The Foundry is a place to experiment.  A place to take risks.  A place to stretch your imagination.  It’s the Live Arts Foundry, dedicated to creating opportunities for wild, fun, theatrical experiments and developing new works.

More in the Foundry

Details of each program below:



In an effort to encourage new work, foster collaboration between like-minded artists, and ignite the imagination of our audience, the Foundry’s New Works on Fire program empowers artists by providing them 2-3 weeks of rehearsal space to workshop a developmental piece, culminating in a live public reading.  It’s yet another way we forge theater here in the Foundry.  Actors, directors, and of course playwrights, click HERE for more information as a PDF.


In an effort to encourage new work, foster collaboration between like-minded artists, and ignite the imagination of our audience, Live Arts empowers an Initiating Artist with two to three weeks of rehearsal space to workshop a developmental piece, culminating in a public presentation.

goals of the program

  • To bring a play/musical/performance piece substantially further toward its final form
  • To give a fair number of volunteer artists a fun and artistically satisfying experience
  • To provide an outlet for talented artists who may not be able to commit to full productions
  • To bring our audiences into the process of creating new work

dates 2017.2018

NWOF#1 Sep 24 – Oct 15 Presentation: Monday, Oct 16 2 weeks

NWOF#2 Nov 26 – Dec 17 Dec 18 2 weeks

NWOF#3 Feb 25 – Mar 18 Mar 19 2 weeks

NWOF #4 Apr 29- May 20 May 21 2 weeks

what this experience is about

  • The workshop IS about process, not “finished product”
    • The presentation is not intended as the be-all and end-all.  
      Think of it as a way to see where you are in the process – not as an end in itself
    • Your piece could be A MESS and that is where you ended up
    • Explain to the audience and they will be WITH YOU.  Art is Messy…
  • These workshops are NOT about getting a full production at Live Arts
  • Boot-strapping!  Foundry Projects are designed to be Artist-driven (not staff-driven)

application process

  • Email one of the below, to Producing Artistic Director, Bree Luck at :
    • One full-length script  –  prefer greater than 2 performers, if possible, to involve more artists.  Shorter scripts cannot be accepted.  If a play, 2nd or 3rd drafts preferred, as these are most likely to benefit from a workshop, rather than “an idea” or less piece.
    • Or a description of work in process (if a performance piece)
    • Musical script with CD if music (if one exists)
  • Include a simple cover letter with “NWOF Submission” in the Subject Line, and the following:
    • Your full name, date, and contact information
    • One paragraph description of what you’d like to accomplish
    • One paragraph on why a workshop would be helpful at this stage of development
    • A brief description of your past involvement with Live Arts, if any
    • Any collaborators with whom you’d like to work & if you’ve already asked them to collaborate
    • Any major scheduling conflicts in the season (weddings, vacations, etc.)

essential elements of the process

Everything revolves around serving the Initiating Artist’s work.  How can we bring it closer to fruition?  Exploration and positive collaboration are our watch-words…

  • PRODUCING . Initiating Artist (i.e., playwright) functions as your own producer
    and recruits other collaborators as needed

    • Ask yourself:  Am I up for this challenge?  Do I have enough time to make it work?
    • You’ll be guided by PAD, Bree Luck & our volunteer team; and other qualified Company Members
    • Yes, you can choose your own director, in collaboration with Bree.  We’ll help you find one as well
    • There are no Stage Managers on NWOF projects.  The director usually handles those tasks
  • DURATION . Slots vary in length – two to three weeks of work-time.  We’ve sometimes scheduled a one-week “rewrite break” in the middle so the playwright/artist has time to work
    • Initiating Artist commits to being in-town and working on the project throughout the process,
      even during “re-write” weeks.  “All-in” attitude
  • CASTING . Initiating Artist & Director responsible for all casting
    • Auditions are not encouraged.  Rather, recommendations & recruiting work best
    • Auditions rarely approved by the Producing Artistic Director, as they take a great deal of effort
    • We can post a casting breakdown on the web, however, and get-the-word-out on Facebook
    • Our Actor headshot books are a gold-mine.  Staff can make recommendations, too
    • Once cast, please create a contact.
  • REHEARSALS . Could be in any of our spaces, depending on availability
    • All rehearsal space requests go to
    • Rehearsal space may only be available on certain days, depending on availability

It’s important to let the audience know that this is a developmental process, as well.  Therefore, production elements are kept to the absolute minimum, maintaining a “reading” feel

  • SCRIPTS . Scripts in-hand for presentation.  (Non-negotiable)  Talk to Bree if questions
    • No memorization is required of actors
    • Shows audience that we’re “in process,” a vital element
    • You can use the Live Arts copiers to make your scripts & new page edit copies
  • VENUE . Presentations in Rehearsal A, our current venue for new work.  
  • TECH . Presentation tech options & requests to be discussed with the TD/PM, at least one week prior to performance

Lights Whatever is in the air; Lights up/lights down… Nothing fancy.

