Premiere Stages, the professional theatre company in residence at Kean University, is now accepting submissions for the 11th annual Premiere Stages Play Festival. This yearly competition for unproduced scripts offers developmental and production opportunities to four playwrights born or currently residing in the greater metropolitan area (New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut).
Premiere will accept submissions through January 15, 2015, and select four finalists by March 2015. All four finalists will receive developmental readings, scheduled for March 19 – 22, 2015, with a winner and runner-up to be announced in April 2015. The festival winner will be awarded $2,000 and receive a full Equity production during Premiere Stages’ 2015 Season; the runner-up will receive $750 and an Equity workshop in June 2015. The two remaining finalists will receive an honorarium of $500.
“Premiere Stages is passionate about developing new works by emerging and regional American writers,” stated Clare Drobot, Premiere’s Resident Dramaturg. “We specifically look for topical scripts that explore or address contemporary issues, and challenge our audiences to examine the world around them.”
Through the uniquely accelerated Play Festival process, Premiere Stages provides an encouraging and focused environment in which playwrights can see their work move quickly from page to stage. Premiere Stages also actively advocates for Festival writers, helps playwrights reach out to other theatres to secure subsequent productions, and partners with other organizations and theatres to extend the profile and life of the works developed.
“At Premiere Stages, American dramatists are afforded the opportunity to have their topical plays fast-tracked from sit-down readings to fully staged productions within a few short months, ensuring important new works are seen when they are vital and relevant,” stated John J. Wooten, Producing Artistic Director and founder of Premiere Stages.
In the ten seasons since its founding, the Premiere Stages Play Festival has received over 2,500 submissions and developed more than forty plays. A number of Play Festival finalists have gone on to publication and successful productions at theatres across the country. Multiple plays developed through the Festival have been recognized by the American Theatre Critics Association, including Tammy Ryan’s Lost Boy Found in Whole Foods (winner of the 2012 Francesca Primus Prize), Dominique Morriseau’s Follow Me to Nellie’s (runner-up for the 2012 Francesca Primus Prize), Kathryn Grant’s The Good Counselor (2011 Steinberg/ATCA Citation), and Erik Gernand’s The Beautiful Dark (nominated for the 2013 ATCA Steinberg Award).
All 2015 Play Festival entries will be evaluated by a panel of theatre professionals in consultation with the Producing Artistic Director and Resident Dramaturg. Agents may submit full scripts; playwrights may submit a synopsis and script sample directly. The submission deadline is January 15, 2015, and there is no fee to enter the competition. Complete submission guidelines are available at www.kean.edu/premierestages/play.asp. Interested playwrights are encouraged to review Premiere Stages’ production history, which is also posted on the website. (SLIDE SHOW INCLUDES SCENES FROM RECENT PREMIERE STAGES PRODUCTIONS)