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picture of a young woman writer

The next great short play could be from you...

We accept scripts until June 30
or 300 submissions,
whichever comes first!

for the 2025
international short play Contest

Are STILL open

Since 1995, playwrights from around the world have submitted their scripts to Actors’ Theatre, in the hopes that their piece might be one of those selected to become a full-fledged production at the 8 Tens @ 8 Festival.


Submissions are accepted beginning November 15, but must meet the summer deadline of June 30 to be considered for the 8 Tens @ 8 Festival produced the following January. We will cap submissions at 300.


A panel of judges consisting of local writers, directors, actors and theater enthusiasts selects the top 16 plays, which are then assigned to directors and rehearsed for several months before premiering in front of sold-out audiences at the annual 8 Tens @ 8 Short Play Festival.

Submission Rules & FAQs


  • Submissions for the 2025 Festival open November 15, 2023. Submissions close June 30, 2024, or after we've received 300 scripts, whichever comes first.

  • Plays submitted for the festival may not have had a full production at another venue. A staged reading or workshop production is fine, but please don't submit work that has been previously produced. 

  • Running time of the play should be 10 minutes or less. Submissions must be in 12-point font, written in standard play format. (Note: Ten pages or fewer is ideal, but we won't reject your script because the script runs to 11 or 12 pages as long as the running time fits.)

  • No more than three (3) entries per playwright – send us only your best!

  • Entry fee of $10 per play. This covers our copying and administrative costs.

  • Submissions may be sent via e-mail or snail mail.

    • Email Submissions: PDF format is preferred. Include as an attachment to your email to: Submissions fees can be paid via PayPal online HERE.

    • Postal Mail Submissions: Please send two copies of your play to SC Actors' Theatre, PO Box 7084, Santa Cruz, CA 95061. Submissions fees can be sent via check or money order.

  • All submissions should include:

    1. A separate cover page with play's title, author's name, address, phone, email, and short bio of the writer.

    2. A "blind" copy of the play that does not have any identifying information about the author. 

    3. Entry fee of $10 per play

  • Entries fees are waived for young writers (under 18 years of age) or incarcerated writers. If you have special circumstances that make the entry fee a hardship, write to us and we can work it out.

  • Submissions will be judged with the identity of the writers withheld.

  • All 10-minute play submissions are subject to the above contest rules.

What happens if my play is selected?

  • If your play is selected you will be notified by early fall, most likely late-August or early-September.

  • Winning playwrights will receive a fully-staged, 5-week run of their play during the 8 Tens @ 8 Festival.

  • Playwrights who are able to attend will receive two complimentary tickets to the performance of their choice.

  • A video recording of the Festival will be sent to the winners via private weblink to download for personal use.

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