Audiences at the Actors Studio of Newburyport have the opportunity to directly influence the creation of the next great American drama, comedy or musical. The door is open for writers, actors and directors to participate in the dynamic process. If you would like to submit a work for consideration, contact Marc Clopton at or 978.465.1229.

TASN Short Play Festival 2018

This Short Play Festival is brought to you by playwrights, for playwrights, and will be directed and performed by our amazing TASN talent.

For 16 years The Actors Studio of Newburyport has been dedicated to new play development, producing dozens of concert readings, workshop productions, and premiers of new plays. We are holding our first annual Short Play Festival for two weekends (six performances) in October 2018.

The Submission window opened on January 1, 2018 and closes on March 1, 2018, or until five hundred new plays have been received, whichever occurs first.

Our judges will partake in multiple rounds of reading, scoring, and debating and the eight winners will be announced on June 1, 2018, with the top-scoring play receiving the Clopton Prize, and the top audience vote-earning play will earn The Audience Choice Award.

Length: 5-15 minutes*. Send us your best. There is no theme and no restrictions on content. And, while previous workshops and readings are okay, this is our Premier Festival so we ask for your Premier as well.

What makes a good short play?
*Is it actually short; less than or close to 10 pages with 12 pt font?
Does it have a clear premise and draw us in quickly?
Is the plot moved by meaningful action?
Does it contain compelling, relatable voices?
Does it leave us with something to talk about?

About our judges:
Our judges are all experienced and award winning playwrights. Collectively, their careers span stage, film, and television. Each is committed to the development of new plays by both established and fledgling playwrights.

There is no fee to submit. But, we request a $5.00 OPTIONAL donation per submission with a limit of two submissions per playwright. TASN is non-profit and your tax deductible donation will be used to help defray the cost of producing this Festival which is dedicated solely to the development of New Work.

Submitting is a two-step process.
First, snail-mail your title page, contact info, and your OPTIONAL donation (made payable to The Actors Studio of Newburyport), 50 Water Street, The Tannery, Mill #1, Suite #5, Newburyport, MA, 01950.

Second, email your blind script (PDF’s preferred) to TASNShortPlayFest Only after selecting the final eight plays will we determine the identity of the winners. No identifying information on your script please as we want to ensure anonymity during the judging process. Good Luck! And see you at the show.

This Festival is sponsored by our Weekend Writers Group who collectively have been produced at The Playwrights Platform Summer Festival (14 times), The Boston Theater Marathon (12) The Firehouse’s New Works Festival (8), The Vermont Playwright’s Circle and The Players Ring, Portsmouth (4), Theater Artist’s Workshop, Norwalk (3), North Park Vaudeville (2), The Fusion Theater’s The Seven, The NYC 15 Minute Festival, the ATHE New Play Development Series, The Vortex Theater, Durango Arts Center, Silver Springs Summer Festival, and the list goes on…

Writers & Actors Ink— Founded in 2003 by Leslie Powell & Hailey Klein, this group is dedicated to the development of new plays. Once a month, TASN hosts an evening workshop for cold readings of scripts in various stages of development. Writers bring copies of their piece, a maximum of 10 pages (ten minutes) , and enough copies for all participating actors. Actors available that evening take on the roles as a cold reading. The cold reading is then followed by a moderated talk back to provide feedback to the writer. People are encouraged to share what did and did not work for them. Writers may provide questions where they are looking for feedback on specific aspects of their work.
        The limit will be six (6) pieces per session , so we get done at a reasonable hour and so that everyone's piece gets a fair share of attention. Each month fills up fast, so please let us know ASAP if you would like to be part of this month (or a future month). We encourage all writers to show up whether you have something being read or not, as your feedback is greatly valued.
        Actors, this is made possible in large part to your invaluable participation. In order to help us plan for the evening, please let us know ahead of time, if possible, if you will be helping us out that night.
        Writers & Actors interested in participating, please email:
                                     Hailey Klein-
        Thank you for your interest and participation. W&A, INK continues to be a most stimulating and inspiring forum.        Suggested donation $10 accepted at the door         - Hailey and Marc

North Shore Readers Theater Collaborative—Established in 2006, sponsors ten events a year at TASN. On the second Saturday of every month from September to June new plays from local and regional playwrights are presented in a Readers Theatre format before an audience, followed by a moderated talkback. This provides playwright an essential step in play development and local actors and directors the opportunity to work in the Readers Theatre format. A number of plays in the series have won awards and have been produced locally and internationally.

Stage Three Workshop Production Series—A professional theater laboratory experience designed to promote the development of new works. TASN produces works that have gone through the stages of play development described above. A workshop production is a full-scale production in terms of sets, costumes, lighting, and staging. These productions differ from a premier because the work remains eligible for entry into contests and festivals around the world. The director and cast work with the playwright during the rehearsal period, refining and trimming the play. This process helps get the play on its feet in a physical setting to see what works and what doesn’t. A play isn’t complete until it is presented to an audience. Workshop productions are an integral step for the playwright in completing the piece before it makes its actual premier.