THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY’s Dream Up Festival 2024


Dream Up Festival 2024

In 2010, the inaugural Dream Up Festival offered 25 shows consisting of 23 World Premieres and 2 American Premieres. The festival had reviewers from NY Times, NY Press, Show business Weekly, the Advocate, and others.

Festival performance dates: August 25 – September 15, 2024.
All performances will take place at Theater for the New City.


We prefer works that have gone unproduced in New York City, but we will consider an updated version of previously produced NYC production. To qualify for the festival, our goal is works by US and international artists as World or NYC premieres. Translations and new adaptations of known material will be acceptable.

The festival is available to both performance groups and individuals. Plays, dance theater, solo works and interdisciplinary material will all be welcome so long as they can co-exist in repertory with other productions in the festival lineup. Technical requirements and use of production effects will need to be limited. Scenic elements are welcome but one or more of these elements will have to be used in an inventive way.

ABOUT DREAM UP – TNC’s Summer Showcase

The motto of the festival is “Dream Up: Invent, Concoct.” The festival is dedicated to new works. The question of the artist’s vision to free or attack the material will be asked in each application. The festival does not want traditional theater which is presented in a traditional way. Theater for the New City wants to use this festival as a way to push ideas to the forefront with the hope of revealing roads less traveled or undiscovered. Presentation of a straightforward play must be imaginative in some way.


TNC’s 2024 summer festival known as Dream Up Festival will run August 25 to September 15, 2024.

We are accepting applications:  February 29, 2024 to May 28, 2024.

Early Submissions: February 29 to April 3.  $40 certified check, cashier’s check, or money order in US Dollars payable to: Theater for the New City
General Submissions: April 4 to May 28.  $50 certified check, cashier’s check, or money order in US Dollars payable to: Theater for the New City

All applications must be accompanied with a submission fee.

*We prefer the application materials to be emailed to and the submission fees be paid online at Dream Up Festival Call for Plays

Snail option is mailed to:
TNC’s Dream Up Festival 2024
Theater for the New City
155 First Avenue New York, NY 10003

• Script/or Concept (if not text based)
• Bio Primary Artist (and Collaborators if known)/ Production History
• Brief Statement
• Synopsis of Work w/character breakdown
• Submission Form
+Submission Fee

All applicants will receive a position notice (accepted, wait listed, or not accepted) after their submissions are evaluated in spring 2024.

PLEASE SEND ALL SUBMISSION’S (scripts, bios, statements, synopsis, submission form) TO:

Any mailed submission materials submitted to the festival will NOT BE RETURNED. Sorry.


Pay online


TNC’s Dream Up Festival 2024
Theater for the New City
155 First Avenue
New York, NY 10003

Please mark your submission fee subject line with the name of your festival project.
Please contact us at if there are any questions and check out our website at Dreamup Festival Website 

Title of Submission: _____________________________
Contact Name: __________________________
Phone: _________________________________
Mailing Address:
Street: ______________________ City:______________ State:______
Zip:_______ Country
(if outside the US) :______________
Email Addresses: ___________________________________
Genre of Work (Please Mark): Dance Musical Drama
Length (Please Mark): Short One Act Full Length
Estimated Running Time in Minutes: ___________
Number of Cast / Crew: _________________________
Technical Requirements (for set, lighting, sound if known):

This piece previously had a (Please Mark):  Reading, Staged Reading, Workshop, Full Production (please tell us when and where)

Please express in a short statement (500 words max.) what makes this
inventive or what will make it inventive when presented.

Please Note: Submissions without a statement will not be considered.

Participation Info:
Theater for the New City will present a lineup of wide-ranging and original theatrical visions embracing drama, poetry, music, and dance in the summer of 2024 from performing artists representing theater and performance companies in our theater complex in downtown New York.

Tickets prices can range from $15 to $20.

TNC’s Dream Up Festival 2024 website and festival website will go under construction in late spring/early summer 2024.
Festival artists receive 60% of their box office proceeds.  TNC retains the remaining 40%.

  • All judged applicants will receive a position notice (accepted, wait listed, or not accepted) after their submissions are read.
  • Acceptances will be emailed on or about June 11, 2024.
  • Artists who are accepted will be required to submit participation documents by about June 25, 2024.
  • A non-refundable $750 participation fee will be required, in the form of a certified check, cashier’s check or money order or online payment for participating productions. No personal or company checks will be accepted.

Final Deadline to apply is May 28.

US and International artists welcome to apply.
For general inquiries: please contact us at


Theater for the New City Gallery

Viewing hours are generally from 10 AM – 10 PM

In memoriam of Vinie Burrows

“Vinie Burrows was a Stalwart and Staunch Supporter of Theater for the New City. A wonderful and very active Board member, Vinie was also, a renowned actress and a member of the United Nations as an NGO advocate for Women’s Rights. She performed many times at, and for, Theater for the New City, and is well remembered, not only for her Artistic excellence but also as a teacher and inspiration for the young writers whose future has always been in the hands of Theater for the New City. Her philosophy of inclusion included her instrumental backing of low ticket prices and TNC’s free ticket program, our After School cultural arts program-Free to neighborhood children, and the 4 major community events that TNC presents every year. The 5 borough Street theater tour of a new musical, The village Halloween Costume ball, loaded with New Theater works, the wonderful annual Love n Courage Gala and the LES-Lower East Side festival of the Arts, a 3 day event packed with theater, music, dance and film. She was a beautiful woman both inside and out. And remarkably, kept that beauty through her 99th year. Her legacy is strong and lives on. As she, herself will continue to live in our Hearts”

