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 2022 Lanford Wilson New American Play Festival will be held on the beautiful River Campus Arts Center at the Dobbins Conservatory of Theatre and Dance at Southeast Missouri State University from June 13-18, 2022.

Submissions for the 2022 festival are due November 15, 2021.

Full Length Submissions

Seeking plays that have:

  • A cast of primarily (or exclusively) characters in their teens and twenties.
  • A mid- to large-sized cast (i.e., at least five actors, preferably at least ten).
  • 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.

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 & Dance at Southeast Missouri State University in June of 2022. Staged readings of the finalists’ plays will be presented as part of the festival, and the winner of the top 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 2022-2023 Dobbins Conservatory of Theatre & Dance theatre season.
  • Consideration of the play 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.
  • A meeting for the playwright with new play acquisition staff at Concord Theatricals.

SUBMIT A FULL-LENGTH PLAY

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.
  • 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 full production under an Actors Equity agreement. Non-union productions, workshops, and readings are fine.

The five finalist short plays will receive:

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

SUBMIT A SHORT PLAY

Questions

If you have any questions, please email the festival’s Artistic Director, Kitt Lavoie.

2021 Lanford Wilson New American Play Festival Full-Length Winner

Top prize at the 2021 Lanford Wilson New American Play Festival went to The Romantic Movement by Emily Bohannon.

The Romantic Movement will receive its world premiere in the Mainstage Season of the Dobbins Conservatory of Theatre & Dance in April 2022.

cast of the play The Romantic Movement posing together for a group photo
Playwright Emily Bohannon with the Lanford Wilson New American Play Festival cast of The Romantic Movement.

2021 Lanford Wilson New American Play Festival Short Play Finalists

The short play finalists at the 2021 Lanford Wilson New American Play were:

  • The Bee That Declared a War by Cary J. Simowitz
  • Don’t Toy With Me by Andrew Black
  • Lawncare by Paul Vintner
  • Remembering Morgan by Annie Brown
  • Rising by Gabrielle Freitas

The plays will be published in the anthology Lanford Wilson New American Play Festival 2022: The Short Plays, due out in the Fall of 2021.

Festival Staff

Kitt Lavoie, Artistic Director
Kenneth L. Stilson, Executive Director
Mary McGough, Associate Artistic Director
Isabel Fagre, Associate Executive Director

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