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Thursday, June 11, 2020


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Deadline: Saturday, June 20th at 11:59pm

Every other year Clubbed Thumb invites playwrights to propose plays inspired by a particular prompt. The application is open to all, and read blind. The winning proposal(s) receive (or split) a $15,000 award and two years of development support. (CLICK HERE to read commission prompts from past years.)

For this year’s commission consider The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio – but don’t write about the Plague. Consider The Decameron as a piece that came from the ashes of the Plague but is decidedly a piece of the Renaissance. Consider it as a celebration of voice and style, as a compendium of stories from a wide span of sources. Consider it as an opportunity to take a deep research dive, if that’s your thing.

Then do with that what you want, jump off it in form, content, what have you. Feel free to take inspiration from just a little piece.

Your play should have no fewer than three people, and up to ten, and most of them should be female.

Very few of these characters should be blood relatives.

You may only specify three props.

You may have no stage directions longer than twelve words. You may only have seven stage directions.

Time: (of all scenes) night — except for one which can be dawn or dusk.

One very fancy costume.

An insect.

These constraints apply to the whole play.

At some point in the process, look over the Clubbed Thumb submissions guidelines, as well as our production history. We don’t have a lot of restrictions, but we hold to them.

As we are telling you about this at the very beginning of spring, we’ll close the portal on the first day of summer.

Please submit the following through the application below:
(this is a BLIND submission, see notes below)

– Completed form below
– A one-page letter of intent telling us about your proposed project
– 10 exploratory pages from the proposed project (either contiguous or from different sections of the proposed play – your choice)
– A completed play you’ve written in the past (see note below)
– A resume


No names please, on the letter, the 10 page sample or the complete play. The panel reads all submissions BLIND — the only place your name should appear is on the info form and on your resume.

The letter of intent should briefly map out the proposed piece and, if need be, orient the reader to the excerpt’s relationship to the whole. You needn’t explain or repeat anything that your 10 page sample makes clear. Then give us an idea of where the piece is coming from and where you think you want to go with it.

We request a completed play in case our readers need a greater sense of your voice. Please recommend 10 pages to look at for reference, and note any context you wish to give.

One last thing: this is a commission for Clubbed Thumb. So look around our website at our submission guidelines and production history for reference, if they are not familiar to you.


DEADLINE: Saturday, June 20th at 11:59pm

The proposals will be read and adjudicated over the course of the summer, and the commission(s) awarded in the fall.

The $15,000 commission — which might be split between writers if the panel so elects — will be paid out in three installments, with the first installment following the signing of a contract. Send questions to info[at]clubbedthumb.org

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