The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center now accepting scripts for 17th annual Young Playwrights Festival

Waterford, CT - The recipient of two Tony Awards and National Medal of Arts, the O’Neill is a world-renowned developer of new work and new artists for the American theater. Employing the signature "O'Neill process," the festival provides local middle and high school students professional-level support to develop their original one-act plays.

Young Playwrights will spend a weekend at the O'Neill with a dedicated creative team - director, dramaturg, and actors - comprised of National Theater Institute alumni helping them stage their plays. The development process draws on principles and techniques used during the O'Neill's renowned National Playwrights Conference. Students will hone their work, furthering it from the initial isolation of writing to the collaborative process involved in making their script into a living, breathing play.

Selected students can expect a rigorous exploration of their work, assistance from professional artists, full rehearsals with an artistic team, and opportunities to revise their play. The Festival concludes with a script-in-hand public reading of the students' work on Sunday, May 15, 2022.

"In looking back at the output of the Young Playwrights Festival over the past sixteen years, I am proud of what has been accomplished and pleased to have made a difference in the lives of so many young people," says the O'Neill's Director of Education Sophia Chapadjiev, "The last couple years, in particular, have been challenging ones and all the more reason for us at the O’Neill to give a platform to young people to share their creativity, their stories, and their voices.  We very much look forward to receiving and reading their work."

Plays will be selected on a competitive basis. Students are eligible if they:

  • are between the ages of 12-18

  • have written an original 10-15 page play

  • live in the United States

To apply or for more information about the Young Playwrights Festival, visit or contact Sophia Chapadjiev, Director of Education & Young Playwrights Conference, at


Twitter: #YPF22 (@ONeill_Center)

Instagram: @ONeill_Center


About the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center:

The Launchpad of the American Theater, the O’Neill is the country’s preeminent organization dedicated to the development of new works and new voices for the American theater. Founded in 1964, and named in honor of Eugene O’Neill, four-time Pulitzer Prize-winner and America’s only playwright to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, the O’Neill has been home to more than 1,000 new works for the stage and thousands more emerging artists. Scores of projects developed at the O’Neill have gone on to full production at theaters around the world. O’Neill programs include the National Playwrights ConferenceNational Music Theater ConferenceNational Critics InstituteNational Puppetry ConferenceCabaret & Performance Conference, and National Theater Institute – which offers six credit-earning undergraduate training programs. In addition, the O’Neill owns and operates the Monte Cristo Cottage as a museum open to the public. The O’Neill is the recipient of two Tony Awards and the National Medal of Arts.