Current Winner:

"States of Happiness"

by, Josh Whedon

Wichita State University School of Performing Arts

44th Annual National Playwriting Competition 



The selected playwright’s script will be workshopped, culminating in either a staged reading or a fully realized production by the WSU School of Performing Arts Program. Active participation by the playwright is required. If selected for production the show may be entered as an associate or participating entry in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) and the script will be submitted to KCACTF for consideration in playwriting award categories. The “prize” for the winner is travel and lodging so that the playwright may attend the production.

Judging will be conducted by a panel of three or more selected from the school faculty and may also include up to three experienced, faculty approved WSU School of Performing Arts students. Judges will be looking for scripts that are suitable for an 88 seat black box theatre. This is defined as scripts with settings that are capable of being produced with a limited budget, by student designers, and specifically written to be performed onstage, i.e. scripts with workable costume/scenic changes and with limited production elements. (Scripts that are written in a cinematic style--overly complex costume and setting changes--will be rejected).

The selected script will go through a development process with the assigned director, which will involve re-writing and polishing the script. Staged-readings will also be used to assist with this process.

1) The contest will be open to all undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at any college or university in the United States. Please indicate school affiliation.

2) All submissions must be original, unpublished and unproduced.

3) Both full-length and one-act plays may be submitted.

(a) Full length plays in one or more acts should be a minimum of 90 minutes playing time.
(b) Two short plays on related themes by the same author will be judged as one entry. The total playing time should be a minimum of 90 minutes.
(c) One-act plays should be a minimum of 30 minutes playing time to a maximum
of 60 minutes playing time.
(d) Musicals should be a minimum of 90 minutes playing time and must include a CD of the accompanying music.

4) Scripts should contain no more than 4 - 6 characters and setting must be suitable for an 88 seat black box theatre.

5) Eligible playwrights may submit up to two entries per contest year.

6) One typewritten, bound copy should be submitted. Scripts must be typed and arranged in professional play script format.
* Two title pages must be included: one bound and the other unbound.

  • The unbound title page should display the author’s name, address, telephone number and email address if applicable.
  • The bound title page should only display the name of the script; do not include any personal identifying information on the bound title page.

Scripts may be submitted electronically to the following web address: bret.jones@wichita.edu

Submit in .PDF format. Submit a .PDF “blind copy” of the script and a .PDF title page with your contact information.

7) The deadline for submission is January 15th (postmarked). The winner will be announced after March 15.

8) No entry may be withdrawn after March 1st.

SUBMISSIONS-Send manuscripts to:

Bret Jones, Professor of Theatre
School of Performing Arts
Wichita State University
1845 Fairmount, Box 153
Wichita, KS, 67260

Phone: (316) 978-3646
Email: bret.jones@wichita.edu