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Monday, July 24, 2023

Lift Every Voice New Play Festival


Deadline: August 1, 2023
Submissions will be capped after the first 200 scripts are received.

American Stage (St. Petersburg, Florida)  is committed to producing powerful stories, boldly told. Formerly known as our 21st Century Voices: New Play Festival, Lift Every Voice is a new play festival committed to providing exposure to emerging playwrights with a focus on BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ storytellers. This year’s programming includes a week-long rehearsal and development process for each of the final playwrights and their plays, culminating in public staged readings. In addition the festival weekend includes workshops, panels and lectures. All public events are held March 1-3, 2024.

  • Submissions are encouraged from BIPOC or LGBTQIA+ playwrights
  • Playwrights must reside in the United States.
  • Plays must be unproduced and unpublished with limited development.
  • Plays that have been previously submitted to American Stage or the Lift Every Voice New Play Festival are not eligible to be submitted again.
  • No musicals or translations.
  • Full-length plays only (at least 60 minutes)
  • Plays with casts of six or fewer will be more heavily considered.
  • Plays must include a contact page and character breakdown.
  • One submission per playwright.
  • Playwrights must be available to attend the festival in person, including rehearsals.

- Volume of submissions will prevent us from providing individual feedback.

- Submissions will be capped after the first 200 scripts are received.

  • Four finalists will be chosen to participate in the Lift Every Voice Festival.
  • Each finalist will receive the following: a professional director and cast, a table read, 15 rehearsal hours, opportunity to rewrite and edit, a staged reading with a total of two performances, and facilitated post-show talkbacks.
  • Finalist will receive a stipend of $600, housing accommodations and round trip airfare to and from St. Petersburg, FL.
  • Finalists will be selected by a panel of readers and notified by American Stage by November 1, 2023.
  • Volume of submissions will prevent us from providing individual feedback.‍
  • Submissions will be capped after the first 200 scripts are received.‍
  • Only finalist playwrights will be contacted.
  • Playwrights are required to participate in the rehearsal process and attend the readings and talkbacks
  • No other royalties or payments will be issued.
  • All participants (including actors, directors, stage managers and designers) will be compensated.


July 1st, 2023 - Submissions Open

August 1st, 2023 - Submissions Closed or will close earlier upon receiving the first 200.

August 15, 2023 - Full Play Semi-Finalists Selected to Submit

October 15, 2023 - Festival Finalists Selected

How to Apply

Complete the online submission form to provide American Stage with information about the playwright and the play.

Upload submission package via the online submission

In order to be accepted, your submission package must be submitted as a single PDF file that meets the following requirements.
  • File name must be “Title of Play_Author Last Name” 
  • The first pages of the file must include:Title of the play;
  • Character breakdown and description; please include total number of characters. Plays with 3-5 actors/characters are preferred.
  • Time and place of the play;
  • Synopsis of the play that helps to provide context for the 10 page sample (no longer than 1 page);
  • A concise paragraph (no longer than 1 page) describing the development history of the play you are submitting;
  • A statement describing how your play is a good fit for the 2023-2024 American Stage Lift Every Voice New Play Festival.
  • A 10-page sample of the play.

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