The first Outvisible New Voices Festival will take place June 29 – July 1, 2018

Are you a middle or high school student in grade 7-12 interested in playwriting?

We are proud to host a playwriting festival for young, creative writers, the Outvisible New Voices Festival, where students will have the opportunity to work with a creative team to develop and stage their scripts.

The development process will consist initially of a table read of your script with professional actors and a director. Anticipate engaging in a lively discussion about your work which will allow the creative team to better understand your intentions while ealso allowing you space to make revisions to your script. From there, your script will undergo a full rehearsal, where you will continue to have the opportunity to re-write and re-work your script based on rehearsal discoveries. On the final day of the festival, your play will be given a public reading where your friends, family, and members of the community can celebrate your incredible artistic endeavours!

All selected playwrights must be available for the entire duration of the Festival. Housing and travel not provided.

Notable dates and deadlines

Tuesday, May 1 – deadline to apply 
Tuesday, May 15 – 10 semifinalists will be chosen and notified
Friday, June 1 – five semifinalists will be chosen and notified

Festival Schedule

Day 1 – Friday, June 29 – 6-10pm
Read throughs of all scripts

Day 2 – Saturday, June 30 – 
Full rehearsals of all scripts

Day 3 – Sunday, July 1 –
The morning will consist of a final rehearsal of each script followed by a public reading in the afternoon

Advice to Young Playwrights

Thank you to the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center!

Dramatic writing is visual writing: A play is different from a novel or a short story in that it is meant to be performed.  A playwright must always focus on what the stage will look like once it is live.  This can be a point of real creativity: if you want to set it in a kitchen, set it in a kitchen.  If you prefer the moon, set it on the moon.

Drama is conflict: Somebody has a desire, and something stands in their way.  It sounds vague, but it’s the essence of drama.

Don’t over-explain: Once you lose an audience, it’s almost impossible to get them back.  So keep things going forward, and don’t pause to explain.  The audience may get confused, but a little confusion can be fun.  And exposition is never dramatic.

Have fun: Writing a play is hard and it takes a lot of work. But seeing something you wrote live on the stage is unbelievably rewarding.


Who can submit a play to the New Voices Festival

Any student in 7th – 12th grade (in either the previous or upcoming school year) who is enrolled in school or is home-schooled.

How do I submit a play to the ONVF?

After you’ve written your 30 or fewer page play and made sure it is properly formatted (see script format), submit your application online on or before May 1. No hard copy submissions will be accepted.

I'd like to submit a play, but I'm not available for part of one of the days.

Unfortunately, you must be available for all days and for the entire duration of the scheduled times. This is to ensure a rich learning process for you and to be respectful to your peers.

I'm not from the Detroit area. May I still submit?

Sure! Just be advised that if you are selected, you must be able to travel to Detroit, and housing and travel is not provided in any way.

Where will the ONVF be held?

We will be partnering with our sister organization, Arts Detroit, to hold the festival at their Plymouth performing arts studio, located inside of Plymouth PARC, 650 Church St, Plymouth, MI 48170.

Arts Detroit - Plymouth

Calling sponsors and patrons of the arts!

The Outvisible New Voices Festival is a huge undertaking which would not be possible without your generous support! We are currently seeking donations which are tax-deductible as allowed under section 501(c)(3) of the IRS tax code.

Submit your play to the festival!

Before submitting, please verify:

Contact us

To get in touch with us, use the contact form or email:

Where are we located:

18614 Ecorse Road
Allen Park, MI 48101
(Inside of Arts Detroit)

Business inquiries: 313.427.2490
Ticket reservations: 313.355.8340

12 + 9 =

Outvisible Theatre Company