Your voice. Your topic. Your play.
City Opera House invites regional high school students to submit an original one-act play—just 9-12 pages with 4 characters or less—to the 13th Annual Young Playwrights Festival. Finalists are paired with national theater mentors, win $100 and see their play performed on the City Opera House stage.
Script entry deadline: Friday, December 15, 2023.
Semifinalists and finalists announced: February 2024
YPF Festival Performance: April 14, 2024 1:30pm
- You get picked as one of six finalists
- Your story gets told
- Your play is produced
- Your work is performed at City Opera House
- You get your own national theater mentor
- $100 in your pocket
- You get your first work performed before you graduate
One-act plays are only nine to twelve pages of script with lines and spaces for each character and you only have time for one significant event. Start writing.
Educator and Mentor Resources
Educators and mentors play a key role in the success of the program. Whether you hand pick students with a passion for writing or incorporate Young Playwrights Festival into the classroom curriculum or program we welcome your support.
Young Playwrights Festival complements the ELA Common Core Standards and offers an alternate way for students to learn and grow.
- Exercise creative writing in a nontraditional way (while complementing ELA standards)
- Express topics relevant to them in a safe and nurturing way
- Embrace the art of crafting and structuring language through research, construction and application
- Apply communication skills through explanation and experiences
- Learn alongside national theater mentors
- Collaborate with teachers, mentors, actors and peers to see their play come to life
- Experience their works produced and performed on the City Opera House stage by regional actors
- Showcase their work on stage to friends, family and classmates at no costs
Finalists are matched with professional theatre mentors who guide students through revisions via email and in person the weekend of the festival performance. YPF is a juried competition.
Past YPF mentors are nationally recognized and include:
- Tess Galbiati - Chicago based actor, writer, musician
- Seth Gordon - Professor of Theater, University of Oklahoma
- Michael Haney – Freelance Director
- Emily Kohring – Freelance Director and Arts Educator, St. Louis, MO.
- Bert Goldsteain - Arts Education Director, Wharton Center/MSUFCU's Institution for Arts & Creativity
- Frannie Shepard-Bates - Detroit Public Theater
Young Playwrights Festival is sponsored by MSU Federal Credit Union with additional support from National Writers Series, Old Town Playhouse, National Endowment for the Arts, and the Michigan Arts & Culture Council