Premiere Play Festival

New Jersey's foremost supporter
of new play development
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Premiere Stages Play Festival

Submissions are now closed

Premiere Stages is committed to supporting emerging and regional playwrights by developing and producing new plays. Since 2005, the Premiere Play Festival has offered playwrights the opportunity to develop their work in an encouraging, focused environment through discussions, rehearsals, readings, workshops, and Equity productions.

Through the Premiere Play Festival, Premiere Stages has developed many plays that have gone on to have successful productions in New York and at regional theatres throughout the country. We strive to facilitate relationships between writers and theatre professionals who we think will respond to their work, in hopes that plays developed at Premiere will go on to subsequent productions. We offer Play Festival winners the option to retain the coveted “World Premiere” brand on their plays. Additionally, Premiere’s productions are consistently reviewed, scouted by major publishing houses, and honored by the American Theatre Critics Association.

Submissions open




Submissions close




Play Festival Guidelines

Submit Sep 1 - Nov 1, 2023

Premiere Stages will accept submissions of unproduced plays written by playwrights affiliated with the greater metropolitan area from September 1, 2023, through November 1, 2023. All plays submitted to the festival are evaluated by a panel of professional theatre producers, directors, dramaturgs, playwrights, and publishers. Four to five finalists are subsequently selected for public Equity readings in Spring of 2024.


Following the Spring readings, one play is selected for an Equity production in the Premiere Stages 2025 season and receives an award of $3000. The runner-up receives a 29-hour staged reading and $1500. The other finalists will each be awarded $1000.

Premiere Stages is committed to supporting a diverse group of writers; playwrights of all backgrounds, ages, and experience levels are encouraged to apply.

Submission Guidelines

PDF format submissions only
  • Plays must be full-length and have a cast size of no more than eight.
  • Plays must be unpublished and unproduced (readings and workshops are okay), with no productions and/or publication currently scheduled through September 2024.
  • Playwrights must have strong affiliations with the greater metropolitan area (New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Delaware).
  • Musicals, adaptations (of existing plays or other sources), and solo shows are not eligible.
  • Submissions are limited to one script per playwright.
  • Please contact Premiere Stages to inquire about submitting a script that has been previously submitted.
  • Playwrights must be available for the development of their script (see the 2024 schedule table).
  • Submissions are accepted September 1, 2023 through 11:59 p.m. on November 1, 2023. Submissions sent early in the submission window are strongly encouraged.
  • Names and contact information are welcome on cover pages of scripts.
  • All plays must be submitted as a PDF via Submittable at Hard copies will not be accepted.

2023-2024 Schedule

Sep 1, 2023

Submissions open

Nov 1, 2023

Submissions close

May 2024

Finalists selected

June 2024

Finalists’ readings at Premiere Stages in Union, NJ

Summer 2024 - TBA

Festival winner and runner-up are selected for expanded development

2024 - TBA

Equity 29-hour staged reading of runner-up at Premiere Stages

2025 - TBA

Equity production (LOA referenced to LORT) of festival winner at Premiere Stages

Non-Agent Submissions

No Agent? No problem!

We accept script samples and synopses from playwrights without an agent. Submissions must include:

  • Brief synopsis of the play (no more than half a page)
  • History of the play’s development (or statement that it has none)
  • The playwright’s bio or resume
  • Script sample from the play (no more than 10 pages plus title page and character breakdown)
  • Premiere Stages will request full scripts to read if the play seems viable for the 2025 season. In 2021 and 2023, the winning plays were first received as samples.

All plays must be submitted as a PDF via Submittable at Hard copies will not be accepted.

Agent Submissions

Premiere Stages will accept full scripts from literary agents or theatre professionals affiliated with Premiere Stages.

Questions or Concerns

For any questions regarding the submission guidelines or process, please email us at
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