Home is where the heart is.
Home sweet home.
There’s no place like home.

The list of sayings goes on and on. But what really is ‘home?’ It can mean something different for everyone. For some it is a place, or people, or simply memories made over time. For some it is a city, or a state, or a nation. But ‘home’ defines us all in one way or another. Is it where you long to return to, or a place you dream of escaping from? Does it represent the memories of the past, or the chance for new beginnings? Is it a structure? A state of being or belonging? Or something else entirely?

That’s what we want to hear from you.

Many of us have spent a lot of time in our homes these past few months, but we encourage you to think past the purely topical. These monologues will be performed a year from now. And as you consider what to write, please be as creative as possible. It could take the form of comedy, tragedy, mystery, spoken word, farce, autobiography or pure fiction. Our goal is to produce a wildly diverse evening of theater, so let your imaginations run free!


Submissions will be accepted starting AUGUST 1, 2020.

Monologues must be inspired by the theme: Within These Walls: Stories of Home. We allow a lot of room for interpretation, but monologues that have clearly not been written with this festival in mind and/or do not fit the theme WILL NOT be considered. Please respect the time of our panelists and only submit monologues specific to this call for submission.

Monologues must be between two and ten minutes in length. A general rule of thumb for length of scripts is a maximum of five pages, double-spaced, using a standard format (twelve point font). All lengths of up to ten minutes will be considered.

Monologues must be written for a single actor to perform.

• We do not accept musical submissions, adaptations, or children’s plays.

Monologues should require very simple production values: set-pieces, props, or any other effects needing set-up, strike, or special technical support may disadvantage an otherwise excellent submission.

Each playwright may submit up to two scripts with no fee. For each additional script, there is a $5 reading fee, payable by check to Forward Theater Company. Checks may be sent to Forward Theater Company, PO Box 14574, Madison, WI 53708.

We are soliciting new work for premiere productions. If the piece has previously received a fully-realized production, do NOT submit.

Each script must be a PDF, and must include a SEPARATE title page with name, address, phone number and e-mail address. Please do NOT list your name anywhere on or within the monologue itself.

Submit scripts via e-mail ONLY to Please use the subject line “Monologue Festival Submission.”

Submissions will be accepted until midnight on October 1, 2020. Submissions received after October 1 will not be considered for the Festival.

Scripts must be in PDF format.

• Entries will be acknowledged by e-mail once they have been received. Due to the volume of scripts submitted, we are unable to offer feedback.

Winning scripts will be announced on our web site, on or before April 1st, 2021. Winning playwrights will be notified via email or phone on or before this date.

• Writers will be credited in marketing and playbill materials and will receive a $100 total royalty for the Festival performances. Writers will retain all rights to their work.

• Playwrights are entitled to two complimentary tickets to the opening performance. Performances are set to run June 24-27, 2021, in the Wisconsin Studio at Overture Center for the Arts, Madison.

• If you have additional questions, please email


Forward Theater Company and ArtLitLab are accepting applications from Wisconsin artists to participate in 45 Artists for America's First Ladies, an exhibition of new work inspired by the lives of the women who have served as America's First Ladies, which will be exhibited in downtown Madison in conjunction with Forward's joint world-premiere production of 45 Plays for America's First Ladies.

Each of the 45 participants will be randomly assigned one of the First Ladies to create a piece that is 12" x 12" to be completed by March 1, 2021 (exhibition dates TBD). This project is open to artists of underrepresented genders working in any medium, including poets.

45 Artists Application Form