These sites provide information on theatres, contests, festivals, and other producing venues that currently consider plays. None of these listings or the opportunities presented should be considered endorsements on my part. I encourage writers to carefully read and consider listings before submitting their work, and, if possible, conduct further research. So consider these jumping-off points.
Note: I’m not a fan of venues that charge reading fees for playwrights. I generally feel that if you want to do new work, you should budget for reading time, just as you budget for lights and costumes. I also feel the practice may shut out underserved communities. I recognize, however, that exceptions occur. Obviously, the decision to participate comes down to a playwright’s judgment and resources.
In putting together these listings, I tried not to include companies or contests that blatantly feather their beds with writers’ aspirations. I did list a couple fee-based submission listings that are unique or upfront about how they spend their fees. A couple of services provide submission opportunities to playwrights for a fee, and, again, writers will have to judge whether or not such investments serve their needs. I understand that the much-appreciated Dramatists Sourcebook has ceased publication. The Dramatists Guild of America does provide its members with a valuable resource guide, which has now gone online.
If you know of other sites that provide solid, reputable submission leads, please let me know about them.
American Association of Community Theatre
Provides a wide range of submission opportunities across the U.S., in all genres.
An Australian-based, worldwide community of writers, with a substantial list of international markets and submission opportunities, along with links to theaters producing new works.
A playwright-run online community, featuring postings for a great range of opportunities, from 10-minute festivals to grants for musical theater, and providing chat forums and advice areas.
Dramatists’ Play Service, Inc.
Provides support and opportunities for playwrights by publishing acting editions of their plays and handling the nonprofessional and professional leasing rights to these works.
An exclusively online publishing company, providing reading copies of plays, e-books for purchase, performance rights bought, and contracts signed, all through their website. They say that, through their efforts, they’re trying to redefine the way plays receive publication. They accept submissions of previously unperformed plays, which is unusual. They also conduct outreach to schools and universities, connecting with new directors and playwrights.
A membership-based service ($35 annually) delivering a monthly e-newsletter of submission opportunities. The home page offers sample listings.
A British publishing house offering over 500 stage plays. Free catalogues and evaluation copies available. Accepting new members and submissions. Check guidelines and terms before submitting.
Offers plays online for production, specializing in shows that require little or no technical support. Holds an annual playwriting contest. Free reading copies available via email upon request. Check terms before submitting.
Publisher of acting edition scripts and e-Books and license productions. Script samples available through the website only for promotional purposes. (Full disclosure: They publish my play, Liberation.)
Playwriting Contests & Play Submission Helper
A fee-based service providing links to various submission opportunities for playwrights, with over 350 theater and festival listings in a spreadsheet format.
See their listing under Organizations.
A writer’s theater in New York City, dedicated to creating and producing new American plays and musicals.
Online publisher of professionally-produced stage plays. Full or partial scripts may be read free-of-charge at the site.
Calendar postings containing links to theaters and festival websites, where playwrights can find full guidelines and information on playwriting opportunities. Green listings indicate a fee. Orange listings are for female playwrights.