Submission guidelines

Thank you for your interest in the 2020 Very Normal Festival. There is only one major guideline for applicants this year: Be original.

If you are pitching us an improv show, for instance, please do not pitch us, like, a Harold. We prefer shows that have a strong governing conceit that may well end up subverting the show’s initial premise. We would ideally like to see new concepts and new material, but if you believe that your pre-existing show/bit/character would work for the festival, that’s fine, too.

How long is the submission window?

The festival will be accepting submissions up until 11:59 p.m. on Monday, October 19. All applicants will be notified of the selection committee’s decision by no later than Monday, October 26. Submissions are free.

What sorts of acts are you looking for?

The festival welcomes submissions across the performance spectrum.

Do I need to submit a video?

No. Videos are welcome, of course, but we realize that they might not always be available, given the circumstances of this year and the fact that we are looking for new material. If you have a video of your performance, please submit it. If not, don’t sweat it too much.

What would be a good conceit for a show?

That’s up to you, but we will say that your show will likely be most successful if you lean into the fact that you will be performing over Zoom, rather than try to ignore it. It’s a weird year, and we’re all doing this shit on the Internet now. Why pretend otherwise? (Note: We would also be willing to consider bits where the premise is that you are pretending otherwise.)

Should our shows be inspired by the notion of “normality”?

They can be! Feel free to interpret the premise of the festival as literally or as liberally as you would like. Your shows can be conspicuously normal, or they can be very weird, or they can be the sorts of shows that are trying to be normal but fail for some reason.

I have a vague idea but I’m not quite sure it will work. Can I pitch something that isn’t particularly polished?

Yes! We are down for that, for sure.