Aspiring Playwrights, Submit Your Work Here

Have a potential Pulitzer winner tucked away in a drawer somewhere? These New York City theater companies accept play submissions, sans entry fee, from unpublished writers.

The American Airlines Theatre. Roundabout Theatre Company is one of the places where students can submit their own place. (Photo by Andrew McGibbon. Via Facebook)

Playwrights Horizons
This acclaimed “writer’s theater” is looking for “idiosyncratic, accomplished, original theatrical voices.” They accept unsolicited full-length manuscripts from anyone in New York City, and like to familiarize themselves with a writer’s style and interests, noting that “the best way to become a candidate for a commission is to start submitting your work.” They do not produce adaptations (musicals excepted), translations, children’s theater, screenplays, musicals without original scores or one-acts. Expect to hear back within six months if your play is accepted, though they can’t personally respond to every submission. They award four to six commissions a year.

Roundabout Theatre Company
“We discover talented playwrights and provide them long-term artistic support,” Roundabout’s website states. They accept 15-page script samples for unrepresented writers to be reviewed by the company’s literary department. While they only accept full-length submissions from represented writers, they guarantee all unsolicited samples will be read and are also receptive to email invitations to come see a writer’s work. They will not respond to every submission, but if they are interested in pursuing your play, you will hear back within a month.

New Georges
“Is your play weird, or weird-ish?” New Georges theater looks for plays that stick out from the crowd, unafraid to break all the rules in their storytelling. The theater is committed to amplifying the voices of femme-identifying, trans and gender non-conforming people, and desires to maintain long-term relationships with writers, stating that they curate artists rather than individual plays. While they are transparent about long response periods to submissions, New Georges offers a unique space for those with out-of-the-box ideas and is a great fit for those who want to see their work produced by a company with strong investments in uplifting the voices of underrepresented communities. They also won the 2019 Outstanding Theatre Award from the National Theatre Conference.

The York Theatre Company
Their slogan is “Where musicals come to life!” so if musicals are your jam, then this is the company to submit to. They are happy to accept submissions from emerging writers as well as from those who are already established for their Developmental Reading Series, which brings 30 to 40 plays to life each year. Note that they only accept musicals with original scores and require a demo of the score as part of the submission. Expect to hear back in six to 12 months.

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Pipeline Theatre Company
Pipeline pays the most attention to submissions that align with their vision as a company. They are big on plays that explore the imagination and look for “stories that stick somewhere in your heart, your brain, or your guts.” One of their current mainstage productions, “Clown Bar,” is a “speakeasy style cabaret replete with clown mobsters, strippers, crooners, addicts and one dashing square-jawed detective,” to give you an idea of the kind of plays they put on. Submissions are accepted on a rolling basis.

A version of this article appears in the Monday, Nov. 18, 2019, print edition. Email Destine Manson at [email protected] 

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