Final Draft New Play Festival

New Village Arts Theatre is excited to announce the Final Draft New Play Festival is back for its fourth year!

This year’s festival includes 2 opportunities to submit work: in addition to the festival's featured one acts, full length plays, and musicals, we’re adding a night of 10 minute plays.

Please read through all information & guidelines prior to submitting your play.

Submission Guidelines

All plays will be evaluated as blind submissions.
One act, full length, and musical submissions:
We welcome submissions focusing on any and all themes. Submissions are open to playwrights residing in San Diego County and its surrounding cities.
  • 3 total entries per playwright permitted.
  • Entries may not be previously published or performed as a fully staged production. Pieces that have been presented in workshop or reading formats are accepted - please indicate when/where your piece has been presented in your submission!
  • Due to recent changes to California state law, preference will be given to plays feature casts of 4 actors or fewer.
  • Entries must be no more than 120 pages.
  • Screenplays will not be accepted.

10-minute plays:
As we are accepting submissions in the midst of a state lockdown and a global pandemic, we anticipate artists and audiences alike will have much to say and share on a few key ideas. To that end, the 10 minute play portion of our festival is seeking submissions with the theme of Isolation. Preference will be given to plays with 2 or fewer actors.

Please submit each play as a single PDF, with a Page 1 including:
  • Title
  • Character Breakdown & Descriptions
  • One Paragraph Synopsis
  • City of Playwright’s Residence
Please include all relevant contact information in the body of the email, but do not include your name or contact information on your submission PDF.  
Please email your submission to

About the Festival

The Final Draft New Play Festival will take place January 7th-10th, 2021.
Playwrights are encouraged to attend the festival. If you know you will not be available during this time, we highly recommend postponing your submission.

This year’s Festival begins January 7th, featuring readings of the 10 minute play contest winners, plus a meet & greet with festival playwrights, directors, actors, and creative staff.

The one act/full length plays will be presented as staged readings on January 8th, 9th, and 10th, paired with workshops & events designed for theatre artists and audiences.

Each play will include a talkback led by festival staff.

We are currently planning for live performances; if live performances are not possible due to the global pandemic, the festival will go digital.
About the Process:
  • New Village Arts will hire professional directors to direct each reading
  • After casting is finalized, each reading will have three rehearsals in the months prior to the staged reading: a first read-through (with opportunity for the playwright to make revisions, if they so choose), a light blocking rehearsal, and a tech rehearsal.
  • Readings are staged with minimal tech - suggested costumes, no props, general lighting, and minimal sound effects will be used. Actors will perform with scripts and music stands.
Important Dates:
  • Submission deadline is June 30th, 2020
  • Please email your submission to newplays@newvillagearts.or
  • Selections will be made and announced by September 1st
  • Rehearsals will be held across the months of November and December. Tech rehearsals will occur the first week of January.
For questions regarding the festival, please contact Steve Smith, Festival Coordinator:

© New Village Arts Theatre 2019

2787 State Street | Carlsbad, CA 92008 Box Office: (760) 433-3245