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344 East 14th Street
New York, NY


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Submission Guidelines

Seeking Full-length Jewish plays and musicals. Read more to submit.  

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August 12, 2016 (New York, NY) The Jewish Plays Project (David Winitsky, Artistic Director) is excited to announce the opening of Project Submissions for the 2017 Jewish Plays Project Season.



Artists can submit projects to be considered for the Jewish Playwriting Contest, our competition for full-length plays dealing with contemporary Jewish themes; for OPEN: Festival of New Jewish Theater at the 14th Street Y; and other developmental and advocacy opportunities as they arise.

To date, the JPP has advanced 34 new plays, 18 of which have gone on to production in New York, Boston, London, Detroit, Tel Aviv and around the US (see www.jewishplaysproject.org/success for more). Together with the OPEN Festival, the JPP has featured some of the country’s most exciting next-generation artists (Yehuda Hyman, Daniella Topol, Robert Askins, Brooke Berman, Sarah Gancher, MJ Kaufman, Irene Sankoff and David Hein, Lauren Feldman, Jonathan Caren, Marc Bruni, Resident Director Benjamin Kamine, and tons of others)

IMPORTANT NOTE: SUBMISSIONS ARE OPEN TO ARTISTS OF ALL BACKGROUNDS, DENOMINATIONS, FAITHS, CREEDS, RELIGIONS and other IDEALS. We believe that Jewish identity and culture are specific manifestations of universal human cravings for spiritual, ethical, moral and worldly joy. “Matrilineal descent” is neither important nor necessary.

CONTENT PREFERENCES: The JPP seeks plays that find the intersection between Jewish identity and a larger sense of self. We want to look at the places where Jewish ideas, traditions, stories, myths, culture (and yes, religion) impact, inform, and hopefully improve our lives

While we value history, we will always lean toward plays that tackle vibrant strands of today’s world: social justice, economic justice, diversity, strong women in Jewish life, LGBTQ inclusion, new perspectives on Israel, environmentalism, and interfaith relations in addition to deep conversations about our complex and multifaceted identities.

Be bold. Think differently about what Jewish theater can be. Strive for epic size and impact. Embrace the emotional, the mystical, the theatrical. Tackle the challenging, the controversial, the provocative. We are unafraid to walk these roads with you. 

SUBMISSION: Entries are due by October 15, 2016 at 11:59 pm.  Each submitting playwright must fill out the Project Application form (www.jewishplaysproject.org/submit). Playwrights will upload their play to the form as a PDF with their name removed (all plays are reviewed blind). There is no fee to submit, but there is a one (1) submission per person rule.

CONTEST ELIGIBILITY: Full-length plays that deal with contemporary Jewish themes that have never been produced in New York City. The following must be true of a submitted play:

1. It contains significant Jewish themes, characters, content, or points of view.
2. It is not a Holocaust play (stories that deal directly with the history of the Shoah, its survivors and their children, or the World War II period more generally).
3. It does NOT fall into the beloved category of "ethnically stereotypical comedy" (No 'Yiddishemammeh" plays, no "My Afternoon With Bubbe", no "Jewtopia")
4. It is in English.  (We welcome translations).
5. It runs at least 75 minutes.
6. It has not had a full production in the NY Metro region, or a major regional theater (LORT C or above).

Short plays can be submitted to the JPP, but are not eligible for the Contest format.

The JPP advances plays at all stages of development. We have worked with playwrights completing production drafts, but have a soft spot for plays that are still at the exploratory or idea stage. Nothing excites us more than helping a playwright discover their own Jewish play.

SELECTION PROCESS: Every submitted play is reviewed by members of our staff or our 50-member Artist Panel.

Plays submitted to the 6th Annual Jewish Playwriting Contest: The Contest strives to engage a broad audience in a discussion of what new Jewish theater should be; more than 500 people in as many as 10 cities will take part in the process. (learn more here: www.jewishplaysproject.org/jpc).

Two rounds of industry readers will select a Top 10 list of plays from the hundreds we receive each year (the Top 10 Finalists will be announced in December, 2016) Selected plays receive multiple stages of review and feedback, including literary evaluators; input from actors, directors and designers; and audience response through a series of live events.

At each event, 20-minute sections of 3 of plays will be read and voted on by taste-making audiences. Plays will be assigned points based on the selection results. At the conclusion of the Contest period (which ends on Pesach – April 11, 2017) the play with the most points will be crowned the winner.

The winning play will receive a workshop production as part of the JPP’s 6th OPEN Festival of new Jewish Theater at the 14th Street Y in June of 2017, including artist travel to New York.

Plays Submitted to OPEN and Other Programs: Senior JPP artistic staff and advisors will review non-Contest project submissions, submissions by agents and managers, and work by recent alumni of major graduate writing programs for consideration for other developmental opportunities, including:

OPEN: Festival of New Jewish Theater at the 14th Street Y
Over the course of the two-week Festival writers are given time for revisions and research as well as 29-hours of rehearsals with JPP staff, Jewish dramaturgs, and some of New York’s best actors, directors and designers. These workshops are presented for the public and the industry.

Renegade Reading Series: a periodic, as-needed in-house reading series for plays that spark the JPP’s interest.

Artist Shabbats: Friday night the JPP way. JPP supporters host discussions of a new play in private homes led by JPP staff, Jewish dramaturgs and the playwright.

DEVELOPMENT PROCESS: The JPP provides high-quality theatrical developmental support for all projects, including time with in-house dramaturgs, access to experts when needed, and matches with great actors and directors. We often call ourselves “the Lark for Jews”.

In addition, we have pioneered what we Jewish Dramaturgy. We base our exploration of the theatrical needs of a play around the central issue of its Jewish content and ideas, continuing to ask the question “What is the Jewish here?” When possible, we will bring prominent Jewish thought leaders (clergy, scholars, professionals and artists) into the room to join the development process, and extend the Jewish learning. This specific intentionality is what distinguishes the JPP from other high-level new play development houses.

MUSICALS: The JPP does develop musicals (see our workshops of David Hein and Irene Sankoff’s Mitzvah and Deborah Yarchun’s And You Shall Be a Blessing) but this work happens outside of the Contest format. Submitted musicals must include links to recordings of at least 3 songs to be reviewed.

REPEAT SUBMISSIONS: Plays that were submitted to the 2012-2016 Contests ARE eligible (with the exception of the previous year’s winners). We operate on the principle of “passionate advocacy” developed by the Lark – if your play hits the right chord with the right reader, it can go far. Give us a chance to be passionate advocates for your play.

ABOUT THE JEWISH PLAYS PROJECT: The Jewish Plays Project puts bold, progressive Jewish conversations on world stages. The JPP’s innovative and competitive development vehicle invests emerging artists in their Jewish identity; engages Jewish communities in the vetting, selecting and championing of new voices; and secures mainstream production opportunities for the best new plays. • www.jewishplaysproject.org


Justin Halle or Noah Mitchell, Literary Associates
David Winitsky, Artistic Director

jpc@jewishplaysproject.org • 347.878.5771