American Shakespeare Center- Shakespeare’s New Contemporaries OPEN TO SUBMISSION

Shakespeare’s New Contemporaries, set up by the American Shakespeare Center, is an undertaking to discover, develop, and produce a new canon of 38 plays that are inspired by and in conversation with Shakespeare’s work.  It’s an opportunity for playwrights of every gender, race, and creed to partner with Shakespeare.

Each winning playwright will receive a $25,000 cash prize, plus travel to and housing in Staunton, Virginia for the rehearsal period and opening of their production. ​​

The first round of submission, open now, are for plays inspired by or in conversation with The Merry Wives of Windsor; Henry IV, Part 1; The Comedy of Errors; or The Winter’s Tale.  Submissions will be accepted until 11:59pm on February 15, 2018.

The second round of plays will be accepted from June 1 – August 1, 2018; the Shakespeare plays to consider in that round are OthelloHenry IV, Part 2A Midsummer Night’s Dream; or Cymbeline.


Submission Guidelines

  • The play must be written for a cast of 10-12 actors.
  • The play must be able to be performed with minimal sets.
  • The play must be able to be performed with universal (shared) lighting.
  • The play must be 2(ish) hours long.
  • The play must be inspired by or in conversation with The Merry Wives of WindsorHenry IV, Part 1The Comedy of Errors; or The Winter’s Tale.
  • The play must have not yet had a professional production and preferably would remain unproduced through July 1, 2019.

How to apply

  • Remove your name and any contact information from the script.  Remove any agent or representation’s name and contact information from the script.
  • Include a Character Breakdown at the start of the script.  Please include age and gender in the breakdown, as well as any other information you’d like them to know.  If your play has more than 12 characters, they recommend (though don’t require) that your Character Breakdown also include suggested doubling.
  • Title the document with the title of your play.
  • Save your script as a PDF or Word document.

You will also have the opportunity (though you are not required) to upload a biog; please make sure the document is titled with your name.

Additionally, you may upload any supporting materials that may be related to the play; please be sure to name each file “[Title of Play]_Additional Content”.


For more information and to submit please go to

Published on:
19 Jan 2018


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