Festivals: The Good, The Bad And The Fugly

Festival submission season is upon us, and I love me some festivals. Why?

  1. They’re wicked totes fun.
  2. They’re an awesome way to meet other comics, solo show performers, and sketch and improv troupes from across the country.
  3. They give you a deadline to get your show done. That to me is huge and almost reason enough to go, but clearly not the only reason to go.
  4. They give you a chance to get to know performers from your city better. Sounds strange, I know, but when I’ve traveled to other cities with other NYC performers, it’s been an awesome bonding experience. Just spending time checking out restaurants together, having drinks, talking shop, etc.

So, I definitely recommend applying to festivals.

Now, there are a bunch out there, so I’ll do my best to weigh in on which ones I think are worth applying to, but I haven’t been to all of the festivals, so feel free to chime in by commenting at the bottom of this post.

I’ll be covering and keeping you abreast of as many comedy, fringe, improv, sketch, solo show and other theater festivals as I can. Some will be focused on the ladies, but many will be for all. I’m also going to be blogging about all things solo show-related, so keep your eyes out for that.

Here are some festivals whose deadlines are coming up in the next few weeks.

Spring 2011 Plus One Solo Show Festival
Seeking original solo shows for the Spring 2011 Plus One Solo Show Festival
Deadline: Monday, February 28
Fee: $0
*I’ve done this festival, and it’s great. For we New Yorkers, it’s local, well-organized and well-attended.

Midtown International Theater Festival
Deadline: Monday, February 21
Fee: $30

New York Musical Theater Festival
Deadline: Tuesday, March 1
Fee: $75

Fox – New York Television Festival Comedy Script Contest
Submission Period: Monday, April 4 – Monday, April 18
Fee: $0

Good luck and if you hear of a festival we should know about, had a good bad or experience at a festival, want to know just what festival submission committees are looking for, or have a solo show question, hit me.


About Robin Gelfenbien

Robin Gelfenbien is a writer, performer and comedic storyteller who created the critically acclaimed solo shows, "My Salvation Has a First Name: A Wienermobile Journey" and "High School Abusical." Her original comedy songs have played on Sirius Satellite Radio, she's written jokes for Rosie O'Donnell, and she has starred in a commercial directed by Spike Lee. This April, Robin will be co-hosting a new monthly storytelling show featuring her other passion: her homemade ice cream cakes. www.robingelfenbien.com
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