You have 10 minutes to tell a story. What will it be?
Theatre Oxford’s annual 10-Minute Play Festival draws new works from all over the world. The grand prize is $1,000 plus production in arts-loving Oxford Mississippi, a town beloved for its literary history.
This year, we have changed the dates of our festival, usually happening in the fall, to a spring slot; the Festival will take place in mid-February 2021 at the Powerhouse, Oxford’s arts hub. We are also theming our festival around the idea of “magic”–more on that below!
Through this festival, Theatre Oxford encourages creativity and advances its mission to make the theater accessible and enjoyable for all. Submissions for the 2021 competition are due August 15, 2020. Please see further guidelines below. Good luck, and thank you for letting us read your work.
2021 10-Minute Play Contest
- Only original plays, never before produced, are eligible.
- The play, exclusive of title and cast pages, may be no more than 10 pages.
- Play should have 2-4 characters and minimal props and costumes.
- Play must feature our 2021 theme, “Magic.”
Deadline: August 15, 2020.
Theme: The theme for our 2021 festival is “magic,” and we’ve got some fun surprises planned for our production. However, magic doesn’t always have to mean Harry Potter wizardry, Lord of the Ring’s Gandalf, or Salem witches; in addition to a connection to something (apparently) supernatural it can also mean mysterious, wonderful, amazing, or eerie, spooky, or unusual. In short, this theme can be as broadly interpreted as you want!
Submission fee: $10 (U.S. dollars).
- On the online submission form (see “How to Submit Your Play” below), include your name, play title, address, and phone number.
- The 10-Minute Play Contest uses an anonymous review process. This means all author information (including your name) MUST be removed from the manuscript text body, headers, and file name.
- The manuscript should be saved and uploaded as .doc, .docx, or .pdf.
Authors may submit multiple plays, but each play submitted must be accompanied by an entry fee.
Assemble script as follows:
- First page: Title, cast of characters, time and place information.
- Second page: First page of the script. The other pages of the play follow.
- NAME OF THE PLAY AND PAGE NUMBERS ON EVERY PAGE, starting with the first page of the script.
All plays are judged blind. Five finalists will be chosen; only they will be notified of judging results.
All authors agree to permit Theatre Oxford to produce their contest-entry play if the theater should wish to do so. In addition, the winners will appear in a limited-run print edition (100 or fewer copies) of the selected plays for our festival. Authors retain copyright and full ownership of their plays.
- Grand prize: $1,000 and production of the winning script
- Second prize: $250
- Third Prize: $100
Thank you, and have fun!
How to Submit Your Play
After assembling your script according to the above instructions, please:
- Go here to fill out the submission form and upload your play.
- Pay the submission fee ($10 per play) via PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail it to our address, P.O. Box 1321, Oxford, MS 38655.
Once you’ve sent us your play, you will receive an automated confirmation via email. Please query if you haven’t received this confirmation within 24 hours: email@example.com.
Questions? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
10-Minute Play Contest FAQs
How do I pay you?
Log in to PayPal with your credentials or as a guest. When prompted, the recipient of the $10 payment is: email@example.com. You can also pay by mail at this address: P.O. Box 1321, Oxford, MS 38655.
Why do you ask for (optional) demographic information?
This information is entirely optional and no one submitting is required to provide any information about their age, nationality, level of education, race, etc. However, the Theatre Oxford board wants to take this opportunity to get some information about what demographics our marketing was reaching, and see where we can work harder to get the news out about this contest, festival, and Theatre Oxford in general. Thanks for providing us with your info so that we can learn more about ourselves as an organization
What is your reading process?
Round 1: 15-20 readers receive anonymous packets of 10-minute plays and rate them according to a five-question rubric, establishing their favorites from their packets.
Round 2: A smaller play-selection committee reads the finalists from round 1 and chooses first prize, second prize, and third prize. These winners are notified personally as well as on the website. In addition, we hope to provide some personalized feedback to all finalists from round 1.
How are plays chosen for the festival?
We will produce six to eight 10-minute plays during our festival. The winner of the play contest is guaranteed production. A couple of the plays produced will be solicited from local authors. The other plays in the festival will be chosen from our pool of contest finalists, alongside a couple of plays we have solicited from local authors. The play selection committee will choose these based on a variety of criteria, from playability (“does Theatre Oxford have the resources to actually produce this?”) to fit (“does this work well with the other plays we’ve committed to producing?”) to audience (“do we think our audience will like this play?”). So the second- and third-place winners will definitely be in the pool of finalists and potential plays to produce, but we aren’t committing upfront to produce them.