Ingram New Works Lab FAQ

Applications for the 2019-2020 INW Lab are now closed

What sort of plays are you looking for?

We look for dynamic playwrights with wild imagination, a strong sense of narrative momentum, and clearly defined goals for their proposed project. We are not looking for any specific type of play. The Ingram New Works Lab is designed to help the playwright based on the goals of each individual project. Though we clearly support the proposed project, our artistic investment is ultimately in the playwright. While making our decisions, we take into account our ability to help the playwright reach those goals. The plays we have developed are as diverse and vibrant as the playwrights we support.

Do you accept plays that have already been developed?

No. We are looking for plays that are not yet a finished first draft. The Ingram New Works Lab is built to help in the development of a brand new play and launch that play into production or the next phase of development. Most Lab playwrights start with an idea for a play and no more. Some start with a pile of pages and notes or a few scenes. We do not develop plays that have received development elsewhere.

Do you accept musicals?

No. The Ingram New Works Project does not have the capacity to support the development of musicals at this time. 

My play has received a reading at another theatre; can I continue to develop it in the Ingram New Works Lab?

No. The Ingram New Works Lab is not designed for plays that have already received development with other programs. 

Does Nashville Rep produce plays developed in the Ingram New Works Lab?

No. While Nashville Rep has produced plays by our Ingram Playwriting Fellows and by our Playwright-in-Residence, the purpose of the Ingram New Works Lab is not to generate plays for production on our mainstage. 

Can playwrights from outside of Nashville apply?

Yes. Housing, Travel, and Hospitality are provided to all Lab playwrights. 

Can students apply?

The Ingram New Works Project does not accept students currently enrolled in degree programs. We hope that any student interested in our program will consider applying after graduation. 

Do I have to be in Nashville for the entire 2019/20 season?

No. Playwrights travel to Nashville approximately once a month for development, Playwrights Week in January and the Ingram New Works Festival in May. The 2019/20 residency dates are as follows: Lab Dates: September 19-22; October 24-27; December 5-8; March 5-8; April 16-19; Playwrights Week: January 11-17, 2020; Ingram New Works Festival: May 11-16, 2020 (Playwrights must be in attendance May 6-17, 2020)

Do playwrights have to attend all dates?

Yes. It is a season-long residency. We cannot accept playwrights that are not able to commit to all dates. Playwrights who miss multiple commitments will be asked to forgo their residency. 

What happens during a Lab weekend in Nashville?

Lab playwrights arrive Thursday night for Lab starting at 10am Friday at the Nashville Rep offices. Lab runs 10am-6pm Friday and Saturday, with two plays read on Friday and two plays read on Saturday. Plays are read in the room with professional actors from Nashville’s remarkable pool of artists and are followed by discussion led by the Director of the Ingram New Works Project. In addition to Lab sessions, weekends in Nashville also include opportunities to experience the radical hospitality of our great city and connect with the larger community of artists in Nashville. 

What is Playwrights Week?

In January, our Ingram New Works Fellow is in residence in Nashville to contribute to the ongoing development of the new Lab plays. Our past Ingram New Works Fellows were David Auburn, John Patrick Shanley, Steven Dietz, Theresa Rebeck, Doug Wright, Donald Margulies, Rebecca Gilman, Christopher Durang and Sarah Ruhl. The Fellow responds to each of the plays in readings and private sessions. In addition to Lab sessions with the Fellow, Playwrights Week includes public readings of a play by the Fellow, educational opportunities with the Fellow, and Ingram New Works Lab events. Lab playwrights should be prepared to clear their schedule for the entirety of the week. Playwrights Week will take place January 11-17, 2020

What is the Festival?

The Ingram New Works Festival is a celebration of new plays in Nashville featuring public staged readings of the new works developed during the season by Lab playwrights and the Ingram New Works Fellow. The Ingram New Works Festival will take place May 11-16, 2020 (Playwrights must be in attendance May 6-17, 2020)

What materials do I need to send to apply?

Applicants must send 1) A letter of intent stating your objectives for working on a new play in the Ingram New Works Lab. 2) A resume. And 3) a play that best represents your writing skill. Materials must be sent by using the form on our Applications page.

What are you looking for in a letter of intent stating my objectives for working on a new play? 

We are looking for three things in the Letter of Intent: 1) A pitch or description of the play you intend to generate and develop during the residency 2) Your connection to the material or why you feel this play is necessary now and 3) Why you want to develop this play with the Ingram New Works Project. 

Because our interest is in supporting the development of a play that has not yet been written, the letter of intent is the only document in your application that gives us information about the project we will be committing our resources to. We hope that the letter of intent will give us an idea of the project, its scope, its goals, any work you may have already completed on the project, your connection to the material, and the reason why you want to work on this play now in the Ingram New Works Lab. 

What are you looking for in a writing sample? 

We respond strongly to dynamic, unique voices, a strong sense of narrative momentum, fully realized characters, and a clear point of view. Full-length is preferred, but a substantial one-act play (minimum of one hour running time) will be acceptable for this application. Author and contact information must appear on the title page. We do not accept musicals or screenplays. 

Who reads the submissions?

Submissions are read by a combination of professional readers, community stakeholders, Ingram Lab alumni, and Nashville Rep artistic staff.  

What happens after I submit?

You will be notified by email that we received your application. Finalists will be notified by email in August and many finalists will be asked to take part in phone interviews. A public announcement of the 2019/20 Lab playwrights will be made in September. 

What is the deadline for submissions? 

Submission deadline is June 30, 2019 at 11:59pm Central Time

What if my question isn’t answered in this FAQ?

Additional questions can be sent to Nate Eppler, Ingram New Works Lab Director at