Watershed Music Festival Announces 2023 New Works Showcase and Call for Proposals

by | Dec 14, 2022 | Featured, News

Kingston-based Watershed Music Festival has announced the return of its New Works Showcase in 2023, calling for submissions from artists, ad hoc collectives and organizations. The first edition of the Showcase included excerpts from the new folk musical Ursa by Sam Boer and Jake Schindler, Afarin Mansouri’s Farsi opera Zuleykha and Pulse, a movement-based work from creator Kevin Skelton.  Year two added strikingly original work from Opera Queens (Cleopatra Built), Bobbi Lee Jones (Typecastress), Alexandra Gorlin-Crenshaw (Ava’s House) and BA Markus and Jason Noble (Denise’s Story from What Mommy Needs).

This year, the festival is seeking to highlight ground-breaking and genre-expanding work taking place in the music theatre community throughout Canada. While the opera and music theatre fields have been primarily dominated by Euro-centric ideals, practices and biases, Watershed aims to truly represent a more diverse and global experience. Both industries stand to evolve immeasurably by the inclusion of more inclusive perspectives. The festival welcomes stories from all walks of life and cultures, and aims to brings together the worlds of opera, musical theatre, and those pushing the boundaries far beyond these traditional boxes.


A scene from Pulse, a movement-based work from creator Kevin Skelton. Photo: Courtesy of New Works Showcase

Artists are invited to create 10-15 minute videos of previously unseen works-in-progress. The excerpts do not need to be fully costumed and/or staged, but should stand out as a high-quality artistic representation of the work in its current stage of development. This call for submissions is not intended for the initiation or commission of new projects, but to support and exploring existing creations. While the 2023 Watershed Festival is planned as a live and in-person event, a number of events will be available online.

Four selected projects will be premiered at a live screening, which will also be available for live stream on May 27, 2023. The premieres will be followed by a Q&A and discussion with the creators. 


How to Apply

To apply, applicants must submit a PDF Application that includes artistic samples of work, and detail the work in development. Applications are due January 16, 2023. Watershed Festival will select four outstanding projects for broadcast as part of the festival’s New Works Showcase on the afternoon of Saturday May 27, 2023. The Festival will provide selected applicants with $2000.00 to assist in the creation of 10-15 minute performance videos. Program participants are not required to travel to Kingston.

In acknowledging the differing needs to various groups, these funds may be used in ways which best support the needs of each individual project, and may include rental/purchase of A/V equipment, fees for artists, rental fees for space, etc. Selected applicants will participate in a 1-hour Q&A session following the broadcast of the videos.

All applications and questions should be sent to Dean Burry at dean.burry@queensu.ca by January 16, 2023.

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