NewPlayFest 2026: Call for Producing Theatres | AACT

NewPlayFest 2026: Call for Producing Theatres

Become a Producing Theatre
Guidelines & Application

NewPlayFest logoThe community theatre that produces a new play brings a brand new adventure to its company and its patrons. The world premiere of an award-winning show is a feather in a theatre’s cap!

  1. Applications to be a Producing Theatre for AACT NewPlayFest 2026 have closed
  2. AACT will select member theatres to produce the winning plays. The Producing Theatres will read the scripts that make it to the final round and select the winning shows that will be produced. (The Adjudication Process is included in the documents at the bottom of this page.)
  3. Producing Theatres will be responsible for presenting the winning play with full production values (sets, costumes, lights, sound, props) on their mainstage between June 2025-December 2026, and for bringing in the playwright for a workshopping session and opening night.
  4. Producing Theatre and Producing Contracts can be found at the bottom of this page as PDF files. 

Producing Theatres benefits include:

  • Prestige of being selected for a national program
  • Premiere a national award-winning play
  • National publicity
  • Excitement of working directly with the playwright 
  • Honor of introducing the playwright to the community
  • Impact on the future of the work: the interpretations of the director and the actors may reveal insights to the playwright on what works or doesn’t work, leading to rewrites.
  • Your cast and production team listed in published scripts

Producing Theatre Responsibilities include:

  • Provide documentation of nonprofit status
  • Rank the plays that reach the final round, indicating your top choices for a production at your theatre
  • Provide a fully realized production on your Mainstage between June 2025 - December 2026 . A full production includes casting, rehearsing, and staging (costumes, lights, set design, props) of the script.
  • Present at least three (3) performances of the work
  • Pay a royalty of $75 per performance to the playwright
  • Bring in the playwright for a workshopping session and a performance
  • Advertise the production as part of AACT NewPlayFest
  • Host an opening night event or reception for AACT, Jack K. Ayre and Frank Ayre Lee Theatre Foundation, and Dramatic Publishing representatives. Format of event is at discretion of the theatre.
  • Sign contract agreeing to these responsibilities
  • Maintain AACT Organizational membership

If you have any questions about the Producing Theatre application process, please contact Quiana Clark-Roland at [email protected].

AACT will:

  • Select and announce producing theatres
  • Conduct national new play contest, including script solicitation, recruitment of Reviewers, tabulation of scores, and announcement of winners
  • Execute contracts with Producing Theatres and playwrights
  • Guide theatres in working with playwrights
  • Compile and publish a calendar of AACT NewPlayFest productions
  • Provide national advertising via websites, e-promos, social media, and news releases
  • Provide news release templates and guidance (as needed) for local promotion
  • Seek sponsorships or grants to help fund AACT expenses and/or theatre production expenses

The theatre that produces a new play often contributes to the future development of the piece. It illustrates to the playwright what works or doesn’t work. The interpretations of the director and the actors may reveal insights into the work that even the playwright didn’t know were there. A first production allows the playwright to discover what may need to be rewritten to make it more effective.

The Jack K. Ayre and Frank Ayre Lee Theatre Foundation will provide this generous funding to fund the AACT NewPlayFest 2026 Producing Theatres.

>> Applications have closed

Reference Documents

Item Name File
Producing Theatre Contract 2026 View/Download
Producing Contract 2026 View/Download
Playwright Contract 2026 View/Download
Script Review Process View/Download
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