PlayPenn

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Each year in late August, PlayPenn posts guidelines for application to its annual conference. Guidelines are posted here, as well as distributed across the profession through online digests, Facebook, other playwright service organizations, and our mailing list.

The Conference takes place in July each year and offers playwrights the opportunity to work with a director, dramaturg and professional actors. The Conference also brings playwrights and directors to cast each project from Philadelphia's professional acting community and extends 29 hours of rehearsal and public reading time to each project. Rehearsal time is preceded by a three-day roundtable during which conference participants come together and get to know one another's work, the environment in which the Conference takes place and gains some familiarity with Philadelphia. Each of the six plays is given two public readings – one at the conference midpoint and the other at the end of the development period – which are free and open to the public.

PlayPenn provides travel, housing, per diem and a comfortable stipend to support writers during their time in Philadelphia. Application is free, completely digital, and open to any full-length play that has not had professional production. At this time, PlayPenn does not develop musicals.

I wish all new play festivals would use PlayPenn as the model: a focus on the work not the product, incredible artistic support, and plays selected on their merit instead of the length of the author’s resume. For me, the result of my time at Play Penn was a script that was ready for it’s first production at Quantum Theatre in Pittsburgh. The production received amazing reviews, and will go on to full productions at Two River Theater in NJ and Rivendell Ensemble in Chicago this coming Spring. I also left with a slew of new wonderful colleagues whose help and opinions continue to be a part of my professional process and whom I also count among my friends. - Stefanie Zadravec, Playwright

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