Samuel French's Off Off Broadway Festival Accepting Submissions Through 2/28


Samuel French's Off Off Broadway Festival Accepting Submissions Through 2/28

The Samuel French Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival, the nation's premiere short play competition, is now collecting submissions for its 39th season. The deadline for submissions is Friday, February 28 at 11:59pm.

Originating in 1975, the Festival is New York's oldest, continuous short play festival and has attracted applicants from not only the U.S., but international dramatists as well (Canada, Singapore, the United Kingdom, etc.). The OOB Festival is distinct in two ways: by requiring applicants to collaborate with a producing organizing; and offering publication in Samuel French's notable OFF OFF BROADWAY FESTIVAL PLAYS series.

While the Festival generates introductions between many important members of the theatre industry, the main goal is to serve as a doorway to future success for aspiring playwrights. Theresa Rebeck, Steve Yockey, Gabe McKinley, Bekah Brunstetter, and Daniel Pearle are just a handful of the writers whose careers have been launched through OOB. Past Festival playwrights have gone on to win notable playwriting awards and honors, receive representation, and mount major theatrical productions of their works.

"The Festival's always been an incredible springboard for playwrights. Most of us at Samuel French are or have been theatre practitioners; we understand what it's like to produce theatre at a grassroots level," says Amy Marsh, the Festival's Artistic Coordinator. "This Festival is about Samuel French connecting with the playwright face-to-face, and using our legacy of publishing great plays to help emerging playwrights find the next steps in terms of their career."

Playwrights may submit up to three unpublished plays that are performed in 30 minutes or less.

Submissions are whittled down by the Festival's editorial staff, and the Final Thirty are chosen to present their play during Festival Week. This week consists of four performance sessions in which seven or eight scripts are presented in front of a judging panel comprised of theatre industry professionals. At the end of each session, the judges deliberate and one or two plays are selected to move on to the Festival Finals.

Finals take place on the Saturday of the Festival Week. During the Finals, the Festival staff watches the final 12-14 plays and selects six authors to be a published in the OFF OFF BROADWAY FESTIVAL PLAYS series. The Sunday of Festival Week acts as a showcase of all winners, and Samuel French invites many industry professional to attend.

From gaining exposure at the Festival, many emerging playwrights went on to have their work produced with the support of theatres such as: The Public Theater, The Royal Court, Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Flea Theatre, The Living Theatre, Ars Nova, and Naked Angels. In addition, many playwrights' works have been produced with the backing of prestigious university playwriting programs, including The New School for Drama, Columbia University, University of Iowa, and Tisch School of the Arts' Dramatic Writing Program.

The 39th Annual Samuel French Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival will run from August 4-10 at the Peter Jay Sharp Theatre at Playwrights Horizons (416 West 42nd Street). To submit, visit Script submission deadline is Friday, February 28 at 11:59pm. Please email with any additional questions.

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