PlayFest: Playwriting Contest

What Is PlayFest?

PlayFest is a playwriting competition/event whose principal objective is to encourage the writing and production of new plays. The purpose of PlayFest is as follows:

·         To encourage and promote the study of playwriting by all.

·         To encourage and promote the writing of new plays.

·         To provide a clearing house for the reading and evaluation of new plays in a working and teaching environment.

·         To provide greater incentive to playwrights by establishing a working relationship between professionals, educators and playwrights.

·         To produce new play productions. This may include staged readings, workshop productions, and new play seminars, annually at the T.E.T.A. TheatreFest Convention.

 

What Is New This Year For PlayFest?

PlayFest is offering the traditional playwriting competition of a full-length and 10 minute plays, but this year PlayFest will include a new Classroom Group Written Play category, as well!!

 

How Does PlayFest Work?

Plays are written and emailed to the PlayFest Chair(s) for consideration. The plays are sent to readers/adjudicators for evaluation. The plays and evaluations are sent back to the PlayFest Chair(s) for awarding. The Chairs will notify all participants of the decisions of the PlayFest Committee.

 

Successful participants will then be responsible for having their play performed at TheatreFest Convention the following January. The performance is required of all recipients of the PlayFest awards.

·         Traditional PlayFest - For production purposes at the Convention, all successful scripts must be cut to one hour performance time. The production will have one and a half hours to rehearse at the Convention prior to the performance.  The cast performing (if mounted) is the responsibility of the successful playwright (assistance in finding a cast can be solicited from the PlayFest Chairs).  If the type of performance will be a staged reading, a cast will be provided by the PlayFest Chairs.

Two Types of Performance Mounted and Staged Reading:

o   Mounted:  Simple costumes, props and makeup are requested. One U.I.L. unit set will be provided for use. All materials brought for the production must arrive on the exact day of the performance. No storage space will be provided. Playwrights, who may not have access or connections with a school or any other acting company, can seek assistance from the PlayFest Chair(s) to help search and find someone to produce their play.  The hour long performance and a 20 minute audience "talk back" with the playwright and the performing company will take place during the Convention. All materials will need to be cleared immediately following this 90 minute presentation.

o   Staged Reading: Staged readings of the plays will be offered as an alternative to staged productions.  These stage readings will be read by a team of readers selected by the PlayFest Chairs.

 

·         10 Minute PlayFest - There will 3 - 1hour and 20 minute workshops presented at the Convention. A team of five actors will present all of the plays at each of the workshops, and will be cast by the PlayFest Chair(s).  Each workshop will have 5 - 10 minute plays presented with minimal set up times between each.  These plays should be “no sets”, “no costumes” and “minimal props.”  Actor movement will be encouraged.  This will not be a “sit down reading”, but an action oriented reading (not memorized).  The direction for each of the 3 workshops will be at the PlayFest Chair(s) discretion.  Each workshop will have one and a half hours to rehearse at the Convention prior to the performance.  A forth workshop will be conducted for a Guest Playwright to respond to the 15 award winners.

 

What Awards Are Given?

·         Traditional PlayFest - Successful submissions will receive a $200 check, and slot at the T.E.T.A. TheatreFest Convention for mounting the play. Submissions will be selected for these awards in each category of: Classroom Group written, High School Student, College/University Student, and Texas Residence. The total awards will not exceed 6 per year.

·         New 10 Minute PlayFest - Successful submissions will receive a $50 check, and slot at the T.E.T.A. TheatreFest Convention for mounting the play. Submissions will be selected for these awards in each category of: Classroom Group written, High School Student, College/University Student, and Texas Residence. The total awards will not exceed 15 per year.

 

Who May Enter PlayFest?

PlayFest is open to any TETA member including any student attending a Texas high school, college, and/or university. Other Texas residents, amateur and professional, are encouraged to submit plays. PlayFest also encourages submissions by classes that may have written a script as an entire class project.

 

Must I Register For The Full Convention?

To submit a script does not require any payment up front, submission is totally free!!  However, PlayFest award recipients will be required to pay TETA Membership ($20 for students and $50 for adults) and full Convention registration ($120) for TheatreFest and must be paid by December 10th.  In the case of the Classroom Group submissions, at least one of the classmates must register and attend the Convention.

 

Performers and technicians that attend TheatreFest only to assist with the mounting of the successful submission, and who do not attend any other part of the Convention, do not have to pay Convention registration. They must, however, pay membership dues by December 15.

 

What Materials Will I Need To Enter PlayFest?

