After more than a few delays, the Open Submission Season for the 2017 First Flight Festival will begin on Wednesday September 15th at 12:01 AM EST and close on Saturday October 15th at 11:59 PM EST.
We don’t really have many rules about submitting, and what ones we do have are there to make the process easier on both the playwright and our staff. Basically, we try to direct people away from submitting things that are a better fit elsewhere. For example, we’ve only produced an evening of One Act Plays for an extended run once in 18 years, so we don’t seek to develop them. Same goes with musicals and children’s plays.
So what do we respond to?
When we receive a new play submission (and again this year, we are only accepting submissions electronically, because trees), each 10 page sample is read and evaluated on the following questions:
- Does the play speak to our modern cultural moment in some way?
- Does the play use Language in an interesting way?
- Does the script feel like a play rather than a movie or TV show?
- Is there anything crazy that could make producing or developing the play difficult (i.e. requires onstage Magician, live animals, a cast of 90 year olds or all children, etc)? (This isn’t a deal breaker; we like wild things sometimes)
- Would you like to see this show?
So that’s it. Every submission is read by at least one person on the Literary Team (Go Team Literary!) , with the above 5 questions answered for each one. From there, we generally select 25-30 plays as Finalists and ask playwrights to submit the full script (rather than just the sample). A different member of Team Literary takes a look at the full script, using the same 5 questions. From there, we just keep passing the plays around and gathering feedback using this 5 question criteria. It ain’t scientific, but it’s what we’ve got.
Thanks for taking a look at this, and send us your awesome plays!