-Crystal Field

In memoriam of Joseph Vernon Banks

“Joseph Vernon Banks or as we knew him, “Joe” Composer, Teacher, Conductor and Great Friend to Theater for the New City, passed away this November. His Music for TNC’s annual Street theater 5-borough tour, lent grace and joy to a new Musical with book and lyrics by Crystal Field. His generosity of spirit pervaded the theater during the rehearsals and performances of each new work. In his last years, he mentored and Supported Peter Dizzoza as an up and coming composer for the Street theater. Although, sorely missed, his influence on Peter’s music will last long into the Future, and his philosophy showed itself in his Music and Greatly influenced Crystal Fields Direction in her writing. His legacy, therefore, is strong, vibrant and will continue in the years to come. His memory will remain  in the hearts of the many street theater performers that graced and will grace the outside stage of each new Operetta for the Street”

-Crystal Field

Love n’ Courage 2024

Theater for the New City’s Annual Benefit for its Emerging Playwrights Program

Monday, February 12 at 6 PM

at The Players Club • 16 Gramercy Park South

TNC’s Love N’ Courage Benefit

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Donation Total: $200.00

Tree Lighting at Tompkins Square Park

Join us on December 10th between 4-5 pm for the 32nd annual Tree Lighting at Tompkins Square Park. A festive celebration filled with holiday classics sung by our TNC carolers! While our Artistic Director Crystal Field adds enchantment by reciting “The Night Before Christmas.” This event is perfect for families to experience the magic of the season right in the heart of the Lower East Side!



“Anyone got Diapers? Please help out, these people are our neighbors.” -Crystal Field

The Office of Council Member Carlina Rivera is teaming up with Bellevue Hospital to collect diapers of all sizes to support families seeking asylum in our communities. Through work with local partners and supporting new neighbors, we’ve found that diapers are one of the most pressing needs for families.

We welcome diaper donations of all sizes to our office located at 254 E 4th Street, New York, NY 10009 through 5 p.m. on December 8.

TNC’s Arts-in-Education Program – FALL 2023

Our after school spring semester will begins October 16th. The Offer is only for children from the East Village and the Lower East Side neighborhoods.

William Electric Black Interview

William Electric Black Interviewed by Briana Bartenieff at Theater for the New City in celebration of his newly published five play anthology, GUNPLAYS: Five Plays on Inner City Violence and Guns, published by Rowman & Littlefield

William Electric Black aka Ian Ellis James – Seven Emmy Award winning writer (Sesame Street – Nickelodeon – PBS – Lancit Media – Winchester TV & Film – Pinna FM). has been a major part of the downtown theater scene for many years (Theater For The New City – La MaMa ETC.). He is a faculty member at NYU TISCH, Department of Visual and Dramatic Writing.

His work on gun violence prevention and awareness, starting with 5 and 6-year-olds has been getting major attention.

Q: How does it feel getting five of your plays that you have produced at TNC finally published in a book format?

“I thought they were gonna publish one play. But they were like “no, we want the whole thing” It was crazy!”

Q: How did these Gun Plays come into existence?

“I remember I came in and I was like “Oh my god Crystal, I wanna do a play every year for 5 years. Of course gun violence, that was early on, I was trying to do something… When I first started, people were like “gun violence, what are you talking about? I’m like “uh no”, and crystal was great, [she said]    “okay, go for it!” And we did the five plays and that’s how the gun plays came about.”

Q: Do you think the audiences are more accepting of the idea of gun violence now than 10 years ago?

“Totally, it’s freaking everywhere. When the news comes on I take pictures because it’s everywhere. This person got shot, that person got shot…people call me up for talks because everybody’s talking about it, it’s a health issue, finally, they deemed it a public health issue.”

Q: Do you believe that media, such as rap music and video games, has an impact on youth and gun violence? Do you think your more positive content, like your published book “Gun Plays” or your children’s book “A Gun is Not Fun,” also influences young people?

“We are not gonna get rid of the 400 + millions of guns… So, what’s the strategy? Is how to understand it, how to deal, how to speak up for myself and my community, so they can be advocates, they can have a voice, they can understand this is the world they live in. How do you survive in a world where there are guns?”

Q: Fondest memory at TNC?

“One of my fondest memories was when TNC was on Second Avenue. One of the first plays I ever got produced in New York was at Theater for the New City. It was “Billy Stars and Kid Jupiter: A sci-fi Jazzical.”  I’ve been at Theater for the New City, a long time, the beginning of my career.”

Q: What are your plans now that your book is published?

“I’m thinking of doing Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein as a play in late February/ March (2024) at TNC. I’m also working in Boston with these researchers on creating a program like Sesame Street from K-5th grade talking about Gun Violence.”

You can purchase William Electric Black’s new book GUNPLAYS: Five Plays on Inner City Violence and Guns at Target, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

Links Below:



Barnes & Noble: