Deadline: December 24, 2024



In the 42 years of the OOB Festival, over 500 theatre companies and schools have participated. Applicants have included companies from across the country as well as abroad from Canada, Singapore, and the United Kingdom. The Festival has given emerging playwrights the opportunity to have their work produced with the support of such theatres as The Public Theater, The Royal Court, Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Flea Theatre, The Living Theatre, and Naked Angels, and with the backing of prestigious university playwriting programs such as The New School for Drama, Columbia University, University of Iowa, and Tisch School of the Arts’ Dramatic Writing Program.

How the Festival Works
The Samuel French Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival offers a prize of publication and licensing for six short plays in the notable OFF OFF BROADWAY FESTIVAL PLAYS series. In addition, the 24 semi-finalists each receive a full production in one of New York City’s leading Off Broadway theatres.

Though many of the works that play in the Festival have been developed under the wing of theatres, universities, and writer’s groups, many of the plays that are produced as part of the Festival are world premieres.

The application period for the Festival begins in November and lasts until mid-December. Playwrights may submit 1 unpublished play or musical that may be up to 15 pages in length. On their application, playwrights must cite the organization that will produce their play (at this early stage it is often the playwright themselves) and a liaison for Samuel French to contact with Festival information. Submissions are whittled down by the Festival’s editorial staff, and the Final Twenty-Four are chosen to present their play during Festival week.

Festival week consists of 4 performance sessions in which 6 scripts are presented in front of a judging panel comprised of professionals representing various parts of the theatre industry. At the end of each session, the judges deliberate and 1 to 3 plays are selected to move on to the Festival Finals.

Finals take places on the Saturday of the Festival Week. During the Finals, the Festival staff will watch the final ten to twelve plays and select six authors to be a published in a the OFF OFF BROADWAY FESTIVAL PLAYS series, which is published and licensed by Samuel French, Inc. Sunday acts as a showcase of all the winners, and Samuel French invites many industry professional to attend.

Comments from NMI Staff:

Due to COVID-19, check back for updates.

The Festival ended for 2023 (summer). There will be more updates in the fall of 2023 about the contest for the summer of 2024

Updating for 2024 prediction,  no solid info yet.

CONTACT NAME: Billie Davis
CONTACT PHONE: 212.206.8990
        Samuel French Inc, Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival
        Billie Davis
        45 W. 25 Street
        New York, NY 10010
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