• Past Winners:

    • 1989 - Last Night at Ace High, Kenneth Hoke-Witherspoon
    • 1990 - To the Top, Kathleen Warnock
    • 1991 - Comrades, Rick Goldstein
    • 1992 - Simon Speaks, Paul Currant
    • 1993 - A Beast on the Moon, Richard Kalinoski
    • 1994 - The Hammerstone, Jon Tuttle
    • 1995 - A Show of Hands, David Lindsay-Abaire
    • 1996 - The American Car, John Fagan
    • 1997 - What Doesn't Kill Us, Dan Remmes
    • 1998 - Drift, Jon Tuttle
    • 1999 - Touch, Toni Press-Coffman
    • 2000 - The Transparency of Val, Stephen Belber
    • 2001 - Hook and Eye, Andrea Lepcio
    • 2002 - Cannibals, Carolyn Moses
    • 2003 - Kudzu, Sarah Hammond
    • 2004 - No Place Like Home, Peter Morris
    • 2005 - Holy Ghost, Jon Tuttle
    • 2006 - My Name is Bess, Quinn Eli
    • 2007 - Copy Man, Justin Boyd
    • 2008 - Better Angels, Wayne Peter Liebman
    • 2009 - The Sweet Abyss, Jon Tuttle
    • 2010 - Paradise Key, Dean Poynor
    • 2011 - Swing '39, Alessandro King
    • 2012 - The Palace of the Moorish Kings, Jon Tuttle
    • 2013 - Pine, Eugenie Carabatsos




Playwrights' Festival


Trustus Theatre Announces its Annual Playwrights’ Festival, a National Contest Culminating in the Professional World Premier of an Original Play.

Now in our 25th year, we’re one of America’s longest-running play festivals. Since 1988, many of our winners have been published and produced off-Broadway, in Hollywood or at the Actors Theatre of Louisville.


THE WINNING PLAY will receive a staged-reading at our 2015 Festival and $250. During the following year, the playwright will develop the script for production as he/she wishes and in
consultation with members of the Trustus staff and company. In August, 2015, the play will receive a full production--and the playwright an additional $500, plus travel/lodging for the Festival opening.



  • Full-length plays only, with no previous professional productions. Academic productions and workshops are okay. We’re looking for innovative comedies and dramas on any topic, raw or polished, profane or polite—but please: no musicals or children’s shows.
  • One set, minimal production needs preferred.
  • Cast of eight or fewer preferred, ages 15-60.
  • One script per author, please.
  • No re-submissions. Write something new.


****NEW FORMAT**** We are now taking submissions electronically. We do not accept paper submissions sent through the regular mail. All materials should be e-mailed to the literary manager, Sarah Hammond, at

Step One:

Between December 1, 2013 and March 1, 2014, e-mail a query package containing the following items:

  1. An eight to ten page selection from the play. Do not send the full script.
  2. A 100-200 word synopsis, development history (if any), and cast breakdown, noting any special casting requirements.
  3. A resume or short bio.
  4. Name, address, phone number, and title of the play must be included in the body of the e-mail message.

Only submissions received between December 1, 2013 and March 1, 2014 will be considered for the festival.

Step Two:

From the applications/synopses, we will identify 25-30 semi-finalists. If your play is selected as a semi-finalist, you will be notified and invited to send a full script. From those scripts, the artistic director will select a winning play by July 2013.

Questions may be directed to