Play Submissions

The next great short play

could be from you!

8 Tens Festival 2016. MILLERS OF CONNECTICUT by Zazu Lein. Directed by Davis Banta, featuring Kristin Brownstone.

International Short Play Contest Submissions

Submissions for 2020 are closed

as of April 20!

Due to the overwhleming response of short plays received,

the contest is now closed for 2020. 

Thanks you to all who submitted and best of luck!

Import note on 2020 submissions:

In light of the current Corona virus pandemic, Actors' Theatre would like to support and encourage writers who submit to the International Short Play Contest by waiving the usual submission fee of $10 for 2020.

We will ONLY be accepting submissions via email at Deadline is July 1, 2020 or the first 300 submissions received - whichever comes first.

Please follow the guidelines below.


Best of luck to everyone and stay safe!

Since 1995, playwrights from around the world have submitted their scripts to Santa Cruz Actors’ Theatre, in the hopes that their piece might be one of the 16 selected to become a full-fledged production at the 8 Tens Festival.


Submissions are accepted year-round, but must meet the summer deadline of July 1 (or the first 300 submissions received) to be considered for the 8 Tens Festival the following January.


Over the six months following the deadline, 16 plays are anonymously selected by a panel of judges consisting of local writers, directors, and theater enthusiasts. They are then assigned to directors at random and rehearsed for three months before premiering in front of a sold-out audience at the annual 8 Tens @ 8 Short Play Festival.


The only criteria for entering: each play must be 10 minutes or less.


Submission Rules & FAQs - NEW FOR 2020


  • Submissions must be 10 pages or fewer, in 12-point font, written in standard play format.

  • No more than two (2) entries per playwright – send us only your best!

  • All submissions must be in Microsoft Word or .PDF format, as an attachment to your email.

  • All Submission should include:

    • 1. A cover letter that contains the play's title, author name, address, phone, email, and short biography of the writer.

    • 2. A cover page with only the title of the play. 

  • FEES ARE WAIVED FOR 2020. There is a $10 fee per submission. Submission fee is waived for young writers (under 18 years of age) or incarcerated writers.


  • All submissions will be judged with the identity of the writers withheld.

  • All submissions must be submitted no later than July 1.

  • Actors' Theatre holds the right to close the contest after the first 300 submissions have been received, or the July 1 deadline, whichever comes first.

  • Ten 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 via email

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

  • $50.00 stipend will be awarded when the Festival begins

  • A complimentary DVD of the Festival

  • Winning scripts and runners-up will be notified and announced August 1, 2020

Who are the judges?

16 plays are anonymously selected by a panel of judges consisting of local writers, directors, and theater enthusiasts. This year the judges are:  Bonnie Ronzio, Marti Ainsworth, Buck Van Schoik, Andre Neu, and John Chandler.

Full Length Play Submissions

UPDATE 4/20: Due to the Pandemic, AT has suspended reading full- length play scripts until April 2021.

Thank you for understanding.


We also accept full length scripts for consideration throughout the year, in all genres.

Please send via snail-mail only to:

Actors' Theatre, PO Box 7084, Santa Cruz, CA., 95061

© 2021 by Actors' Theatre  |  Center Stage Theater • 1001 Center Street • Santa Cruz, CA 95060  

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