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The Lanford Wilson New American Play Festival

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.

Mission Statement

The Lanford Wilson New American Play Festival identifies and supports new plays that feature robust roles for college-aged actors, while providing a laboratory to train students in the skills and ethics inherent to work with living playwrights on new works.

The festival accepts submissions of full length plays from playwrights nationwide and one-act plays from residents of the state of Missouri and/or students enrolled at universities in Missouri.

Submission Deadlines

Full-Length Plays December 15, 2020
One Act Plays March 26, 2021

Full-Length Play Category

Eligibility

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.

Plays should not have had a previous full production. Workshops and readings are fine.

Finalists and Prizes

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 the summer of 2021. 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 play will receive:

  • A world premiere production in the 2021-2022 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 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 your play

Full-length submissions for the Lanford Wilson New American Play Festival should be submitted by December 15, 2020, to:

Kitt Lavoie
Artistic Director
The Lanford Wilson New American Play Festival
lanfordwilsonfest@semo.edu


Please include “Lanford Wilson Festival Submission” in the subject line.
Please direct any questions about the festival or the submission process to Kitt Lavoie, Artistic Director, at lanfordwilsonfest@semo.edu.

Submissions should include PDF copies of:

  • Complete script
  • Brief synopsis of the play (100-250 words)
  • Character breakdown, including ages
  • Author(s) bio (100-250 words)
  • List of previous readings and workshops (if applicable)

One Act Play Category

Eligibility

To be eligible for the one-act category of the Lanford Wilson New American Play Festival, plays must be written by persons who are residents of Missouri and/or who are enrolled in universities in Missouri.

Seeking plays that have:

  • A running time of 10-25 minutes.
  • Preferably a cast of primarily (or 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.

Selected Plays

Five one act plays will be chosen to be Official Selections of the Lanford Wilson New American Play Festival, taking place on the campus of the Jeanine Larson Dobbins Conservatory of Theatre and Dance at Southeast Missouri State University June of 2021.
Staged readings of the plays will be presented as part of the festival and the five plays will then be presented as a fully staged evening of shorts as part of the Dobbins Conservatory 2021-2022 Theatre Season.

Submit your play

One-act submissions for the Lanford Wilson New American Play Festival should be submitted by March 26, 2021, to:
Kitt Lavoie
Artistic Director
The Lanford Wilson New American Play Festival
lanfordwilsonfest@semo.edu


Please include “Lanford Wilson Festival One Act Submission” in the subject line.
Please direct any questions about the festival or the submission process to Kitt Lavoie, Artistic Director, at lanfordwilsonfest@semo.edu.

Submissions should include the following, combined into a single PDF:

  • Complete script
  • Character breakdown, including ages
  • Author(s) bio (100-250 words)
  • List of previous productions, readings, and workshops (if applicable)
  • The name of the city in Missouri where you reside

Contact

Sara Steffens
573.651.2149
ssteffens@semo.edu
River Campus Seminary 454

Conservatory of Theatre and Dance
One University Plaza, MS 7850
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701