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Monday, February 12, 2018

Orlando Shakespeare Theater PlayFest 2018

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PlayFest 2018 will present readings of seven new plays over the weekends of November 2–4 and November 10–11 in the Margeson Theater at OST. Each reading receives about 20 hours of rehearsal time with professional actors and director and a public reading–all with the playwright in attendance.

The seven plays will be selected from solicited and unsolicited scripts. We welcome submissions from agents and from PlayFest alumni as well as ten-page samples from unsolicited work. If you are interested in submitting a play, please read the following guidelines carefully.


We generally look for scripts with cast sizes of 1–8. We are especially interested in scripts that speak to the issues that our audiences are experiencing right now. Past PlayFest plays have dealt with issues of racism, autism, gender, Alzheimer’s, immigration, etc. Our Shakespeare and classical productions deal with “timeless issues” and we like for our new plays to deal with modern “issues of our times.” We seek plays of various genres by diverse writers with diverse characters.


For a script to be eligible for inclusion in PlayFest 2018, a play does NOT have to be a world premiere, but it must be a “new” play. For our purposes, that means:

  • The play CANNOT have had more than two previous professional (AEA) productions before PlayFest 2018.
  • The play CANNOT have been published.
  • The play CANNOT have had an AEA production in New York City or Orlando.
  • Most importantly, the author must still be developing and working on the script.
  • If you are a playwright with no prior working relationship with OST and no agent, then you should submit a TEN-PAGE SAMPLE. (Do NOT send the full play but pick ten pages to submit along with the rest of the packet.) See below.

If you have an agent, please have your agent send a query or one script to Cynthiaw@orlandoshakes.org. If you have several plays, then have your agent pick one or send a query to discuss which would be most appropriate for OST to consider.
If you are a PlayFest alumni or have other working relationship with OST, then please send your play to Cynthiaw@orlandoshakes.org.


Please send us the following by midnight February 17, 2018:

  • A brief bio about you (100-150 words)
  • A brief synopsis of the play (100-200 words)
  • A brief character breakdown (1-2 sentences that describe each character)
  • 10 pages from the script
  • You will receive a return email when your submission has been catalogued
  • We plan to request full-length scripts from these samples by April 1, 2018.
  • Please send us your BEST consecutive ten pages, not necessarily the first ten. We want to be able to get a strong sense of your use of language and dialogue to tell your story. We do not have the staff necessary to read full unsolicited scripts, but we are excited to read your best 10 pages and will consider asking for your full script.

All submissions should be emailed as PDF electronic submissions. Please send to: submissions@orlandoshakes.org.


Please send only one play per author. If you are debating which play to send, please read “What Types of Plays We Are Looking for” above or send a query to Cynthiaw@orlandoshakes.org.

Please send by April 1 (sooner is better):

  • A brief bio about writer
  • A two-three sentence synopsis of play
  • A basic character breakdown
  • An electronic copy of the play
  • Our goal is to select 15–20 finalists by May 15, 2018 and the seven PlayFest 2018 scripts by August 1, 2018.

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