The Aubrey & Marla Dan Fund For New Musicals

Mercedes Morris & Daren A. Herbert. Photo by: Dahlia Katz
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THE AUBREY & MARLA DAN FUND FOR NEW MUSICALS

The Aubrey & Marla Dan Fund for New Musicals is the first ever fund exclusively for the commissioning of new Canadian musical works. This opportunity is managed by The Musical Stage Company, with funding from The Aubrey & Marla Dan Foundation. The fund offers financial and dramaturgical support to creators in creating and developing a first draft of a new musical. Ideas that exemplify the most potential will be awarded an $8,000 commission to cover a 5-week writing period, and a private reading of the first draft.

The Musical Stage Company is committed to the development and production of new Canadian musical works. As such, commissioned projects may subsequently be offered additional development or production opportunities upon completion of the commission. The commission contract will outline the terms of these continued opportunities.

Submissions are now closed for The Aubrey & Marla Dan Fund for New Musicals.
Applicants selected to present will be notified April 11, 2022.

Sponsors

Leading Lights
The Aubrey & Marla Dan Foundation

THE AUBREY & MARLA DAN FUND FOR NEW MUSICALS

The Aubrey & Marla Dan Fund for New Musicals is the first ever fund exclusively for the commissioning of new Canadian musical works. This opportunity is managed by The Musical Stage Company, with funding from The Aubrey & Marla Dan Foundation. The fund offers financial and dramaturgical support to creators in creating and developing a first draft of a new musical. Ideas that exemplify the most potential will be awarded an $8,000 commission to cover a 5-week writing period, and a private reading of the first draft.

The Musical Stage Company is committed to the development and production of new Canadian musical works. As such, commissioned projects may subsequently be offered additional development or production opportunities upon completion of the commission. The commission contract will outline the terms of these continued opportunities.

Submissions are now closed for The Aubrey & Marla Dan Fund for New Musicals.
Applicants selected to present will be notified April 11, 2022.

Eligibility & Terms

Eligibility

Individual musical theatre creators, teams of musical theatre creators, and theatre creation collectives are all welcome to apply. Projects should be in an early phase of conception or development. If a completed first draft already exists, the project may be too far along for this program unless writers are looking to do substantial re-conceiving, essentially generating a new first draft.

Commission Terms

We would like to stress that selection results in a commission and not a grant. Standard terms for commissions will apply including billing in future productions, and a small share in future proceeds from subsidiary rights and commercial productions pending continued development and production from The Musical Stage Company.

Commission Schedule

  • Upon signing the Commission Agreement, creators will receive $4,000 (of the total $8,000 commission amount).
  • Creators will select a 5-week writing period falling within eight months of notification of selection to dedicate their time to the writing of a first draft.
  • At the end of the writing period, creators shall deliver the first draft to The Musical Stage Company, defined as a minimum 50-minutes of material along with synopses of missing scenes and a minimum of eight (8) songs.
  •  Upon completion of the writing period and first draft, The Musical Stage Company shall fund an informal two-day reading of the first draft with a cast of professional actors.
  • Upon The Musical Stage Company’s receipt of the first draft, creators shall receive the remaining $4,000 (of the total $8,000 commission amount).
  • Following the receipt of the first draft, The Musical Stage Company may exercise the right to pay an additional development fee of $2,000 to the creators in order to acquire further development rights.

Streams

The fund is granted via two streams:

A) INVITATIONS

  • The Musical Stage Company may identify prospective projects and directly invite creators to submit a proposal and subsequently present more information about the project to The Musical Stage Company team at any time of the year.

B) OPEN CALL

  • An Open Call for submissions shall be announced and broadly circulated in February/March of each calendar year with selected projects receiving an invitation to meet a TMSC jury for a presentation. 
  • Submissions are now closed for The Aubrey & Marla Dan Fund for New Musicals.

All submissions are reviewed and assessed by The Musical Stage Company jury. Each year, 2 projects will be selected for commission. While The Musical Stage Company endeavours to select at least 1 project for commissioning through each stream, there is no guaranteed minimum.

Because the commissions will be awarded through either stream, funding decisions will be made on a rolling basis. Funding decisions may not be immediate and further follow-up may be required. However, feedback from presentations will be available in written form upon request.

