Customer Service available Mon - Fri 9am to 6pm EST

Contests, Festivals and Awards




The Samuel French Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival



One way we access fresh, new work is through the Samuel French Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival. Each year, we receive hundreds of submissions that are narrowed down to roughly thirty semi-finalists (the "Final 30"), who are then required to produce their plays in New York City. A panel of judges made up of professional playwrights, literary agents, and Artistic Directors from major theatrical professionals are present each night of performance and determine the finalists, all of whom perform on the final day of the Festival. The editorial staff then selects six winners, who are presented with publishing and licensing contracts, and are published in a compilation.


The Samuel French Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival started in 1975 and is Manhattan's oldest continuous short play festival. Over 400 theatre companies and schools have participated in the Festival's first thirty-six years, including companies from coast to coast as well as abroad from Canada, Singapore, the UK, and Australia. The Festival has served as a doorway to future success for many aspiring writers. The unique aspect of requiring authors to collaborate with a producing organization and present their work in performance, we hope, encourages the collaborative and creative process of playwriting.


Winning plays of the 2014 festival are as follows:

John, who's here from Cambridge by Martyna Majok 
The Logic by Will Arbery
Taisetsu Na Hito by Leah Nanako Winkler 
A Wake For David's Fucked-Up Face by Skylar Fox
et•y•mol•o•gy by Jennifer Jasper
Mandate by Kelly Younger


To access the official Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival Website CLICK HERE!
Submissions for the 2016 41st Annual OOB Festival will begin in December of 2015
To receive an application or to be added to the OOB mailing list, email you contact information to oobfestival@samuelfrench.com. 

Return to Top


Award Partnerships


In addition to the Contest and Festivals we administer, we’ve also partnered with the following National playwriting awards:


Kennedy Center ACTF National New Play Awards


The National Student Playwriting Award, initiated in 1974, is part of the Michael Kanin Playwriting Awards Program. The purpose of this award is to encourage college students to write for the stage by providing the opportunity for them to collaborate with actors, directors, and others through all stages of production, including rehearsals and performances. The playwright and/or institution chosen for the National Student Playwriting Award may receive the following:

Production of the play at the Kennedy Center as part of the KCACTF national festival, with all expenses paid for the production and the playwright.The Kennedy Center will award the playwright a cash prize of $2500.
Dramatists Guild Award. The Dramatists Guild Award provides the playwright with Active membership in the Guild.
Professional Development Fellowship. The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival will provide the award recipient with an all-expenses paid professional development opportunity.
The Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) Award. ATHE will present an award of $100 to each theater department producing an original student-written, full-length play at each of the eight KCACTF Regional Festivals. Additionally, ATHE will present a cash award of up to $1000 to the theater department of the school producing the National Student Playwriting Award recipient in a public ceremony during the KCACTF National Festival.
The option to publish and license the play with Samuel French, Inc.


More information on the award can be found at the Kennedy Center website.

Return to Top


The Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition


The Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition solicits plays from the leading MFA/graduate programs in the United States and then conducts a rigorous selection process to find four finalists and one winning play. The winner receives a full production in Atlanta during the Alliance Theatre's season and is offered the option to be published and licensed by Samuel French.


Past Winners of the Award include:

Bike America by Mike Lew
by David Robinson
Election Day by Josh Tobiessen
Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls, The by Meg Miroshnik 
In Love and Warcraft by Madhuri Shekar
Sick by Zayd Dohrn

Return to Top


The Ted Schmitt Award


Given by the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle(LADCC), the Ted Schmitt Award honors an outstanding world premiere of a new play in the Los Angeles area. By working with the LADCC to publish and license the Ted Schmitt award winner, it is our hopes to expand our presence in the growing Los Angeles-area theatre community.


Past Winners of the Award include:

Everything You Touch by Sheila Callaghan 
A Mexican Trilogy by Evelina Fernandez 
Extraordinary Chambers
by David Wiener
Yellow by Del Shores
The Happy Ones by Julie Marie Myatt
Song of Extinction by EM Lewis
The Quality of Life by Jane Anderson
Water & Power by Richard Montoya
The Trials and Tribulations of a Trailer Trash Housewife by Del Shores
The Beard of Avon by Amy Freed
The Job by Shem Bitterman
Avenue A by David Steen

Return to Top

L. Arnold Weissberger Award for Playwriting 

The Williamstown Theatre Festival administers the L. Arnold Weissberger Award for Playwriting on behalf of the Anna L. Weissberger Foundation. The award honors noted theatrical attorney and avid theatre supporter L. Arnold Weissberger who passed away in 1981, and is designed to recognize excellence in playwriting. The recipient of the award will receive a $10,000 grant, and the winning script will receive a reading produced by the Williamstown Theatre Festival during the following Festival Season, as well as publication by Samuel French, Inc.

Past Winners of the Award include:
The Body of an American by Dan O'Brien
Truth and Reconciliation by Etan Frankel 
Motherhouse by Victor Lodato 
Jump/Cut by Neena Beber 

Return to Top

Princess Grace Award

National in scope, the Princess Grace Foundation-USA is dedicated to identifying and assisting emerging talent in theater, dance, and film by awarding grants in the form of scholarships, apprenticeships, and fellowships. One individual playwright is awarded a fellowship, which includes a seven year residency at New Dramatists and an opportunity for their winning play to be licensed and published by Samuel French, Inc. 

Past Winners of the Award Include:
Holly Down in Heaven by Kara Lee Corthron
Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them by A. Rey Pamatma
The Zero Hour by Madeline George 
Cherry Smoke by James McManus
White Buffalo by Don Zolidis 
Anon and What They Have by Kate Robin

Return to Top