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January 01, 1970


The Z’s annual Proteus Festival is a multi-day celebration of creative experiences. The Proteus artists present over forty performances in six days and foster the creation of a dozen new works. The Z becomes a continual hub of new experiences. The unique, the unknown, and the unforgettable take the stage in an explosion of Protean spirit in Neptune’s city.

Proteus Festival serves all creative arts, but highlights three in particular: music, theater, and film. 

Proteus Festival:Theater begins in the Studio Theater the evening of Tuesday, 8 October, with the debut of a new work from one of The Z’s American Dreamwrights Workshop playwrights. Each evening following sees another debut as four new stage works see their first presentation. On Saturday the four works are presented serially, one after the other, in a true festival-style day. Proteus Festival’s lead theater artist, CORE Theatre Ensemble, caps off the festival with a performance of their 45-minute one-act play, The Yellow Wallpaper, at 7:30 that evening.

Proteus Festival:Film kicks off on Wednesday, 9 October at our partner venue, Regal Cinemas Columbus. The film festival highlights local and regional filmmakers, presenting a mix of feature-length and short films in a number of screenings through Saturday. Proteus Festival:Film closes Saturday evening, with the presentation of both an Audience and a Jury award for “Best of Proteus,” and an encore screening of the audience favorite.

Proteus Festival:Music has its downbeat at 7:30 on Friday, 11 October in the Main Stage. The music festival features the new & unusual in music, performing one after the other in a true festival atmosphere. Eight performances on the Main Stage from Friday through Saturday are complemented by other musicians throughout The Z and elsewhere.

At the heart of Proteus Festival are the Creative Teams. The Creative Teams come together at The Z the evening of Thursday, 10 October. Over the next three days, they create new works in their chosen discipline– music, theater, or film– and debut their new creations on Sunday afternoon on the Main Stage. On Saturday afternoon, last year’s winners will be featured in the same space.