Orlando Shakespeare Theater will be performing seven new plays for the PlayFest 2017 weekend, November 2–5, 2017. In Round 1, we will accept submissions from January 1, 2017 through March 1, 2017 of 10 pages from new plays to be considered for PlayFest 2017.

We look for scripts that are appropriate for our Goldman Theater, an intimate proscenium theater that seats 118. Typical cast size for the Goldman Theater is 1–8.

We are especially interested in scripts that speak to the issues that our audiences are experiencing right now. Past PlayFest plays have dealt with issues of racism, autism, gender, Alzheimer's, immigration, etc. Our Shakespeare and classical productions deal with “timeless issues” and we like for our new plays to deal with modern “issues of our times.”

For a script to be eligible for inclusion in PlayFest 2017, a play does NOT have to be a world premiere, but it must be a “new” play. For our purposes, that means it cannot:

1. Have had more than two previous professional (AEA) productions before PlayFest 2017
2. Have been published
3. Have had an AEA production in New York City or Orlando
4. Most importantly, the author must still be developing and working on the script.

For unsolicited scripts, please send us the following from January 1, 2017 through March 1, 2017:
1. A brief bio about you (100-150 words)
2. A brief synopsis of the play (100-200 words)
3. A brief character breakdown (1-2 sentences that describe each character)
4. 10 pages from the script

Please send us your BEST consecutive ten pages, not necessarily the first ten. We want to be able to get a strong sense of your use of language and dialogue to tell your story. We do not have the staff necessary to read full unsolicited scripts, but we are excited to read your best 10 pages and then ask for your full script as a part of Round 2. Full script submissions for Round 1 will NOT be read or considered for PlayFest.

All submissions should be emailed as PDF electronic submissions. Please send to

For Round 2, we request full scripts from our unsolicited 10 page submissions, as well as agent- submitted scripts, and previous PlayFest alumni scripts. We will be accepting Round 2 submissions from January 1, 2017 through June 1, 2017.

For Round 2, please send us
1. A brief bio about you (100-150 words)
2. A brief synopsis of the play (100-200 words)
3. A brief character breakdown (1-2 sentences that describe each character)
4. Full script
5. Optional: if you have letters of recommendation or references, we would be happy to read those as well.

All submissions should emailed as PDF electronic submissions. Please send to

From June 1–August 1, we will select up to 15 plays as semi-finalists for PlayFest. From those semi-finalists, we will select the final seven which will appear in PlayFest.

The final plays for PlayFest 2017 will be selected by August 15th, 2017.

PlayFest presented by Harriett's Charitable Trust represents one of the strongest commitments to new plays in the nation. Over the years, the festival has helped develop over 125 new works – many of which have received subsequent productions in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, Dallas, and Washington D.C.

PlayFest is unique among New Play Festivals in two ways:

PlayFest nurtures the playwright during the creative process. Writers are afforded the opportunity to work with top directors and actors in Orlando and beyond to help them in their process from page to stage.

PlayFest partners with theater companies across the nation, as well as new play development organizations, to provide audiences with the opportunity to see the work of many groups.

Due to the success of PlayFest, Central Florida is now identified as a place where exceptional new works are making their debut. Join us in discovering the next great American playwright!

November 2017 - Exact Dates and Titles to Be Announced in August 2017

About PlayFest presented by Harriett’s Charitable Trust

PlayFest is an annual weekend festival which presents up to seven new plays in staged readings over a four-day period.  At PlayFest we showcase the writers and plays that we most hope to include in future OST seasons. We also share these plays with our partner the University of Central Florida (UCF) and with fellow producers of new plays around the world. Audiences consist of local audiences and representatives from theaters nationwide. PlayFest provides a place for writers, theater professionals, and audiences to connect and share ideas that promote the latest and greatest in playwriting.  

PlayFest is presented by Harriett’s Charitable Trust. Over the years, the festival has introduced over 125 new works to regional and nationwide audiences, including the original readings, workshop, and full production of Mark Brown’s Around the World in 80 Days; the NNPN Rolling World Premieres of John Biguenet’s Shotgun and William Missouri Downs’ The Exit Interview; the world premiere of Jennifer Hoppe-House’s Bad Dog; and regional premieres of Kathleen Cahill’s Charm, Steve Yockey’s Blackberry Winter and many others. Many PlayFest plays have subsequently received productions in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., and around the nation.

At PlayFest, audiences participate in the development of new plays, conversing with playwrights, directors, and actors while absorbing groundbreaking new works. PlayFest tears down the barrier between artist and audience, putting YOU at the heart of the process.

Orlando Shakes is a core member of the National New Play Network, a nationwide organization devoted to developing new work through the New Play Exchange, rolling world premieres, and annual conferences.