We never post opportunities that require a submission fee. LEARN MORE.

Friday, August 26, 2022

Clay & Water 2023 - Fifth Annual Playwrights' Retreat and New Play Reading Series


Deadline: August 31, 2022 5PM EDT


Clamour Theatre Company is accepting applications starting 8/1/2022 for Clay & Water 2023, our Fifth Annual Playwrights' Retreat and New Play Reading Series.

Clay County, Florida is still lagging behind in vaccinations and, as best we can tell given the lack of data, cases of COVID are once again on the rise. Fortunately, they mostly seem to be mild, but we cannot yet be sure whether the Retreat will be in-person or virtual. Thus, the dates are still not finalized, and we understand that some applicants, if selected, may not be able to attend once the final dates and format are chosen. We suggest you go ahead and apply, and we'll all figure it out when the time comes.

The application form includes a section where you can tell us whether you are applying for an In-Person version of the Retreat only, a Virtual version only, or either.

And we THANK YOU for your understanding as try to maintain a safe way forward for everyone involved.

Application Window: 9am (Eastern time) August 1, 2022 until 5 pm (Eastern time) August 31, 2022

Five playwrights will be selected to participate on dates TBD in the 1st Quarter of 2023.

All the details and the application guidelines can be found here: https://www.clamourtheatre.org/events/2023-2/clay-water-2023-applications/

Notification by year-end 2022.


* Note: For the virtual Retreat, you do not have to be available all day, every day during that time period. See Requirements and Guidelines below for more information about the schedule and details about each version of the Retreat.



We provide accommodations, a no-pressure developmental reading of your work-in-progress, and a chance to see some of the points of interest of the surrounding area to five selected playwrights.


Clay County, Florida

The actual location will be TBD in Clay County, Florida.  Previous in-person Retreats were held in Green Cove Springs. Green Cove is a town in northeast Florida first settled in the mid-1800s, best known for its natural sulfur springs and its location on the St. Johns River, a bit south of Jacksonville. The location for the 2023 Retreat, if held in person, will be in the Orange Park/Fleming Island/Green Cove Springs/Penney Farms area and is yet to be confirmed.


EXPECT TO PAY YOUR OWN WAY HERE. Fly into Jacksonville International Airport (JAX) where we’ll pick you up, or drive yourself to the accommodations we will book for you in Clay County. (There’s also an Amtrak station in Jacksonville, if needed.)


Accommodations will be fully covered by Clamour at a location still to be confirmed. We will have that information for you by the time we invite the selected playwrights so that they can take it into account when deciding to accept the invitation.


Each playwright will get a developmental reading of a single work-in-progress.

We will provide local actors for readings.

The reading will be open to the public at no charge. If possible, we will schedule a private Zoom rehearsal the week before the Retreat, but the public readings will be fully understood to be minimally-rehearsed, cold readings for development and NOT performance.

There will be a moderated audience feedback session after your public reading. (Don’t worry! Our audiences are supportive.)


We ask you to be available for two informal meet-and-greet Q&A sessions with local students to answer questions about the craft and business of playwriting. These will be held during the school day within the four weekdays in the span of the Retreat. Transportation to and from the school(s) will be provided.

Networking Opportunities

There will be a Welcome Dinner on arrival day and since all playwrights will have accommodations at the same location, there will be ample opportunities to get to know your fellow writers and to share experiences and tips, and socialize with each other.


Dramaturgs are NOT part of the in-person Retreat experience. They are provided as part of the virtual Retreat experience, because those writers are not getting the time away from the distractions of their ordinary lives, the in-person interaction with their fellow writers, and the exposure to a new area with new experiences, people, and sights to see.



Selected playwrights will participate from their own homes. The virtual version of the Retreat will be slightly longer (@ 2 weeks) to enable writers to continue to work at their survival jobs, if necessary, while still providing the developmental readings and plenty of opportunities to interact with each other.

Location (virtual)

No travel required.

The entire Retreat will take place on Zoom.


No travel required.  Retreat is all on Zoom.


Your very own bed.  You’re not traveling, so you won’t need a hotel room.


