The Leaselab

Program Overview

OYL’s LeaseLab is the new play development arm of One Year Lease.
Through a development process we have been honing and sharpening for almost 10 years, LeaseLab invites playwrights to work collaboratively with the OYL Artistic ensemble in the creation of new work. 
Collectively we explore broad, timely concepts of what could make a powerful theater event and work up from a blank page to a production-ready draft, and ultimately a world premiere production. 
LeaseLab is a a phased process over about twelve months, comprised of a series of workshops and usually involving three script drafts.  
The primary goal of LeaseLab is to give playwrights the opportunity to develop work collaboratively alongside the OYL ensemble, and to develop work that continues to explore the company’s guiding aesthetic principles of movement & strong physicality, collective story-telling and challenging of traditional form & structure. 
LeaseLab is a professional development program and selected playwrights receive a commission fee and workshop stipend.

Selection Criteria

One Year Lease is guided by three foundational areas of interest when creating new work, but we are open to all subversions, iterations and responses to them:
Collective Storytelling
We are interested in stories told from a group or shared perspective, in whatever form this may take.
We are an ensemble company – artists who work together consistently over long periods – and through this structure have found a reflection in approaching work from the perspective of a collective consciousness.
We seek to draw audiences into the experience as a participant, an accomplice, a part of the group, as culpable.
Theatrically a Greek chorus is defined, in part, as a collective voice contextualized by each individual participant’s different experience of the shared event. We draw on this ancient principle as we explore what it means to modernize the chorus into contemporary forms.
As a highly physical company with a strong focus on movement, and with a resident movement director, we are especially interested in writing that supports or demands this kind of expression. Successful submissions will undergo a rigorous physical exploration as the first step in their development. Writing that explores unique and magical worlds is strongly encouraged.
Structure & Form
We are drawn to writing that explores unconventional structure, possibly as straight prose without scene headings, character names, stage directions (but still written specifically for the stage). We weight non-linear story-telling heavily in our selection process

Submission Requirements

LeaseLab no longer accepts unsolicited formal submissions, playwrights are chosen for LeaseLab due to OYL’s familiarity with their work or via professional connections. We encourage you to invite us to any readings, presentations of productions of your work so we can get to know you and your artistic approach.
Playwrights with and without professional credits may informally submit works-in-progress in the form of treatments, monologue/s, a handful of scenes or first drafts of original work that connects to the aesthetic considerations above via our contact form. Early drafts are encouraged. Due to the volume received, we cannot respond to all submissions.

The Process

Each LeaseLab development process is unique to the selected playwright’s personality, style of writing and initiating concept or submitted material. 
On selection, the playwright and OYL artistic staff begin a dialogue to define the foundational concept to be explored and the process to ensure all parties understand and agree to unique and specific parameters.
LeaseLab is designed to challenge playwrights to reach beyond their comfort zone, work quickly and respond to the input of the OYL collaborators.  However within the collaborative structure, it is OYL’s primary focus to ensure a safe environment for the playwright that assists their creative process, without undue pressure.

In the early stages of the workshop, the process is based around improvisations – physical and verbal by the acting company, followed by discussion and deeper exploration of items that spark interest. During this period, playwrights are encouraged to watch and wait, with the writing process suggested to begin after the first workshop.
Playwrights are given a suggested series of minor deadlines at the outset of the development process, which may shift according to how the work develops
Small, invited workshop presentations occur throughout the LeaseLab process to collect feedback.

Current Projects


by Leon Ingulsrud & Brooke Shilling

Past Projects

[Real Time] (working title)

by Jason Platt


by Terilyn Eisenhauer, 2019

Eat The Devil

by Nadja Milena, 2019


by Kevin Armento & Bryony Lavery

Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally

by Kevin Armento, 2014

Feejee Mermaid

by Clay Mcleod Chapman, 2012

Manmade Mistakes

by Danny Mitarotondo, 2011

The Killing Room

by Daniel Keene, 2010

Teaser Cow

by Clay Mcleod Chapman, 2009