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Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Shakespeare in the `Burg Playwriting Contest

Shakespeare in the 'Burg



Our Inaugural One-Act Playwriting Competition


Shakespeare in the 'Burg is pleased to announce our inaugural one-act playwriting competition, in conjunction with our Shakespeare in the 'Burg theater festival scheduled for April 5-7, 2014, in Middleburg, VA.


There are two categories of plays that will be judged: Plays written by students ages 12-17, and plays written by adults, ages 18 and over. Please note that you can write in any style you choose; this is not a "Shakespeare" writing competition, so plays in any genre are welcome.


Competition Rules:


Open to all playwrights


Scripts must be original, unpublished and unproduced. Musicals, monologues, adaptations, film scripts and television scripts are not eligible. Scripts may be performed in a workshop environment but may not have a public performance or play reading.


The goal should be to produce a small to medium-sized cast, one-set show with running times of no less than 25 minutes and no more than one hour.


All scripts must be typewritten. If sending a hard copy, please number the pages and use paper clips or staples to ensure your pages stay together. Send a duplicate copy, not your original. Send hard copies to Genie Ford, 36523 Mountville Road, Middleburg VA 20117.


You may also email your script to:, and in fact, we prefer emails. In the subject line, please write: Shakespeare in the 'Burg One-Act Play


Scripts should include:


Name, address and telephone number of the author, along with the title of the play on a separate page. On all subsequent pages, only the title of the play should appear at the top of each numbered page. This will be a blind competition. Judges will not know the names of the authors while judging the plays.


Cast of characters with descriptions and a brief synopsis should be included as part of the play.


Scripts should be formatted in keeping with traditional playwriting manuscripts. Since these are one-act plays without scene changes, it is not as critical to include scene headings. However, feel free to include stage directions and an "at rise" description (what will happen as the lights come up or the curtain rises). Please put all stage directions in parentheses.


Use 8-1/2 x11 paper if submitting a hard copy. Please number all pages in the upper right hand corner. Please include the title of the play in a header on every page. Margins should be one-inch, right and left, top and bottom. Please use ALL CAPS to identify the character speaking.  If a character's speaking lines go over a page break, identify the character speaking with a second character tag on the new page—e.g., JOHN (cont'd).


Double space after stage directions or dialogue and before a character tag. If formatting becomes confusing or difficult, then choose a format and stick to it. Consistency in formatting is the most important thing.


Scripts will be judged on concept, dramatic action, characterization and dialogue.

All production and publication rights remain the property of the playwright.


The decision of the judges is final. While we do not assume responsibility for the loss, damage or return of scripts, all reasonable care will be taken. If you want your script back, please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope and we will make every effort to return it to you.


The deadline for entries is a postmark or email of December 15, 2013.


A good website that can help you in writing your play is: There are also lots of helpful sites all across the web to help you write your script, but always remain true to your own vision. Seek feedback from people you trust and remember, proofread your work!