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Thursday, December 24, 2015

Hope and Optimism on Stage

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With generous funding from the John Templeton Foundation, Cornell University, and the University of Notre Dame, the directors of the Hope and Optimism project are pleased to announce an open playwriting competition. First-time and experienced playwrights are welcome.

Please Submit:
  • one full-length play (unproduced)
  • minimum 75 minutes
  • all theatrical genres accepted (including musicals)
  • submission must be prepared for blind review
  • pdf (no paper copies please) to hope@nd.edu
  • Deadline: December 31, 2015

Competition Nuts and Bolts:
  • Submissions due by December 31, 2015
  • Winners announced by April 1, 2016
  • Grand Prize: $10,000 plus professional production


The winning play will be mounted in a professional theater in Ithaca, NY. The winning playwright will be flown to Ithaca (round trip from some other North American city) for the premiere and talk-back session.

  • Playwright agrees to allow her/his name and work to be used in publicity prior to the show
  • Playwright agrees to travel to Ithaca NY for premiere in April 2017
  • Playwright agrees that the Hope and Optimism Initiative may use footage from rehearsal and the show for promotional and education purposes in perpetuity. 

The Hope and Optimism Initiative agrees that, after the show's premiere, all copyrights for future productions and publication will be transferred to playwright.


Can I submit more than one play? No, there is a one play maximum.

Is a play that has been given a staged reading or workshop production eligible? Yes, but more 'official' productions of other sorts (e.g., college or community) would disqualify it.

Does other information (e.g., resume or personal statement) need to accompany the play itself? No.

Should the script prepared for blind review be accompanied by a cover page with identifying information? No, your name in the body of your submission e-mail is sufficient.

Should musical submissions be accompanied by music?Yes, musicals should be accompanied by music if possible. We prefer that it be attached via a link (in the PDF of the script) to the files in DropBox, SoundCloud, etc. Author's name should not appear anywhere in the DropBox (SoundCloud, etc.) folder.

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