Boston Playwrights’ Theatre is a home for new works for the stage. As such, we prioritize the use of our space for the rehearsal, reading and production of new plays. When available, we rent our spaces out for these purposes under the following guidelines. We also occasionally rent our spaces out for events and other purposes, though this is rare.
New Play Odyssey Program (NPOP)
Under NPOP, BPT offers our space to playwrights and new play developers for private and public readings, meetings, and classes for subsidized rates or for free, depending on the activity and the resources required.
If a playwright needs to hear her work amongst trusted dramaturgs, artistic friends and theatre artists in order to develop the work, this is what we refer to as a Private Reading. It is a private event (neither advertised nor posted publicly on social media) and no more than 20 people outside of the organizer and actors on stage are present. Work lights alone are used and no changes are made to the space. Minimal blocking and memorization. Private readings may happen in the Walcott Stage, Odyssey Stage, and the Green Room. There is no cost for a private reading.
We recognize that playwrights need to see a play early in its development before an audience. Public Reading are what they sound like—public events that are advertised with the expectation that more than 20 people beyond the organizers and actors will be present. There are no tickets sold, but tickets may be reserved through any third party ticketing source and suggested donations may be solicited at the event. Basic stage lights may be used from a rep plot provided by BPT, but there may be no changes made to the space. Public readings are charged $150 per presentation.
The front and back theatres are available for auditions, both Equity and non-Equity. Work lights alone are used and no changes are made to the space. There is one electric piano available for musical auditions. Here is the audition pricing structure:
Auditions for a new work
- Free for auditions held between 9am-5pm Mon-Fri
- $50/session for evenings and weekends
Any other auditions, including general auditions for a season
- $50/session for auditions held between 9am-5pm Mon-Fri
- $100/session for evenings and weekends
All three spaces are available for theatre classes and workshops. Work lights alone are used and no changes are made to the space. The rate is $25/hour, including set-up and breakdown time.
The Green Room is available for private meetings. 16 chairs and 4 rolling tables are available in the room. The rate is $25/hour, including set-up and breakdown time.
All three spaces are occasionally available for small public or private receptions, poetry readings, or other one-time events. Priority is given to BU events and those events associated with new work, but other events may be considered. Costs for event uses are variable and dependent on the details of each event, but generally start at a minimum of $350 for a four-hour (start to finish) event.
Third Party Productions
BPT occasionally offers the Walcott Stage and Odyssey Stage to local theatre productions, prioritized for productions of plays in their first presentations or Boston University-connected work. All third party programming is determined on a case-by-case basis.
Be sure you understand the following expectations of how our space can be used. If you have any questions, please be sure to ask Managing Director Darren Evans (darrene [at] bu.edu) regarding fees and expectations or Production Manager Jeffrey Petersen (jpeterse [at] bu.edu) regarding space-related questions before applying.
For these productions, BPT offers weekly rentals that begin on Mondays and end on Sundays. Performances schedules are negotiated on a case by case basis, but are never more than 6 shows per week. Producers may have access to BPT from 10am-11pm on weekdays and a weekend schedule that is negotiated on a case by case basis. All access is supervised by BPT—there is no 24-hour access.
Production rental access includes:
- Either the Walcott Stage or the Odyssey Stage and all equipment therein:
- Sound system
- Lighting system
- Seating risers
- Audience chairs
- Black curtains
- Two separate dressing rooms
- A shared green room (sometimes used for other events)
- Access to the box office (note: BPT does not run your box office; you must provide your own box office services and staff)
- Two emails to the BPT email list (note: you must provide content)
- Limited access to a very small library of props and small furniture (you break it, you buy it)
Production rental access DOES NOT include:
- 24-hour access to the space
- Tools and building supplies
- BPT staff labor (we are not able to build/paint your set or hang/focus your lights, etc.)
- Box office management or staffing
For ground plans and equipment inventories, please email Technical Director Jeffrey Petersen: jpeterse [at] bu.edu
Third party rentals start at $750/week, but may be higher depending on your exact schedule and needs. You may ask for a quote from Darren Evans: darrene [at] bu.edu. A quote does not guarantee acceptance. In your email, please include as much information as possible, including proposed load-in/load-out dates, rehearsal schedule, and performance schedule.
LOA and Insurance
All events will require a “producer” to sign a letter of agreement (LOA) with Boston Playwrights’ Theatre/Boston University. For productions, the LOA will include an indemnity clause and an insurance requirement. Since we are a university property, you have the option of purchasing (more affordable) insurance through the TULIP program. Rates for a three-week production are often between $250 and $600—for instance, a three week run at 60% capacity expectations in the front theatre would be $577 as of 2014. BU does not encourage or require you to use any particular insurance provider.
Our Marketing Coordinator (in order to eliminate confusion about our venue status) must approve advertising copy and certain design elements in your advertising before building your ticketing. For instance, there can be no confusion in your marketing materials that Boston Playwrights’ Theatre is a co-producer or collaborator and our “mountain” logo can never be used. Please reach out to our Marketing Coordinator K. Alexa Mavromatis (kamavrom [at] bu.edu) before sending any advertising copy out.
Boston Playwrights’ Theatre will invoice you the total amount of your stay in advance of your load-in. You may elect to pay half up front and the remainder removed from your ticket disbursement (see below.)
One requirement of the LOA is the use of Boston Playwrights’ Theatre’s OvationTix.com portal. BPT collects all monies from OvationTix. (You keep cash and checks received at the box office.) Within 45 days of the closing of your production, BPT will forward the full amount of ticket income received less any outstanding fees. Fees may include the remainder of your Invoice and any costs associated with damage to the building/resources, or use of technical items.
Questions regarding the above can be directed to Managing Director Darren Evans at darrene [at] bu.edu.