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Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Notre Dame College Performing Arts New Play Festival

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Deadline July 15

Notre Dame College Performing Arts will host an annual National Playwriting Festival, showcasing unproduced plays and musicals for young adults and children, beginning October 2019.

A national search will commence in March of 2019 looking for the best and most promising theatrical works relevant to young audiences today. The weekend-long festival will consist of 4-5 staged readings of previously unseen theatrical works, and will take place in the Regina Auditorium on the Notre Dame College campus. A winner will be chosen through committee/audience voting and will receive a $500 prize, as well as the opportunity to present fully-staged production during the subsequent NDC Spring Semester.

Hosting such a festival allows Notre Dame College Performing Arts to fulfill and enhance its mission of enriching the community and the appreciation of the arts through live performance. By utilizing the talents of the Notre Dame College students, Mercury Theatre Company professional actors, and additional regional artists, the festival furthers our efforts of utilizing the stage as a platform to educate, enlighten and entertain the Greater Cleveland Community.

The Notre Dame College New Play Festival will join the ranks of Penn State, the University of Iowa and the Yale School of Drama as platforms for unproduced works while maintaining the distinction of hosting the only New Play Festival in the Mid-West solely dedicated to new theatrical works for children and young adult audiences. Finally, utilizing the annual festival as a launch-pad for such unproduced theatrical works will distinguish NDC from other area organizations and promote the programming at Notre Dame College to a nationally recognized level.

On March 1 of each year, the Notre Dame College New Play Festival will begin taking digital-copy submissions of new plays and musicals. The Director of Theatre will ensure the submitted materials follow specified criteria (see below) and will pass the play to 7-person panel who will judge the merits of each work. Panel members will include the NDC Director of Theatre, a member of the NDC Performing Arts Faculty, a member of the NDC English Department, a playwriting scholar, and 3 NDC Theatre Entrepreneurship majors. Through individualized and joint adjudication, the submissions will be narrowed down to a selection of 4-5 plays and musicals deemed ready for a reading. All playwrights will be notified of the status of their submission in September and promotion about the chosen material will begin thereafter.

The festival will take place on a Saturday and Sunday in late October/early November. Three productions will be showcased in a reader’s theatre format open to the public on Saturday and two will play Sunday. The winner will be chosen by the selection panel, with consideration given to an audience vote, and announced at a reception upon conclusion of the festival.

The winner of each season’s new Playwriting Festival will receive a fully-developed and produced show as part of the NDC Spring Semester.

A cash prize of $500 will be awarded to the winner dependent upon funding.


- There is no submission fee for the Notre Dame College New Play Festival

- Submission deadline is July 15 of each year. Scripts received after that date will be considered the following year.

- 4-5 finalists will be selected on September 1 of that year and their names will be posted to the Notre Dame College website and social media platforms at that time.

- Must be a full-length play/musical for children or young adults without a prior production

- A brief synopsis must be sent together with a complete digital manuscript. Submission must include a contact phone number and e-mail address on the play’s title page. No hard-copy submissions will be accepted.

- The play must be at least 1 hour and no longer than 90 minutes.

- The play must be appropriate for audiences of all ages

- Dramas, comedies and farces (with or without music) are welcome.

- Cast size limited to no less than 4 or more than 22.

- The plays selected will be acted by our student actors with a mix of regional artists where necessary. Plays that can be effectively cast within our market will be considered favorably.

- Playwrights who are questioning whether or not their play is a good match for the Notre Dame New Play Festival are strongly encouraged to contact Director of Theatre Pierre Brault at theatre@ndc.edu before submitting.

- All plays that are not selected for the festival will be held on file for 2 years.
Contact Information
Pierre Brault

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