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2nd Annual Global Playwrighting Contest

12 Dec
Opportunity Info
This contest is for a groundbreaking new play that addresses the theme of `Presence/Absence’ (Whenever one is present somewhere, he/she is absent everywhere else. When does one’s absence become more significant that one’s presence?). The play should offer each director and cast in the various locations a unique opportunity to work on the development of a provocative and engaging text through the lenses of audiences around the world. This play should speak both on a personal and universal level. It should be ambitious and stretch the boundaries of what is theatrical. Though the characters can be few and the location specific, we are looking for big ideas and challenging questions. This is not only an opportunity to have a text exposed to different audiences, but a chance to engage in a cross-cultural exchange that fosters a collaboration with multiple directors around the world who will each have a personal vision of the play.

Submission Guidelines
The Submission Form is Required and Available Online. Please click here to download the form.
1. Playwright may only submit one full-length script.
2. The play submission must be in English (either original or translation).
3. The play must not have had a fully mounted production.
4. Electronic form (Word or PDF) copy of full script.
5. The playwright must fill out the online submission form that includes:
a. Name, address, phone number, email address and how you heard about the contest
b. Cover letter introducing yourself and explaining how your play addresses the mission of the contest. (500 word limit)
c. Bio (300 word limit)
d. Synopsis and Character Breakdown (300 word limit) Deadline
The deadline for submissions is Midnight EST on Friday 13 January 2012. Finalists will be notified by mid-March. The final round of selection will include an interview.
Electronic Script Submissions should be sent to: You will receive a confirmation of receipt.

Call for UJ SA short scripts

12 Dec
During 2012, UJ Arts and Culture will premier “SA Shorts” directed by Alby Michaels at the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown.

Established, emerging and new playwrights are invited to submit previously unpublished and unproduced ten-minute plays for possible inclusion in the production. 

“I see SA Shorts as quickies for a microwave generation. It is also an opportunity for UJ Arts & Culture to start playing a leading role in the development of a new style of theatre,” says Michaels who recently pulled together the ground-breaking season of “Reading Gay”. 

“Following on the success and building on the format of Far Off Off-Broadway (FOOB) which was presented the UJ Drama Company earlier this year, “SA Shorts” will effectively be a collection of short plays performed by one company of actors,” he explains. 

Submissions must be made via e-mail to as a single Word document including a 50 word narrative biography of the playwright and contact details. Playwrights may submit a maximum of 2 entries. All genres, except musicals and children’s plays, will be accepted. Characters must be able to be played convincingly by younger actors as the production will be performed with a corps of UJ student performers. Technical and staging requirements must be simple. The deadline for entries is 31 January 2011. Please note that only successful playwrights will be contacted.

BBC Radio 4: Opening Lines

16 Nov

Thank you as always, BBC Writersroom, for drawing my attention to this:

The BBC Radio Drama Readings Unit welcomes unsolicited submissions from writers new to radio for their annual series, Opening Lines which is broadcast on BBC Radio 4.

As well as broadcasting the three strongest stories in the summer of 2012 they will be publishing transcripts of the shortlisted stories on a new Opening Lines webpage.

The next window for sending in material is October 17th – December 2nd, 2011. Stories submitted outside this time-frame will be returned unread. Your story will be read and responded to within three months of the submission deadline.

Content and format: They are looking for original short stories which work being read out loud i.e. with a strong emphasis on narrative and avoiding too much dialogue, character description and digression. Pay particular attention to how the story opens and closes. They’ll be looking to see whether the beginning of a story successfully links to how it ends. The Readings Unit are interested in seeing stories which cover a broad range of subject-matter but material which explores particularly dark, harrowing themes is not best suited to Opening Lines. The BBC has a rigorous taste and decency policy and cannot accept stories of a sexist or racist nature, or those which use the stronger swear words. The time allotted for each story is around 14 minutes, which means stories must be between 1,900 and 2,000 words in length. Submissions must be typed and double-spaced on A4 paper and it is important to put your name and address on the script itself. Please do not send a recording of the text.

Submission details at the WritersRoom site.

Opp: The page is your stage: Can you write a winning tiny play?

