Visit the 2023 festival website here:


Welcome to the Prelude Festival NYC.

Since 2003, The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center has presented the PRELUDE Festival.

The annual PRELUDE festival is dedicated to artists at the forefront of contemporary New York City theatre, dance, interdisciplinary and mediatized performance. PRELUDE offers an array of short performances, readings, and screenings — a completely free survey of the current New York moment and the work being prepared for the next season and beyond—as well as new commissions and panel discussions with artists, scholars, and performers. PRELUDE is a place to discover what voices are shaping the future of theatre and performance in NYC, to observe, engage, commune, and critique.

The last Prelude Festival was held digitally in October 2021. Join our mailing list to stay tuned for the next edition’s festival and explore the Prelude NYC archive below.

Explore the Prelude NYC Archive

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Prelude 2021
Start Making Sense
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Prelude 2020
Sites of Revolution
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Prelude 2019
Riotous Excursions
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Prelude 2018
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Prelude 2017
Prelude 2017
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Prelude 2016
Welcome Failure
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Prelude 2015
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Prelude 2014
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Edited by Frank Hentschker and designed by Yu Chien Liu

Read more about the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center