Premiere Stages, the professional theatre company in residence at Kean University, is now accepting submissions for the 15th annual Premiere Play Festival. This yearly competition for unproduced scripts offers developmental and production opportunities to four playwrights with strong ties to the greater metropolitan area (New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Delaware).
Premiere will accept submissions September 15, 2018 through December 15, 2018, and select four finalists by early March 2019; any submissions received before or after this submission window will not be considered. (Above: Sarah Kathryn Makl as Summer and Robby Haltiwanger as Mike in the 2018 Premiere Play Festival winner Linger by Craig Garcia. Photo by Mike Peters.)
All 2019 Premiere Play Festival entries will be evaluated by a panel of theatre professionals in consultation with Premiere artistic staff. Agents and theatre professionals with an affiliation to Premiere Stages may submit full scripts; playwrights may submit a synopsis and script sample directly. There is no fee to enter the competition.
Complete submission guidelines are available online at http://www.premierestagesatkean.com/play-festival. Premiere Stages is committed to supporting a diverse group of writers; playwrights of all backgrounds, ages and experience levels are encouraged to submit. All entrants are encouraged to review Premiere Stages’ production history, which is also posted on the website.
All four finalists will receive developmental readings, scheduled for March 14-17, 2019, with a winner and runner-up to be announced in April 2019. The festival winner will be awarded a $2,500 advance and receive a full Equity production in September 2019; the runner-up will receive $1,000 and an Equity 29-hour staged reading June 14-16, 2019. The two remaining finalists will each receive an honorarium of $750. In 2018, Premiere Stages received a record high of 572 submissions to the Festival.
Through the uniquely accelerated Play Festival process, Premiere Stages provides an encouraging and highly focused environment in which playwrights can develop their work. Premiere Stages also actively advocates for festival writers by reaching out to other theatres to secure subsequent productions, and partnering with other organizations and theatres to extend the profile and life of the works developed.
“At Premiere Stages, regional 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 that important new works are seen when they are still vital and relevant,” stated John J. Wooten, producing artistic director and founder of Premiere Stages.
In the fifteen seasons since its founding, the Premiere Play Festival has received over 4,000 submissions and developed more than fifty plays. Multiple plays produced at Premiere have been honored by the American Theatre Critics Association, and/or been published by Samuel French, Dramatists Play Service, Dramatic Publishing Company, Playscripts, and Broadway Play Publishing. A number of Play Festival winners and finalists have subsequently been produced in New York and at regional theatres across the country.
Premiere Stages is made possible in part through funding from W. John Bauer and Nancy Boucher, The New Jersey State Council on the Arts, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, The Northfield Bank Foundation, The Wallerstein Foundation for Geriatric Life Improvement, The Hyde and Watson Foundation, The Union Foundation, E.J. Grassmann Trust, The New Jersey Theatre Alliance, Investors Foundation, The Union County HEART Grant, Les Malamut Art Gallery, Actors’ Equity Association Foundation, and through the generous support of individual patrons and local organizations. Discover Jersey Arts is our marketing partner. Visit www.JerseyArts.com for more information about other arts programming happening around the Garden State.