Premiere Stages is committed to supporting emerging and regional playwrights by developing and producing new plays. Through our Play Festival script competition, Premiere Stages offers developmental opportunities to four playwrights. We provide playwrights with an encouraging and focused environment in which they can develop their work through discussions, rehearsals, sit-down readings, staged readings, and full Equity productions.
Beginning October 1, 2015 through January 3, 2016, Premiere Stages will accept submissions of unproduced new plays from playwrights born or currently residing in the greater metropolitan area (New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania). There is no fee to enter. All plays submitted to the festival are evaluated by a professional panel of theatre producers, dramaturgs, playwrights, scholars and publishers.
Four of the submitted plays will be selected for staged readings with Equity casts in March 2016 and awarded cash prizes. Following the March readings, the winner of Play Festival is selected for a full production during Premiere Stages’ 2016 main stage season and awarded $2000; a second play will be selected for a 29-hour Staged Reading and be awarded $750, and the two other finalist writers will be awarded $500.
At Premiere Stages, we pride ourselves on a uniquely accelerated process in which plays we find particularly promising are developed and fully produced within a year of submission. In many professional theatres the time span between meeting a writer, staging a reading and producing the play can be years. At Premiere Stages, immediately following the Spring Readings, two plays enter an intensive development phase. Playwrights work with a director, dramaturg, and design team to develop the play for a staged workshop or full production only a few months later. When we find a writer we believe in, our Play Festival process allows Premiere Stages to fully commit the time, talent, and resources necessary to share their work with a broad regional audience.
Premiere Stages’ productions offer playwrights the chance to see their work fully realized on stage. We hope, however, that the plays developed at Premiere will go on to subsequent productions throughout the country. Because of this, playwrights whose scripts we produce retain the coveted “World Premiere” brand on their plays. Premiere Stages also strives to facilitate relationships between playwrights and other theatre professionals who we think will respond to their work. Plays are consistently reviewed by the New York Times and scouted by major publishing houses. Multiple Festival plays have been honored by the American Theatre Critics Association.
Premiere Stages will accept full scripts from literary agents or theatre professionals familiar with our work. All other writers are required to submit a 10-page script sample and synopsis. Please review full submission requirements and guidelines below.
A note about submissions: Premiere Stages seeks to support a diverse group of writers. We are particularly interested in scripts that explore or address contemporary issues and tackle topics that challenge and connect with our audience. We encourage writers to view our production history (http://www.kean.edu/premierestages/play.asp) for a better understanding of the type of scripts that we have produced in the past.
● Plays must be full-length and have a cast size of no more than eight.
● Plays submitted must be unpublished and must be works that have not been previously produced (readings, workshops, showcases are okay).
● Plays must be written by playwrights who were born or reside in the greater metropolitan area (New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania).
● Musical submissions, adaptations, and solo shows will not be considered at this time.
● Submissions are limited to one script per playwright.
● Electronic submissions (preferred) are due by 11:59pm on January 3, 2016. Hard copy submissions must be post-marked by this date. Hard copy submissions will not be returned.
● Playwrights must be available to be on-site at Premiere Stages for the development of their script.
Plays and synopses will be evaluated by a panel of arts professionals. The panel will submit their recommendations to the producing artistic director and literary staff.
Playwrights (non-agent submissions) Playwrights submitting without an agent must include:
● A brief synopsis of the play (no more than half a page).
● A character breakdown.
● A history of the play’s development (if any) and a brief statement of your goals for development.
● The playwright’s bio or resume.
● A script sample from the play (no more than 10 pages).
The panel will request full scripts from synopses of interest.
Full scripts will be accepted from legitimate literary agencies and by professional recommendation of someone with an affiliation to Premiere Stages.
The schedule for the Premiere Stages Play Festival is as follows:
October 1, 2015: Premiere Stages begins accepting submissions
January 3, 2016: Deadline for submission to Festival (postmark deadline)
March 1, 2016: Scripts are reduced to four finalists
March 2016 (TBD): Readings of four finalist plays
April 2016: Festival winner and runner-up are selected for expanded development April to July: Development of scripts continues
Late June 2016: 29-hour Staged Reading of Runner-up
July or September 2016: Full Production of Festival Winner
Electronic submissions (preferred method) should be sent via email to:
All materials should be attached as PDF.
Hard copy submissions can be mailed to:
John J. Wooten, Producing Artistic Director Premiere Stages at Kean University 1000 Morris Avenue Hutchinson Hall, 2nd Floor
Union, NJ 07083
For more information about the Premiere Stages Play Festival, please visit our website at www.kean.edu/premierestages
For any questions regarding the submission guidelines, please email us at email@example.com