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The Lanford Wilson New American Play Festival honors new American plays that provide dynamic performance opportunities for college-aged actors.

The festival endeavors both to recognize playwrights for their outstanding work and to provide a resource for universities across the country to identify dynamic plays with robust roles for college-aged actors for production at their institutions. The festival features both a full-length and short play division.

The 2023 Lanford Wilson New American Play Festival will be held in person at the Dobbins Conservatory of Theatre and Dance on the River Campus of Southeast Missouri State University in May of 2023.

The festival will feature staged readings of five Official Selection full-length plays and ten Official Selection short plays, as well as workshops and seminars on playwriting and new play development.

At the conclusion of the festival, one full-length play will be selected for the festival’s top prize and will receive its world premiere in the 2023-2024 Dobbins Conservatory Mainstage Season and will be considered for publication by Concord Theatricals, the world’s most significant theatrical company, comprising the catalogs of R&H Theatricals, Samuel French, Tams-Witmark, and The Andrew Lloyd Webber Collection.

FULL-LENGTH PLAY SUBMISSIONS

Seeking plays that have:

  • A cast of primarily (or exclusively) characters in their teens and early twenties (15-25 years old).
  • A mid- to large-sized cast (i.e., at least five actors, preferably at least ten).
  • A running time of at least 80 minutes.
  • Significant representation (in both number and quality) of roles for female-identifying actors.
  • Dynamic, fully-drawn roles to challenge student actors.
  • Thematic values that will speak to college-aged artists and audience members.

The festival also places a value on plays that have the potential to provide performance opportunities to actors from under-represented groups.

Please note: The Lanford Wilson New American Play Festival is specifically seeking plays in which the characters are in their teens and early twenties, not simply characters that could be played by actors in their teens and early twenties. The festival is not seeking plays with characters that are “ageless” or “any age.” Plays should be about characters experiencing late adolescence and early adulthood.

Full-length plays should not have had a previous full production. Workshops and readings are fine.

Finalists for the festival’s top prize will receive airfare and housing to participate in the Lanford Wilson New American Play Festival on the campus of the Jeanine Larson Dobbins Conservatory of Theatre and Dance at Southeast Missouri State University in May of 2023. Staged readings of the finalists’ plays will be presented as part of the festival, and the winner of the prize will be announced at the end of the week-long event.

The winning full-length play will receive:

  • A world premiere production in the 2023-2024 Dobbins Conservatory of Theatre and Dance theatre season.
  • Consideration of the play for publication by Concord Theatricals, the world’s most significant theatrical company, comprising the catalogs of RandH Theatricals, Samuel French, Tams-Witmark and The Andrew Lloyd Webber Collection.
  • A meeting for the playwright with new play acquisition staff at Concord Theatricals.

Submissions due October 1, 2022.

SUBMIT FULL-LENGTH PLAYS HERE

SHORT PLAY SUBMISSIONS

Seeking plays that have:

  • A cast of exclusively characters in their teens and twenties.
  • Dynamic, fully-drawn roles to challenge student actors.
  • A running time of 10-30 minutes.
  • Thematic values that will speak to college-aged artists and audience members.

The festival also places a value on plays that have the potential to provide performance opportunities to female-identifying actors and actors from under-represented groups.

Plays should not have had a previous production under an Actors Equity agreement. Non-union productions, workshops, and readings are fine.

The ten Official Selection short plays will receive:

  • A staged reading at the 2023 Lanford Wilson New American Play Festival.
  • Publication in the anthology Lanford Wilson New American Play Festival 2023: The Short Plays, published by Southeast Missouri University Press and made distributed nationwide through online and retail outlets.
Submissions due October 1, 2022.

SUBMIT SHORT PLAYS HERE

Location
Office Location
River Campus Seminary, 454
Mailing Address
One University Plaza, MS 7850
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701