Playwrights Theatre is currently accepting submissions for the 31st Annual New Jersey Young Playwrights Contest and Festival. Plays are accepted in the following divisions: Elementary (grades 4-6), Junior High (grades 7-9), High School (grades 10-12). Interested young playwrights must submit their plays online at High School plays must be received no later than 11:59pm on January 13, 2013. Elementary and Junior High School entries must be received no later than 11:59pm on January 14, 2013. For complete details and submission guidelines, visit or contact Jim DeVivo, Direction of Education at 973-514-1787 X14 or, or visit the New Jersey Young Playwrights Blog at
There may be up to three winners in the Elementary, Junior High, and High School division and High School winners receive a New Jersey Governor’s Award in Arts Education, cosponsored by the New Jersey Arts Education Partnership and the New Jersey Department of Education.
In addition to the abovementioned categories, student plays can also be eligible for the following special contests and programs:
The Roxbury Young Playwrights Project, working in partnership with Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey and The NJ Young Playwrights Contest, is a workshop designed to introduce students to the art and craft of theatre through the development and presentation of new plays by student authors. For four weeks in July, students from the Roxbury area will work on several plays submitted to the statewide NJ Young Playwrights Contest and selected by contest panelists, helping the writers deepen and strengthen their work while engaging in the discipline of theatrical performance and production. The workshop will culminate with the plays being presented to friends, family, and the general public at RoxPac.

The Roxbury Young Playwrights Project is looking for several plays written by students grades 7-12. Panelists will be interested in selecting plays that deal with issues important to young people today, and have casts with a predominant number of age-appropriate characters for young actors. This does not mean that selected plays will exclude older characters, but the project is looking to provide experiences where young actors can tackle characters in their age-range as a means to improve their performance skills. It is possible that the workshop will include older actors working alongside students as part of the process. Additional criteria take into account the project’s focus on performance skills, so preference will be given to plays with smaller casts (2-5 characters), a limited number of settings, and simple technical requirements.
Cash prizes will be awarded to the winning plays. All writers grades 7-12 who submit to the New Jersey Young Playwrights Contest will be eligible for this category. Studentsdo notneed to be residents of Roxbury to qualify.
Revolutionary War Plays: The Revolutionary Plays category is open to NJ students grades 4-12. Submitted scripts should relate to specific people, places, and events from New Jersey’s role in the American Revolution (1765-1787). Submissions to the Revolutionary Plays must be inspired by New Jersey’s Revolutionary War history. While we are interested in unique takes on historical plays, historical drama is certainly encouraged, but not required, for submission. For this category, three plays, one in each grade range, may be awarded a $100 US Savings Bond, and their school a $50 Gift Card towards the purchase of Books for their library.
Living With Disabilities Category: Open to students grades 6-12, Playwrights Theatre is looking plays written by people with disabilities or about people with disabilities. The writer does not have to be living with a disability to submit to this category. The category is intended to encourage the creation of plays that can be sent to the National VSA Playwright Discovery Program 
Plays submitted to this category only need to meet one criteria: that it is a play about disability or contains an important character (or characters) with a physical or other disability. A disability is defined in the Americans with Disabilities Act as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of an individual. An impairment is a physiological disorder affecting one or more of a number of body systems, or a mental or psychological disorder. The disability may be visible (e.g., a character who is blind or uses a wheelchair) or invisible (e.g., a character with a learning or developmental disability). Plays submitting to this category do nothave to be written by an author with a disability.
New Jersey Rep Young Playwrights Project: Produced by NJ Rep, a professional theatre in Long Branch, NJ, This exciting program (for High School Students living in communities affected by Hurricane Sandy only) will provide six writers a nine-week playwriting program at NJ Rep that culminates with a public reading with professional actors at NJ Rep's theatre in Long Branch, NJ. Students do not have to submit a play to be considered for this program, other writing samples are accepted. Writers can enter both the New Jersey Rep Young Playwrights Project and the NJ Young Playwrights Contest, but in order to do both, the author must submit a play that meets the New Jersey Young Playwrights Contest Guidelines (and pick a ten-page section for the NJ Rep contest to consider).
Writing samples and plays for the NJRep Contest can be submitted through the New Jersey Young Playwrights Program website .
For over 31 years, the New Jersey Young Playwrights Contest and Festival has been deepening the writing experience for young writers by providing entrants with detailed feedback from theatre professionals about their play. The Contest selects plays from over 400 submissions and presents them as staged reading with professional actors and directors. Selected playwrights meet with their director/dramaturg to discuss the play and work on possible revisions. Winning plays will be presented during the New Jersey Young Playwrights Festival annually held in May in collaboration with Premiere Stages at Kean University.
“The New Jersey Young Playwrights Contest and Festival is one of the oldest programs of its type in the country,” said John Pietrowski, Artistic Director of Playwrights Theatre. “Winners of past contests have gone onto careers in the theatre and film, including Mary Hamilton, Judah Skoff, and Austin Bunn, whose film ‘Kill Your Darlings’ is currently premiering in movie theatres. Students have told us that the process of working on plays with professionals and the comments they receive on their scripts were the highlights of their school experience.”
