Bored over break? Write a play!

| Theater Editor

With winter break coming up soon, I know many of you are excited to go home, eat, sleep and watch Netflix. After a week of that routine, however, I tend to get a little antsy. I miss the hustle and bustle of Washington University —going to class, seeing friends, hanging out and, most of all, working on creative projects. Usually, I get my artistic fix at home by visiting the art museum and making crappy arts and crafts for relatives. This year, I’ve found a better use for my imagination over break—playwriting. Thankfully, there are a ton of opportunities to submit work in St. Louis, so I suggest you make like a playwright and grab a cup of hot cocoa, curl up in your hometown’s best coffee shop and write.

The Annual A.E. Hotchner Festival

Submission deadline: Jan. 16
Types of submissions accepted: Full-length, one-act and 10-minute plays

Performing Arts Department faculty choose plays from a few lucky student playwrights every year. Aside from receiving cash prizes, winners of the Hotch will work with guest professional dramaturg Michele Volansky to prepare their plays for a staged reading next fall. One lucky student will see their play produced as a part of the PAD’s 2016-2017 season! You can see last year’s winning play, “Telegraph” by Will Jacobs, in April 2015.
Contact: Playwright-in-Residence Carter Lewis at [email protected]

The Ken Haller Playwriting Competition for LGBTQ and Allied Youth

Submission deadline: Dec. 15
Types of submissions accepted: 10-minute plays

The early submission deadline for this opportunity makes That Uppity Theatre Company’s competition more of a procrastination method than a winter break activity. But don’t worry about hefty word counts—“brief” plays are encouraged. St. Louis undergraduates can submit their work to this contest, sponsored by the Vital Voice Media and the LGBT Center of St. Louis. The winning entry will receive a cash prize of $250 and a consideration for full production by Uppity in their annual “BRIEFS” festival!
Contact: Producer Michael Perkins at

First Run Theatre

Submission deadline: Jan. 1 2015 through Nov. 30 2015
Types of submissions accepted: Full-length and one-act plays
Dedicated to showcasing original works, First Run Theatre offers St. Louis playwrights the opportunity to develop and produce their work for an encouraging audience of local playwrights and theatre companies. The theatre typically accepts three two-act plays and three or four one-act plays for their play selection reading festival; from this pool, First Run will select a play or two for full production. First Run also has a short play festival; they accept 10-20 minute plays from March to June.
Contact: First Run Theatre at [email protected]

No Shame Theatre

Submission Deadline: Monthly
Types of submissions accepted: 10-minute plays, monologues
Thyrsus, Wash. U.’s oldest student theatre group, holds a No Shame event every month for student writers, actors and theater-enthusiasts. Students can come with any short piece of writing (the more experimental, the better) to put on for a lively audience that very night. The catch? The writers have to give their work to other actors to perform the piece.
Contact: Thyrsus at [email protected]

Other opportunities to look out for: The Wrighter’s Room at the Improv Shop, Thyrsus’ Thyrmpetition and No Shame events at Art Bar in St. Louis.

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