Saturday, October 22, 2022

Submissions for the Premiere Stages 2023/2024 Liberty Live Commission open in November

Premiere Stages, the professional theatre in residence at Kean University, will be accepting submissions for the 2023/2024 Liberty Live Commission, a biennial commissioning program for New Jersey playwrights in partnership with Kean’s Liberty Hall Museum beginning Tuesday, November 1

Now in its seventh incarnation, Liberty Live typically culminates with a professional Equity production of a new play that celebrates New Jersey history. Past winners include Talking to Westfield by E.M. Lewis (2012), At Liberty Hall by James Christy (2013/2014), My Lord, What a Night by Deborah Brevoort (2015/2016), Black Tom Island by Martin Casella (2017/2018), Robey by Joe Sutton (2019/2020) and Certain Aspects of Conflict in the Negro Family by TyLie Shider (2021/2022).

Playwrights are invited to submit proposals for new plays about New Jersey history to Premiere Stages. For the first time since its inception, submissions for the Commission will be accepted on a rolling basis throughout the calendar year rather than on a deadline. Premiere Stages may also directly contact playwrights to explore potential Commission topics. All playwrights who are residents of New Jersey are eligible.

A shortlist of the submitted proposals will be selected as finalists and playwrights will be interviewed. The winning proposal will be selected by April 2023, and that playwright will be commissioned to write a play based on the submitted proposal. Upon completion of the first draft, the playwright will receive a $2,000 award. The winning play will be developed from April 2023 through October 2023 and will include three staged readings in October 2023 at Premiere Stages. Over the life of the commission cycle, Premiere Stages will work with the playwright to continue to develop the play. Upon completion, the play will also be considered for a full production at Liberty Hall Museum in 2024.

Submission guidelines are now available, and there is no fee to enter. Please visit or email for full guidelines. All entries are evaluated by a panel of theatre professionals and historians in consultation with Premiere’s Producing Artistic Director, John J. Wooten, and Liberty Hall Museum’s Executive Director, Rachael Goldberg.

Premiere Stages is made possible in part through funding from W. John Bauer and Nancy Boucher, The New Jersey State Council on the Arts, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, Carole Shaffer-Koros and Robert Koros and ExxonMobil Foundation, The Dubose and Dorothy Heyward Foundation, The Northfield Bank Foundation, The Hyde and Watson Foundation, The Union Foundation, E.J. Grassmann Trust, The New Jersey Theatre Alliance, Investors Foundation, The Union County HEART Grant and through the generous support of individual patrons and local organizations. Discover Jersey Arts is our marketing partner. Visit for more information about other arts programming happening around the Garden State.

Premiere Stages is committed to producing topical plays and interactive programs that reflect people of all ethnic and racial backgrounds, national origins, nationalities, ancestry, religious groups, gender expression or identities, sexual orientation, political beliefs, ages, abilities and disabilities.

Created in 2004, Premiere Stages is the professional Equity theatre in residence at Kean University. Through its unique partnership with Kean, Premiere’s play development programs, educational initiatives, and professional development opportunities actively embrace the university's academic curriculum while expanding the scope, accessibility, and prestige of the professional programming on campus. For more information, please visit Premiere Stages online at

Founded in 1855, Kean University is one of the largest metropolitan institutions of higher education in the region, with a richly diverse student, faculty and staff population. Kean continues to play a key role in the training of teachers and is a hub of educational, technological and cultural enrichment serving more than 16,000 students. The University’s six undergraduate colleges offer more than 50 undergraduate degrees over a full range of academic subjects. The Nathan Weiss Graduate College offers six doctoral degree programs and more than 80 options for graduate study leading to master’s degrees, professional diplomas or certifications. With campuses in Union, Toms River, Jefferson and Manahawkin, New Jersey, and Wenzhou, China, Kean University furthers its mission by providing an affordable and accessible world-class education. Visit