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Thursday, October 1, 2015

Premiere Stages at Kean University Seeks Submissions for 12th Annual Play Festival


TPBTP Premiere Stages 

UNION, N.J. – Premiere Stages, the professional theatre company in residence at Kean University, is now accepting submissions for the 12th annual Premiere Stages Play Festival.  This yearly competition for unproduced scripts offers developmental and production opportunities to four playwrights born or currently residing in the greater metropolitan area (New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut).

Premiere will accept submissions through January 3, 2016, and select four finalists by March 1, 2016. All four finalists will receive developmental readings, scheduled for March 10-13, 2016, with a winner and runner-up to be announced in April 2016. The festival winner will be awarded a $2,000 advance and receive a full Equity production during Premiere Stages’ 2016 Season; the runner-up will receive $750 and an Equity workshop in June 2016. The two remaining finalists will receive an honorarium of $500.

“At Premiere Stages, regional dramatists are afforded the opportunity to have their topical plays fast-tracked from sit-down readings to fully staged productions within a few short months, ensuring that important new works are seen when they are still vital and relevant,” stated John J. Wooten, Producing Artistic Director and founder of Premiere Stages.

Through the uniquely accelerated Play Festival process, Premiere Stages provides an encouraging and focused environment in which playwrights can see their work move quickly from page to stage. Premiere Stages also actively advocates for Festival writers, helps playwrights reach out to other theatres to secure subsequent productions, and partners with other organizations and theatres to extend the profile and life of the works developed.

In the eleven seasons since its founding, the Premiere Stages Play Festival has received 3,000 submissions and developed more than forty plays. A number of Play Festival finalists have gone on to publication and successful productions in New York and at professional theatres across the globe. The 2015 Play Festival winner, The People Before the Park by Keith Josef Adkins, set box office records after being featured in American Theatre Magazine and NPR’s All Things Considered. Multiple plays developed through the Festival have been recognized by the American Theatre Critics Association, including Tammy Ryan’s Lost Boy Found in Whole Foods (winner of the 2012 Francesca Primus Prize), Dominique Morriseau’s Follow Me to Nellie’s (runner-up for the 2012 Francesca Primus Prize), Kathryn Grant’s The Good Counselor (2011 Steinberg/ATCA Citation), and Erik Gernand’s The Beautiful Dark (nominated for the 2013 ATCA Steinberg Award).

All 2016 Play Festival entries will be evaluated by a panel of theatre professionals in consultation with the Producing Artistic Director and Resident Dramaturg. Agents and theatre professionals with an affiliation to Premiere Stages may submit full scripts; playwrights may submit a synopsis and script sample directly. The submission deadline is January 3, 2016, and there is no fee to enter the competition. Complete submission guidelines are available at Interested playwrights are encouraged to review Premiere Stages’ production history, which is also posted on the website.

Premiere Stages offers affordable prices, air-conditioned facilities and free parking close to the theatre. Premiere Stages also provides free or discounted tickets to patrons with disabilities. All Premiere Stages facilities are fully accessible spaces, and companion seating is available for patrons with disabilities. Assistive listening devices and large print programs are available at all times; publications in alternate formats are available with advanced notice. Please call (908) 737-4092 for a list of sign-interpreted, audio-described or open-captioned performances. For more information, visit Premiere Stages online at

Premiere Stages is made possible in part through funding from The New Jersey State Council on the Arts, The Shubert Foundation, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, The Northfield Bank Foundation, The Provident Bank Foundation, Union County HEART Grants, The Hyde and Watson Foundation, The Union Foundation, E.J. Grassmann Trust, The New Jersey Theatre Alliance’s Stages Festival and through the generous support of individual patrons. Discover Jersey Arts is our marketing partner. Visit for more information about other arts programming happening around the Garden State.


1. Andy Truschinski and Billy Eugene Jones in Keith Josef Adkins's The People Before the Park, Winner of the 2015 Premiere Stages Play Festival. Photo by Mike Peters.

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