Submissions Open for Yale Young Native Playwrights Contest and Misty Upham Award for Young Native Actors

Submit your plays by January 15th, 2024.

By: Dec. 07, 2023
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Submissions Open for Yale Young Native Playwrights Contest and Misty Upham Award for Young Native Actors Calling all Native writers and actors 25 and Under! 


Submissions are open for both the 9th Annual Yale Young Native Playwrights Contest, and the 4th Annual Misty Upham Award for Young Native Actors. 


Annual Young Playwrights Contest

Submissions are currently open for the 9th Annual Yale Young Native Playwright's Contest sponsored by the Yale Indigenous Performing Arts Program (YIPAP) to support the next generation of Native writers. They invite Indigenous writers aged twenty-five years and younger to submit written versions of their plays for consideration by January 15th 2024. The winning play(s) will receive a development opportunity with professional theater artists on Yale campus as a part of the annual Yale New Native Play Festival. The winning playwright will also receive travel and housing on Yale Campus, and a $500 cash prize. This year the Annual YIPAP Festival will be held at the Yale Schwarzman Center in late April. 


The playwright must be between the ages of 15 and 25 and identify as Indigenous.

Plays must be original scripts of no more than 120 pages and no less than 50 pages (this can vary due to structure, so feel free to email to double check eligibility) and written in standard play-script format with one-inch margins, 12 point Times or Courier font, all pages numbered, a title page, and character list. Plays must be in either Word or PDF format.

Front page of script must list:

  • Title of play

  • Full name

  • Tribal affiliation

  • Date of birth

  • Home address

  • Email

  • Phone number

Submission details can be found on the YIPAP website here:


Annual Misty Upham Award for Young Native Actors 

The Yale Indigenous Performing Arts Program (YIPAP) is excited to announce the call for submissions for the Fourth Annual Misty Upham Award for Young Native Actors. This award was created in memory of the acclaimed Blackfeet actress Misty Upham and honors Native actors 25 and under.  

The winner will receive $500, and transportation to and housing on Yale campus to be a part of the 2024 YIPAP New Native Play Festival at the Yale Schwarzman Center April 22-25th. They will have the opportunity to be cast in workshops of new Native plays in development and be honored as part of an award ceremony. Native actors age 25 and under are invited to record themselves performing a monologue to be considered for submission. Video submissions are due Feb 25th 2024 and will be evaluated by a team of professional theater artists. The review panel for the award has traditionally consisted of significant Native Theater Artists and Casting Directors, creating additional exposure for all applicants. 

For the purposes of the competition, they have compiled a special folder of monologues for Native actors under 25 by Native playwrights such as Marisa Carr, Carolyn Dunn, Tara Moses, Mary Kathryn Nagle, Vera Starbard, William S Yellowrobe Jr, and Vickie Ramirez, with their permission. New monologues have also been added since last year's submissions. (They are open to additional materials, but all submissions should feature the actors performing the work of Native playwrights.) 

For access to the monologue folder and more info on how to submit please email:

YIPAP Festival

Each year the YIPAP Festival consists of a workshop and staged reading of the winning youth play(s), alongside new plays by professional Native playwrights. This year the Annual YIPAP Festival will be held at the Yale Schwarzman Center in April, and they will be curating an engaging set of professional works for interchange between youth contest winners and professional artists. 



Each year YIPAP offers free acting and playwriting workshops to help Native youth across the nation prepare their contest submissions. This year is no exception offering online workshops with acclaimed theater artists. 




Sunday Dec 17th 4-6 PT/7-9 ET (online)

All Native Writers are welcome to join this online workshop in which Tara will share exercises and tools, for generating new material and getting your work submission ready. 



Tara Moses is a citizen of Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, Mvskoke, director, award-winning playwright, Former Artistic Director of Red Eagle Soaring, and co-Founder of Groundwater Arts. As a playwright, her completed works include Sections, He'eo'o (Winner of the 2019 Native Storytellers Contest), Quantum (2020 and 2021 Finalist for the National Playwrights Conference), Bound (2019 Native American New Play Festival Winner), the adaptation of Hamlet: El Príncipe de Denmark, Don Juan, Arbeka. 




(10 person cap) 

Sunday January 8th 3-5 PT/6-8 ET

Native Youth 25 and under can enroll in this workshop in which DeLanna Studi will offer tips, tools, and one on one monologue coaching for Native Actors interested in submitting for this year's Misty Upham Award for Young Native Actors. 



DeLanna Studi is a proud citizen of the Cherokee Nation and is honored to be the new Artistic Director of Native Voices at the Autry. She has over 25 years of experience as a performer, storyteller, educator, facilitator, advocate, and activist. Her theater credits include the First National Broadway Tour of Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winning play August: Osage County, Off-Broadway's Gloria: A Life at the Daryl Roth Theatre, Informed Consent at the Duke Theater on 42nd Street, and Regional Theaters (Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Portland Center Stage, Cornerstone, and Indiana Repertory Theater). DeLanna originated roles in over eighteen World Premieres including fourteen Native productions.  


To enroll in this year's free workshops please email