Liberty Hall Commissions


Commission Programs

Supporting the work of emerging playwrights
from the ground up.


Premiere Stages’ commission programs seek to support new plays by exciting writers throughout their development process: from conception to world premiere.




Liberty Live Section



The Liberty Live Commission, Premiere’s first commission program, has supported writers over two-year development cycles continuously since 2011. The Liberty Live Commission is a partnership with the Liberty Hall Museum at Kean University, and supports the development of new plays about the rich and complex history of New Jersey.


Over the course of two years, New Jersey writers are given dramaturgical and artistic support, along with a $1000 commission, to create an original one-act play that will be staged at Liberty Hall’s historic Carriage House. Past commissions have included plays by Deborah Brevoort, James Christy, and E. M. Lewis, showcasing New Jersey history from the American Revolution to the eve of World War II. The current Liberty Live Commission, Black Tom Island by Martin Casella, explores the United States’ entry into World War I. A reading of Black Tom Island will be presented in November 2017, with a production scheduled for October 2018.


Premiere Stages has also partnered with the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) to support the NJPAC Stage Exchange, a program connecting New Jersey writers to theaters in their state for the creation of original dramatic work. Premiere Stages’ Stage Exchange commission is Brick City, by Nicole Pandolfo. This play, which explores the choices two teenagers at an underfunded public high school in Newark face, received readings in April, May, and October 2017, and will have a full production at Premiere Stages in July 2018.

NJPAC Stage Exchange



The Liberty Live Commission is organized on a two-year development cycle, with a new playwright commissioned every even-numbered year (2016, 2018, etc.). Submissions are welcome at any time, provided they conform to the Guidelines below. In the six months leading up to the awarding of a new commission, however, Premiere Stages may release suggestions for topics of particular interest to the Commission. Playwrights wondering whether their own ideas are suitable for the commission should feel free to email with any questions.


Playwrights who are residents of New Jersey and interested in the Liberty Live Commission can send proposals for original, 45- to 60-minute plays to Submissions should include:


A production proposal (1-3 pages)

It must outline the topic, plot, scene breakdown, and themes of the play. Proposed scripts must have a cast size of no more than five actors.


A writing sample (10 pages)

It must be from a completed play. And the selection panel reserves the right to request a full copy of the script or additional writing samples.


A current biography



Due to the length of time between commission cycles, it may take up to two years before your submission is accepted or rejected by the commission. The next Liberty Live development cycle will begin in October 2018.


Contact us at for further information regarding Premiere Stages' commission programs.


Ask a question