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The Blank Theatre Now Accepting Submissions For 30th Anniversary Young Playwrights Festival


Since 1993, the festival has produced 357 plays by playwrights 19 and younger from 39 states.

The Blank Theatre Now Accepting Submissions For 30th Anniversary Young Playwrights Festival

The Blank Theatre is now seeking submissions from playwrights 19 years of age and younger for its 30th Annual Young Playwrights Festival. Submissions must be made online or postmarked by March 15, 2022.

The winning plays will be presented (four performances each) by professional actors and directors in July of this year. The Blank Theatre's Young Playwrights Festival is a nationwide competition that produces the work of 12 young writers each year. Since 1993, the festival has produced 357 plays by playwrights 19 and younger from 39 states.

The productions are made possible in part by grants from Los Angeles County Arts Commission, Department of Cultural Affairs - City of Los Angeles, Mitch O'Farrell, Councilmember 13th District, Plum Foundation, Rosenthal Family Foundation, YPFuture Founding Members, Deb and Ed Koehler, and the Raymond N. Plank Philanthropy Fund. The Blank is a 501(c)(3) non-profit arts organization.

The rules for the festival competition are as follows: playwrights must be 19 years of age or younger on March 15, 2022; original plays and musicals can be any length, on any subject. Scripts must be legible, and pages must be numbered and unbound. Submissions may be made online at or via email at or hard copies may be mailed to YPF, c/o The Blank Theatre, PO Box 1094, Los Angeles, CA, 90078 (and must be postmarked or emailed by March 15, 2021). There is a limit of three (3) plays per playwright. All plays must include a cover sheet with the play's title, playwright's name, date of birth, school (if applicable), mailing address, contact phone number, and e-mail address. Scripts will not be returned.

Each playwright whose work is accepted will be assigned a mentor, professionals who will help the young playwrights hone their work for performance. Past mentors have included Tony Award-winning playwright Terrence McNally, creator and executive producer of Sorry for Your Loss and four-time YPF winner Kit Steinkellner, Tony Award-nominated composer Michael John LaChiusa, writer Jeff Greenstein (Will & Grace), producer Todd Milliner (Hot in Cleveland, Grimm), writer Irene Mecchi (The Lion King, Brave), Tony Award-winning director Michael Mayer (Dear Evan Hansen, Spring Awakening), Tony Award-winning playwright and three-time YPF winner Stephen Karam (The Humans, Sons of the Prophet), playwright and two-time YPF winner Lauren Yee (King of the Yees, The Great Leap, Cambodian Rock Band), the late television and film director Garry Marshall, and many others. The playwrights then experience the thrill of seeing their plays performed by industry professionals in fully staged productions.

Said Daniel Henning, Founding Artistic Director of The Blank Theatre, "Thirty years ago when I founded the Young Playwrights Festival, I did not see the full extent of what we were doing. I thought it would be a good idea to support young artists in a professional setting and give them a chance to experience the world of theatre. Little did I know that we were laying the ground for a generation of diverse playwrights to learn that what's in their hearts is valuable to all of us. And important. We didn't give them a voice - they had that - but we gave them a platform from which their unique voices could be heard. Looking at all our alumni have achieved, I have to say that we exceeded our expectations of what was possible. And what an incredible joy that is."

Said Bree Pavey, The Blank's Producing Director, "Each Spring for the past 29 years, The Blank has found the freshest, most original voices in the American theatre, invited them to Los Angeles, and produced their scripts during a month-long summer festival. This thought-provoking work, performed and directed by seasoned professionals, has entertained thousands of audience members over the years. While these playwrights are as different as the states from which they come and the subjects with which they deal, they share something truly improbable - they're teenagers. And these are not only the voices of today's theatre - they are the future of theatre as well."

Through the years, many of the winning plays have been nominated for LA theatre awards, including an Ovation Award for Best Writing-World Premiere and an LA Weekly Award for Best One-Act Playwriting. Many alumni playwrights are populating the nation's theatres and sound stages with their work. YPF winners have gone on to successful writing careers on Broadway, are filling regional stages, and have created network TV shows. Alumnus Stephen Karam has been a two-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and is a 2016 Tony Award-winner for Best Play for The Humans. Alumnus Lauren Yee is a 2019 Doris Duke Artist, and she was the second most produced playwright in the 2019-2020 season according to American Theater Magazine (with her plays The Great Leap, King of the Yees, and Cambodian Rock Band).

For more information, visit the The Blank Theatre's website at

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