For each entry, participants must submit an electronic PDF copy with a separate cover page with the playwright's information:

·         Name of Playwright

·         Type of play (Full-length or 10 Minute)

·         Category of entry (Classroom Group, High School Student, College Student, Texas Resident Amateur or Professional)

·         Playwright Contact information (address and phone)

·         A valid e-mail for the playwright

·         Name of the school in which they are currently attending if student or classroom playwright.  Include the  Instructor contact info, as well.

The participant's name and school affiliation will not be given to the adjudicators of the plays.

 

Plays are not limited in subject matter or language. They will be judged on the play's potential to be performed before an audience in a staged reading, workshop production, new play seminar, or production during T.E.T.A. TheatreFest.

 

How Do I Enter PlayFest?

Submission is due no later than November 15th.  Email the PDF copy of the script and cover page (see above for exact format) no later than November 15th (earlier submissions are encouraged) to Ms. Cinthya Hernandez, San Jacinto College Central Campus, 2017 PlayFest Chair, Cinthya.Hernandez@sjcd.edu.

   

The PlayFest Chair will respond to your email confirming the receipt of the submission.  If you have not heard back from your email within a few days, please call 281-542-2039. 

 

Notification Of Winning Scripts:

·         Participants will be notified if their script has been selected for the award and presentation at TheatreFest by. Dec. 1st.

·         If the script is selected, participants have 10 days to register for the Convention (Dec. 10th).  Note: Participants must register for the full Convention, not just the single day option.  After Dec. 10th, those winning participants that have not registered for the Convention will forfeit their award, and the runner-up scripts will be awarded.  These new awardees will then have five days to register for the Convention (Dec. 15th).  Registration will increase to $170 after Dec. 15.  Go to this site to register for the entire Convention: https://tetatx.wildapricot.org/event-1873170/Registration

 

What Is The Timeline For PlayFest?

·         Submissions and cover pages must be emailed with a time-date stamp of no later than November 15th   (earlier submissions encouraged).

·         Submissions are divided and emailed to the readers/adjudicators within two days.

·         Evaluations are emailed back to the PlayFest Chairs by November 25th.

·         All playwrights will be notified of the submissions chosen for awards and mounting by December 1st.

·         Successful playwrights must notify PlayFest Chairs by phone or e-mail about their acceptance of the award, and guarantee of the performance of the production at the T.E.T.A. Convention within three days of the email sent to the playwright by the PlayFest Chair(s).

·         Successful playwrights will cut their scripts to a one hour performance time and make arrangements for the script to be performed (Traditional PlayFest, not the 10 Minute PlayFest).

·         PlayFest Chair(s) will e-mail a production participation form to the playwright to complete and e-mail back to the Chairs. Chairs will forward this information to the Co-Convention Directors for scheduling.  Dr. Jerry Ivins Jerry.Ivins@sjcd.edu and Missey Head HeadJ@lisd.net

·         Playwrights will register and pay for TETA membership and the full Convention registration by December 10th.   Membership - https://tetatx.wildapricot.org/join-us; Convention Registration - https://tetatx.wildapricot.org/event-2297743; For more information about payments, go to http://www.tetatx.com/home/about-teta/payments

·         Should the playwright not accept the award and guarantee the performance at TheatreFest by the appropriate deadline, the PlayFest Chair(s) will re-award to the runner-up playwright.  The new award recipient has two days (December 12th) to email their acceptance of the award and guarantee of the performance at TheatreFest, and 5 days (December 15th) to register and pay for the full Convention.

·         Participants performing in the mounted or staged readings must pay for either the full Convention registration and T.E.T.A. membership dues, or just T.E.T.A. membership dues if not attending the full convention, by December 15th.

·         Productions are presented at TheatreFest the following January.

 

What Will Cause My Script To Be Rejected?

Scripts will be rejected and discarded for the following reasons:

·         Not including a cover page with contact information required.

·         Not including a valid e-mail for contacting the playwright.

·         Submissions dated after November 15th.

·         Not accepting the award within three days of the e-mail from the PlayFest Chairs to the successful playwright (two days for the runner-up awardees).

·         Not producing the play at TheatreFest in January, either mounted or staged reading.

·         Not registering and paying for TETA Membership and the full Convention (awarded playwrights) December 10th (December 15th for the runner-up awardees).

·         Not receiving payment and registration from all production participants for either the full Convention registration and T.E.T.A. membership dues, or just T.E.T.A. membership dues if not attending the full Convention, by December 15th.

 

Who Do I Contact About PlayFest?

2017 PlayFest Co-chairs:

Ms. Cinthya Hernandez, San Jacinto College Central Campus, Cinthya.Hernandez@sjcd.edu.

Ms. Karin King, Panola College, kking@panola.edu