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Saturday, April 30, 2022

WHAT THEY SAY first annual theater festival highlighting trans and gender non-conforming stories and voices


Deadline: June 1, 2022
Or when they hit their submission cap

This year will mark WHAT THEY SAY's first annual theater festival highlighting trans and gender non-conforming stories and voices! Hooray!


  • We are looking for very short (under 10 mins), ten minute, and one-act plays
  • Plays should be by a GNC/non-binary/Trans* writer; by an LGBT+ writer about the LGBT+ experience; or from any writer about gendered experience/identity specifically (see below for more on content**)
  • If your play is over 20 pages, please identify a 10 page selection for us to read
  • Make sure your formatting is consistent throughout (unless that is part of the play)
  • Be sure to number your pages

SUBMIT YOUR PLAY HERE: https://forms.gle/Eo4i13cttHWWYjrc7

If you have any questions at all, please reach out to whattheysaytheater@gmail.com

Our inaugural festival will most likely be in a hybrid format, with a live performance that our playwrights will be more than welcome to join as well as a YouTube stream—more information to come! Should your play be selected, with your permission, we will also be editing together an anthology of the selected plays and shopping it around this upcoming year. We cannot guarantee payment, but we do hope to provide a small stipend if the books sells.

We look forward to reading your submissions!


We encourage stories about trans & GNC experience, as they align most closely with our mission! However, this is not necessarily required: if you identify as trans, nonbinary, GNC, or questioning, please submit whatever play you would most like to share with our audience. We will also be accepting work about gender-based and/or queer identity/experience from members outside of those identities. (A play about Black femininity, a play about toxic masculinity, a play about women in the workplace, etc.)

We will most likely not accept more than one play that specifically deals with the rhetoric surrounding current sports & bathroom bills. If you have written this play, that is awesome! Keep writing them! But we as an organization would prefer not to participate in these debates, as they are often based in fear tactics and debates about trans existence, which is not the conversation we would like to have this year. We hope to use our festival to discuss various gendered experiences; highlight trans, nonbinary, & GNC joy; and discuss the most common human rights issues trans people face (healthcare discrimination, housing discrimination, homelessness, transmisogyny, imprisonment, etc.) All of that said, if you have a beautiful play that you think will change our minds, by all means please send it in!

Finally: we have a small team, and our organization is focused on trans & gender-based stories and rights than education or debate about trans existence, so we will not be able to field questions about trans people/history/etc. or any calls to debate. As much as we appreciate curiosity and enthusiasm about trans topics, we don't have the staff or time —or expertise, for certain questions!— to do so offstage at this time. We hope you understand! That said, if you are interested in learning more about trans & nonbinary people and how to respect them, here are a few places you could start:


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