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Drake Theatre Neighborhood Playwright’s Series


Drake University Theatre seeks new plays written by playwrights from the Des Moines Metropolitan area. Plays will be read and evaluated by Drake Theatre students and faculty. The writer of the winning entry selected will receive a prize of $500 and have their play performed as a staged reading for two performances: September 15th and 16th, 2023 as part of Drake Theatre’s Main Stage Season. Rules for entry are as follows, please read carefully:

  • Full length plays only – one hour or more reading/performance time
  • Playwrights must reside within 40 miles of downtown Des Moines
  • Eligibility extends to Drake students, staff and alumni as well as any member of the Des Moines community. Drake faculty are ineligible to compete.
  • Plays may be of any style or genre. No musicals, please.
  • Plays must be wholly original work. No translations or adaptations of existing plays.
  • There are no restrictions in regards to characters with the understanding that the winning play will be performed as a staged reading by Drake Theatre students. All attempts will be made in casting to preserve the integrity and representation of characters, but compromises may be necessary.
  • Submissions must be made electronically. Print copies will not be accepted.
  • Submissions are limited to one play per playwright
  • Submissions must be formatted as either a separate .docx file or a .pdf attached to an e-mail. The body of that email must include the following:
    • relevant contact information (name, address, phone number, email address) for the playwright
    • the title of the play
    • a brief (one paragraph) synopsis of the plot
    • a dramatis personae listing the characters.
  • The attached copy of the play itself must have all references to the playwright (name, contact info, etc.) removed so that plays can be judged anonymously. Only the title of the play itself should be visible.
  • If your play is chosen as the winning entry, know that you are granting Drake University Theatre permission to perform two staged readings of that work with no royalty or copyright restrictions attached. Those readings will be open to the general public and advertised as part of our Main Stage Season.
  • Following each performance, the winning author is invited to participate in a talkback session with the cast, crew, director and audience to discuss the play and receive feedback.
  • All submissions must be emailed to Michael Rothmayer at

Failure to follow these rules may result in disqualification of your entry. Submissions are due on or before by 5:00pm CST, March 10th, 2023. The winning entry and playwright will be announced on or before June 1st, 2023. For questions or additional information, please contact the Drake University Department of Theatre Arts (515) 271-2018.

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