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PLAYground Festival of Fresh Works

What is Playground?

PLAYground is a three-week play development process which culminates in a weekend long festival of staged readings, workshops, and post-show discussions of three new plays for young audiences. PLAYground fosters the development of each script through partnerships between professional TYA playwrights and Northwestern undergraduate directors and actors, whether it is the work’s first reading or its final workshop before publication or production. For this festival, Purple Crayon seeks diversity of playwright voice, target audience, and content in our selections, and strives to pair work with student directors invested in the playwright’s development goals.


  • At least 3 weeks of script analysis and workshopping by the undergraduate cast and director before your arrival
  • Regular contact with your student director regarding the progress of rehearsals, tailored to meet your development goals
  • Assistance funding your trip to Evanston, IL, for the festival weekend (including flights and hotel)
  • 2-3 days of in-person conversation, workshopping, and events with student directors, actors, and others in the Purple Crayon, Northwestern, and TYA communities on the festival weekend
  • Staged reading of your script and facilitated post-show discussion with audiences
  • Post-festival feedback from audiences, student directors, and cast members


If you would like to submit your play(s) to be considered for our 10th Annual PLAYground Festival of Fresh Works, please email us at with two (2) attachments:

  1. A blind PDF copy of your unpublished script. We request scripts without the playwright’s name to avoid personal bias in the selection process.

  2. A PDF cover letter detailing your contact information, any production history of your play, your development goals for the play (if it were to be selected), and any other relevant information.

Note: You may submit multiple scripts, but we ask that you submit development goals for each play that you submit.


Submission Deadline: 11:59 PM (CST), November 18th, 2017

Play Selection: January 2018

Festival Dates: April 19 - 21, 2018


Questions? Email our literary manager at!