The Annual New Play Festival (NPF) features new works, which have not been professionally produced or published, by University of Colorado Boulder undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and staff, and recent alums. There are four categories: Full Length, 1 Acts, 10 Minute plays, and Performance Scenarios. All selected works receive staged readings and are offered a feedback session during the festival. The “winner” of the NPF becomes incorporated into the Department of Theatre & Dance's next season as a full production! 

7th Annual New Play Festival

Deadlines for Submission

  • Submissions open Monday, Nov. 29th, 2021
  • The submission deadline is Friday, Jan. 28th, 2022

Feel free to submit to as many of these calls as you want, but we will be restricting playwrights to one accepted submission this year. 

Submissions & Eligibility

All CU Boulder undergraduate or graduate students, faculty, staff, or alums are eligible to submit work to the New Play Festival. Submissions must be turned in by the deadline; no late work may be accepted.

Please submit PDF documents only. Scripts need to be turned in with no identifying information about the playwright, except for a mandatory cover page containing the playwright’s name, contact information, and title of the script. Plays will be reviewed by at least 2 readers blindly and chosen by a selection committee. If a play was submitted for a past festival but not chosen, it must be substantially rewritten to be eligible for resubmission.

Full-Length Plays: Full-length plays must be of substantial length (normally somewhere between 60-120 pages in standard manuscript form), and must not have been previously professionally produced or published. Accepted plays may be developed by the playwright in collaboration with the director and actors over 8-10 rehearsal hours.

One-Act Plays: One-act plays must be somewhere between 11-60 pages in standard form, and not have been previously produced professionally or published. Accepted plays may be developed by the playwright in collaboration with the director and actors over 6-8 rehearsal hours.

10-Minute Plays: 10-minute plays must be around 10 minutes in length (normally around 10 pages in manuscript form), and not have been previously professionally produced or published. Accepted plays may be developed by the playwright in collaboration with the director and actors over 4-6 rehearsal hours.

Performance Scenarios: Recognizing that not all theatrical events are text-based, we accept performance scenarios for site-specific work (particularly interesting to explore during these Zoom days), an immersive work, a spec-actor scheme, etc. that is organized around design, an experience, an event, rather than starting with text. The 5-10-minute presentation of the performance concept can be in any form.

Directors and Actors: We need you all! More information to come in the New Year!

Frequently Asked Questions

Recognizing that not all theatrical events are text-based, NPF can also feature presentations by individuals (or groups) of scenarios for site-specific work, an immersive work, a spec-actor scheme, etc. that is organized around design, an experience, an event, rather than starting with text. The 5-10 minute presentation of the performance concept can be in any form, but PechaKucha is encouraged.

If a play was submitted for a past festival but not chosen, it must be substantially rewritten to be eligible for resubmission.

Feel free to submit to as many of these calls as you want! Only one full-length, one 1 act, one 10-minute play, and one Performance Scenario submission per person, please.

All submissions will be reviewed by at least 2 readers blindly and chosen by a script selection committee.

Yes! All works may be developed by the playwright in collaboration with the dramaturg, director and actors. Rehearsal time varies based on the submission:
  • Full Length Plays: 8-10 rehearsal hours
  • 1 Act Plays: 4-6 rehearsal hours
  • 10 Minute Plays: 2-4 rehearsal hours
  • Performance Scenarios:  2-4 rehearsal hours

If selected for the festival, expect to hear back within approximately 2 weeks of the submissions deadline. 

In the Acting Studio, room C240, in the University Theatre Building

The New Play Festival is an opportunity for playwrights to hear their work performed for the first time. All performances are staged readings with minimal props, scenic and lighting elements, and costumes. We want to focus on the spoken word.

All performances are free and open to the public!  For more information on how to get “free tickets,” go to CU Presents.

Auditions are typically held in the Design Studio in late February. There is no need to have anything prepared, and auditions usually only take a few minutes.

Stay Connected

If you'd like to receive updates about upcoming festivals, please email cubouldernpf@gmail.com or follow our Facebook page @CUBoulderNPF.