The NJPL Residencies

With the way COVID-19 has changed
the theatrical landscape
for the near future,
we have decided not to hold a 2021 Residency submission process,
while we focus on meeting the needs of our 2020 Residency

We are pleased to continue to offer our PlayGym classes
(virtually for the moment) and our one-on-one script consultations.
are excited to explore new ways to support the work of the
New Jersey
playwriting community.

While our submission process is closed, we are still eager to get to know more
New Jersey-based writers. If we are not familiar with your work,
please send us an introductory email to
your resume and a writing sample of 20 pages.

The New Jersey Play Lab Residencies are intensive, multi-step development processes, designed to bring the selected plays to a state of production readiness. Each Residency includes a public reading, usually close to the culmination of the process.

The New Jersey Play Lab holds one submission process per calendar year, open to any playwright based in New Jersey. From this submission process, two to four plays will be selected for Residencies over the course of the ensuing year.

As one of its core values, The New Jersey Play Lab is structured to allow us to encounter and engage with a play at all stages of development and to be truly responsive to the needs of each selected play in achieving a state of production readiness.

While some plays may benefit from an eight to ten month process, others may make that leap in as little as a few weeks. Therefore, as a measure of our dedication to meet each play where it is, the number of plays selected and the length of each Residency will be dependent on the needs of each play and will vary from year to year.

While the exact timeline of the Residencies is dependent on the plays selected, generally speaking, shorter Residencies take place in their entirety in the spring, while a longer Residency spans from spring to fall.

Residency Flow

Who should apply?

We are currently accepting applications from playwrights based in New Jersey.

Playwrights should have the experience that demonstrates the ability to participate in a professional, developmental process, and a working style that thrives on collaboration and rigor.

Playwrights should have a flexible schedule that allows for intense work over a time period ranging anywhere from one to two weeks, or over the course of eight to nine months.

What type of play should I submit?

We are committed to artistic excellence in craft above all else. We are interested in plays that are about important things, but firmly believe that just because a play is about something important doesn’t automatically make it an important play.

We believe that well-told stories come in all voices and styles. We are drawn to work with the potential to resonate beyond its immediate circumstances to something more expansive, and we believe that plays which reside in the gray areas of morality and impulse are the plays poised to have the greatest impact. We gravitate toward plays that challenge our preconceived notions and pose questions as opposed to providing answers.

Full-length plays in all stages of active development will be considered.  We welcome early drafts. In fact, a play does not even need to be completed to be considered, as long as there is enough material to assess the potential of the work.  In the case of an incomplete play as a submission, a playwright may be asked to supply a completed work as support material.

We aim to champion plays that we feel have the potential to be produced. Thus, subject matter, character number, and production feasibility will all be taken into consideration.

How can I apply?

There is one submission process for all Residencies. Finalists for all Residencies will be selected from the same pool of submissions.

Please send the following documents as PDFs:

  • a brief cover letter
  • a resume
  • a synopsis of the play outlining the plot in its entirety (not a summary or marketing blurb)
  • a character breakdown for the play, with notation of doubling where applicable
  • the development history of the play
  • the first 20 pages of the play (please note if the play is currently incomplete)

Please limit your submission to one play.
Please put the name of your play and your name in the subject heading.
Please email all submission materials to


The New Jersey Play Lab is Proud to Announce our Selections for our 2020 Residencies.

2020 Residency Announcement

To read more about these plays, click here!

More questions?

Check out our FAQ!

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