The Premiere Play Festival
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.
To fulfill our commitments to writers whose presentations were postponed during 2021 social distancing procedures, we will be carrying plays submitted in last year’s cycle into the 2021 season. Please see below for guidelines to submit for the 2022 Play Festival.
Play Festival Guidelines
Premiere Stages will accept submissions of unproduced plays written by playwrights affiliated with the greater metropolitan area from September 1, 2021, through November 15, 2021. All plays submitted to the festival are evaluated by a panel of professional theatre producers, directors, dramaturgs, playwrights, and publishers. Four finalists are subsequently selected for public Equity readings in March 2022.
Following the Spring readings, one play is selected for an Equity production in the Premiere Stages 2022 Mainstage Season and receives an award of $2500. The runner-up receives a 29-hour staged reading and $1000. The two other finalists will each be awarded $750.
Premiere Stages is committed to supporting a diverse group of writers; playwrights of all backgrounds, ages, and experience levels are encouraged to apply.
- 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- Plays must be unpublished and unproduced (readings and workshops are okay), with no productions and/or publication currently scheduled through September 2022.
- 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 2021 schedule table).
- Submissions are accepted September 1, 2021 through 11:59 p.m. on November 15, 2021. Submissions sent early in the submission window are strongly encouraged.
- All plays must be submitted as a PDF. Hard copies will not be accepted.
Sep 1, 2021
Nov 15, 2021
Early March 2022
March 2022 - TBA
April 2022 - TBA
June 2022 - TBA
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)
All plays must be submitted as a PDF via Submittable. Hard copies will not be accepted.
Premiere Stages will accept full scripts from literary agents or theatre professionals affiliated with Premiere Stages.