Sound As is.  Can use CDs & I-Pod plugin.  (If use sound, you recruit operator)

Costumes If you must, then the artists are responsible.  Live Arts cannot provide costumes

Props Discouraged, as getting toward production.  Read stage directions… Creatively?

Chairs 60 available.  Collaborators set up day of performance

Music stands 2-6 in the building at any given time + a podium is available.

Sight-lines Can be brutal in Reh A.  Best configuration is wide-spread chairs, facing the kitchen.  Sorry, no risers.  Block people standing or on high stools?

    • “Pay What You Will.”  Start time is 7 pm
    • Volunteers handle donations & concessions from a portable cart.  Live Arts assigns volunteers
    • Short intro by Moderator and the Director laying out the process & inviting all to stay talk-back
  • POST-PRESENTATION DISCUSSION, if Initiating Artist would find it helpful
    • Usually 20-30 minutes.  Moderated by the Producing Artistic Director or experienced playwright
    • Often, the Initiating Artist gives Moderator a list of questions he/she would like us to explore


There’s always a lot going on at Live Arts, but we do our best to get the word out.  You can do a lot yourselves through FaceBook invitations.  Meanwhile, here’s what we usually can do:

  • E-BLAST . Inclusion in our volunteer newsletter before your presentation
  • POSTER . We create a flyer in our NWOF template format
  • PROGRAM . If we have a show running or opening soon, we include a mention, in “upcoming events”
  • FACEBOOK . We create a FaceBook event page
  • PLAYBILL . We use the Flyer for the Playbill.  No bios required
    • Need:  Initiating Artist & Director (as soon as nailed down)
    • Need:  Short “blurb” about the piece (asap)
    • Need:  Contact sheet + any updates


Emerging Director Projects give new directors the opportunity to try their hand at staging a full-length play and offer experienced directors the chance to tackle the type of theater that they might not typically direct. We’re talking about fast and furious, risk-taking theater! Directors have four weeks of rehearsal time to stage these bare-bones workshop productions. The Emerging Directors Project is about stretching creative boundaries at Live Arts!

Contact Bree if you have an idea for an Emerging Director Project.

Never has a tradition been so spontaneous!
It’s real fast theater, seven brand new plays created in just 24 hours, written, directed, and performed by a different group of brave Charlottesville artists every single year.  Presented by Whole Theatre, this year’s show will be on January 20th at 7 pm and 9:30 pm.

Want to get involved?  Contact Ray at


Enter Playwrights’ Lab.

Our free forum for writers of every experience level to share, read, hear, and discuss their work with our community.  Dedicated to developing the work of local writers in a fun, creative, supportive setting.  Whether you’ve been writing for years or are just getting started, there’s a place for you in the lab!

New from Live Arts Radio:  

Live Arts Radio is very pleased to announce that we have partnered with The Charlottesville Podcasting Network to bring you original radio drama from Charlottesville’s top playwrights.

Follow Live Arts Radio on Facebook.

Click HERE for the Playwrights’ Lab Handbook

Playwrights’ Labs are held throughout the year on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of each month from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. For more information, contact



Get an inside view of your favorite shows at Live Arts!

Following the first Sunday matinee performance of every main stage production, Live Arts hosts a Talkback. We invite everyone from the audience (and, space permitting, anyone interested) to stay and take part in a conversation with the actors, director, designers and crew from the show. Come with a question, or just sit back and listen as Education Director Mike Long moderates what is always a fascinating discussion about the process of creating theater from script to stage.

Talkbacks start a few minutes after the end of the performance, so times vary. If you want to attend a Talkback without attending that particular performance, check with the Box Office for an estimate of when the Talkback is likely to begin.

Questions? Let Mike know at

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Readers’ Circle is a monthly play-reading group, led by Carol Pedersen, that meets at Live Arts to enjoy and discuss great plays, from the famous to the obscure. Want to meet new people and read some great literature? Come on down!

Readers’ Circle 2017-2018

November 19 – A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen

December 17 – Marjorie Prime by Jordan Harrison

January 21 – Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England by Madeleine George

February 18 – Doll’s House Part 2 by Lucas Hnath

April 15  –M. Butterfly by David Henry Hwang

May 20 – Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov, adapted by Sarah Ruhl

June 17 – The Book of Will by Lauren Gunderson

Join us on Readers’ Circle Sundays from 3 to 6pm in Rehearsal B on the 4th Floor of Live Arts for light refreshments, good company, and fascinating discussions. Readings are free of charge!

Contact Mike at for more information.