Young Playwrights Project Submission Guidelines


PlayGround invites Bay Area high school students, grades 9-12, to submit short plays per the following guidelines for consideration in the 2018 Young Playwrights Contest. The top four playwrights will receive professional public staged readings of their winning short works as part of the Best of PlayGround Festival this May, 2018 at PlayGround’s newly-renovated San Francisco home, Potrero Stage.

Submission Guidelines

The following are the guidelines for script submissions for PlayGround’s 2018 Young Playwrights Contest. To be eligible, writers must currently attend high school in one of the nine Bay Area counties.


For more background on the topic, see below.

1. Scripts, maximum ten pages doubled-spaced, initiated on or after Tuesday, January 23, 2018 and inspired by the topic (see above), must be RECEIVED by 11:59pm on Monday, April 9, 2018. The topic is intended as a jumping-off point and all forms of theatrical expression are encouraged.
2. You must include a cover page (not included in the ten-page max.) with your name and contact information, and including a complete detailed cast breakdown.

3. Scripts must be submitted via email as a Portable Document Format (.pdf) attachment to Include YPP in the subject.
4. Scripts should be formatted with page numbers in the footer and playwright name/email address in the header for all pages.
5. Font should be 12pt standard (Times New Roman) or equivalent.
6. No more than one script per person.
7. Finalists will be announced on or before Monday, April 30.

The submission of a script grants PlayGround the exclusive option to stage the play as part of the Young Playwrights Festival. As the playwright’s participation in the rehearsal process and performance is considered critical to PlayGround’s mission, the submission of a script is a direct acknowledgment by the playwright that he/she will attend the performance of their play should it be selected, barring unforeseen circumstances, and to the extent possible the rehearsal that afternoon. If you know in advance that you are unable to attend the festival performances, you must inform PlayGround of this at the time of submission. PlayGround will not consider scripts by playwrights so acknowledged prior to selection and reserves the right to replace any script selected by an author later determined as unable to attend.

Up to four finalists will be selected for the 2018 Young Playwrights Festival. Each finalist will receive a script- in-hand staged reading as a curtain raiser before a regularly scheduled performance of the Best of PlayGround Festival at Potrero Stage in San Francisco. Rehearsals will take place in the afternoon before the shows from 5 to 6:30pm for 8pm performances, and from 4 to 5:30pm for 7pm performances. A brief tech for each piece will follow. The performances will take place May 17th-19th at 8pm and May 20th at 7pm.

To view sample script formats, click the link(s) below.

Submission Format #1

Submission Format #2

For questions or more information, contact PlayGround Artistic Director Jim Kleinmann,

Young Playwrights Festival Performances:

Thursday, May 17th/8pm
Friday, May 18th/8pm
Saturday, May 19th/8pm
Sunday, May 20th/7pm


More Background on the Topic & Writing Your Scripts:

What is a Tall Tale you might ask? A Tall Tale is a fantastical story told as if it were true. They contain improbable events and outcomes that can be based upon fictional or non-fictional (commonly historical) events and people. In this storytelling form you will generally find wild adventures, encounter a larger than life protagonist, and then follow that individual solving key problems in unbelievable ways. Some examples of Tall Tales you may know include Paul Bunyan, The Hatseller and the Monkeys, or Calamity Jane.

Some tips for composing your own Tall Tale:
-Make your action present, take us on an adventure, or in other words, show don’t tell.
-Spend time creating your world. What environment might you want to see?
-Have a great time crafting your story. Don’t forget to have fun!

Here are two links that may be helpful to you:

Happy writing and good luck!