Activate: Midwest Play Festival: Submissions Needed!

Activate: Midwest

Activate: Midwest is dedicated to developing and producing the plays of emerging theatre artists from Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Playwrights from these states submit their work annually, and four plays are selected for a staged reading each summer. The winning play goes on to receive a workshop production in Chicago. The goal of Activate: Midwest is to advance and expand the artistic reputation of Southwest Michigan by providing the community with an opportunity to engage with emerging and professional theatre artists from across the Midwest. Supported by WMU student actors, playwrights, and directors as well as several community artists, the festival will facilitate collaboration between students and professionals and encourage theatre innovation through the production of new work.

Activate: Midwest
A New Play Festival at Western Michigan University

Western Michigan University’s 3rd Annual Activate: Midwest New Play Festival is now seeking un-produced full-length plays from playwrights living in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana or Wisconsin. Selected plays will be developed and presented as staged readings during June 2016 as part of a new play festival at the university in Kalamazoo, Michigan. One of the plays will be selected for a fully staged workshop production in Chicago during August 2016.

Playwrights selected for the festival will attend an initial reading in May, then return to Kalamazoo for a one-week residency during June 2017 leading up to the festival showing. Participating playwrights will be provided with travel, lodging, and meals. The Festival will feature readings, workshops, and responses from guest playwrights, literary managers and producers.

Previous festivals have featured a keynote and workshop led by Sarah Ruhl and Steven Dietz. Guest respondents from the NNPN and prominent Chicago theatre have also provided valuable feedback for festival playwrights.

Deadline for submission is December 1, 2016.

— Complete the application form, available here.


— Email the full script to by December 1, 2016, with “Submission: Activate: Midwest” in the subject line.

— A strong preference will be given to scripts with the majority of the characters in the 18-35 age range (appropriate for college age actors).

— Scripts must be full-length plays in standard play format with a title page that includes the playwright’s name, address, phone number and e-mail address.

— Playwrights may submit only one (1) play per year.

— The play must be un-produced and unpublished.

For questions or more information please email