Premiere Stages Play Festival History



The Premiere Play Festival

Information about the 2019 Premiere Play Festival will be posted in Summer 2018!


Premiere Stages is committed to supporting emerging and regional playwrights by developing and producing new plays. Since 2005, the Premiere Play Festival has offered playwrights the opportunity to develop their work in an encouraging, focused environment through discussions, rehearsals, readings, workshops, and fully produced Equity productions.






for the 2018 Play Festival!



Through the Premiere Play Festival, Premiere Stages has developed many plays that have gone on to have successful productions in New York and at regional theatres throughout the country. We also strive to facilitate relationships between writers and theatre professionals who we think will respond to their work, in hopes that plays developed at Premiere will go on to subsequent productions throughout the country. All of the plays we produce retain the coveted “World Premiere” brand on their plays. Additionally, Premiere’s productions are consistently reviewed and scouted by major publishing houses, and multiple Festival plays have been honored by the American Theatre Critics Association.






for the 2018 Play Festival




Play Festival Details

Submit your plays from Sept. 15 through Dec. 15, 2017!


From September 15, 2017 through December 15, 2017, Premiere Stages will accept submissions of unproduced plays written by playwrights affiliated with the greater metropolitan area. All plays submitted to the festival are evaluated by a panel of professional theatre producers, directors, dramaturgs, playwrights, and publishers. Four finalists are subsequently selected for public Equity readings in March 2018. Following the readings, one play is selected for an Equity production in the Premiere Stages 2018 Mainstage Season and receives an award of $2500. The runner-up receives a 29-hour staged reading and $1000. The two other finalists will each be awarded $750.


Premiere Stages is committed to supporting a diverse group of writers; playwrights of all backgrounds, ages, and experience levels are encouraged to apply.


Submission Guidelines

Our Play Festival Guidelines are available in PDF format!



  • Plays must be full-length and have a cast size of no more than eight.
  • Plays must be unpublished and unproduced (readings and workshops are okay).
  • Playwrights must have strong affiliations with the greater metropolitan area (New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Delaware).
  • Musicals, adaptations (of existing plays or other sources), and solo shows will not be considered at this time.
  • Submissions are limited to one script per playwright.
  • Playwrights must be available for the development of their script (see schedule at right).
  • Submissions are accepted September 15, 2017 through 11:59 p.m. on December 15, 2017.
  • Submissions sent early in the submission window are strongly encouraged.
  • All plays must be submitted as a PDF via email to
  • Hard copies will not be accepted.



2018 schedule


Sept. 15, 2017

Submissions open.


Dec. 15, 2017

Submissions due.


Early March, 2018

Finalists selected (4)


March 15-18, 2018

Readings at Premiere Stages


April, 2018

Festival winner and
runner-up are selected for expanded development


June 22-24, 2018

Equity 29-hour staged
reading of runner-up at
Premiere Stages.


September, 2018

Equity production (LOA
referenced to LORT) of
festival winner at
Zella Fry Theatre



Guidelines (PDF)







Non-Agent Submissions

We accept script samples and synopses from playwrights without an agent.


Submissions must include:

  • Brief synopsis of the play (no more than half a page).
  • Character breakdown.
  • History of the play’s development (if any).
  • The playwright’s bio or resume.
  • Script sample from the play (no more than 10 pages).





Agent Submissions


Premiere Stages will accept full scripts from literary agents or theatre professionals affiliated with Premiere Stages.