Submitting a script for consideration

First Run Theatre’s mission is to stage works that have never been performed before from writers in the Midwest of the USA. Our season consists of two major parts:

  • The Spectrum Festival of Short Plays (currently in the spring).  This is an program of 8-10 plays each that can be performed in about 10 minutes, maximum 15 minutes.
  • Our Mainstage productions (currently two per year in August & November).  This would normally be a fully stage, full length play but could be two one-acts.
  • There is a $25.00 fee for each script submitted. Paypal buttons to pay the fee are on the submission pages linked below.

First Run Theatre will award a $150.00 stipend to playwrights whose work is produced for our August & November Mainstage productions.


Spectrum: January 1 to July 1

Mainstage: January 1 to September 1.

Plays submitted outside these dates will not be accepted.


  1. Geographical Limitation

First Run Theatre accepts script submissions from playwrights based in the Midwest of the USA, only, i.e. the states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

  1. No prior performances 

The play must never have been produced before. We do not consider script-in-hand, staged readings or workshops to be productions. If in doubt, contact us. If at any point after submission your work is performed, you must inform us, and the script will be removed from consideration.

  1. Cast size and sets

Due to our performance spaces the cast size and staging are subject to some limitations.  See the individual submission pages for details.

  1. Script format

Your script should be submitted as a pdf or Word file, in any standard theatre format. If in doubt, ask us ​for an example. The script must have the following.

1.     A title page without playwright identification or contact information.
2.     A synopsis of the play on the first script page.
2.     Numbered pages.
3.     A cast list. If doubling is recommended, you must include which roles may be doubled.
4.     A description of all sets needed for the play or suggestion on how it is to be staged.

To reduce any possibility of bias the plays are sent to the reviewers with no information on the playwright.     

  1. Limits on numbers of submissions

A playwright can submit a maximum of two mainstage and two Spectrum plays each year. Plays considered in previous years cannot be resubmitted except in unusual situations, e.g. a substantial re-write. This decision is at the discretion of the Chairman of the selection committee.

Click the links below to submit a script.

Submission for Mainstage Production

Submission for Spectrum Festival