Playwrights Theatre Seeks Submissions for 2014 NJ Young Playwrights Contest

Playwrights Theatre is currently accepting submissions for the 31st Annual New Jersey Young Playwrights Contest and Festival. Plays are accepted in the following divisions: Elementary (grades 4-6), Junior High (grades 7-9), High School (grades 10-12). Interested young playwrights must submit their plays online at High School plays must be received no later than 11:59pm on January 13, 2013. Elementary and Junior High School entries must be received no later than 11:59pm on January 14, 2013.

For complete details and submission guidelines, visit or contact Jim DeVivo, Direction of Education at 973-514-1787 X14 or, or visit the New Jersey Young Playwrights Blog at

There may be up to three winners in the Elementary, Junior High, and High School division and High School winners receive a New Jersey Governor's Award in Arts Education, cosponsored by the New Jersey Arts Education Partnership and the New Jersey Department of Education.

In addition to the abovementioned categories, student plays can also be eligible for the following special contests and programs:

The Roxbury Young Playwrights Project, working in partnership with Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey and The NJ Young Playwrights Contest, is a workshop designed to introduce students to the art and craft of theatre through the development and presentation of new plays by student authors. For four weeks in July, students from the Roxbury area will work on several plays submitted to the statewide NJ Young Playwrights Contest and selected by contest panelists, helping the writers deepen and strengthen their work while engaging in the discipline of theatrical performance and production. The workshop will culminate with the plays being presented to friends, family, and the general public at RoxPac.

The Roxbury Young Playwrights Project is looking for several plays written by students grades 7-12. Panelists will be interested in selecting plays that deal with issues important to young people today, and have casts with a predominant number of age-appropriate characters for young actors. This does not mean that selected plays will exclude older characters, but the project is looking to provide experiences where young actors can tackle characters in their age-range as a means to improve their performance skills. It is possible that the workshop will include older actors working alongside students as part of the process. Additional criteria take into account the project's focus on performance skills, so preference will be given to plays with smaller casts (2-5 characters), a limited number of settings, and simple technical requirements.

Cash prizes will be awarded to the winning plays. All writers grades 7-12 who submit to the New Jersey Young Playwrights Contest will be eligible for this category. Studentsdo notneed to be residents of Roxbury to qualify.

Revolutionary War Plays: The Revolutionary Plays category is open to NJ students grades 4-12. Submitted scripts should relate to specific people, places, and events from New Jersey's role in the American Revolution (1765-1787). Submissions to the Revolutionary Plays must be inspired by New Jersey's Revolutionary War history. While we are interested in unique takes on historical plays, historical drama is certainly encouraged, but not required, for submission. For this category, three plays, one in each grade range, may be awarded a $100 US Savings Bond, and their school a $50 Gift Card towards the purchase of Books for their library.

Living With Disabilities Category: Open to students grades 6-12, Playwrights Theatre is looking plays written by people with disabilities or about people with disabilities. The writer does not have to be living with a disability to submit to this category. The category is intended to encourage the creation of plays that can be sent to the National VSA Playwright Discovery Program

Plays submitted to this category only need to meet one criteria: that it is a play about disability or contains an important character (or characters) with a physical or other disability. A disability is defined in the Americans with Disabilities Act as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of an individual. An impairment is a physiological disorder affecting one or more of a number of body systems, or a mental or psychological disorder. The disability may be visible (e.g., a character who is blind or uses a wheelchair) or invisible (e.g., a character with a learning or developmental disability). Plays submitting to this category do nothave to be written by an author with a disability.

New Jersey Rep Young Playwrights Project: Produced by NJ Rep, a professional theatre in Long Branch, NJ, This exciting program (for High School Students living in communities affected by Hurricane Sandy only) will provide six writers a nine-week playwriting program at NJ Rep that culminates with a public reading with professional actors at NJ Rep's theatre in Long Branch, NJ. Students do not have to submit a play to be considered for this program, other writing samples are accepted. Writers can enter both the New Jersey Rep Young Playwrights Project and the NJ Young Playwrights Contest, but in order to do both, the author must submit a play that meets the New Jersey Young Playwrights Contest Guidelines (and pick a ten-page section for the NJ Rep contest to consider).

Writing samples and plays for the NJRep Contest can be submitted through the New Jersey Young Playwrights Program website .

For over 31 years, the New Jersey Young Playwrights Contest and Festival has been deepening the writing experience for young writers by providing entrants with detailed feedback from theatre professionals about their play. The Contest selects plays from over 400 submissions and presents them as staged reading with professional actors and directors. Selected playwrights meet with their director/dramaturg to discuss the play and work on possible revisions. Winning plays will be presented during the New Jersey Young Playwrights Festival annually held in May in collaboration with Premiere Stages at Kean University.

"The New Jersey Young Playwrights Contest and Festival is one of the oldest programs of its type in the country," said John Pietrowski, Artistic Director of Playwrights Theatre. "Winners of past contests have gone onto careers in the theatre and film, including Mary Hamilton, Judah Skoff, and Austin Bunn, whose film 'Kill Your Darlings' is currently premiering in movie theatres. Students have told us that the process of working on plays with professionals and the comments they receive on their scripts were the highlights of their school experience."

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