Frequently Asked Questions
Will I receive any notification, a rejection letter, and/or feedback about my show?
Once you submit, you'll receive email confirmation from APF staff that your materials have been received. APF will not provide notification to the writer(s) if shows are not advancing. APF does not provide feedback.
I don’t have an agent, may I still submit?
Any writer whose show fits the guidelines is eligible, with or without representation.
What constitutes a “production commitment”? If I don’t have an opening date scheduled may I still apply?
Musicals that have a producer, producing organization, or theater attached for a future production are not eligible.
If I submit, and then make revisions to my show, can I submit again and provide an updated draft or tracks?
No. The work that is initially submitted is what will be evaluated.
The award specifies that works must be “unproduced.” My musical received a workshop/reading/showcase production but I’m not sure whether it’s eligible. How does the APF define “unproduced”?
Developmental readings and workshops do not limit a show’s eligibility. The American Playwriting Foundation defines the difference between workshops and full professional productions based on the following factors: union affiliation and/or contract level, number of performances, tech elements, audiences paying admission and press coverage. Generally speaking, musicals produced in an educational context are considered unproduced, and therefore eligible for the Relentless Award. The bottom line is that APF does not want to penalize artists who have tried to develop their show through limited staged readings, etc. If you're unsure whether your musical received what we would consider a production, please email LSpector@bfany.org and the American Playwriting Foundation staff will determine whether the script is eligible.
Some institutions define "one-act" versus "full-length" differently. What does the APF consider a "full-length" piece?
We do not have a minimum page requirement, or exact specifications as to what makes a musical a one-act versus a full-length musical. A defined act break is not required. We hope that the general definition of “full-length” speaks for itself. About an hour minimum runtime is a rough, general rule of thumb. If you feel that your musical is a complete, full-length piece that would stand alone in an evening, we'll consider it.
Am I sacrificing rights to production or publication by applying for the Relentless Musical Award?
No. The award money distributed to the winner(s) is not a payment being made in exchange for production rights—the writers(s) of the winning show may be presented with the option to have their work developed at various theatrical institutions, but these are opportunities, not obligations. The winner is free to use award money as they see fit.
Are adaptations eligible for consideration?
Yes. However, if the work you are adapting is not in the public domain, you will need to provide proof of rights or authorization to adapt the underlying material.
I am an agent or mentor to a writer that would like to submit. Can I do so on the writer's behalf?
No. We ask that all writers submit their own materials directly and provide their own contact information on the submission form. There is no fee to submit.
I have a video file of someone singing one of the songs from the show, may I upload that instead of an audio file?
In order to maintain anonymity, we request that all songs be provided in audio format only. Most videos can be exported to audio files with free online converters.
Do I need professionally recorded demos? If I don’t have them will that hurt my application?
No. All evaluators will be aware of the range of recordings that musical theatre creators make in the early stages of their musicals. These recordings absolutely do not need to be fully orchestrated or have professional singers. Artists will in no way be penalized for production values as long as the sound quality allows for a reasonable evaluation. In other words, make it as good as you can within your means. If the method of recording in some way does not match the sound of the score (i.e., the composer recorded with a piano, but the score is electronic music) this is something to note in your Artistic Statement. Additionally, lyrics need not match perfectly between the script and recording, as long as there is no missing musical material. Scripts will be treated as having the most up to date lyrics.
The application asks for an Artistic Statement, what should this be?
We don't require formal language, or a statement about your body of work. The American Playwriting Foundation champions raw and unfinished work, and this is simply an opportunity to learn more about the musical—do you think it's finished? What are you working on with the current draft? What motivated you to write this musical? Use this as an opportunity to speak candidly about the piece and your full conception of it, in your own voice. Again, please leave out identifying information like your name, contact or agent info, education, or name-specific dedications.