SPF Handbook GENERAL Handbook

Please click on the link above for our general handbook. This will tell you all you need to know about producing your play with us! Should your play get chosen, you will receive a similar handbook with information that is specific to your festival. Please read this in full before reaching out with questions–chances are, the answers are here!


Want to produce a play at an official off-off-Broadway theatre? Then you’ve come to the right place! For the past 11 years, Be Bold! Productions has held three annual short play and musical festivals upstairs in the Players Theatre’s black box, the Steve and Marie Sgouros Theatre. February 2023 marks the beginning of the 12th year, and over the past decade we’ve learned a few helpful tips and tricks that make the process run smoother. See below for guidance on general areas of the festival.

Submitting your Play:

We love reading your plays—and yes, we read all of them! The best way to ensure your entry is successful is to follow some basic guidelines:

  1. Write to the theme. If the theme is love, please ensure your play contains elements of love. It doesn’t matter if it’s romantic love, familial love, or something in between, but it needs to match the theme of the festival to be selected. Hint* if you have a play you’ve already written that you really want to submit, you can always add elements to it that help it match the theme. For example, if it’s for our NYC-themed festival in June, set your play in NYC, or  make sure your characters mention NYC or that you include things associated with living in NYC, like the subway, Broadway, or other icons. It doesn’t need to be littered with references; two or three will do!
  2. Make sure you submit by the deadline. Our system doesn’t accept submissions after the deadline at midnight, so please make sure you submit before then! Don’t wait until 11:58 pm the day of—things can and have gone wrong with people’s Internet or their files.
  3. Follow the guidelines. Each play can be a maximum of 15 minutes, so please don’t submit a play that is longer than that—it likely won’t get chosen. The best thing to do is to read your play aloud – at the pace it will be performed – a few times and time it. Please make sure to take into account any actions that will take up time. If your play is chosen and ends up running over 15 minutes, it won’t be in the running for the weekly prize. Also, please remember that we put plays in order due to specific criteria — we cannot change the order of the plays.
  4. IMPORTANT! Sound and light cues are limited to the number of pages your play has. For instance, ten page plays get 10 cues total, including lights up and lights down. Any combination of cues is fine; for example, 8 sound cues and 1 light cues, 5 light cues and 5 sound cues, etc.

Producing Your Play:

Producing your play doesn’t have to be an expensive venture! You can spend as much or as little as you want—the most important element is your script and how your actors represent your work—it’s much better to have a strong script than an impressive set or costumes.

  1. We have house furniture that you can use, which is available to see in the guidebook above. We highly recommend you take advantage of it. Please remember, this is a black box, so audience don’t expect to see, for example, a real bed. A few of our blocks with a blanket on top or some of our couch cushions have successfully represented many items: beds, bars, tables, etc.
  2. Many playwrights choose to pay their actors and directors, and some do not. This is a personal decision that is entirely up to you. We don’t offer recommendations on amounts to pay, and you do not need to share this information with us. However, if you are struggling to cast people, we may ask you if it’s a paid opportunity. That way we can approach actors with all the information and save time.
  3. Casting: We recommend you begin the process of casting as soon as possible after your script has been accepted. That way you can get a head start on scheduling rehearsals, etc. For casting, we will send out an email asking for you to provide the parts you need to fill, and we will advertise this on our website and on social media. Sometimes we are able to advertise on Backstage, but we cannot guarantee it, so please make sure to spread the word on social media. We will also reach out to past actors with your information to help you—we want to make this as easy as possible for everyone.
  4. Please remember that you or your designated person are responsible for disseminating information to your director and cast until we collect all of their information and can email them directly. There will be forms you need to fill out, and we ask you to please do it promptly, otherwise information gets lost. Give your actors the discount code for their friends and families as soon as they’re hired. We cannot give refunds to people who bought tickets and found out about the code later.


  1. You and/or your director are responsible for scheduling your rehearsals with your actors. Many directors prefer to use Zoom or Google Meet to perform their initial rehearsals, and meet in person later. It is completely up to you to decide how you would like to proceed. Please remember that many actors are busy, so we highly recommend you ask for scheduling conflicts soon and promptly provide them a schedule for a successful rehearsal process.
  2. For in-person rehearsals, the Players Theatre has rooms for rent (please see their rates here). For daytime rates, there is no discount, as the price is already discounted. However, for evening rates, there is a discount for SPF play rehearsals – please see the handbook above for discount information. You must contact the Players Theatre directly, as they are the only ones who can book your space (please email [email protected]).
  3. You MUST have everyone present at your tech rehearsal, which is always the Sunday BEFORE your play opens. Please ensure you inform your director and all your cast of this (we recommend you inform everyone in writing such as via email so there won’t be any confusion).
  4. You cannot rehearse in the black box unless you reserve and pay for it. We highly recommend you use one of our rehearsal rooms instead.


We want your play to be seen by as many people as possible! That means we need your help spreading the word. Please follow us on Facebook at Be Bold Productions and on Instagram @beboldtheatre.

  1. We find posts that include images are more successful than just text. We recommend including behind-the-scenes shots of your rehearsal process and original artwork advertising your show.
  2. You are not required to provide artwork for your play, but social media followers definitely engage with it. This can be as simple as putting a picture on a colorful background with your play title, or it can include an artistic layout. We have had a lot of success using PowerPoint or Photoshop (or there are many free graphics programs online) and using sites such as Unsplash and Pixabay for free pictures that are not copyrighted. If you don’t provide artwork, we will likely make our own for your play to get people excited to see your work! See below for some examples.
  3. Please make sure to tell your friends and family about the show!

Remember, we are here to help you present your work and get it seen by as many people as possible, so we will do everything we can to ensure a smooth and successful run!