New Play Development - Shaw Festival Theatre

Graeme Somerville backstage
New Play Development

Play Development at the Shaw Festival

Since 2000, the Shaw Festival’s mandate includes plays written by contemporary writers set in the period of Bernard Shaw and his contemporaries (1856 – 1950). The goals of our play development program are to develop and produce new plays that can sit alongside our classical plays, and to develop new adaptations and translations that will tell classic stories in a contemporary way. Throughout the season, established and developing playwrights are in residence at The Shaw, and readings and workshops take place throughout the year.

Submission Guidelines

The Shaw Festival is no longer accepting unsolicited script submissions.

We welcome submissions or recommendations from playwrights, play development organizations, literary agents and theatre colleagues with whom we have an existing professional relationship. All other submissions will be recycled or returned if an SASE is included.

You may also submit new plays to us, if you are a resident of Ontario, by applying to the Theatre Creators Reserve Program.

Theatre Creators Reserve Grant

The following information is for artists applying for the Theatre Creators Reserve Grant through the Ontario Arts Council. Only artists currently residing in Ontario are eligible. For more information about how to apply, please go to the Ontario Arts Council website.

In selecting grant recipients, we are looking for proposals that engage in the world of the Shaw Festival’s mandate. We are interested in plays that are challenging, subversive and political – plays “à la Shaw”. We are open to the needs and variety of approaches that each individual creator or collective may have and to projects that are in all stages of development. Equal consideration will be given to: creators from diverse communities; new ideas and plays presented to us by playwrights who have had an association with the theatre; creators who are new to the Shaw Festival or creators emerging on the theatrical scene.

All plays submitted must be set within the mandate period (1856-1950) or create a link between the present and the past – otherwise, no other style or content restrictions apply.

Support Material
Along with 3 signed copies of the Theatre Creators’ Reserve Grant application, please submit:

  • A cover letter
  • If the project is in the planning stages, a maximum three-page description of the proposed project
  • If the project is in development, a script (a 10-page sample) or any other relevant support materials that best illustrate the proposed project ie. DVD, CD, music samples etc.

We will determine grant amounts based on our interest in the project and the needs determined by the project proposals.

Please note that the deadline to submit for 2017 has passed. Please keep an eye on our website for future submission dates.

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