Established in 2012, New Victory LabWorks encourages New York City artists to make works that create imaginative, boundary-breaking theater for young audiences. Artists receive mentorship and exposure to new creative and artistic principles through New Victory’s international community of leaders in the field of performing arts for families.
Over 55 new works tackling topics like racism, adoption and masculinity have been developed for family audiences. CollaborationTown’s Riddle of the Trilobites, currently on our stage, was developed as part of New Victory LabWorks. Interested in applying to this program? You’re in luck! If you’re an artist 18 years of age or older living in the NYC area, you have until the end of the day today, Wednesday, February 12, to send in your application.
Hear from staff members Laura Been, Senior Manager of Artistic Programming, and Li Kennedy, Artistic Programming Associate, as they answer questions about the program!
1. How did you first get involved in LabWorks?
We came to the LabWorks program with different backgrounds, but with a mutual love for new work development and creative producing.
Both active theater producers in their off time, Laura’s recent producing credits include Poor Claire by Chiara Atik, Days Go By by Monica Bill Barnes and Company, Triplight at Joe’s Pub, Playing Hot a Pipeline Theatre Company production and the third and fourth annual Relentless Award Ceremonies. Laura is also a group facilitator and reader for The Relentless Award (2015-present).
Li’s recent producing projects include Passion Project: Songs from Women to their Work by Angela Sclafani, Spaceman with The Wild Project (nominated for two 2019 Drama Desk Awards), The Making of King Kong with Target Margin, Beloved/Departed with Center at West Park and The Dudley’s: A Family Game at HERE Arts Center. Li is also an Associate Producer at Musical Theatre Factory.
2. What makes you think “This is it!” when reading a proposal?
We’re always looking for a spark, and that can come in many forms. Work that feels like it’s being made from a place of urgency—the artist needs to release their idea into the world right now. Work that’s unlike other work we may have seen before. Work that will bring abundant joy and work that will provoke questions. You can hear the excitement in the artist’s writing when describing their project.
3. What kind of transformations have you seen during the life of a LabWorks project?
All kinds of exciting transformations happen during LabWorks. Some projects go from an idea on a post-it note to a fully immersive world in a week. Some projects completely change direction to become something the artist never would have imagined. Every year we see so many exciting changes and developments, both in the projects but also the artists who are creating them—small wins and big victories.
4. In your opinion, what aspect of LabWorks is the most exciting for an artist?
The most exciting part of LabWorks is the space it allows for uninhibited play to happen and mistakes to be made. Since our program is process-based, rather than product-based, artists are able to try different things and throw them away or start again at any point, allowing for creative freedom. Artists are able to focus on making the work they want to make, without the pressure of a required end product.
5. Where do you hope this program goes from here?
We are always working to provide more for artists. Our goal is to support artists and their projects in a well-rounded way, from professional developments on the business side to artist workshops with New Victory’s international artists, to mentorship from New Victory artistic staff and invaluable feedback from kids. Our dream is to grow our community and become a larger hub where artists come to collaborate and share ideas, and where creators, producers and presenters meet and brainstorm together.
Interested in applying? Submit your application today!