When Olivia, a musician’s wife and climate science advocate, invites Maggie, an old friend turned social media influencer, to spend the weekend while she has an at-home medication abortion, she doesn’t realize that Maggie is about to throw Olivia off course. And actually, these women of different generations are about to alter each other’s lives in ways they hadn’t expected or imagined. What happens when a woman’s right to choose becomes a litmus test for all of her life choices?

Note that this show will not have a digital performance offered.

Content Notice: Medication abortion, discussion of abortion and fertility.

Tuesday, July 16 at 7:30pm – SOLD OUT
Saturday, July 20 at 2:30pm

Ink and Paint by Danielle Moore

ink and paint

Book, Music, & Lyrics by Danielle Moore

A new musical about the real Disney princesses—the women whose art brought vibrance, life, and character to some of the studio’s most groundbreaking animated films.

Ink & Paint is a madcap musical mashup of mid-century American history, the golden age of hand-drawn animation, and the wild, wisecracking women who fought tooth, nail, and paintbrush for their place in it. It follows five women artists at the Walt Disney Studios in the 1930s and beyond, whose ranks included immigrants, a single mother and architect, and a record-breaking pilot. When they reconvene decades later to accept an award on behalf of their deceased friend and colleague, Mary Blair, they share their experiences working in a male-dominated industry in the shadow of global conflict and labor uprising.  

Content Notice: Workplace sexism, domestic violence. The show also contains a WWII bomb shelter sound cue.

Wednesday, July 17 at 7:30pm PT
Saturday, July 20 at 8:00pm PT 

Here Comes The Night by Lisa Kenner Grissom

zora and langston

By Imani Mitchell

The true tale of art, rivalry, and friendship between iconic writers Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes.

At the height of the Harlem Renaissance, we find two bright talents: Zora Neale Hurston, a fiery novelist with a flair for eccentricity, and Langston Hughes, a cerebral poet who plans to strategize himself to the top. A friendship quickly blossoms, filled with artistic passion, emotional depth, and a streak of competition. But soon, the pair find themselves controlled by the incessant demands of their benefactor, which leads to the demise of their friendship. This play grapples with the complexity of relationships, the passion of artists, and the literary heart of Harlem in the 1920s. 

Content Notice: Historical racism in the United States. 

Thursday, July 18 at 7:30pm – SOLD OUT
Saturday, July 20 at 12pm – SOLD OUT

Sign up for the artist directory 

Are you a stage manager, director, choreographer, musical director, or designer interested in working on the Theater Festival Shows? Add your name to our Artist Directory. We’ll send the writers this list of artists as a reference to help them fill in any blanks on their production teams. (Note this is not for actors – we do auditions through a separate process). 

Pro Tip: Write “Festival Producer” or “Festival Volunteer” under “what’s your specialty” if you’re interested in volunteering for the Festival as a whole!

Frequently Asked Questions

When will submissions open for the 2025 Festivals?

Script submissions will open in September 2024 for the 2025 SheLA, SheATL, & SheNYC Theater Festivals. They’ll be due by November 15. SheDFW script submissions may happen a bit later – date TBD.

At that time, the application will be live at www.SheNYCArts.org/submissions.

What is it like to do my show in the Festival?

Once you get accepted into the Festival, you’ll want to start thinking about a director for your show. We can help with that, and other creative team roles, by sharing our Artist Directory.

Next, casting! Work with your director to get your show cast, and hire any other creative team members you might need.

Then you’ll spend the 1-2 months before your performance date rehearsing and getting your show ready. Simply put, you handle your show in the rehearsal room, while our staff gets the theater ready. Our Producers and Production Manager will be checking in often to get information from you and keep you on deadline.

Our Festival staff loads all our equipment into the theater the day before tech starts. You’ll have an assigned 5-hour tech slot in which you must load in your set & costumes, do a cue-to-cue so our Lighting Designer can cue your lights, and then do a dress run of your show.

After that, you have 2-3 performances scheduled by our Production Manager. You have 15 minutes to load in your show before each performance, and 15 minutes to load out after. We handle everything related to Front of House – ticketing, box office, ushers, etc. – so all you have to worry about is what’s happening on stage.

