Premiere Stages Hosts Their Annual Play Festival

This competition marks its 14th year with increased awards

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Premiere Stages Hosts Their Annual Play Festival

Ariel Woodiwiss as Leslie and Kurt Uy as Josh in Chris Cragin-Day's Foster Mom, winner of the 2017 Premiere Play Festival

Joanna Kristine Ninal, Staff Writer

Premiere Stages, Kean University's professional theater company, will be accepting unproduced script submissions from Friday, Oct. 15 through Friday, Dec. 15 for its 14th annual Premiere Play Festival. 

A total of four playwrights from the metropolitan area (New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Delaware) will win a chance to receive developmental and production opportunities.

There is no fee to enter the competition. Any submissions received after the due date will not be accepted nor considered. 

In addition to having their play receive a developmental reading, Premiere Stages is excited to announce an increase to all financial awards for winners. The developmental reading is scheduled for Thursday, March 15, 2018 to Sunday, March 18, 2018. The final winner and runner-up will be announced in April 2018. 

The festival winner will be awarded a $2,500 advance and will receive a full Equity production during Premiere Stages's 2018 Mainstage Season. The runner-up will be awarded $1,000 and an Equity 29 hour staged reading in June 2018. Kean students will get a professionally produced staged reading here on campus in January 2018. The remaining finalists will each receive an honorarium of $750.

Throughout the festival process, Premiere Stages provides an encouraging and highly focused environment where playwrights can work. They are also actively advocating for festival writers by reaching out to other theaters to secure subsequent productions and partner with other organizations and theaters to extend the profile and life of the works that are developed.

Producing Artistic Director and founder of Premiere Stages John J. Wooten, said, "We are pleased to increase the awards and developmental opportunities that we can afford to regional dramatists. We are developing a record number of playwrights at Premiere in 2017, and we look forward to this trend continuing in 2018."

Over the past 14 years, since its founding, the Premiere Play Festival has received over 3,500 submissions and developed more than 50 plays. Multiple plays that have been produced at Premiere have been honored by the American Theatre Critics Association and/or been published by Samuel French, Dramatists Play Service, Dramatic Publishing Company, Playscripts and Broadway Play Publishing.

Play Festival winners and finalists have subsequently produced their work in New York and at regional theaters across the country. One of the 2017 finalists, Patricia Cotter, will be premiering her play "1980 (Or Why I'm Voting For John Anderson)" at the Jackalope Theatre Company Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017 to Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017. Sarah Gancher, the other 2017 finalist, will be premiering her play "Seder" at the Hartford Stage from Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017 to Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017.

All entries will be evaluated by a panel of theater professionals and the Premiere artistic staff. Agents and theater professionals with an affiliation to Premiere Stages may submit full scripts. In addition, playwrights may submit a synopsis and script sample directly. Of course, this competition is strictly for aspiring writers who are current or former students of Kean. Entries by students and alums from Kean University are also eligible for the Boucher Playwriting Award.

Bauer Boucher 2018 Guidelines.jpg

The competition is open to playwrights of all backgrounds, ages and experience levels. Premiere Stages is committed to supporting a diverse group of writers and encourages all to submit. All people who enter are encouraged to review Premiere Stages' production history, which can be found on their website.

For the complete submission guidelines, those who are interested can go online to Premiere Stages's website

Good luck to those who enter the competition!

about the author
Joanna Kristine Ninal - web

Joanna Kristine Ninal, Staff Writer

Joanna Kristine Ninal is an English education double major with minors in Asian and Chinese studies. Ninal works as a Staff Writer for The Cougar's Byte since fall 2016. Ninal loves to play video games, such as “Overwatch” and “Final Fantasy XIV”, as well as create projects such as videos, stories and scripts in her free time. She loves to read and write, especially dramatic and romantic themes in young adult literature like the Harry Potter series and the To All The Boys I've Loved Before series. Her goal in life is to be an English teacher and travel around to teach in countries such as Japan, China and South Korea.