Wisconsin Wrights 2020 New Play Development Project
Call for Submission

Forward Theater and Wisconsin Wrights will begin accepting submissions for Forward Theater's 2020 Wisconsin Wrights New Play Development Project on August 31, 2019. Up to three selected playwrights will be given the opportunity to develop their plays with professional directors, and actors. Rehearsals culminate in a public reading during Forward Theater’s 2019-2020 season. Wisconsin Wrights provides an extraordinary opportunity for the expansion and exercise of the playwriting craft, exploration of characters, and constructive critique by caring, invested artists.

The deadline for submissions for Wisconsin Wrights is October 31, 2019 with the selection process taking place from November 2019 through March 2020. Finalists will be announced in April 2020.


Wisconsin Wrights will accept submissions from current Wisconsin residents only. Two to three finalists will be chosen from these submissions.

Each playwright is limited to one script submission per project cycle.

Plays must be new works. Adaptations (or any other use of material protected by copyright) must include proof of rights to use source material. Translations will not be accepted.

Entry Fees

A non-refundable reader's fee of $30 must accompany each submission - Pay Reader's Fee

This fee is not used to cover any administrative costs. The entirety of the entry fees helps to provide stipdends to the qualified readers who will read, evaluate, and provide written feedback for each script. If the submission fee presents a financial barrier for you, please contact us directly, as we have the ability to waive the fee in cases of economic hardship.

Submission guidelines and requirements

1. Play must be an original full-length work that has not previously been fully produced, whether as a professional or amateur production (this includes fully staged productions in an academic setting). Plays that have had staged readings are eligible. At this time, musicals and screenplays will not be accepted.

2. Scripts should follow the standard professional play format. All scripts must be submitted electronically in PDF format. Save files as AUTHOR LAST NAME - PLAY TITLE.pdf. (For example: BEIBER - An Artist's Life.pdf)

3. All other author information should be listed on the application forms only. No reference to the author is permitted in the body of the manuscript – including on the title page.

4. Submit electronic entries to: using the subject line:
"WW Submission – Play Title"

5. Attach the following three items to your submission email:
- a completed WI Wrights Entry Form
- a copy of your signed WI Wrights Release Agreement
- the script

6. Entry fee of $30 must be received in order for a script to be considered for the New Play Development Project - Pay Reader's Fee

If the submission fee presents a financial barrier for you, please contact us directly, as we have the ability to waive the fee in cases of economic hardship.

Deadlines and Notification

1. All entries must be submitted by 5:00 PM Central Standard Time on October 31, 2019.

2. Wisconsin Wrights New Play Development Project Finalists will be announced by April 15, 2020. The selected playwrights will be notified by email and phone.

Please note: In order to receive a Wisconsin Wrights reading by Forward Theater, the playwright must be available to participate in project activities including rehearsals, production meetings, and public readings.


Screening: Each application will be screened for eligibility (a completed application packet, play in the correct format, signed release form, and entry fee).

First Round: Each script is read and evaluated by at least two first round readers. Based on evaluations, semi-finalists will advance to the final round.

Second Round: The semi-finalists are read and evaluated by the final panel of evaluators. Up to three finalists are chosen for a staged reading by Forward Theater Company.

Feedback: First round readers and second round panel evaluators will provide written feedback on the works that they evaluate. Readers’ names will be removed, and the anonymous feedback will be emailed to playwrights after final selections are announced.

For more information