NewPlayFest 2026: Call for Scripts
AACT NewPlayFest aims to support the production of new plays in community theatres and to provide an opportunity for playwrights to have their unpublished plays, published and produced.
The program does this by creating a space for US based community theatres and playwrights to explore the process and journey of producing and publishing a new play together. It also introduces new audiences and communities to the joy and experience of attending a new play production and premiere--many for the first-time.
Submitted scripts are read and ranked by a national panel of reviewers through a three-tiered reviewing process. The Producing Community Theatres will go through an application and interview process before being selected. The Producing Community Theatre will select their plays from the final-tier of finalists.
Produced plays will have their scripts published in an anthology of the winning plays by Dramatic Publishing Company and be available for licensing for 2 years. To learn more about the agreement please review the guidelines and contracts below.
>> NOTE: Scripts will be accepted May 1st through June 30, 2024.
Guidelines for Playwrights
- Plays must be submitted between May 1, 2024 and June 30, 2024.
- No fee for AACT member playwrights; $10 script processing fee for non-members.
- Only one script per playwright accepted.
- The Playwriting Contract should be reviewed prior to submission. Download Playwright Contract 2026 PDF at bottom of this page.
- AACT NewPlayFest is open to non-musical, full-length plays.
- No limit on number of characters.
- No restrictions on subject (although excessive offensive language, sex, or violence might limit the play’s appeal for some community theatres).
- Script must be unpublished and must not have received a full production. (If selected, the AACT theatre’s production is to be a world premiere.) (Self-publication is allowed as long as the script is only available from the playwright or the playwright's website.)
- No translations or adaptations of previously published works.
- The script will be workshopped with the director and cast of the Producing Theatre, the playwright, and an AACT selected dramaturg. Changes or revisions must have consent of Producer and Playwright.
- Must be submitted online in one Adobe Acrobat pdf format file. (Several free pdf converters can be found online.)
- Must be written in English.
- Minimum 60 pages, maximum 120 pages using 12pt Times New Roman or equivalent.
- Use standard play format and follow the AACT NewPlayFest Script Formatting Guidelines. Download Script Formatting PDF at bottom of this page.
- Script must include, near the front: cast list, brief character descriptions, and set requirements.
- Script must have no indication of the author on any page or in the file properties. (This allows reviewers to be totally objective.)
Winning Plays & Productions
- Semi-finalists will be notified October 2024, and will be required to sign the Playwright Contract to be eligible as a finalist.
- Finalists will be notified February 2025.
- Winners will be announced April 2025.
- You may download the Adjudication Process document at bottom of this page
- The winning plays will be produced by American community theatres between June 2025 and December 2026. Producing Theatres have committed to a production of at least three performances with full production values. Submission of a script includes acceptance of production, if selected.
- The Producing Theatre will pay the playwright a royalty of $75 per performance.
- AACT has contracted with Dramatic Publishing Company to publish an anthology of the winning plays. Submission includes acceptance of publication in the anthology.
- Productions will be publicized locally and nationally as World Premieres. Winning playwrights will be invited to travel to the respective Producing Theatres for a workshopping of the script with an AACT-selected dramaturg and a performance. (Producing Theatres will provide some funding for travel.) . See The Playwright Contract for more details on the workshop process, as well as articles in the current issue of the AACT magazine, Spotlight,
- AACT only accepts online scripts through our NewPlayFest cycle submission process.
- Incomplete submissions will be ineligible for inclusion in the festival.
- The judges' decisions are final.
- AACT and its associated contest judges will destroy all electronic script submissions after the close of the program.
For questions about your submission, contact Susan Austin at [email protected] or the AACT office at 817-732-3177.
>> Script Submissions will be open May 1-June 30, 2024.
Please return to this page at that time for the submission form (see sample form, below)
|Playwright Contract 2026
|NewPlayFest Script Review Process
|Script Submission Form (Sample)
|Article on the Workshopping Process
(from the Jan.-Feb. 2022 issue of Spotlight)