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Our one-act play playwriting workshops competition is designed to nurture young writers, develop new plays and inspire Colorado high school students to challenge themselves. Submissions are judged blindly by DCPA artistic, literary and educational professionals.

Ten semifinalists are chosen from a talented pool of entrants. Three finalists are then chosen and will each receive:
  • A cash scholarship of $250
  • A professional reading of their play at the annual Colorado New Play Summit
  • A $250 gift certificate for books, supplies or other tools for their teachers and classrooms

The final winning play will be fully produced by the Education summer teen program. The student playwrights will be part of the rehearsal to see the process of bringing their play to life.

Calling all Colorado high school drama and language arts teachers! Sign up your students for a free 60-minute playwriting workshop with our industry professionals to introduce them to the fundamentals of writing a one-act play. Workshops are an excellent way to get students excited to enter the competition while teaching them about playwriting and theatre simultaneously. Schools can book up to 10 workshops, and teachers can book up to five consecutive workshops in a day. Class limit: 35 students per workshop. Playwriting workshops are available seasonally September through November and are subject to availability.

READY TO SIGN UP? Call us at 303.446.4824 or send us an email.

Generously sponsored by The Robert and Judi Newman Family Foundation, The Ross Foundation, June Travis, and Transamerica.
Before you start writing your script, double-check the following guidelines for your piece. When you’re ready to send, use one of our following methods to submit.

Submissions must be:
  • an original, unpublished one-act play
  • previously unproduced
  • limited to no more than 35 pages
  • typed in standard play-style format (12pt. Times New Roman font with numbered pages)
  • submitted online or postmarked no later than Dec 1

Submissions must not:
  • be a translation or excerpt
  • have the playwright’s name anywhere on the manuscript
Submissions are read blindly. Students submitting online enter their contact information separately from their manuscript. If submitting by mail, please include all of your contact information on a separate sheet of paper.

Playwrights must:
  • be currently enrolled in a Colorado high school or home school
  • limit submissions to one entry per year
No revisions will be accepted after submission. Do not send your only copy. Manuscripts will not be returned. No submission fee.

Submissions will be accepted beginning October 1, 2017. Please check back to submit digitally (preferred) or for submission mailing address.

QUESTIONS? Contact us at 303.446.4850 or send an email.
Discover the talented semifinalists, finalists and winners from this season and go back in time to see past playwrights who took home the honors.

2017/18 Playwriting Competition

Finalists (alphabetical by play title)
Technical Difficulties
by Julianna Luce and Trinell Samuel, Vista Peak Preparatory
The Warrior
by Emmaleth Ryan, Grandview High School
Wine Colored Lip Gloss
by Noah Jackson, Girls Athletic Leadership School

A World Out There
by Micah Wilborn, Air Academy High School
An Unforeseen Stop
by Joshua Martelon, Cherry Creek High School
Don’t be Fooled by Murphy Manor
by Katanu Mwendwa, DSST: Conservatory Green High School
Forces of the Universe Anonymous
by Ashley Wright, Valor Christian High School and Amelia Middlebrooks, Homeschooled
The Girl in the Yellow Dress
by Gemma Vincent, Gunnison High School
Invisible Scars
by Callista Zaronias, Peak to Peak Charter School
Technical Difficulties
by Julianna Luce and Trinell Samuel, Vista Peak Preparatory
Trauma Bay Five
by Arianna Josue, Lakewood High School
The Warrior
by Emmaleth Ryan, Grandview High School
Wine Colored Lip Gloss
by Noah Jackson, Girls Athletic Leadership School

Past Playwriting Competitions

  • 2016/17 Playwriting Competition

  • 2015/16 Playwriting Competition

  • 2014/15 Playwriting Competition

  • 2013/14 Playwriting Competition

Playwriting Competition FAQs

  • How should I format my play?

  • What is the difference between a screenplay and a play?

  • Can I submit an adaptation?

  • What kind of subject material are you looking for?

  • How many pages can I write?

  • Should I write my name on my manuscript?

“DCPA has some fantastic educational programs for children and teens. My daughter Katie has enjoyed being a part of the DCPA for several years. The teachers do a great job of making the students feel like they are a part of something special, and I am pleased to give back to a program that gives so much.” — Michael Roche