New Plays for Young Audiences is a play development series devoted to the work of the Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) playwright and the development of TYA plays while also providing NYU students the opportunity to study and experience the process first-hand. Housed in the historic Provincetown Playhouse and supported by NYU Steinhardt’s Program in Educational Theatre, NPYA was founded in 1998 by Lowell and Nancy Swortzell as a supportive space to nurture and evaluate new TYA scripts.
We return in June 2020 for our 23rd season with three new plays and a graduate course in play development. Public rehearsed readings are performed each weekend of the series. Our work honors the history of the Provincetown Playhouse where the early plays of Eugene O’Neill, Susan Glaspell, and Edna St. Vincent Millay were first presented. However, this series changes focus by devoting its efforts to development of new works for children, youth, and family audiences written by both NYU students and noted authors in New York City, the US, and abroad.
Keeping with the goals of the Program in Educational Theatre, our series offers both students and theatre professionals the opportunity to test new ideas and methods within the field of TYA.
In conjunction with the series, the Program in Educational Theatre runs a graduate course, Theatre Practices: Problems in Play Production, the Development of New Plays, which studies theories and methods of play development utilizing the series as a laboratory. Students in the class both observe rehearsals and interact with the playwrights, directors, and dramaturgs over the course of the series.
For some background on how the season is chosen, HowlRound has published "From Soup to Nuts: Choosing a TYA Play Development Season" written by our producer.
23rd Season (May 31-June 21, 2020)
Celebrating its 23rd season, New Plays for Young Audiences will stage rehearsed readings of three new plays. These staged readings are presented by NYU Steinhardt’s Educational Theatre program at the historic Provincetown Playhouse and are free and open to the public.
The plays are the outgrowth of New Plays for Young Audiences’ annual summer play development series, established in 1998 by Lowell and Nancy Swortzell. The prize-winning series has developed dozens of new plays written by leading playwrights for young audiences and families, many of which have gone on to receive both national and international recognition, publication, and production.
Our 2020 season will be announced in January 2020.
All rehearsed readings are in the Provincetown Playhouse. Tickets are FREE. There are no advance reservations. Tickets will be available at the theatre’s box office beginning an hour before each reading.
Auditions for New Plays for Young Audiences's 2020 series will be held in late April or early May 2020 for non-equity actors. For more information, check out our Facebook page in February or March. No monologues needed (actors will read sides) and there is no advance sign up (simply show up during one of the audition dates). There is no financial compensation for this learning opportunity, but we do provide a 7-day unlimited Metrocard to all actors.
Call for scripts
Beginning July 1, 2019, New Plays for Young Audiences seeks new unpublished and unproduced full-length play scripts for young audiences for our 23rd season, June 2020. The final date that submissions for 2020 will be accepted is October 31, 2019.
- In your email submission, please include your name, the name of the play, and where we can contact you.
- Also include in your submission your goals for the week of development – questions about the script you hope to answer, characters you want to further develop, story areas you want to look closer at, etc. Scripts received without goals are automatically disqualified, as this is an important part of our process.
- Also include in your submission how you see your script fitting into the TYA field as we are dedicated to nurturing and encouraging the continued development of TYA. If your script is not specifically intended for a young audience (any range that falls between ages 5 and 18 such as 5-9, 11-15, etc.) or otherwise appropriate for youth and family audiences, we encourage you to seek out a more appropriate venue.
- If you are submitting an adaptation, we ask that you include proof that the original author has agreed to you adapting their work.
- Finally, also rank, from most to least preferred, the development week that works best for you. We cannot guarantee a preferred slot, but this information will help facilitate the scheduling process once scripts are selected. The 2019 series is slated to run in three one-week segments: May 31-June 7, June 7-14, and June 14-21.
Please note that we only accept previously unpublished and unproduced full-length play scripts. If your script has had a fully produced production, we cannot accept it. We accept musical submissions, but do not generally develop a musical every season. If you are uncertain if your script meets this requirement or believe there is cause for an exemption, feel free to contact us (David Montgomery or Teresa Fisher).
We welcome scripts of any cast size, but are limited to 10 actors due to the size of our stage. If your script requires more than 10 actors, include doubling suggestions with your submission.
To submit your new previously unpublished and unproduced play for young audiences for consideration in our 2020 series, send your script between July 1 and October 31, 2019, to Producer/Production Manager, Teresa Fisher. We reply to all submissions within 7 days of receiving them.