Premiere Stages Play Festival History



The Premiere Play Festival

Submissions for the 2021 Premiere Play Festival open September 1, 2020. 


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 Equity productions.









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 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. We offer Play Festival winners the option to retain the coveted “World Premiere” brand on their plays. Additionally, Premiere’s productions are consistently reviewed, scouted by major publishing houses, and honored by the American Theatre Critics Association.










Play Festival Details

Submit your plays! (September 1 - December 1, 2020)


Premiere Stages will accept submissions of unproduced plays written by playwrights affiliated with the greater metropolitan area from September 1, 2020 through December 1, 2020. 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 2020.




Following the Spring readings, one play is selected for an Equity production in the Premiere Stages 2020 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

All plays must be submitted as a PDF.



  • 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  • Plays must be unpublished and unproduced (readings and workshops are okay), with no productions and/or publication currently scheduled through September 2020.
  • 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 are not eligible.
  • Submissions are limited to one script per playwright.
  • Please contact Premiere Stages to inquire about submitting a script that has been previously submitted.
  • Playwrights must be available for the development of their script (see the 2020 schedule table).
  • Submissions are accepted September 1, 2020 through 11:59 p.m. on December 1, 2020. Submissions sent early in the submission window are strongly encouraged.
  • All plays must be submitted as a PDF to: Hard copies will not be accepted.



2020 schedule TBA


Sept. 1, 2020

Submissions open


Dec. 1, 2020

Submissions due


Early March 2020

Four finalists selected


March TBA, 2020

Finalists' readings at Premiere Stages in Union, NJ


April 2020

Festival winner and runner-up are selected for expanded development


June TBA, 2020

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


September 2020

Equity production (LOA
referenced to LORT) of
festival winner at
Premiere Stages.




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)
  • History of the play’s development (or statement that it has none)
  • The playwright's bio or resume
  • Script sample from the play (no more than 10 pages plus title page and character breakdown)


All plays must be submitted as a PDF via Submittable. Hard copies will not be accepted.



Agent Submissions


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




Questions or Concerns


For any questions regarding the submission guidelines or process, please email us at