Literary Opportunities

Submission Policy

Plays & Players welcomes submissions of full-length and one-act plays. Playwrights should submit a copy of the play in its entirety (with cast-list and a brief synopsis) and a resumé. We accept submissions of one full-length and one one-act play in each 12 month period.

We are especially committed to producing new work by local playwrights, both through our focus on local world premieres and our annual Emerging Playwright In Residence Program. However, we will give consideration to playwrights who are not from the tri-state area with the inclusion of a statement with the submission (no more than one page typed) about why Plays & Players would provide a good venue for the play. Submissions that do not adhere to these stipulations will not be given consideration.

If you are not familiar with our artistic mission, we value diverse, inclusive and intelligent theater generated by artists local to the Philadelphia area.  Because of our commitment to nurturing and presenting work by local artists, we are dedicated to producing at least one locally written world premiere play or musical each season.  Often this work takes the form of a children’s theater piece commissioned through Philadelphia Local Artists for Youth (P.L.A.Y.), but we welcome submissions by local playwrights for general audiences.  We are particularly interested in highlighting cultural diversity on our stage, including work dedicated to the lives of African-Americans, Latinos, Asian-Americans, women, LGBTQ, and more.

Each year we choose three plays for adult or family audiences that fit with an encompassing theme.  Past themes have included “The American Presidency” and “Brothers and Sisters.”  These are performed in one of our two spaces – our MainStage which seats 325 and our Skinner Studio which seats 60.  Plays & Players seeks to be a theater that promotes artists who may have not found an artistic home but have the skill set and drive to work on a professional level.  We welcome works of various cast sizes and production ambitions that speak to the experiences we hope to explore.

When choosing a play to submit to us, we recommend a play that has not yet received a production in the Philadelphia area, that represents minority voices, and does not fall too closely to themes presented in recent seasons; or, simply, send us what you consider your best play and we will let you know if we are interested in reading more. Do not submit a play for young audiences; we only present this work on a commission basis.

Recent world premiere productions at Plays & Players include:

  • Exit, Corpse and Concrete Dinosaur by Nicholas Wardigo
  • Early in the Mourning by P. Seth Bauer
  • Simulations by David Strattan White
  • Pardon My Invasion by Joy Cutler
  • Delaware Mudtub and the Mighty Wampum by Greg Romero

As a membership organization, Plays & Players is committed to listening to its members. As a member, you have the chance to take part in the literary development of the theater. This can include anything from suggesting and reading scripts for upcoming seasons to invitations to hear readings of plays in development.

Please send all material to Literary Manager Lena Barnard (lbarnard@playsandplayers.org.) To be considered, all work must be submitted for the following season by October 1. Early submission is strongly encouraged.

Playwrights in Residence

Now in its fourth year, the PDC Playwrights in Residence at Plays & Players aims to provide artistic development for Philadelphia’s next generation of professional playwrights. The residency supports chosen local writers who represent the highest potential for further growth and exploration.

The residency develops two to three playwrights towards goals that they have articulated for themselves, through the providing of a safe space for experimentation, through support and guidance from artistic peers, through feedback from play development professionals, and through public performance opportunities. The focus of this program is artist development, not the development of an individual work. Information about applying is posted on our website in June. Application materials are due in mid-July and the new residents are announced in September.

The playwright residency is part of Plays & Players Emerging Artists in Residence program, from more information see their page.

Dramaturgy Listserv

Plays & Players is pleased to announce its Dramaturgy Listserv, created as a way to foster communication between local playwrights and dramaturgs to develop and polish new works.