Premiere Stages At Kean University Seeks Submissions For Play Festival

Daniel Pellicano in The Beautiful Dark by Erik Gernand, Winner of the 2013 Premiere Stages Play Festival. (Photo by Mike Peters.)

Daniel Pellicano in The Beautiful Dark by Erik Gernand, Winner of the 2013 Premiere Stages Play Festival. (Photo by Mike Peters.)

UNION – Premiere Stages, the professional theatre company in residence at Kean University, is now accepting submissions for the 10th Annual Premiere Stages Play Festival. This yearly competition for unproduced scripts offers developmental and production opportunities to four playwrights born or currently residing in the greater metropolitan area (New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut).

Premiere will accept submissions through Jan. 15, and select four finalists on Feb. 27. All four finalists will receive developmental readings March 13 – 16, with a winner and runner-up announced in April. The festival winner will be awarded $2,000 and receive a full Equity production in the summer of 2014; the runner-up will receive $750 and an Equity workshop in June. The two remaining finalists will receive an honorarium of $500.

“Premiere is particularly interested in scripts that tackle social and political issues, and challenge our audience to re-examine the world around them. I encourage playwrights interested in submitting to peruse the theatre’s production history or contact our office with specific questions,” said Clare Drobot, Premiere’s Producing Associate and Resident Dramaturg.

“What makes Premiere unique is that we fast track plays from a sit-down reading to a fully staged production within a few short months, keeping highly topical plays relevant while affording playwrights the benefit of retaining the world premiere rights,” said John Wooten, Producing Artistic Director of Premiere Stages.

In its nine seasons to date, the Premiere Stages Play Festival has received over 2,000 submissions and developed more than 30 plays. A number of Play Festival finalists have gone on to publication and successful productions at theatres across the country. In 2012, both plays honored by the American Theatre Critics Association were previously developed at Premiere: Tammy Ryan’s Lost Boy Found in Whole Foods (winner of the 2012 Francesca Primus Prize), and Dominique Morriseau’s Follow Me to Nellie’s, which also received commendation.

Premiere’s 2013 Play Festival winner, The Beautiful Dark by Erik Gernand, riveted audiences and critics alike, with Anita Gates of The New York Times praising the play as “affecting” and “thought-provoking… The Beautiful Dark won Premiere Stages’ 2013 Play Festival, over 400 or so other submissions, and it is deserving.”

All 2014 Play Festival entries will be evaluated by a panel of theatre professionals in consultation with the Artistic Director and Resident Dramaturg. Agents may submit full scripts; playwrights may submit a synopsis and script sample directly. Postmark deadline is Jan. 15, 2014, and there is no fee to enter the competition. Complete submission guidelines are available at


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