About Playwrights Theatre:
Founded in 1986, Playwrights Theatre is a 501(c) 3 not-for-profit professional theatre and arts education institution dedicated to developing and nurturing the dramatic imagination of artists, students, and audiences. Our New Play Program creates development opportunities for professional writers through readings, workshops and productions, and invites audiences to participate in authentic feedback experiences. Our New Jersey Writers Project, Poetry Out Loud, New Jersey Young Playwrights Contest and Festival, and Creative Arts Academy programs provide a comprehensive and hands-on arts education experience to over 31,000 students, Pre-K through adult.
Writers in the New Play Program are drawn from across the country, including our affiliation with the National New Play Network, a nation-wide group of theatres dedicated to the development and production of new work. Teaching Artists in our Education Programs are professional artists working in their field in the New Jersey, New York, and Philadelphia metropolitan areas. From 2003-2016, we have been designated a Major Arts Institution by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts (along with only five other theatres: The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, George Street Playhouse, McCarter Theatre Center, Two River Theatre and Paper Mill Playhouse) as “an anchor institution that contributes vitally to the quality of life in New Jersey.”
Funding for our activities comes from: the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the F.M. Kirby Foundation, Inc., Dramatist Guild Fund, Horizon Foundation of New Jersey, The Shubert Foundation, The Victoria Foundation, and many corporations, foundations and individuals.
Playwrights Theatre is a member of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance, the National New Play Network, and Madison Arts & Culture Alliance. 
About Premiere Stages:
As the professional Equity Theatre-in-Residence at Kean University, Premiere Stages is committed to serving the cultural needs of the campus community and the northern and central New Jersey regions. Premiere Stages actively engages and enhances the specialized training programs at Kean University while embracing and serving a culturally diverse audience, underserved children, and a broad pool of regional artists. Premiere’s programming is comprised of three major artistic initiatives:
• Arts Education:Introducing NJ children and teenagers to the art of dramatic writing and performance, increasing literacy, facilitating creative written expression, and encouraging collaborative teamwork.
• New Play Development:Cultivating talented writers, supporting the development of new plays through workshops and fully staged productions, bringing high-quality professional productions to a diverse audience.
• Professional Development for University Students:Bringing world-class artists to the Kean University campus for master classes, offering exposure for student writing and acting through showcase performances, and providing students with professional experience as actors, understudies, and interns in a variety of technical and arts administration fields.
Premiere Stages is made possible in part through funding from The New Jersey State Council on the Arts, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, The Provident Bank Foundation, The New Jersey Theatre Alliance, The Westfield Foundation and through the generous support of individual patrons. 
About New Jersey Repertory Company:
The New Jersey Repertory Company is a professional, non-profit regional theater founded in 1997 by SuzAnne Barabas (Artistic Director) and Gabor Barabas (Executive Producer). Located in Long Branch, New Jersey, the theater's mission is to develop and produce new plays and to make a lasting contribution to the American stage. In keeping with this mission, NJ Rep has produced 83 plays in 14 seasons, including 56 world premieres. The theater is committed to nurturing the work of not only established writers but new and unknown playwrights as well, and has maintained an open-submission policy, receiving approximately 500 new scripts each year from throughout the U.S. and around the world.
Through its Developmental Reading Series, NJ Rep has presented 282 script-in-hand readings of new works and these readings serve as a forum for writers to see their plays come to life for the first time while simultaneously providing NJ Rep with the opportunity of viewing how a play "lives" on stage. 38 of the theater's 56 fully produced premieres began as readings, a testimonial to the theater's philosophy of providing a true continuum from play development to full production.
As a member of the National New Play Network (NNPN), a consortium of like-minded theaters throughout the U.S., NJ Rep has participated in 10 "rolling world premieres." These premieres represent a pioneering concept that is revolutionizing how new plays are produced. NNPN's founders were aware that not only was it very difficult to have a new play produced in the U.S. but that second and third productions were even less frequently seen. Through "rolling premieres", an entirely new work is presented by three member theaters independently in three different cities within a twelve-month period, often propelling an unknown work toward further productions and publication.
NJ Rep adheres to no specific style or philosophy, and seeks only to champion that which engages and challenges an audience with compelling themes, and strives to extend the language and scope of theater. Many of the plays that first saw the light of day on one of its two intimate stages have gone on to be produced by regional theaters across the country, New York City, and overseas.
Funding for the NJ Rep Young Playwrights Project is provided by ArtHelps. ArtHelps is funded by The New Jersey Recovery Fund, hosted by the Community Foundation of New Jersey and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, is a joint effort between local and national foundations, New Jersey corporations, and individuals to support local non-profit organization working in communities affected by Hurricane Sandy. The fund provides flexible financial support to organizations focused on ensuring that recovery and rebuilding decisions address the long-term needs of the state and the local communities.
The programs of the Monmouth County Arts Council are made possible in part by funds from the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders, through the Monmouth County Historical Commission, and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.