Event Calendar

Young Playwrights Festival

We invite all Michigan high school students to submit a one-act play to our annual juried competition. Six original works, written by high school students, will be chosen to be produced by students from MSU’s Department of Theatre and performed on the stage of the Pasant Theatre at Wharton Center for Performing Arts.

Wharton Center for Performing Arts and the MSU Department of Theatre are happy to announce the 20th Annual Young Playwrights Festival. The Young Playwrights Festival is a showcase of six original works, written by high school students, produced by students from MSU’s Department of Theatre and performed on the Pasant Theatre stage at Wharton Center for Performing Arts.

Michigan high school students are invited to submit a one-act play to a juried competition. Twelve semifinalists are chosen, and from those 12 the jury will select the six finalists whose plays will be produced. The six finalists will each be assigned a professional theatre mentor who will assist the playwright with revising their play. Each finalist will receive a $200 award and a staged production of their play performed by the MSU Department of Theatre at Wharton Center. The other six semifinalists will receive a $100 award.

Script submissions must be received no later than Monday, December 7, 2015.

All required forms and a sample script are available in a Student Information Packet.

All entries must be electronically submitted to [email protected] by Monday, December 7, 2015. Failure to meet any of the rules or guidelines will be grounds for disqualification from the festival. Judges’ decisions are final. Awards are not transferable.

Documents included in the Student Information Packet are:

  • Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
  • Festival Highlights
  • Script Submission Rules
  • Sample Script Format
  • Application Form – REQUIRED
  • Description Page – REQUIRED

“The best plays have something to say. The best plays reveal something that we may already know, but in a unique way or with a different slant. Plays have a chance to move, repel or unite audiences. A play with a clear purpose, a clear premise, a clear message is always the best for me.

Playwrights have a chance to illuminate whatever excites or angers them. Playwrights can always look for inspiration in their own lives, but they have a responsibility to shape these events into a unique message. Before you put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), know what you want to say.”

Rob J. Roznowski
Professor of Theatre/Head of Acting and Directing, Michigan State University

Festival Schedule

  • Script Entry Deadline
    December 7, 2015
  • Semifinalists Announced
    January 2016
  • Finalists Announced
    February 2016
  • Free Public Performance
    Wharton Center’s Pasant Theatre
    Sunday, May 15, 2016 at 2:00pm
  • Free High School Performance
    Wharton Center’s Pasant Theatre
    Monday, May 16, 2016 at 10:00am

Made possible in part by Comprehensive Psychological Services, P.C.; Gannett Foundation/Lansing State Journal; University Outreach and Engagement; and Wharton Center Inner Circle.

  • Wharton Center for Performing Arts
  • Michigan State University
  • 750 E. Shaw LN
  • East Lansing, MI 48824
  • PHONE: (517) 353-1982
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