Each playwright will get 2 one-on-one meetings with a dramaturg and 2 developmental readings (one private, one public) of a single work-in-progress.

We will provide actors for readings.  Local actors will be given preference whenever possible. We will cast the net wider, if necessary.

The first reading will include you, actors, your dramaturg, and Clamour staff.

The second reading will be open to the public at no charge. It will be fully understood to be an unrehearsed, cold reading for development and NOT performance.

There will be a moderated audience feedback session after your public reading. (Don’t worry! Our audiences are supportive.)


We do ask you to be available for two informal meet-and-greet Q&A sessions with local students to answer questions about the craft and business of playwriting. These will be held during the school day within the two week span of the Retreat, so you must be able to take an hour or so out of your daily schedule twice during the Retreat. NOTE:  We are in the Eastern Time Zone. If you are located on the West Coast and the class to which we are invited is a morning class, we will (regretfully) ask you to get up pretty early.

Networking Opportunities

There will be several informal group check-ins throughout the Retreat providing opportunities to get to know your fellow writers and dramaturgs, share experiences and tips, and socialize with each other. We start the Retreat with a Welcome Dinner (via Zoom) and will provide a small meal stipend in lieu of being able to host you at a Board member’s home or a local restaurant.


Each selected writer will be matched with a dramaturg. The dramaturg’s role in the context of this retreat is to provide the playwright with critical feedback, notes, and suggestions on the script. They are here to assist you in shaping your play into the next stage of development, and they can be a set of fresh eyes throughout the process. The dramaturg can also assist with research pertaining to the play’s themes, time period, and support material, if applicable. In addition, the dramaturg is someone who can act as an audience member and really get the feel for the show as a spectator, providing key insight to the play’s strength’s and weaknesses.


Please read and follow these guidelines and application material carefully. Plays that do not adhere to the guidelines in terms of length, format, cast size, etc. will not be considered.

Requirements & Schedule


In order to apply, you must:

  • Have a completed draft (both in-person & virtual applications)
– Draft of a full-length, unproduced non-musical play (60-120 pages) in a standard play script format (either the Modern Format or Traditional Format on the Dramatists Guild website: https://www.dramatistsguild.com/script-formats would be acceptable) in a 12-point standard font (Arial, Helvetica, Times New Roman, Courier are all fine).  The play should require 2 to 4 actors to perform. (Plays that have had previous developmental readings are acceptable.) 
– No monologues, please.
– The submitted script should have a character breakdown page immediately following the title page.
–You may have more than 4 characters as long as all characters can be played by a maximum of 4 actors and you specifically explain any double-casting options.
– We understand that, in revising, you may discover a need for an additional character, and we can be somewhat flexible for the final reading, but we urge you not to hope to circumvent this actor cap by cutting an army out of the submitted draft with a view to adding them later.  We want to provide a stipend to each of our actors. Please help us make that a realistic goal.
– Content: We are located in one of the most conservative areas of a conservative state. Please take that into consideration when you are choosing a play to submit. (If you are applying for the virtual version only of the retreat, the definition of “appropriate” content is a little looser, but please remember we are hoping to return to an in-person event in 2023.)

  • Be willing and able to work with a dramaturg (virtual applications only)
– If you do not think your draft is able to be improved and/or are not willing to seriously consider rewrites, this is not the Retreat for you.
Be able to spend significant time during the allotted period working on your script on your own (evenings/weekends are fine for the virtual Retreat; in-person Retreat work time is yours to determine outside of the Meet & Greets and the readings).

  • Be available for these activities: (virtual applications only)
Opening Night & First Weekend (Friday – Sunday)
– Friday, the first evening of the Retreat – Welcome meeting on Zoom
– Saturday or Sunday – a one-on-one Zoom meeting with your dramaturg
Week 1 (Monday – Sunday)
– Monday evening – group check-in
– Tuesday – Sunday – a private reading of your play (you, actors, dramaturg, and Clamour staff) at some point during this time to be followed by another one-on-one meeting with your dramaturg
– Also, at a time TBD this week and next – approximately 1 hour at a time during a normal school day twice to attend a Zoom Q&A session with our local students. (Please note: We have to schedule these Q&A sessions in consultation with the teachers. We will try to have one this week and one the following week, but the final dates are TBD, and we hope you can be flexible as we figure that out.)
– Friday evening – group cocktail hour
– Sunday afternoon – group check-in
Week 2 (Monday – Sunday)
– Tuesday evening – group check-in
– Wednesday evening – group cocktail hour
– Thursday – Sunday – Public readings (1 Thursday evening, 1 Friday evening, 2 Saturday, 1 Sunday)
– Sunday evening – Wrap-Up group meeting
What to Submit

