The BIG DAMN DOOR Festival

Re-Vision | Re-Imagine | Re-Invent
New Work for the American Stage
C A L L   F O R   A R T I S T S

BLUEBARN is thrilled to announce 12 residencies for artists to create three new works for the American stage in three wildly different ways for our inaugural Big Damn Door Festival in the Fall of 2022. BLUEBARN invites artists of all disciplines – performers, creators, writers, makers, designers, musicians, visual artists, dancers- to apply and explore new ways of collaborating and creating community while developing transformative works of art.

The Big Damn Door Festival will prioritize projects that advance America’s progress toward equity, inclusion, and social and economic justice. Artists selected for festival residencies are tasked with exploring new theatrical strategies and collaborative models while creating work that takes advantage of our unique performance space- an indoor/outdoor convertible stage environment an expansive porchyard and natural amphitheater… and really Big. Damn. Doors.

Artists are invited to apply in one of three categories. A team of four artists will be selected per project based on the strength of their proposals and commitments to innovation, collaboration, and the themes of the festival. BLUEBARN will support each team of artists while the create and engage in a six-month development process. Artists may apply singly or in groups of up to four. After the development phase is complete, four more artists will join each team based on the needs of the project.

  • ReVision – A ‘Playwright-led’ Project culminating in the presentation of an original work by a primary author supported by up to three artists collaborating in the capacities that best serve the piece. This category asks artists to re-envision how we support a playwright in the evolution of their work. A playwright may apply singly or with a proposed team in mind. Emerging dramaturgs, directors, choreographers, are also encouraged to apply singly.
  • ReImagine – An ‘Ensemble-led’ Devised or Generative Project, that may draw from literary or cultural source ‘texts’, or from the assembled artists engaging with the culture in whatever fashion they see fit in the co-creation of a new work for the theatre. The ReImagine project encourages team submissions. Actor/creators with a shared ensemble aesthetic and a promising adaptive or generative project will selected. Individuals also may apply who wish to connect with like-minded folks invested in ensemble-based performance.
  • ReInvent – A ‘Design-led’ Project that will re-interpret a ‘classic work’ through a new lens. The classic work that is the focus of the process may be a play, but it needn’t be. Artists of any discipline (especially those disciplines not traditionally centered in the theatre) are encouraged to apply. Artists may apply individually or with proposed collaborators, and will be selected based on their demonstration of the desire to ‘re-invent’ the theatre experience and the role of their craft within it.

To apply for a Big Damn Door Artist Residency, please submit the following materials to Barry at and Susan by September 1st, 2021:

  • Tell us about yourself (as an artist, a human, a change-maker) however you wish.
    500 words (or) visual essay (or) short video (or) what you will
  • Tell us which category you’re applying in, why, and with whom (if applicable).
    (in whatever form that suits you)
  • What creative conditions allow you to thrive? (or) How do you best collaborate?
    (short or long answer in whatever form suits you)
  • Project Proposal (or) Artist Statement (or) An Idea or Approach
    (express your interest however you wish)
  • Work Sample(s) – Up to five items
    (e.g., ten pages of a script, video links, press, website, photos)
  • Resume
    (or any other expression of your experience or aptitude)

[if you would prefer to apply in a different manner (e.g. zoom or phone interview, or any other accommodation that better suits your expression or access needs), please don’t hesitate to ask]

BLUEBARN seeks emerging artists from the Omaha-Council Bluffs Metropolitan area whose work has the power to drive change in our community, and who’ve been most impacted from systemic biases in opportunity. Artists that identify as Global Majority (Black, Indigenous, People of Color), LGBTQIA2S+, Neuro-Diverse, and artists with disabilities will be prioritized.

Development Phase Resident Artists will receive $2,500, and an additional $1,000 during the Production Phase of BLUEBARN’s Big Damn Door Festival. Production Phase Resident Artists will receive $1,000.

The parameters of The Big Damn Door Artist Residencies will be co-created with the selected artists.
The goal is to provide ample time, space, and resources for the work to flourish.
There are no requirements as to hours per week, total hours, or the course of project development. ‘Residencies’ should not be construed as ‘in-house’, though much of the work may occur ‘on-site’.

Adah and Leon Millard Foundation

The Big Damn Door Festival is generously supported by the National Endowment for the Arts. To co-sponsor or donate in support of artist residencies, please contact Heather Hoyt at

Big Damn Door Residency and Festival Timeline:

Application | Submission Period
July 5th- September 1st, 2021

Selection | Announcement of Artist Residents
by September 30th, 2021

Development Process Shaping
October 15th – November 15th, 2021

Public Event |Festival Project Launch
January 2022

Development Phase
January 1st – July 1st, 2022

Production Artist Selection and Announcement
July 1st-July 15th, 2022

Public Event | Festival Projects Show and Tell
July 2022

Rehearsal and Performance Phase
August-September 2022