Largely, these are either organizations that playwrights can join, often at a regional or city level, or those providing support to playwrights (and other writers) on a larger scale. The lines blur between organizations and workshops. Many theatrical and writers’ support organizations also aid playwrights.
A not-for-profit membership organization for literary agents active in all areas of the publishing, theater, motion picture, and television industries and related fields. The site includes links to other professional organizations in publishing and performance. Agents representing dramatists can be found at: AAR Drama. Do you need an agent? Not necessarily. You’ll likely find one when you reach the point in your career when you need one (i.e., when serious money becomes a factor). Good agents invest in writers. They don’t charge fees to read your work. Note that some won’t take on writers based outside of New York of Los Angeles simply because that’s where the theatre and film industries operate at well-heeled levels.
Fostering playwriting activities across Alberta to develop a community supporting and encouraging playwriting, providing programs for new play development, and providing resources for professional development, accessible to Alberta residents.
Support and service organization addressing the needs of the Los Angeles playwriting community.
A service and advocacy group for African-American women playwrights writing for the professional theater.
Such a good organization that it’s almost worth toughing out Illinois winters. For 35 years, Chicago Dramatists has worked with plays and playwrights through workshops, classes, productions, ties with producers, and more. (Full disclosure: My play Waiting on Sean Flynn premiered there in 1995.)
Exploring new theatrical creation and dramaturgy to bring together independent artists, theatre companies and researchers to examine and experiment with varied approaches for developing new Canadian scripts.
A grassroots, non-profit arts organization of Tri-State playwrights, directors, actors, and theater supporters dedicated to developing new plays written by local playwrights.
I think it’s possible to say that no other single organization has helped more American playwrights than the Dramatists Guild. Not when you combine their various publications with their outreach services, conferences, website, and direct business and legal consultations. (If you ever need a business question answered, the DG is the place to go.) When I joined, way back in 1993 or so, I felt like I’d graduated to a more professional level, and I’ve felt that way ever since. Rather than list all the services they offer, I suggest simply going to their website and looking around. Becoming a DG member is making an investment in your career. Essential. [Full disclosure: For a couple of years, I served as the DG co-representative for Portland/Oregon.]
A meeting place on the web for scriptwriters, bringing together playwrights, screenwriters, and television writers from around the world together with theatre, film, and television professionals through online courses and workshops.
Assists playwrights in the Piedmont Triad and North Carolina in finding productions or publishers through contacts, marketing, and improving their skills as dramatic writers.
A non-profit literary arts organization in Philadelphia, PA, offering playwriting and fiction competitions yearly as well as residencies, workshops, and educational outreach programs.
A resource for new play development in Washington, D.C.: for playwrights, playmakers, and playgoers.
A non-profit organization dedicated to supporting women playwrights around the world.
Founded in 1985, a volunteer membership organization for literary managers and dramaturgs—the people who read and vet your scripts. The site contains a good deal of useful information for playwrights. (Note: You cannot send them your plays.)
Providing support for playwrights in Manitoba through development programs for young, emerging, and professional playwrights.
Promoting and encouraging women screenwriters, playwrights, short-story writers, and independent filmmakers.
An alliance of nonprofit theatres championing the development, production, and continued life of new plays. Playwrights cannot submit plays to NNPN, but there’s a good deal of good information to be had on their site. Member theatres include: Boston’s New Rep, San Francisco’s Magic, Tuscon’s Borderlands, Atlanta’s Actor’s Express and Horizon Theatre, Chicago’s PROP Thtr, Sarasota’s Florida Studio Theatre, Los Angeles’ Fountain Theatre, and Minneapolis’ Mixed Blood. (All member theatres produce new work, but some do not accept non-agented scripts or queries.)
A non-profit organization dedicated to the production, growth, and fellowship of playwrights and other theatre artists in the Northwest. Presents monthly new play readings, publications, workshops and productions, and provides a venue for emerging and established artists to guide new works from page to production.
Serves and supports member playwrights in creating new stage works, including script labs, readings, and promotion. Not currently accepting new scripts, but has connections with Sanctuary Playwrights Theatre, which does produce new work.