Applications must be made through our online application form which will ask you to complete the following:
  1.  Select whether you are applying for the In-Person Retreat Only, the Virtual Retreat Only, or Either.
  2. Name, email, cell phone # in the fields provided.
  3. Select whether you are US-Based or Non-US-Based so the form will show you the appropriate address fields.
    1. Complete the address fields. Note that the Non-US-Based address field is more free-form due to variations among international address, but we do need your street address, city, province, country, and postal code if your are not a US-Based playwright.
  4.  Title of the play you are submitting
  5. Select Tone of Play (Comedy, Drama, Serio-Comic)
  6. Brief synopsis of the play
  7. Brief description of what you think is/are the next step(s) in your revisions.
  8. Enter the number of actors needed and a numeric breakdown of male, female, neutral/non-binary/any gender actors needed.
  9. Enter the same breakdown for number of characters (these numbers may match the number of actors or may be different if double-casting can be done.)
  10. Describe any possible double-casting. Please be as specific as you can.
  11. Introduce yourself professionally (productions, workshops, readings, publications, education, any other theatre disciplines in which you participate).
  12. Introduce yourself personally (hobbies, non-theatre interests, where you from, survival job, etc.)
  13. Upload your 60-120 page script in standard play format in a 12-point font.  PDF ONLY!

Note that Clamour Theatre Company will make the final determination on which version of the Retreat we will host in 2023 based on writers’ interest and on the state of vaccinations and infections in our area and how that could affect the safety of our writers, our actors, our audiences, and our staff.

When to Submit

The application window is from

9:00 am Eastern time August 1, 2022 to midnight Eastern time August 31, 2022.

Applications received before or after those dates and times will NOT be considered.

Questions may be sent at any time.

Where to Submit

Is there a fee?
There is no fee to submit to either version of the Retreat.

Playwrights participating in an In-Person Retreat are responsible for their own transportation to the area and for their own food.  Any admission fees for optional sight-seeing trips during the In-Person Retreat are also the responsibility of individual writers.  Accommodation costs are covered by Clamour Theatre Company.

Playwrights participating in a Virtual Retreat have no costs, unless participation in a student meet & greet has an impact on that particular writer’s “day job.”

Can I apply again?

If you applied to a previous retreat and were not accepted at that time, by all means, please apply again.  We’re looking for the right combination of people, so many factors go into selection. You should never feel that not being chosen in any given year is a reflection on your writing.

If you were accepted and attended a previous retreat, as much as we would love to see you again, we’d like to keep meeting new people.  We will probably not be able to invite you back again at this time.

When will I be notified?

Good question!

We hope to make our selections of plays and playwrights by the end of October/early November.  Final decision on which format Clay & Water 2023 will take is something we are less able to predict since it will be determined by forces outside our control.

We can tell you that you will be notified either way.  We acknowledge receipt of all submissions, so if you get that acknowledgement, and you have not heard from us with an acceptance or regrets, it means that the decisions have not yet been made.   We understand this means you may accept another offer in the meantime.  It’s not an ideal notification policy, but these are less than ideal times. We thank you for your patience and your flexibility.

Anything else?

Normally, we request that you do not apply if you cannot arrange to attend the sessions outlined.  However, in this time of uncertainty, we recognize that final dates and format may mean that an applicant could be selected but unable to attend when the details are finalized.

Once those details ARE finalized, we ask you not to accept if you cannot commit to the full Retreat time period and activities. We also ask all selected playwrights to make every effort to attend the public readings of their colleagues.

Clamour Theatre Company is committed to diversity of race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual preference, and experience.

Blog Archive