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Deadline 12 NOON on MONDAY, APRIL 4, 2022

Red Bull Theater’s Short New Play Festival returns on Monday, July 11, 2022. Six brand new short plays will be selected from an open-submission process and presented in live in-person staged readings alongside two new short plays by commissioned writers, STEPHEN ADLY GUIRGIS (Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train, Our Lady of 121st Street) and LARISSA FASTHORSE (The Thanksgiving Play, What Would Crazy Horse Do?).



We are looking for work with classical inspiration. The word ALCHEMY is just a jumping-off point for creative thematic juices. Review our Mission and take a look through our history of Readings and Productions to see the kind of work we have done. Respond to a play we’ve produced or choose a classic of your own to adapt. You might riff on a classical character, borrow a classical milieu, or be inspired to create a brand new style of dramatic verse. Finding inspiration from classics beyond the traditional Western canon is welcome. We hope you will be in dialogue with classical theater in a multitude of creative and surprising ways. 


Using the theme ALCHEMY, write a short play that:

  • makes use of heightened language, and/or is in conversation with a classical theme, style, or story from any cultural tradition.

  • is no more than 10 minutes in length.

  • is self-contained with a beginning, middle and end.

  • is an original, unpublished, and never previously produced new work.



Plays will be selected based on:

  • Excellence of the work.

  • Relevance to Red Bull Theater’s MISSION.

  • Incorporation of the theme ALCHEMY. 

  • Utilization of the classical conversation/heightened language guideline above.


There is a $10 submission fee.

* Submission fees partially offset open submission processing costs, commissioning fees, and other expenses.



  • will receive a staged reading of their submission as part of the festival on Monday, July 11, 2022, performed by an ensemble company of some of New York City's finest actors. 

  • will receive a commissioning fee of $400

  • will receive a travel reimbursement of up to $400 to attend the festival rehearsal and performance on Monday, July 11 in New York City.

  • will be consulted on choices for the shared ensemble cast.

  • will have final script approval.

  • will have the opportunity to have their play published and licensed by Stage Rights as part of our Red Bull Shorts series.

  • Scripts may not exceed 8 pages (excluding the title page) with 1 inch margins all around in Times New Roman font size 12pt. When read out loud - including stage directions - the play must not exceed 10 minutes in length.

  • Scripts will only be accepted via electronic submissions in PDF format only. Please use the exact title of the play as the name of your PDF file.

  • Playwright's name and contact information must be on the title page ONLY. The title page will be removed for adjudication to “blind” the selection process.

  • No exceptions will be made to the submission deadline. 

  • Due to the volume of scripts, we are unable to comment on any submissions.

  • If you have been selected for 3 previous Red Bull festivals, bravo! However, to make room for new voices, you are no longer eligible to submit.

Questions? Contact Nathan Winkelstein at

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Red Bull Theater’s 12th annual Short New Play Festival is made possible by the leadership support of The Noël Coward Foundation.

Together with Stage Rights we've published five collections featuring the best of our annual Short New Play Festival. This ongoing series features 10-minute plays of heightened language and classical themes by today’s hottest writers, including commissions by established playwrights such as John Guare, David Ives, Regina Taylor, and Anne Washburn, and winning entries by writers such as Mike Anderson, Sam Lahne, Lynn Rosen, and Jen Silverman–-all chosen from a competition that receives nearly 300 submissions each year. In the hands of great playwrights, the 10-minute play is a highly entertaining dramatic form. This collection offers the most delectable of these delightfully compact works – some downright silly, and others powerfully moving.

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