Drama / Theatre

What is New Voices?

New Voices, in 34 festivals, has produced 431 original plays by 230 playwrights.

D term, 2018, will mark the 35th year for New Voices! New Voices 35 will run in the Little Theatre, April 11-14, 2018, curtain at 7:00 p.m. Admission is free; donations are gratefully accepted. Due to the popularity of the festival, we urge you to make reservations through our ticket reservations option above.

History of New Voices

New Voices is the nation's longest continuously running collegiate new and original play festival! From 1982 until New Voices became established in the Little Theatre [beginning in 2006], the festival featured performances of original, unpublished scripts from the WPI community: students, faculty, staff, alums, family, friends, acquaintances, audience members, and others. With the growth of academic programs in creative writing and theatre production, and the expanded study of dramatic literature in courses offered in the Humanities and Arts department, at WPI, New Voices determined to work to cultivate WPI undergraduate talent in play writing. New Voices 32 produced nine plays, all written by undergraduates. New Voices 33 produced seven plays all written by WPI students, one playwright being a graduate student. New Voices will do everything possible to continue the undergraduate emphasis.

In 2007, the Dramaturgs for New Voices 25 decided to select only seven plays for performance, which was quite a departure from previous festivals which could produce as many as 27 plays! Yes, 27 different plays were onstage for New Voices 7! This decision gave New Voices some opportunities that most of us liked, for example we could schedule all the plays for every performance, thus moving away from a random organization of performances and the chaotic atmosphere of so many plays, too few actors, and unpredictable technology requirements. We asked the NV 25 Dramaturgs to describe what they believed would be an ideal number of plays. Here is what they said: no more than 9 nor less than 5 plays, and no play should require more than 20% of New Voices' resources [including budget, actors, time, etc.]. New Voices has worked well for the last ten years by adhering to the "25" guidelines.

New Voices will accept any producible scripts: monologues, short plays or one acts, musicals, and other dramatic pieces. New Voices Dramaturgs read every script submitted and select the plays to be performed during the New Voices festival that year. The selecting Dramaturgs are theatre professionals or academics with years of experience in new play development. We anticipate 25 - 50 submissions in 2018 for New Voices 35.

The plays selected for NV 35 will be announced prior to the Friday night showing of the C-term Masque production, on February 16, 2018, at 5:00 p.m. in the Little Theatre.

Script Submission Guidelines follow this page. Please make sure you read the guidelines and understand who can submit, when and how to submit, requirements for submission, and what will be asked of you if your script is selected for the festival.

Meantime, everyone, mark your calendars for the greatest new play festival ever:
New Voices 35 April 11-14, 2018 7:00 p.m. WPI Little Theatre
100 Institute Road, Worcester MA 01609-2280 | Fax: +1-508-831-5932 | Email: littletheatre@wpi.edu
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