Playwrights Festival - Learn More!

Matthews Playhouse is holding an open submission call for original theatrical works written by BIPOC playwrights. Submissions should include a cover letter and a 10-page selection of the chosen piece. This abbreviated version of the piece will be reviewed by a panel of judges. Out of all the submissions, four (4) will be chosen to continue to the next stage of the selection process. The chosen four (4) will be asked to develop their selection into a one-act version that will produced as a staged reading in front of an audience and a panel of judges. The winning piece will be mounted as a fully realized production (either as a one-act or a full-length play) as part of the 2021-2022 season at Matthews Playhouse.

Proposals must be original works and submitted by the playwright. A playwright may submit proposals for multiple shows. While the responsibility of casting and directing the pieces that are selected to perform as staged readings falls to the playwright, Matthews Playhouse will provide resources and support as needed.  The piece chosen to be mounted as a fully realized production will have additional artistic and technical support provided by MPH.


Selections should be submitted digitally. There is a $25.00 submission fee for each proposal. This will contribute to the cost of the final production. The consideration process is outlined below.


  • A selection of an original work written by a BIPOC artist, along with a proposal cover letter, should be submitted on or before the deadline of January 31, 2021.  Proposals received after this date cannot be considered.  Please submit your proposal by clicking the "submit proposal" button (below or on the main festival page).

  • Selections will be reviewed by members of the African-American Playwrights Group and Matthews Playhouse staff. Playwrights will be notified of the four (4) selections chosen to be produced as staged readings by February 21, 2021.

  • Staged readings of four (4) selections will take place on April 10, 2021. Rehearsals for these readings will take place the week prior. A panel of judges will attend the staged readings and select a winning piece to be produced as a fully realized show.

  • The chosen work will have the opportunity to showcase during the Matthews Alive Festival during Labor Day weekend and will be produced by Matthews Playhouse the weekend of September 10-12, 2021 with a total of three (3) performances.

  • Please use the following guidelines when submitting your selection:

    • Must be 18 years or older to submit

    • Length: A 10-page selection of an original work, single spaced, 12-point font in Times New Roman or Arial

    • Theme: Open/No Restrictions; submission should be in alignment with the African-American Playwrights Group and Matthews Playhouse of the Performing Arts mission statements

    • Actor Limit: 10 actors (can play multiple roles)

If you have any questions,  please feel free to contact us at   Thank you again for your interest, and we look forward to hearing from you!