New Play Festival 2020 announces call for submissions

The National Drama Association of Trinidad and Tobago (NDATT) has launched an open call for scripts to be considered for workshopping and presentation at the Playwrights Workshop Trinbago’s (PWT) Annual New Play Festival 2020. The deadline for submissions is June 11, 2020.

The New Play Festival (NPF), which celebrates its fifth anniversary this year, was the brainchild of renowned playwright, actor, director, scholar, teacher and founder of the PWT – Tony Hall, who passed away on April 27, 2020. The first incarnation of the festival was called “A Triptych of Plays” (Studio Theatre Productions of 3 Short Plays) and was held in August 2010 at The Playwrights Theatre, Trinidad Theatre Workshop, Belmont. In a statement to the media, Safaa Niamat-Ali – Festival Coordinator for NPF said, “The four festivals which followed would not have happened without his [Tony’s] direction and support as Artistic Director and Dramaturge”.

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L-R: Safaa Niamat-Ali, Tony Hall, Paula Lindo and Ria Toney | NPF 2017 | Photo credit: Curtis Bachan

NPF 2020 is dedicated to Tony Hall, without whom the festival and the various opportunities it presents to Trinbago theatre and theatre practitioners would not have existed.

In light of the current global crisis, and the associated restrictions to non-essential gatherings, the NDATT will be hosting the NPF 2020 virtually. The audio recordings of the featured plays will be streamed on the NDATT and PWT’s digital platforms. NDATT sees the potential of the emerging global community relationship which has sprung up in the presence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Traditionally, the scripts to be workshopped and presented at the festival would have been selected from the pool of submissions read at the PWT’s Monthly Readers Theatre Series (MRTS). However, as NPF 2020 will be hosted in a digital space, and playwrights are no longer restricted to being in Trinidad, the NDATT made the decision to expand the considerations to include Trinbagonians living abroad interested in submitting their scripts for NPF 2020. The NPF will also continue to extend the opportunity to non nationals living in Trinidad.

The submissions will be reviewed by a committee and three scripts will be chosen for workshopping and presentation in the NPF 2020, which will be held at dates to be announced later this year on dates. The NPF process is broken up into three phases: Script Development; Play Building; and Presentation. Playwrights will be paired with a dramaturge for the script development phase and must be prepared and willing to make any necessary rewrites.

Submissions must meet the following criteria:

  • Scripts must be new, unperfomed stage or radio plays;
  • Scripts must be 15 – 20 minutes long, approximately 15 – 20 pages;
  • There must be a maximum of three characters; no musicals or musical theatre;
  • The script must have one playwright only (co-written work will not be accepted);
  • The playwright must be a national of T&T or reside in T&T.

Formatting guidelines can be found on the NDATT website HERE. Improperly formatted plays will not be accepted. The deadline for submissions is June 11, 2020 at 11:59 PM (AST).

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