National Jewish Playwriting Contest

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

 Artistic Director David Winitsky and Contest Dramaturg Heather Helinsky are proud to announce that submissions are currently open for the 14th Annual National Jewish Playwriting Contest.

Submissions are accepted on a rolling basis, but the current review cycle now closes on MONDAY, July 1st, 2024 (unless you have a specific extension from our staff). Plays submitted after this date will be held for the next cycle. Full guidelines can be found at www.jewishplaysproject.org/guide. Please note that while we accept plays in many formats, we prefer the Dramatists Guild Standard Format.

We are currently seeking unproduced full-length (65+ minutes) plays and musicals that focus on aspects of 21st Century Jewish identity, culture, and ideas, and the complex and intersectional nature of contemporary Jewish life.

 

The following must be true of a submitted play or musical:

  1. It contains significant Jewish themes, characters, content, or points of view.
  2. It does not deal directly with the history of the Shoah or the World War II period generally.
  3. It does not fall into the beloved category of “ethnically stereotypical comedy”. 
  4. It is in English, or primarily in English – we love plays that play with languages.
  5. It is full length, meaning over 65 minutes or 60-70 pages.
  6. It has not had a full production in the New York City Metro area or a major regional theater (LORT C or above).
  7. The play has never been published in any form.

While we value history, we will always lean toward plays that tackle vibrant strands of today’s world: social, racial and economic justice; strong women in Jewish life; diverse stories of Jews of Color; LGBTQIA inclusion; new perspectives on Israel, environmentalism, and interfaith relations in addition to deep conversations about our complex and multifaceted identities.

Selected Finalists will be part of the Jewish Dramaturgy Lab, the JPP’s signature development process, and the National Jewish Playwriting Contest, an artist-driven, community-connected program that takes democratic artistic decision making directly to audiences. 

There is no submission fee. Writers may submit more than one script. Submissions from previous years are accepted, particularly if there is a new draft of the script. Each play submitted will be read by at least 2 – and up to 12 –  paid Artist Panelists and one staff member.

Current Finalists include Deborah Zoe Laufer, Noga Flaishon, Jake Brasch, Elise Wien, Abigail Henkin, and Dan Kitrosser. The JPP has featured some of the best writers in the theater, including David Hein and Irene Sankoff (Come from Away), Jonathan Caren (Rise on Netflix), and Lauren Yee (Cambodian Rock Band). The JPP has received and vetted over 1,800 plays by more than 1,200 writers in 34 states and 10 countries; we have actively developed 57 of those plays, 39 of which have gone on to production in New York, London. L.A., Tel Aviv and around the world, playing for over 100,000 audience members.  

For more information, or any writing or submission questions, email literary@jewishplaysproject.org.

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