GUIDELINES & IMPORTANT DATES

Presentations

Creators who have submitted projects through the Open Call that have been selected for presentations will be notified of their selection via e-mail by April 11, 2022

Presentations shall be made to a jury of TMSC staff, possibly including but not limited to the CEO, Artistic Director, Artistic Development Associate, Artistic Programs Associate and Intern Artistic Director. Some presentations may be audited by select invited guests including members from The Aubrey & Marla Dan Foundation. Presentations may be held virtually on Zoom or in person, depending on artists’ point of origin and COVID-19 restrictions.

Presentations will be allocated a 45-minute time slot (30 minutes for presentation & 15 minutes for questions). While the presentation may be in whatever manner the applicants deem most helpful, it is recommended that each presentation includes the following: 

  • A synopsis 
  • Excerpts of scenes
  • Minimum of 2 songs (one of which must be from the project being presented). 

Creators are responsible for assembling any additional resources they require for their presentation. The presentation is intended to be casual and conversational. While the creators may curate their presentation as they wish, it is not the intention to make creators feel obligated to integrate additional artists or incur any costs. 

Projects invited to submit via Invitations will prepare the same presentation content as noted above. 

All applicants will be notified of all decisions regarding their submission. 

For those who are invited to present, feedback from The Musical Stage Company jury may be requested by creators via Ray Hogg (Artistic Director) at rayhogg@musicalstagecompany.com.

Important Dates

Notification of selection for presentation
  • April 11, 2022
Presentations
  • June 15 – 17, 2022

Funded Projects

BLACKOUT 

Book by Steven Gallagher, Music & Lyrics by Anton Lipovetsky.

KELLY v. KELLY 

Book by Sara Farb, Music & Lyrics by Britta Johnson.

IN REAL LIFE 

Music & Lyrics by Kevin Wong, Book & Lyrics by Nick Green.

DIXON ROAD 

Book, Music & Lyrics By Fatuma Adar.

MONOCEROS 

Music & Lyrics By Ben Elliot and Anton Lipovetsky, Book By Josh Epstein and Kyle Rideout.

THE PREPOSTEROUS PREDICAMENT OF POLLY PEEL 

Book by Julie Tepperman, Music & Lyrics by Kevin Wong.

YOU ARE HERE 

Book by Brian Hill, Music & Lyrics by Neil Bartman.

STARWALKER

Book, Music & Lyrics by Corey Payette.

NIGHTINGALE PARTY

Book, Music & Lyrics by Veda Hille and Amiel Gladstone.

COWBOY TEMPEST CABARET

Book by Niall McNeil, Lucy McNulty & Anton Lipovetsky, Music by Anton Lipovetsky, Lyrics by Niall McNeil.

MEAT

Book by Aaron Jan & alaska b, Music & Lyrics by alaska b.

THE TRIALS & TRIUMPHS OF A TAR BABY

Book, Music & Lyrics by Jewelle Blackman.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I send in an existing work?
Projects should be in an early phase of conception or development. If a completed first draft already exists, the project may be too far along for this program unless writers are looking to do substantial re-conceiving, essentially generating a new first draft.

Can I re-submit a project that was reviewed by The Musical Stage Company last year?
Yes, although our preference is for newly conceived early stage works, if you are re-applying with a piece that was submitted and not selected in a previous year, we ask that you address any new developments with the piece since its previous submission.

Can I send some work samples for pre-review/advice prior to submitting?
Due to the large volume of interest in our program, our artistic staff is sadly not able to pre-review work samples prior to submission. Remember that we are seeking works in their early stages in development and are not expecting production-ready work samples at the submission stage.

Should I submit work samples from the project I am submitting or higher quality samples from other works in my repertoire?
We prefer that you share two audio samples from the proposed project. If that is not possible or feasible for you, we will accept audio samples from a previous work.

Can I submit multiple projects?
There are no restrictions on the number of projects submitted provided the writing teams of each submission are different and each submission is made independently of the others.

Is a successful commission a promise for a future production?
A commission from The Dan Fund is not a promise of future production. The fund offers financial and dramaturgical support to creators in creating and developing the first draft of a new musical. Ideas that exemplify the most potential will be awarded an $8,000 commission to cover a 5-week writing period, and a private reading of the first draft.

For any additional questions about The Aubrey & Marla Dan Fund for New Musicals, please contact Ray Hogg (Artistic Director), at rayhogg@musicalstagecompany.com.