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New Griots Initiative


Plowshares Theatre is re-launching its annual play development initiative New Griots Festival a multi-day festival showcasing the works of emerging and established African-American playwrights. The Festival will include plays in Plowshares Theatre’s 2019 development season, as well as new submissions to be juried by a panel of theatre artists.


Plowshares Theatre Company is looking for plays about African American men or women standing up to some person, idea, or movement.

Plays must include the following criteria:

• Must be an original work.
• Must be written by an African American playwright who holds permanent residence in the United States. • Only unproduced and unpublished scripts are eligible for consideration. No Musicals.
• Must include a character list.
• Must be typed in the standard play format and include contact information. Must not be optioned or have been previously produced by any other organization.
• Must be a minimum of 60 pages or have a minimum running time of 1 hour. Must include a stamped self-addressed envelope if you wish your manuscript returned.

Finally, as an addition to the events, Plowshares will award a $1000 cash prize to the writer whose play picked as “the Best of Festival.” This will be the script that is voted artistically strong and most ready for professional production.

New Griots Festival will showcase staged readings of new plays over as many as 3 days in July 2019. If your play is selected, you will be led through a workshop and rehearsal period with professional dramaturges, actors, and directors, that will culminate in a staged reading of the script during the festival.


An application must include the following criteria:

• Application form (Click Below).
• Applicant must submit a plot synopsis, character list, resumé, and personal biography.
• Must be a minimum of 60 pages or have a minimum running time of 1 hour.

Deadline for Submissions: April 15, 2022

Notification Date: June 2, 2022

Only one submission per candidate, please.

Please note:

Plowshares Theatre Company and New Griots welcome participants from all over the United States but unfortunately cannot provide transportation or accommodation. Out-of-town applicants will be responsible for their own transportation to and from Detroit and their meals and accommodations during the dramaturgy, workshop and festival duration.