Worldwide Plays Festival Competition 2021 Worldwide Plays Festival: There is a Field A Microplay virtual festival for our time Since its inception 12 years ago, Writopia Lab’s Worldwide Plays Festival has produced hundreds of plays by young playwrights from all across the country and world. Each year, we push our writers to create plays that speak to their personal dreams, fears, and also speak to the moment. For this year’s festival, we are inspired by a poem by the Sufi Poet, Rumi, who wrote: Out beyond the ideas of rightdoing and wrongdoing There is a field. I will meet you there Please use this poem as a jumping off point for a new play. In fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and in true stories alike, what does it mean to pursue justice? What does it mean to engage with someone on the opposing side? What do we risk when we engage? How can we ever get to forgiveness? What is the space after forgiveness? Think about this poem, think about these questions, and then, just like in all years of our festival, let it inspire you to write the most exciting, provocative, evocative play that is equal parts empathy and imagination. Write plays that are realistic or plays that are fantastical. Write plays that take place today and speak to this current moment, be it the politics or the pandemic, or plays that take place 75 years ago — or 2000 years in the future. Write plays of dialogue, or a solo show, or a docudrama. Write a musical or a puppet show, or any other form or style that excites and inspires you. What’s most important is that you write a play that comes from your heart. Guidelines Who Can Submit? The competition is open to playwrights in 1st through 12th grade. Submission Deadline Submissions will be accepted from early February through March 15th. Submit. Submit here. Festival Schedule Plays will be selected for the festival in March, with a virtual rehearsal and virtual performance presentation slated for the late spring. What is a Microplay? In these very short plays, you, the playwright, only have time to create a moment that captures attention, invites us to play or think, and sends a message. How can you bring your theatrical impulses, your humor, your profundity, your power in a blink of an eye? Here are two examples of microplays: A Microplay written by a High Schooler, dealing directly with the political moment. A Microplay written by an Elementary Schooler, magical and beautiful just the same. Length Plays must be no more than five minutes long (this is roughly five pages, but all plays must be five minutes or shorter, no matter the page count). Setting All plays must be set in a field. This could be in a city park, or in a backyard. This could be a field on the moon or in a soccer stadium. Cast Plays must have a maximum of three characters. Please feel free to be as specific as you like to their demographic breakdown (age, ethnicity, gender, etc.), or be as general or magical as you’d like (i.e. Carl is a Fish). Genre Plays can be any genre — comedy, drama, horror, polemic, tragedy, historical, docudrama, solo play, interactive, sci-fi, musical, or any other you dream up. Number of Submissions Writers may submit more than one piece Format While there is no standard playwriting format, we encourage you to use Writopia Lab’s Playwriting Format, which you can find online here. Narrators 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).