Combating COVID-19 with the power of the pen!



The Senior Endeavor Awards

Combat COVID-19 with the Power of the Pen


Premiere Stages, the professional theatre company in residence at Kean University has announced a new initiative – The Premiere Senior Endeavor Awards – a new playwriting competition for New Jersey based writers that offers cash awards and benefits in three categories: rising High School Seniors, Kean University Seniors (graduating class of 2020) and Senior Citizens residing in a senior living community.









Accepted entries will be completed one-act plays between ten and sixty pages inspired by or in response to the challenges of COVID-19. Their content can directly relate to issues surrounding the virus, or may be more abstractly related.  Plays can be autobiographical or can be completely fictional; an application form will ask two simple questions about the author’s experiences. Plays must be unproduced and unpublished.
Submissions are limited to writers in one of the below categories who reside in New Jersey.









Guidelines and Awards

Offering unique opportunities to seniors in three categories



  • The High School Senior Endeavor Award will provide $1000 to a rising senior who will be completing his/her/their junior year of high school in May/June 2020. The winning student will also receive a professional reading of the play and a letter of recommendation that can be used to support Fall college applications.

  • The College Senior Endeavor Award will provide $1000 to a Kean University senior who is graduating from Kean in May of 2020. The winning college senior will also receive a professional reading of the play and will be extended the offer of a paid six-month internship in the Premiere Stages Literary Office.

  • The NJ Senior Endeavor Award will provide $1000 to a senior citizen who currently resides in a New Jersey senior living community (Assisted Living or Independent Living). Premiere Stages will also provide a professional reading of the play and a fully sponsored Premiere Stages Legacy Residency for those seniors who also reside in the community where the winning writer lives (once CDC guidelines for social distancing have been fully lifted). Legacy Residencies are part of the Premiere Play Factory and provide opportunities to seniors to partner with professional playwrights to document, share and celebrate their legacies with their peers and families through a showcase of their work as performed by professional actors. Check our Residencies at



Submission Guidelines

  • Premiere will accept submissions from June 1 through August 1, 2020, and the three winners will be selected by September 1, 2020; any submissions received before or after this submission window will not be considered. All three winners will receive developmental readings with a professional cast, director and dramaturg, between October 9-11, 2020 on the Kean University campus.

  • Questions? Email us at

  • An additional six playwrights (two in each category) will receive an honorable mention certificate and an honorarium of $100 each.

  • The project will be sponsored through a sustained funding gift from long-time Premiere Stages donors W. John Bauer and Nancy Boucher.

  • The application form will be live starting June 1, 2020. All plays must be submitted as a PDF or Word Doc. Click on "Submit your play" below to fill out the form and upload your submission.

    Submit your play!


2020 schedule


June 1, 2020

Submissions open.


August 1, 2020

Submissions deadline


September 1, 2020

Winners selected


October 9-11, 2020

Winners' professional readings




Guidelines (PDF)