Playwriting Symposium

The 38th Annual Mid-America Theatre Conference

Hyatt Regency Galleria, Houston, TX  ~~  March 16-19, 2017

“Houston…We Have a Problem”

Playwriting Symposium ~ Call For Plays ~ Dramatists Play Lab

Click this link for a downloadable PDF of the CFP:  MATC Playwriting 2017 10M CFPlays

The Playwriting Symposium of the Mid-America Theatre Conference seeks submissions of new ten-minute plays by playwrights who wish to participate in our Dramatists Play Lab. Throughout history, theatre has sought to challenge the ills of society by confronting audiences with the problems they face on a daily basis and demanding a change. We continue to see theatre used as a political tool, but too often the voices of underrepresented groups go unheard. The MATC 2017 conference theme, “We Have a Problem,” not only recalls the inherent risk of live theatre and the creativity necessary to overcome challenges in a tight spot, but also prompts us to recognize the deeper issues that proliferate in our industry, including, but not limited to, the underrepresentation of women, people of color, and gender nonconformity. We encourage playwrights to consider the all-conference theme of “We Have a Problem” as a springboard to generate plays that problematize traditional stories and structures, although submissions not directly related to the conference theme will be considered as well. This is a juried event, and while we invite all playwrights to submit, the call for scripts is directed primarily at academic playwrights who are faculty members or graduate students and/or professionals in the field who seek the opportunity to present their work and receive feedback from their peers.

The plays that are selected will be rehearsed and presented as staged readings during the Playwriting Symposium sessions at the conference with assigned teams of directors, dramaturgs, actors, and possibly scenographers. Each ten-minute play receives rehearsal time at the conference. All participants assigned to a given project need to have the final script in hand prior to the start of the conference. A small number of additional plays will be selected for cold readings as a part of our annual Fringe Festival.

All playwrights whose plays are selected must register for the conference, and playwrights are expected to attend rehearsals for their play and participate in a post-reading discussion. There is no funding from the conference for travel or lodging costs.


  • Scripts must be typewritten using Samuel French or similar guidelines with a Times New Roman 12-point font.
  • Scripts may not exceed ten minutes in length. We will NOT accept plays with longer run times. Please time your plays prior to submission. A general page estimate includes approximately 8-9 pages, although this is clearly not an exact science. Scripts with fast-paced dialogue are often much shorter in time than plays with extensive monologues.
  • Submitted scripts should bear only the title of the play and NOT the name and address of the author. To ensure blind review, include a separate cover page document with the title of the play, name of the author, address, phone number, email, and university/college, theatre, or state affiliation.
  • Playwrights may submit only one script to the conference. Playwrights who submit multiple plays will not be considered. Plays that have been produced or have received readings or workshops prior to the submission date are not eligible for the Symposium.
  • Due to the nature of the conference, please limit your script to three actors or fewer. Roles may be doubled, but the symposium can only accommodate three actors per script.
  • If you are also interested in acting, directing, or serving as a dramaturg or scenographer, please apply under separate cover.
  • Submit plays and cover page by email attachment in PDF format to Kristi Good, Playwriting Symposium Co-Chair ( Please direct any questions to Kristi.

All submissions must be received by OCTOBER 15, 2016.

Acceptance will be acknowledged by December 2016 or earlier.