Submissions for the 2018-2019 Staged Reading Series are closed as of May 31.
We received over 700 submissions from 645 playwrights–more than double any previous year! Due to this high volume of plays, we have extended the announcement of selections to July 31, 2018. We appreciate your patience as we work to make sure each submission receives the attention it deserves.
Submissions for the 2019-2020 Season will be open from September 1st 2018 to April 30, 2019.
Keep in mind that this is first and foremost a development opportunity. We are seeking plays that will benefit from further development, and playwrights who are excited about engaging with us through the development process. Please do not submit plays that have had an extensive development history or that have had multiple productions.
Please note that our submission process has changed. See below for details and FAQ’s.
Staged Reading Program Overview:
The Staged Reading Series at 5th Wall Productions is a part of our new play development process. Each month, one previously unpublished and unproduced play will receive a staged reading, followed by a a critical response session with the audience. At the end of each season, TWO of these selections will be chosen to receive a workshop production.
What kind of plays are you looking for?
5th Wall is currently accepting submissions of full-length, unpublished, unproduced stage plays. The plays do not have to be production-ready. In fact, most of our choices are in need of further development. Our mission is to give these development opportunities to new pieces, and 5th Wall staff will work closely with the writers to improve the work. Submissions will be judged for overall quality, length, style, and producibility. We strive to find plays that tell new stories, ask tough questions, provoke thought, and challenge both actors and audiences. Submissions are not exclusive to local playwrights, though some preference may be given to writers who are able to attend the reading.
How do I submit?
Please submit a 10-page sample of your script in PDF format. Submissions should be e-mailed to our literary manager at: email@example.com.
Is there a fee?
What do I need to include with my submission?
In the body of your email please include:
- Phone number
- Character breakdown
- Development history
- Any specific feedback you would like from the 5th Wall staff and/or questions you would ask the audience during the talkback session at a reading
- Optional: a brief biography
How should my play be formatted?
There is a great resource on play formatting by Samuel French here.
What is the deadline for submission?
Submissions for the 2019-2020 season will close at 11:59 pm EST on April 30, 2019.
When will I find out if my play is selected?
Writers will be automatically notified by email when we have received your submission. Due to the high volume of submissions we can not guarantee an individual response.
If your play is chosen for a Staged Reading, you will be notified by July 31, 2018.
If at any time you would like to receive an update on the status of your submission, feel free to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
When are the readings presented?
Staged Reading Series events are typically held on the third Sunday of each month (with the exception of November and December). Scripts are assigned a director and a cast, and in most cases scripts are given two rehearsals during the week prior to the reading. Writers are invited to attend the reading and rehearsals either in person or through web based video conferencing, but it is not required.
What happens in the Critical Response session?
The model we use for the critical response talkback was developed by Liz Lerman, and is used by many institutions including the New York Theatre Workshop. It is structured in a way that ensures that feedback remains constructive and to the point. The four steps of the Critical Response Process are:
- The audience is asked to make statements of meaning regarding the work.
- The writer asks questions of the audience.
- The audience then gets to ask questions of the writer.
- Members of the audience ask if the writer would like to hear opinions or suggestions about certain aspects of the play. The writer must give permission for the opinion or suggestion to be heard.
Learn more about the Critical Response Process here.
Are writers paid for staged readings or given compensation for travel?
We do not offer pay or travel stipends for staged reading participation. We feel that the benefit of the program is the development opportunity itself. Participation is voluntary for all involved. Writers who are not local may participate in the process through online video chat.
What happens next?
5th Wall will select TWO of the Staged Reading Series scripts to be workshopped into full productions in the following season. Writers will again be invited to participate in the workshop process, which will typically be the first two weeks of the six week rehearsal period. Writers are also welcome to attend a press-preview and opening night of the production. Writers will be compensated 10% of ticket sales for workshop productions.
What if my play has already been produced or published?
You are submitting to a development opportunity. Published plays will not be considered. Plays that have had previous productions will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Please detail the play’s development history (including any productions) in the body of your email.