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.
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.
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.
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. Please check out our WordPress page for more information about the current season, how actors can participate, and how to submit your script to us.
Call for scripts
Beginning July 1 through September 30 each year, New Plays for Young Audiences seeks new unpublished and unproduced full-length play scripts for young audiences for our next season.
- Please utilize this form for your submission (if you run into problems with the form contact Teresa Fisher).
- In addition to your script, you will be asked to include your goals for the week of development. This might include 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.
- You will also be asked to include 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 will ask that you include proof that the original author has agreed to you adapting their work or reasons why it's not applicable.
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. 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).