Application

    About the 2020 Annual Conference

    The 2020 conference will be held in Philadelphia, PA from July 7-26, 2020 at The Drake Theatre. Invited playwrights will have the opportunity to work with a director, dramaturg and Philadelphia-based, professional actors over a 20-day period that allows for 29 hours of rehearsal and staged reading time along with ample time to reflect and write. The work will begin with a three-day roundtable (July 7-9) that will help in laying the collaborative groundwork for the development time ahead. The conference includes two public staged readings that are intended as a part of the process, giving playwrights an opportunity to measure the efficacy of the work accomplished and provide an opportunity to gauge the work ahead. PlayPenn will provide travel for casting, travel to and from the conference, housing, per diem and a stipend.

    Read more about PlayPenn’s Annual Conference

    About Our Application Process

    Beginning September 1, 2019 PlayPenn will be accepting applications for its 2020 New Play Development Conference; we are pleased to request your full length, unproduced script for consideration. Please review the guidelines carefully and completely before making application.  Your application must be uploaded and complete by September 30, 2019 or it cannot be considered.

    Currently, we are not considering musicals, plays for young audiences or one-person plays.  Also, if you were a 2019 Conference playwright we ask you to observe a one-year hiatus from applying.

    Applicants should be aware of the following points about PlayPenn:

    • We are a development conference rather than a festival or showcase for new work. The distinction is important and meaningful to us in the current climate of the increasing commercialization of play development;

     

    • We work to avoid participation in what has become known as “development hell” by placing authority in the hands of the playwright and fostering an environment in which risk is rewarded and honest assessment is encouraged and provided;

     

    • We make a concerted effort to provide an experience that relieves writers of the distractions of the day-to-day world;

     

    • We expect playwrights who accept a place at the Conference to work on their play.  The Conference is not intended as an opportunity for playwrights to simply hear their plays in a rehearsed reading.

     

    • We focus on the needs of the text. The public Conference readings are intended to present a glimpse into how the text lives off the page rather than how the play might be augmented or staged in production.

     

    From the time of invitation to participate at PlayPenn, we expect that playwrights will accept no invitations for development that precede the July Conference dates.

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    How to Apply

    For our application process, PlayPenn uses the Submittable platform.  During open application periods, we will ask USA-based playwrights to upload the following with no identifying information in the document or document name:

    1. An original script in .pdf format with no identifying information (no name on the document). Applications that are submitted in non-pdf format will not be considered.
    1. Your current resume (.pdf) with no identifying information (playwright name or agent).
    1. A casting breakdown and the number of actors required (.pdf) (no name on the document).  Please do not assume that doubling schemes are obvious.  We want to know how many actors your play requires in a workshop setting.
    1. The play’s development and production history (.pdf) (no name on the document). Plays that have had readings are eligible.  Plays that have been produced or that have been through multiple development processes are not eligible.
    1. List three areas of challenge in your play that you’d like to address while you’re at PlayPenn (.pdf) (no name on the document).  Please be specific.

     

    ***If your files include the playwright’s name, your application will be disqualified***

    PlayPenn does not accept agent submissions.

    Your application must be uploaded and complete by midnight September 30, 2019 or it cannot be considered.

    Because of the number of applications we receive, and the labor intensive nature of responsibly considering your play, we are unable to provide individual feedback.

     

    We look forward to reading your work.

    Questions? Email Michele Volansky at mvolansky@playpenn.org

     

    "I wish all new play festivals would use PlayPenn as the model: a focus on the work not the product, incredible artistic support, and plays selected on their merit instead of the length of the author’s resume. For me, the result of my time at Play Penn was a script that was ready for it’s first production at Quantum Theatre in Pittsburgh. The production received amazing reviews, and will go on to full productions at Two River Theater in NJ and Rivendell Ensemble in Chicago this coming Spring. I also left with a slew of new wonderful colleagues whose help and opinions continue to be a part of my professional process and whom I also count among my friends. "

    -Stefanie Zadravec, Playwright