The NewWorks@TheWorks Playwriting Competition provides an outlet for new playwrights to showcase their work and have a chance to see their play produced on a professional level. A panel of local directors, actors, and designers will review all submitted scripts and select six to receive staged readings. After the six readings have been presented, Playhouse on the Square will select two that will receive full productions.  The playwright(s) of each play will be flown to Memphis to take part in the rehearsals and the development of the new work. Along with these fully mounted productions, the two winning works will each be awarded a prize of $750. They will receive world premieres in the upcoming season at Playhouse on the Square’s third performance space, TheatreWorks.

These were the guidelines and rules for the 2021 – 2022 competition:

  1. The submission must be written in the English Language.

  2. The submission must be an original, full-length play or musical that is unpublished.

  3. The submission must begin with a title page that includes the work’s name and the playwright’s name, address, telephone number, and email. Also, include a character list and scene breakdown if applicable. NOTE* If submitting a musical please, include a score and demo.

  4. Submissions that have been previously produced or published will not be accepted. A play that is scheduled for a professional production at the time of submission will also not be accepted.
  5. The manuscript must be easy to read. It must be typed in no less that 12-point type and page numbered.

  6. The cast for the play or musical must be limited to no more than 10.

  7. The script may have more than one author. Also, the playwright(s) may include a brief biography, but it is not necessary.
  8. Each playwright is limited to one submission per year. There will be no revisions accepted once a script has been submitted. Revised plays that have been previously submitted to the competition may be submitted again.

  9. There will be no written or oral critique given on scripts submitted. We will notify the playwrights whose plays have been selected for readings. The six plays selected for readings will be announced on our website.
  10. Please send the manuscript to Playhouse on the Square, New Works Competition, 66 S. Cooper St., Memphis, TN 38104

  11. In order to qualify for the 2021 – 2022 competition, the script must be submitted no earlier 
than January 1, 2021 and must be post marked no later than May 30, 2021.
  12. Please include a self-addressed, stamped postcard for receipt of the manuscript to be acknowledged. Also include a self-addressed, stamped envelope for the play to be returned, should it not be selected for the competition. Any play without a self-addressed, stamped envelope will be recycled if not selected for the competition.
  13. There is a $15 entry fee for the competition, which must be paid along with the submitted script.  PLEASE NOTE – Members of the Dramatists Guild need only pay $10.  Only check and money order will be accepted.  Any script submitted without the entry fee will not be considered. Please make checks payable to Playhouse on the Square
  14. Do not send the only copy of a manuscript. All scripts will be handled with care, but Playhouse on the Square will not be responsible for any loss or damage to your manuscript.

For questions, contact Jordan Nichols, Director of New Works, at

About Playhouse on the Square

Playhouse on the Square is Memphis’ only professional resident theatre. Now in its 51st season, Playhouse on the Square remains committed to its mission to produce a challenging and diverse repertoire of theatrical work, to provide a nurturing artistic home where artists can practice their craft and share their talent, and to make all productions available through access, outreach, & education. For more information, visit or call 901-725-0776.

Looking for other ways to get involved with NewWorks@TheWorks? Click here!