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About the Festival

Each year, KTA celebrates the stellar work of KY area playwrights during the annual Roots of the Bluegrass New Play Festival. This festival is an exciting opportunity for Kentucky playwrights to submit their work to a panel of readers tasked with recognizing outstanding 10-minute, One-act, and Full-length playwriting.

Plays are submitted and adjudicated each summer into early fall. In October, three finalists in each category will be announced. These finalists will be invited to attend the annual State Theatre Conference and will present a selection of their work as a staged reading to an audience of theatre artists and producers. Following the reading, awards will be presented to the competitors and the winners will be announced. The winner in each category will win a cash prize. All finalists will be offered free registration to the conference.

To submit your work to the Roots of the Bluegrass New Play Festival, click register and fill out the registration form on the resulting page. After registering for the festival, you will receive a confirmation email with instructions about where to send your play. The submission windows are as follows:

  • 10-minute Plays (June 15-July 14)
  • One-act Plays (July 15-August 14)
  • Full-length Plays (Aug 15-Sept 14)

Participant Qualifications

  • Eligible playwrights must be current KY residents.
  • To be considered, plays should have received no previous full production. Previous staged readings and development sessions are acceptable and encouraged.
  • Playwrights may submit no more than one play per category.
  • Categories of Entry:
    • Full-length – Plays exceeding 80 minutes in length or divided into multiple acts.
    • One Act – Plays in one act exceeding 10 minutes in length, but less than 80 minutes in length.
    • Ten Minute – Plays that target a ten minute running time. (Script in the standard format between 6 and 10 pages)

KTA reserves the right to inquire in depth about your association with the state of Kentucky if necessary and has the right to deny any play submitted if the aforementioned criteria are not met. We further reserve the right to consider works that don’t fit strictly into the criteria.

Required Formatting

    • All submissions must be in .pdf format. Other formats will not be accepted.
    • Title Page – Separate from the body of the work. No page number included. Title of the play, Name of the playwright, contact information in the bottom right hand corner of the page.
    • Information Page – Separate from the body of the work. No page number or playwright name included. This page should include the title, a list of characters in the order they appear with necessary descriptions, and a short synopsis of the play.
    • Script – Beginning with page one.

Suggested Formatting 

    • Font– 12pt either Courier or New Times Roman fonts only.
    • Margins – Left margin at 1.5” All others at 1”.
    • Action – Inset consistently at between 1.5 inches and 2.5 inches. No parentheses.
    • Character’s Name – Each character’s named centered over their dialogue.
    • Dialogue – Directly below the character’s name with no space between. No inset.
    • Parentheticals – (Action of a single character set inside parentheses, just before or during the character’s dialogue.) Inset consistently at between 1.5 or 2.5 inches to both the right and the left. Use parentheses. No space between.
Adjudication

FIRST ROUND

Plays will be read by two judges each. All judges will have a 15-page minimum reading requirement in addition to reading the included play synopsis for each play. Judges will read full 10-minute play submissions. Plays will be scored according to the system below, giving a 1-10 rating in each category:

    • Plot Strength
    • Character Strength/Development
    • Overall Score (would you read again or like to see it on stage)

The ten plays receiving the highest points will move on to the next round of judging. Points will be calculated by adding the total points awarded by each judge. The top ten of each category will move on to the second round.

SECOND ROUND

Plays will be read by two judges each. Judges will not adjudicate the same play twice.

First round rules remain in place, although judges will read 20 pages of full lengths and one-acts in addition to the included play synopsis, and entire script of 10-minute entries.

Plays will be scored according to the system below, giving a 1-10 rating in each category:

    • Plot Strength
    • Character Strength/Development
    • Overall Score (would you read again or like to see it on stage)

After the second round, the 5 plays with the most points (calculated by adding Round One and Round Two points) will move on to the final round and will be named as semifinalists.

THIRD ROUND-FINAL ROUND

The third round will consist of the top five plays in each category.

Judges will be assigned to a particular play category, and all judges in that category will read all finalist plays.

There is no minimum page requirement as judges will be required to read the full play no matter what category they are judging.

Plays will be scored according to the system below, giving a 1-10 rating in each category:

    • Plot Strength
    • Character Strength/Development
    • Relevancy/Relatability
    • Overall Score (would you read again or like to see it on stage)

The top three plays in each play category will be selected for a reading at the Roots of the Bluegrass New Play Festival either in conjunction with KTA’s Fall Festival or virtually. Playwrights in the full-length and one-act categories will be responsible for making a ten-minute cutting of their play for the festival.


    • 06/15/2021
    • (EDT)
    • 09/14/2021
    • (EDT)
    • TBA
    Register


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info@kentuckytheatreassociation.com

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