Lyric First Page Playwriting Festival

Key Dates

Submission window opens:  Monday, March 20, 2023
A Google form will be posted here for submissions.
Optional in-school workshops available:  March 20-April 26, 2023
Submission window closes:  Friday, April 28, 2023
Feedback and revisions:  May 2023
In-person readings at Lyric Stage Company:  Monday, June 5, 2023 at 7pm

Eligibility

All Boston Public Schools, Boston Charter Schools, or Greater-Boston area students in grades 3 – 12 are eligible to participate. 
Plays will be evaluated within the following grade bands:
– 3rd to 5th Grade
– 6th through 8th grade
– 9th through 12th grade

Submission Guidelines

– Submissions will be accepted through April 28, 2023.
– Plays must be the original work of the person submitting the work. Play adaptations or team-written plays will not be considered.
– Plays should be between 2 and 12 pages long.
– Submissions should include a Cover Letter, Title Page, Cast of Characters, and (optional) Setting and Time, all as a single document.
– Cultural and Civic Responsibility: Please take into consideration your responsibility as an artist to refrain from representing actions or language that would be deemed inappropriate for a general audience.
– Plays will be critiqued by a panel of theatre professionals based on the following criteria: Character, Dialogue, Plot, Content, and Impact. These are outlined, by grade levels, in our “Suggestions for a Strong Script.”

Our Digital Playwriting Classes:

New! In-School Workshops

New in 2023!  While our digital playwriting classes from past years will remain available here on our website, Lyric Stage is now offering free one-off in-school workshops to Boston Public Schools and charter schools to introduce the playwriting process.  Contact Community Programs Manager Alexandra Smith at alex@lyricstage.com to schedule.

Feedback Process

All submitted plays will be reviewed by a panel of Greater Boston theatre-makers and will receive thoughtful feedback from reviewers during the month of May.  Based on this feedback, plays will be placed into one of three categories:
– Ready to Go. Plays that are deemed “ready to go” will require very little, if any, revision.  Plays in this category will receive readings by professional actors at Lyric Stage.
– Almost There. Playwrights whose plays fall into this category will be given feedback and time to make revisions to make them “ready to go.”
– Great Start. Playwrights with a “great start” script will receive additional feedback and will be given the opportunity to work on their craft.  

Contact

Got questions? Email us at alex@lyricstage.com!

To sign up or learn more, please email alex@lyricstage.com or fill out our Interest Form

Suggestions for a Strong Script

General + -

Plays will be evaluated according to criteria reflective of the playwright’s grade-level.

3rd – 5th Grade + -

CHARACTER: Do the characters have strong motivations? Do they make choices based on those motivations and what they want?
DIALOGUE: Does what the characters say help them work towards their goals? Is it something they would actually say?
PLOT: Do the events in the script flow together?
CONTENT: Does the play connect with a clear theme?
IMPACT: How do you want someone who sees your play to feel afterwards?

Please follow the following formatting guidelines for your script:

– Act and Scene headings are centered
– Character names are capitalized throughout.
– Character names and dialogue are left justified.
– Stage directions are italicized and in parentheses. (like this)
– Include a Title Page and Cast of Characters
– Optional: Include Setting and Time

6th – 8th Grade + -

CHARACTER: Do the characters exhibit individual characteristics and engage in compelling or intriguing action?
DIALOGUE: Does the dialogue seem to flow off the page and embody the characters’ motivations and objectives?
PLOT: Does the plot follow a structure? i.e. time or metaphor
CONTENT: Is there a clear theme demonstrated throughout the play?
IMPACT: How will the audience be impacted by your script?

Please write your play using one of two playwriting formats:

– Standard Playwriting Format. View the Standard Playwriting Format. Note that this format is best accomplished by using a pre-formatted playwriting template. If you do not have such a program on your computer, it is highly recommended that you write your play using the Informal “Actor’s Edition” format.
– Informal. View and example of an “Actor’s Edition” Playwriting Format
– Plays will not be judged based on which format is used.

9th – 12th Grade + -

CHARACTER: Does the play have characters that exhibit specific attributes and engage in compelling or intriguing action?
DIALOGUE: Does the dialogue seem to flow off the page and embody the characters’ motivations and objectives?
PLOT: Can the play’s story be accomplished within the page limitations? Does the plot make sense on a structural or metaphorical level?
CONTENT: Is there a strong theme demonstrated throughout the play?
IMPACT: What will your play leave the audience thinking about, understanding, feeling, and/or wondering?
Please write your play using one of two playwriting formats:
– Standard Playwriting Format. View the Standard Playwriting Format. Note that this format is best accomplished by using a pre-formatted playwriting template. If you do not have such a program on your computer, it is highly recommended that you write your play using the Informal “Actor’s Edition” format.
– Informal. View and example of an Informal Playwriting Format
Plays will not be judged based on which format is used.

Sponsors:

Lyric First Page is made possible by the generous support of our sponsor, Tiny Tiger Foundation.