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The Short Play Festival is Shadblow Theatre’s annual endeavor to bring a fresh and exciting production of unique and diverse work to our community.  The Short Play Festival provides opportunities for playwrights, actors, and directors to be involved in the staging of a short play, selected from submissions by playwrights in the West Michigan area, the United States, and beyond.

Process: Submissions will be collected until December 1st, after which our Play Selection Committee will read and review each piece, narrowing down the number of scripts to a selection of 6-8 plays to be produced.  Our Artistic Board will appoint directors for each of the selected plays, and the directors will cast from open auditions.  After a rehearsal period of 2-3 weeks, the plays will be performed for 6 nights in front of a paying audience. Performances will be February 14-16 and 21-23.  Playwrights whose plays are selected will receive a stipend of $25 for their work.  There will also be a $150 prize for the Audience Choice Award, which will be determined by voting across all six nights. Playwrights who wish to attend the festival will receive two complimentary tickets to a performance of their choosing.

Submission Guidelines:

  • Plays should fit the festival's theme. This year's theme is "Love and War."

  • Playwrights may only submit one play to the Festival each year. Playwrights submitting multiple pieces will be disqualified.


  • Plays must be fewer than 20 pages in length, written in a standard play writing format. Plays that exceed 20 pages will be disqualified.


  • Plays should not use excess profane or vulgar language. Submissions will be judged based on suitability for our audience.


  • Plays should include roles for no more than 6 actors. Doubling is allowed.


  • Musicals will not be considered at this time.


  • Please include a Title Page with your full contact information, dramatis personae, and a brief synopsis of the play.Your name should not appear elsewhere on the document.


  • Please include page numbers.


  • Plays must be unpublished. Plays with previous productions, readings, and workshops are encouraged. Send us your best!


  • By submitting, playwrights agree to grant permission for Shadblow Theatre to produce the play as part of the Festival. Playwrights will retain the sole right to produce and publish their work. Any subsequent use of the play by Shadblow Theatre after the festival will be subject to separate negotiations with the playwright.


To Submit:  Please email your play to  Use “Short Play Festival Submission – YOUR PLAY TITLE” as the subject line.  Playwrights whose work has been selected will be notified by January 6th, 2020.


Thank you for your interest in our Festival. We look forward to reading your plays.

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