Annual Maine Playwrights Festival now open for submissions

Sun, 09/25/2022 - 8:45am

Acorn Productions, producers of the annual Maine Playwrights Festival, announces that they have begun accepting scripts for this year’s 21st edition of the state’s long-running incubator for new plays by local playwrights. Anybody living in Maine is eligible to submit a new play between 8 and 30 minutes in length for consideration in the festival. The deadline for submissions is Sunday, Nov. 27. Submission information is available at

“The Maine Playwrights Festival welcomes writers of all levels of experience, and we’re proud to be here to help them develop their writing and tell their stories,” says Daniel Burson, the festival’s Artistic Director. “That might be a workshop or performance of scripts by high school students, a playwriting class led by a professional writer, or a fully staged production of exceptional new plays: they’re all ways this annual event supports Maine’s playwrights at every stage of their lives as writers.”

The festival is centered on developing and honing short plays, from submission through staged readings, rewrites, and culminating in public performances. The 2023 Maine Playwrights Festival will be comprised of two weekends of fully staged performances of short plays, to be performed in Portland in April, 2023. The Festival anticipates selecting 5 or 6 short plays for production this year. The selected playwrights will receive extensive support revising their pieces during a workshop phase before the plays go into rehearsals. In addition to the festival productions, several playwrights not selected for the full festival will get the opportunity to workshop their plays with this year’s professional playwright-in-residence (to be announced later this month).

All new plays submitted to the festival must be 8-30 minutes in length, and have not received a professional production prior to submission.

The Maine Playwrights Festival has evolved through the years from a set of dramatic readings at Acorn’s old studio on Congress Street to a full series of performances by some of Maine’s best-known playwrights. Each year, playwrights from across Maine submit between 50 and 70 scripts to the festival, and a committee of local theater professionals reads them and selects a small group of plays for production at public performances in the late spring. Over the years, the festival has showcased over 100 Maine playwrights, many of whom have subsequently had their work produced at theater festivals all over the country.