Finally, we close the Festival with a closing night party and awards ceremony!

What makes us different from other theater festivals?

Our goal is to make this an inclusive, productive, and affordable environment to see your work produced in full. We pride ourselves on providing more for less – more support, supplies, and learning opportunities without the prohibitive submission & participation fees that other festivals require.

Also, we’re working to create a network of professionals and artists that are devoted to promoting the voices of women & gender-marginalized professionals in theater — not just put up your show and never hear from you again. We have meetings where all of the writers gather together to mingle, and hope that the other writers and artists involved in the festival will become lifelong friends, mentors, and supporters. 

What are we looking for?

You’ve got an awesome show. We’ve got an awesome festival. It’s like a match made in heaven.

We look simply for shows that are high-quality and written by people of marginalized genders. We like to have a good mix of genres in each festival – plays, musicals, comedies, dramas, experimental works, and more. We also are partial to shows with themes that fit our mission of women in leadership. But at the end of the day, we want to show the world that our playwrights produce high-quality work that deserves to be seen on Broadway and stages around the country – so, the number one factor in our decision-making is how well-written your show is.

Who can apply?

Any writer of a marginalized gender (including cis women, trans women, non-binary and gender non-conforming writers), or writing team that is at least 50% marginalized genders, is eligible to apply. We’re also taking adaptations that are directed or adapted by folks of marginalized genders, even if they were originally written by men. We only accept full-length shows for the Festival (no short plays), though note that there is a 2-hour run time limit for your performance.

What kind of shows can apply?

Musicals – musicals of any size, shape, and form are welcome to apply. Just keep in mind that 2-hour run time limit. You can submit a show that runs longer than that in its current form, as long as you’re okay with making some trims for the festival.

Plays – again, plays of any size, shape, and form are welcome to apply! 

Adaptations – are you a woman director or adapter who wants to do a reverse-gender production of King Lear? We love that. Just make sure you are actually able to obtain the rights to your show (sometimes, special rights have to be obtained if you want to adapt or change gender roles), or better yet, take a public domain play.

How many shows are picked and how will we pick them?

We’re aiming to take 8 shows for our She NYC Summer Theater Festival, though we reserve the right to pick as little as 6 or as many as 9 depending on what the submission pool is like. For our She L.A. Summer Theater Festival, we’ll pick 5 shows. For Atlanta, we’ll pick 3-5.

We’re judging the shows based on two things: The quality of the writing, and the relevance to our mission. Mostly, we’re focused on giving marginalized writers the notoriety and publicity they deserve, so the subject matter of your show will only play into the judging if we have a really tight race between two shows. If we’ve got one slot left and two equally awesome shows, and one is about Napoleon and one is about Molly Pitcher, we’ll probably pick the Molly Pitcher one.

How does the selection process work?

You submit your scripts and application materials by the submission deadline. We pass your script around to a team of script readers, so each script will be read by at least three different people. The shows that get the highest ratings get passed along to the semi-final round, where they will be read by at least two more script readers, with the highest-scoring shows moving to the finalist round. Starting in February, we’ll be notifying people if they’re finalists on a rolling basis. From there, the finalists are read by our full staff, and we make our final decisions after an in-depth team discussion.

​By April, all of our selected participants will be notified, and we can start getting to work!

If I submitted a show in the past, can I submit again?

You sure can! You can submit the same show again, particularly if you’ve revised it, or a new show. If you’ve already had a show produced in the Festival, you can also submit a new show for this year. 

Will we get feedback on our submissions?

Because we don’t charge a submission fee and get such a large volume of submissions, we unfortunately don’t have the bandwidth to offer feedback on each script.

The SheLA Summer Theater Festival is funded in part by a generous grant from The National Endowment for the Arts.

We participate in Playwrights Welcome! If you’re a member of the Dramatists Guild, you can show us your Guild ID at the door for a complementary ticket for in-person performances at SheLA. (Subject to availability.)