New Play Festival
Forward’s biennial festival is an investment in new works that awards Wisconsin playwrights the rare opportunity to develop their plays in a professional public reading series. Up to three full-length plays by Wisconsin authors will be chosen to receive a week-long rehearsal process with professional directors and actors. These plays will be read before the public over a three-day weekend, giving audience members the chance to peek behind the scenes of the play development process.
Call for submissions
1. Only submissions from current Wisconsin residents will be accepted.
2. Each playwright is limited to ONE script submission per project cycle. If more than one script is submitted, only the first submission will be considered for the festival.
3. In order to receive a Wisconsin Wrights reading, the playwright must be available to participate in project activities including rehearsals, production meetings, and public readings.
1. Play must be an original full-length work that has not previously been fully produced, whether as a professional, amateur, academic, and/or workshop production.
2. Plays that have had staged readings (no set, actors at stands/chairs, etc.) or virtual readings are eligible.
3. At this time, musicals and screenplays will not be accepted.
4. Plays must be new works. Adaptations (or any other use of material protected by copyright) must include proof of rights to use source material. Translations will not be accepted.
5. Plays that have been submitted to previous Wisconsin Wrights cycles are not eligible.
1. Scripts should follow an accepted professional play format (i.e., no screenplays or novels). All scripts must be submitted electronically in PDF format. Save files as AUTHOR LAST NAME – Play Title.pdf. (Example: LUNT – We Can’t Be Bought.pdf)
2. All other author information should be listed on the entry form only. No reference to the author is permitted in the body of the manuscript – including on the title page.
3. Submit electronic entries to WisconsinWrights@forwardtheater.com using the subject line:
“WW Submission – (Play Title).”
4. Attach the following three items to your submission email (links below): a completed entry form, a copy of your signed release agreement, and your script. (The entry form and release agreement are fillable pdfs. Please re-save the document with your last name when you submit. If you have any trouble accessing or filling out the forms, contact the email above for assistance.)
Submission Forms (to be attached to your submission email):
1. We are accepting submissions as of August 1, 2023. All entries must be submitted by 11:59 PM Central Standard Time on October 1, 2023.
2. Wisconsin Wrights Finalists will be announced by February 29, 2024. The selected playwrights will be notified by email and phone.
Screening: Each application will be screened for eligibility (a completed application packet of entry form, signed release agreement, and script in proper format as described above).
First Round: Each script is read and evaluated by at least two first-round readers. Based on evaluations, semi-finalists will advance to the final round.
Second Round: The semi-finalists are read and evaluated by a final panel of evaluators. Up to three finalists are chosen for a staged reading by Forward Theater Company.
Feedback: First-round readers and second-round panel evaluators will provide written feedback on the works that they evaluate. Readers’ names will be removed, and the anonymous feedback will be emailed to playwrights after final selections are announced.