Thespian Playworks nurtures original student-written plays from the page to the stage. The program staff will choose up to four works to be developed in June at the International Thespian Festival in Lincoln, Nebraska. Professional directors and dramaturgs will help the chosen finalists to workshop and present their plays with student actors. Please carefully read all the guidelines below before submitting your work.
Writers must be active members of the International Thespian Society enrolled in high school during the current school year. All finalists must be available to attend the upcoming International Thespian Festival. Finalists will be responsible for the cost of their travel to Festival, but the International Thespian Society will pay the registration fees, which include room and board as well as admission to all Festival events.
Plays must be the original work of a single Thespian writer. Collaborative works or adaptations won’t be considered, nor will plays that include music, lyrics, or dialogue written by anyone other than the submitting writer. Musicals should be submitted to Thespian Musicalworks. Plays can be about any subject but should have a running time of thirty minutes or less (approximately thirty typed pages). Writers may submit more than one play for consideration.
Writers may submit work for consideration from October 1 until January 15. Early submissions are encouraged. All writers will be notified shortly after March 15 about the status of their submission. Submissions will not be acknowledged when received.
Up to four works will be chosen for development at Festival. The writers of those works will collaborate with student actors and professional directors and dramaturgs to bring their plays to life with minimal production elements. The writers will observe readings, consult with their dramaturgs, receive and provide feedback, and make revisions to strengthen their scripts. The program culminates in staged readings of the plays (or portions of them) for a Festival audience.
All work is protected by copyright from the moment it’s created. Writers own their plays and have exclusive control of the rights to produce, publish, and adapt them. By submitting work to Thespian Playworks, you agree to allow the International Thespian Society (at its discretion) to mount a staged reading of your play. The society may also (at its discretion) publish your script (or portions of it) and submit it to Samuel French, Inc. for their publication consideration. All other rights remain the exclusive property of the writer.
Writers should submit their scripts themselves; 12-point type is preferred. The cover page of each submission should include
- the title of the play,
- your name and email address,
- your school name and troupe number, and
- your troupe director’s name and email address.
Submissions for Playworks at the 2017 International Thespian Festival are now closed.