A nonprofit organization for writers that meets Wednesdays in New York City for play readings to aid development. New writers welcome. The website includes playwrights’ submission opportunities, links to online theatre stories, videos, and other items of interest to the theatre community. Note: Scroll down, and on the right-hand side of the site, you’ll find tons of resources for playwrights.
Dedicated to the development of contemporary Canadian work and new writers for the stage in Ontario.
A community of playwrights, collaborating artists, and audience members dedicated to the creation of new works for live performance.
A new play development program serving the San Francisco Bay Area, focusing on the collaborative process between emerging local playwrights and professional actors.
A membership organization supporting Canadian Atlantic playwrights. Services include development, showcasing, and promotion of work by regional playwrights. Membership is open to playwrights, theater companies, students, and theatre lovers in Canada’s four Atlantic provinces.
A Minneapolis-based organization that fuels theater by providing services to support playwrights and playwriting. Note: the website provides listing of various writing opportunities, and has a search option for finding listings by state or by category.
A service for playwrights, providing a schedule of staged readings of new plays, and seeking to encourage and develop local playwrights and promote script writing, audience development, and related arts.
A writing group based in Berkeley, CA, providing contacts and readings.
A Boston-based organization dedicated to cultivating new work, conducting a Freedom Arts Retreat, a Summer Playwrights’ Playground, and other laboratories, workshops, collaborative opportunities, and fiscal sponsorships. Provide dramaturgical support to writers at all stages of their careers, with a special focus on Boston artists.
A West Coast center for new play development, providing resources for playwrights and the annual Bay Area Playwrights Festival. Assists contemporary playwrights throughout a play’s development and through forging connections to producers. Offers a range of programs to provide multiple entry points for a diverse range of playwrights.
A service organization for Canadian playwrights (formerly the Playwrights Union of Canada). The website includes a searchable online catalogue. Established in 1972 as the Playwrights Co-op, the organization sought to publish and distribute scripts to encourage productions of Canadian plays. It since has grown to provide programs and services for playwrights across Canada.
Advances literacy, creativity, and communications by empowering individuals to voice their stories through playwriting programs and theatre productions. Along with classroom programs, Playwrights Project conducts the annual California Young Playwrights Contest for writers under the age of 19, and professionally produces the winning scripts. Programs also dramatize stories from the lives of seniors, foster youth, and underserved populations, and support the development of emerging playwrights.
Dedicated to supporting and promoting professional playwrights and their work, developing projects to raise the playwright’s profile within the working theater community, and furthering an understanding of the playwright’s role to the larger community making up the audience. Past projects have included: publishing almost 200 individual scripts; publishing and circulating a monthly newspaper serving the Seattle theater community; publishing anthologies of new work (the manifesto series), edited by nationally prominent playwrights connected to the Pacific Northwest; providing sweetness grants to Pacific Northwest playwrights when their work is produced away from home; and creating solidarity in the Seattle playwriting community through brunches, salons, readings, and speed dating between writers and directors.
An organization promoting San Diego playwrights and the theatres and organizations that support them, engaging the community in the process of producing local playwrights in San Diego.
A playwright-driven organization devoted to play development in Saskatchewan and the promotion of the playwriting community provincially and nationally.
A playwriting organization running workshop meetings twice a month at local libraries, where playwrights can bring their work in to be read and receive constructive feedback to assist the play development process. Though open to new members, they ask interested playwrights to first come to a workshop meeting before bringing in material. You can ask questions at: email@example.com
Dedicated to addressing the dearth of produced plays by women (under 20% in the U.S.) by encouraging theatre-goers to choose plays by women, support their work, and show producers equity matters to their audiences. An informal/ad hoc group of friends, colleagues, and theatre professionals, they attend theatre whenever possible to see work written, directed, and designed by women.
Supports the work of member playwrights and develops new scripts for production. Includes an ongoing Ten Minute Play contest. Based in Denver.
Discussion and courses for playwrights, screenwriters, and novelists, based on a wide range of resources, including the Playwriting Seminars 2.0.