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Lift Every Voice: Play Submission

22-23 Festival Submissions are now closed. Please send any questions or comments to

American Stage is committed to producing powerful stories, boldly told. Formerly known as our 21st Century Voices: New Play Festival, Lift Every Voice is a staged reading festival committed to providing exposure to emerging playwrights with a focus on BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ storytellers.  This year programming includes an annual staged reading festival, workshops, lectures which will occur March 3-5th, 2023 in partnership with The James Museum.

Submissions should be new plays that promote, celebrate or explore the experience of BIPOC and/or LGBTQIA+ individuals with themes that are relevant to our world today, featuring characters who inspire us.  

Play submissions should align with our 45 year history of productions that celebrate the most powerful stories of the moment, the most defining stories from our past and our mission to reinforce the power of live theatre with high quality productions of compelling plays that excite and challenge a diverse audience. 

Submission guidelines for the American Stage’s Lift Every Voice: New Play Festival are as follows:

  • Plays must be full-length in any genre: comedy, drama, musical, etc.
  • Plays that uses 3-5 actors are preferred. 
  • Translations, collections of one-acts, children’s plays, or any play that has received more than two full-scale, professional productions prior to submission are not eligible. 
  • Plays that have had a full production in the state of Florida are not eligible.
  • In order to be eligible as a finalist for our festival- you must grant American Stage the right to produce the Florida premiere and one of the first three full productions world-wide if it is selected for production.
  • Plays that have had workshops or readings in the state of Florida or worldwide are still eligible. 
  • Only one submission per playwright is allowed each year.
  • Local, national, and international playwrights are encouraged to submit.

The Selection Process 

American Stage’s competitive selection process consists of two rounds of selection. All 10-page play excerpts submitted during the first round are reviewed by a committee of theatre artists and arts advocates. Requests for full manuscripts will be submitted in November. In the second round, selected playwrights are asked to provide a full manuscript of their play for consideration by the committee. Selections will be made by January 2023. Finally, American Stage invites four to five playwrights to have their work included in the Lift Every Voice New Play Festival, March 3-5th, 2023 in St. Petersburg, FL.

Playwrights invited to participate in our Lift Every Voice New Play Festival will receive a $250 honorarium and will be provided a $500 travel stipend and accommodations during the festival.

Submission Questions can be sent to:


How to Apply 

Complete submission form with submission package to by Sept 16th,2022

Important Submission Information: Full manuscripts and incomplete submission packages will not be considered.  We cannot accept submissions that do not fulfill the above requirements.

2022 Deadlines

For consideration in our 2023 Lift Every Voice New Play Festival, American Stage is accepting submissions through September 16th, 2022. Requests for full manuscripts will be made by mid October, 2022.  Festival selections will be made by January 2023.


Only completed submission packages submitted by September 16, 2022 will be considered.

Thank you for your interest!

How to Apply

Complete the online submission form below  to provide American Stage with information about the playwright and the play.

Upload submission package via the online submission In order to be accepted, your submission package must be submitted as a single PDF file that meets the following requirements.

File name must be “Title of Play_Author Last Name”  
The first pages of the file must include: 

  • Title of the play;
  • Character breakdown and description; please include total number of characters. Plays with 3-5 actors/characters are preferred.
  • Time and place of the play;
  • Synopsis of the play that helps to provide context for the 10 page sample (no longer than 1 page); 
  • A concise paragraph (no longer than 1 page) describing the development history of the play you are submitting; 
  • A statement describing how your play is a good fit for the 2022 American Stage Lift Every Voice New Play Festival, that focuses on plays that promote, celebrate or explore the experience of BIPOC and/or LGBTQIA+ individuals with themes that are relevant to our world today, featuring characters who inspire us.  
  • A 10-page sample of the play.

Please only include the last name of the author in the submission. DO NOT include the full name of the author on any of the pages.

Please note: Agents submitting on behalf of a playwright may submit following these same instructions.

New Plays Submission

Please complete this form as part of your submission to American Stage's Lift Every Voice: New Play Festival.

Play Title
Playwright Last Name
Playwright Email Address
Total Characters
Character Breakdown (Example 3M, 4F)
Playwright City
Playwright State
Playwright Country
Submit First 10 pages
Max file size 10MB.
Upload failed. Max size for files is 10 MB.
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