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New Play Lab

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New Play Lab

William Inge Center for the Arts

The New Play Lab at the annual William Inge Theater Festival is a partnership between the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission and the William Inge Center for the Arts at Independence Community College.

The 5th Annual New Play Lab seeks to connect 20 playwrights with the national theater community through during the 39th Annual William Inge Theater Festival, May 13-16, 2020.

Selected playwrights receive a professional public staged reading of their play, feedback from national theater artists regarding their submitted and selected script, exclusive playwriting masterclasses with master playwrights, and full access to all private and public festival events including meals.

This year the festival is proud to honor the two-time Pulitzer Prize Winner, Lynn Nottage with the 2020 Distinguished Achievement in American Theater Award.

Interested playwrights are invited to submit a 10 minute or one-act play (up to 30 minutes, limited to four physical actors) to be included in the New Play Lab, Call for Plays.

Applications due by midnight on Nov. 15, 2019
Notification by Jan. 15, 2020


Selected playwrights receive:

  • A professional staged reading of their play with an audience.
  • Feedback on their play facilitated by national theater professionals.
  • Exclusive playwriting masterclasses taught by Dramatists Guild Fund Traveling Master playwright (TBD) and the Inge Festival Otis L Guernsey Jr. New Voices in the American Theater Award Winning playwright (TBD).
  • Opportunities to meet with theater professionals from across the country.
  • VIP passes to all festival events
  • Meal vouchers to enjoy William Inge’s Hometown.

The submitted plays will be blind reviewed (the playwright’s name will not be revealed) by a nationwide panel of theater professionals.


Submit a play

  • Playwrights may submit either a 10-minute play or one-act play, limited to a 30 minutes read time (not page count). (Submissions longer than 30 minutes will be disqualified).
  • Plays must not require more than 4 physical actors. The play may be designed to have actors play multiple roles. If that is the case, doubling must be indicated in the character list.
  • Character list must include character breakdown as well (age, race and gender for the purpose of casting).
  • Plays must be submitted in a PDF format.
  • Plays must not include the author’s name nor contact information anywhere within the script.
  • Playwrights may only submit one play per festival.
  • Plays must be submitted through the following online form:


  • Playwrights are required to attend the festival. If you cannot attend, you are ineligible to apply.
  • Each playwright is required to attend the Dramatists Guild Playwright Masterclass and the New Voices in the American Theater Award Winner Masterclass.
  • Each playwright is required to attend the reading of their play during the Play Lab. More details will be sent out to those accepted.

Travel, transportation, and lodging.

  • For pre-planning purposes, selected playwrights should at least plan to attend Wednesday morning May 13, through Saturday evening May 16.
  • Each playwright is responsible for their own travel, transportation, and lodging needs. Local lodging information will be shared with those accepted. (Complementary transportation to and from the Tulsa Airport is available upon prior arrangement.)

Conference Fees.

Selected playwrights conference registration fee is $225. Playwrights are responsible for their own conference registration fees.


Professional Public Reading

  • Playwrights will receive a professional public reading of their play, as well as feedback from national theater artists.

Exclusive Masterclasses

  • The Play Lab Playwrights receive at least two exclusive opportunities: attending a Dramatists Guild Playwright Masterclass and the New Voices in the American Theater Award Winner Masterclass.

Festival Celebration

Play Lab Playwrights will have full access to four days of all public and private festival events, including the 2020 award and tribute to the honoree, the other play lab readings, productions, social events, workshops, panels, meals, and more

Application Guidelines

  • All applications must be submitted online:
  • All scripts must be submitted in PDF
  • Your title page may not have any identifying information -- no author name or address -- or it will be disqualified.
  • Give your script file the name 2020 + TITLE (for example, 2020 Bus Stop).
  • Limit script length to a 30 minutes read-time - not page count. (Submissions longer than 30 minutes will be disqualified).
  • Character list must include character description as well including age, race and gender relevant for casting.
  • Applicants must enter a short synopsis of their play as it might appear in the Play Lab program. (Maximum 100 words.)
  • Applicants must enter a summary of how they think their play would benefit from a Play Lab reading and panel response. (Maximum 200 words).

If you have any questions about the residency program, feel free to email program coordinators directly:  

You can also learn more on the festival website.


Q: Do I have to pay a fee to submit a play?

A: No; there is no fee to submit your play. However, if your play is chosen you are expected to attend the festival, which includes a registration fee $225 which covers the cost of all festival and exclusive VIP events. Travel and lodging are your responsibility.

Q: Can I submit my same play multiple years to the Inge Play Lab?

A: Yes, you may submit the same play. There are different readers each year so your play will be reviewed by different theater artists.

Q: Do plays have to be previously unproduced to be eligible?

A: We accept plays whether or not they have had a previous production.

Q: How will I know if my play is selected?

A: You will receive notification of the final outcome of your play submission in January.

Q: What if I am selected but I cannot attend?

A: If you are selected and then find you unfortunately cannot join us for the festival, we ask that you inform us immediately so we can offer this opportunity to an alternate selected play in waiting.

Q: Where do the New Play Lab readings at the William Inge Theater Festival take place?

A: Independence, Kansas 67301, hometown of playwright William Inge. The specific location in town and address for your reading will be communicated closer to the festival date.

Q: How is transportation and lodging handled if my play is selected?

A: Playwrights whose plays are selected for the New Play Lab are responsible for their own travel and lodging needs. However, there is a free Inge Shuttle service offered to and from the Tulsa, OK airport and Independence, KS, and from hotels to festival events. Details will be communicated closer to festival date.

Q: Will there be on-campus lodging available?

A: We have had this option available to us in the past, however, due to high dorm usage we are not able to offer on-campus lodging at this time.

Contact Us

Peter Jasso Director, Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission Email (785) 296-2178 LinkedIn

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