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Play Submissions Guide For Playwrights

Updated on September 10, 2014

How To Get Your Play Produced

So you've written your theatrical masterpiece, but you don't know what to do next? This page will tell you exactly how to take your play and submit it to theaters or festivals, in order to get a full production! Remember that there are hundreds or even thousands of theaters, so the most important thing is to keep persevering with your play submissions until you find a theater that is interested in putting it on!

Step 1: Identify 10 Appropriate Play Submission Opportunities

The first step is to find 10 theaters or playwriting festivals that are currently accepting unsolicited plays, in your length and genre. Most theaters or playwriting festivals will have a webpage describing what type of submissions they are seeking. Using google, try to find 10 of these. For example, if you are looking to submit a 1-act comedy, try googling for "Theaters accepting one act comedy plays."

Finding submission opportunities that fit your needs can be quite a hassle. If you prefer to side-step this gruntwork, you can use a service such as this which compiles playwriting contests and play submissions opportunities for you.

Step 2: Submit, submit submit!

Now that you have identified 10 theaters or festivals currently accepting unsolicted play submissions, the next step is to submit to each one! Give each theater the exact documents they are looking for, in the exact format they want it. If they ask for a PDF file and you submit your masterpiece in Word format, chances are it will never be read. Same goes if they ask for a 10-page sample, but you send a complete play.

Make sure to keep a list of where, when, and what play you've submitted, for future reference.

Some playwrights feel that you should never submit to a competition or theater that requires an entry fee. While this is a matter of personal choice, remember if a fee is required, there is likely to be less competition.

Step 3: Wait, wait, wait!

Most theaters and playwriting festivals take several months to get back to you on whether your play has been accepted for production. So after you have submitted, sit tight, and wait. Use your energy during this time to start writing your next play, or to repeat the steps above and submit to 10 more theaters/festivals. If you hear the great news that your play has been accepted for production, make sure to maintain your good name and reputation by contacting everywhere you've previously submitted your play, and let them know you are withdrawing from consideration!

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