Worldwide Plays Festival Competition 2019

Immersive Theater

We invite playwrights in grades 1 through 12 around the world to submit their plays to the Worldwide Plays Festival Competition. All plays will be read by working theater professionals. Winning playwrights receive scholarship awards and will have their work produced at an off-Broadway theater by New York City theater professionals.

This Year’s Theme:

The Neighborhood

The 10th annual Writopia Lab Worldwide Plays Festival is happening in your neighborhood! Well, maybe it’s more accurate to say that the plays will be set in your neighborhood. Following the success of the past two years of immersive theater where audiences roamed the rooms in 2017’s Home, or hiked the hallways in 2018’s School, this year we want plays that take us around your Neighborhood. Playwrights must set their plays in one of three spaces in a neighborhood: at a convenience store, outside a character's front door (e.g. a hallway, the front stoop of a building, etc), or a place to convene and connect (e.g. a yoga studio, place of worship, community center, etc).

You might think you know everything about your neighborhood, but on those familiar streets that you tread every day, someone fell in love, someone fell apart, someone stood up for themselves, someone stood up for others. It’s where you went trick or treating, where you first rode your bike, where you moved from, where you moved to.

Your neighborhood — whether you like it, love it, or left it — is part of you. So come on, let’s go around the block.


Who can submit?

The competition is open to playwrights in 1st through 12th grade around the world. There are two different categories of competition: internal and external.

Entering the Competition

Current Writopia Workshoppers

If you are currently enrolled in a Writopia workshop, please do not submit your play to the competition. Your workshop instructor will help you submit your play.

All Other Playwrights

You can submit your play by filling out the online form and sending a PDF of your play to Judging is completely blind, so please make sure that your name and contact information do NOT appear in your submission document.

Due Date

Submissions will be accepted through February 1st.


Plays must be no more than eight minutes long (this is roughly eight pages, but all plays must be eight minutes or shorter, no matter the page count).


Plays must use a maximum of 3 actors.


Plays can be any genre — comedy, drama, horror, polemic, tragedy, historical, docu-drama, solo-play, interactive, sci-fi, musical, or any other you dream up.


All plays must take place in ONE of the following places in “the neighborhood”:

  • Convenience Store — whether that’s a bodega in Manhattan, a 7-11 in your suburban town, or a gas station snack shop in farm country.
  • Outside your Front Door — this could be the door to your house, your apartment, your apartment building, your mobile home, or any other space you call home.
  • Your Place of Worship — a place to convene and connect, i.e. a yoga studio, a mosque, a church, a synagogue, etc.

NOTE: There can be NO set changes. The entirety of the play must take place in ONE of the spaces listed above.

Number of Submissions

Writers may submit more than one piece.


While there is no standard playwriting format, we encourage you to use Writopia Lab’s Playwriting Format, which you can find online here.


There can be NO narrator in the play who is not emotionally invested in the story (i.e. Ramona can tell her story to the audience, but an unnamed narrator cannot tell the audience the story of Ramona)

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