25 Sep

Ever dreamed of having a play produced by a professional theatre company? ‘The Irish Times’ is supporting an exciting initiative aimed at broadening the range of voices in Irish theatre. JIM CULLETON , artistic director of Fishamble: The New Play Company, has some tips if you’d like to enter the Tiny Plays for Ireland competition, and, to act as inspiration, we have two examples of what can be done

FISHAMBLE IS LOOKING for tiny plays that explore contemporary life in Ireland. We want to create a discussion, through theatre, about our country, so we are inviting new, emerging and established writers of any age – in other words, you – to submit plays that capture moments and offer glimpses of Irish life. Fishamble choose the winners and pay each selected writer a fee of €250. We will work with you on the development of the commissioned plays and produce them in March 2012 at Project Arts Centre, in Dublin. A selection will be published in The Irish Times leading up to the production. If you’d like to enter, here’s what to remember.

1 Write about what you know or feel passionate about. Don’t be afraid to state the obvious, if you think the obvious needs to be stated, or to take us somewhere unexpected, if you think something needs to be made public.

2 If in doubt, keep it simple: a tiny play can have a big resonance but can also be confusing if it is crammed with thoughts. The play need not deal with a big issue: write something that benefits from the 600-word limit rather than squeezing a bigger play into too tight a timeframe. Simple encounters that might capture a turning point in one of the characters’ lives, or during which a character is changed by the experience, can work well.

3 Write a fully formed play. Even though it is short, it should not seem like a sketch or an excerpt from a longer play. Mark Twain and George Bernard Shaw are both credited with saying “I’m sorry to have written such a long letter, but I didn’t have time to write a short one.” Whoever said it, it is a good reminder of the unique challenge a short play poses. Your tiny play should feel satisfying and complete.

4 Don’t stretch the play to fill the word quota. Plays do not need to be as long as 600 words – and need have no words at all.

5 Read other short plays and stories, not so you can copy another writer but to consider what is possible within the genre. Fishamble has already commissioned a small number of tiny plays for this project; two of them are published here.

6 Think theatrically. A play is not just about words: it is about how the actors and audience connect, so consider this relationship. Think of yourself as the first audience of your play. There will be many tiny plays in the production, so staging will be simple, but plays can be set anywhere, and there are lots of ways to create environments on stage through the design of set, lighting, sound, costume, projection and so on. So think as imaginatively as you wish – and don’t be afraid to break the rules. A lot of great short plays do not necessarily follow the suggestions I’ve made here

Go to for an online conversation between Jim Culleton and Fishamble’s literary manager, Gavin Kostick, about the project

Tiny plays: The rules

Plays must be original to the writer and run for no more than four minutes – as a guide, no more than 600 words, including stage directions.

Plays should be performable by a cast of no more than three actors.

Plays must be in English or Irish – or, as long as the writer is based in Ireland, in another language.

Monologues are accepted, but dialogue plays are preferred.

Plays should have a title and should be submitted with your name to fishambletinyplays by November 11th, 2011.

If you are under 18, please include your age.

No more than two plays per person will be accepted.

Winners will be announced in The Irish Times and on

The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.


SEASONS Playwrighting Edition: call for entries

25 Aug

“A playwright, also known as a dramatist, is a person who writes dramatic literature or drama. The term is not a variant spelling of “playwrite”, but something quite distinct: the word wright is an archaic English term for a craftsman or builder (as in a wheelwright or cartwright). Hence the prefix and the suffix combine to indicate someone who has wrought words, themes, and other elements into a dramatic form, someone who crafts plays. The homophone with write is in this case entirely coincidental.”

The International Centre for Women Playwrights (ICWP) is searching for playwrighting tips, tricks and strategies. In this edition of Seasons we want to know all about your craft. What useful tools help you in wrighting your plays? What’s the best advice you’ve received? What are your techniques for fine tuning your structure? What sets your playwrighting apart from your other writing? Are you a dramaturg with advice to share?

Please complete this form by 31 August if you’re interested in contributing. We will let you know if your article fits this edition by 5 September. Final deadline for submission of articles will be 23 September. If you have any questions, please mail us at

The Kennedy Centre’s New Vision/New Voices Programme

14 Jul

Applications are now being accepted for participation in New Visions/New Voices 2012, a biennial developmental workshop for new plays and musicals for young audiences at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.

There are several ways to participate:

  • At least five US plays and one international play in English will be workshopped.  Applications for consideration must come from a theater that plans to produce the work in development, and must include both a playwright and a director who would be available to work on the unproduced play from May 14-20, 2012 in Washington, DC.
  • International playwrights can apply for the Playwright Observership Program.
  • Anyone can attend the showcase at the Kennedy Center – May 18-20, 2012 – which will include seven rehearsed readings of the selected new works, post-show discussions, playwright slams, lunch-around discussions, and more.

Further information and application forms are at  If you have questions, please email