Alleyway is committed to producing and developing new works of theatre each season, as it has done now for over forty years. Newly updated submission information is available below, as of July 1, 2020. Please direct all questions to our literary team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mainstage, Cabaret, and Development projects are chosen through a rigorous selection process. Throughout the year, Alleyway accepts only agent submissions, solicited material, and work from our Playwrights Circle. Alumni playwrights or those writers local to Western New York (or writing about a WNY theme) may submit new work at anytime.
For all submissions, Alleyway seeks a diverse representation of plays, stories, themes, locations, styles, as well as a diverse range of playwrights. Preference will be shown to works with vibrant characters and distinct voices, which engage in authentic human connection while representing a uniquely theatrical experience.
The WNY Playwright Commission Project and 2020 Mazumdar New Play Competition opportunities are closed. We are not accepting new scripts at this time (except for above). Please join our mailing list and learn about upcoming submission windows.
ALLEYWAY’S DEVELOPMENT LAB – coming soon
Alleyway will soon announce information on its new development lab, which will begin with the 2020-21 season. Playwrights are urged to register for our mailing list for up-to-date information. Beginning soon, unrepresented playwrights will be able to pitch works in need of a dramaturgical process year.
WNY PLAYWRIGHT COMMISSIONS – submission window closed
Alleyway Theatre will offer invitations for commissioned monologues to be produced this fall as original online programming. Please submit a longform monologue or multiple shorter monologues as a writing sample — whatever represents you best. These can be pulled from existing material or written new. No other requirements or conditions. Those writers whose work we love will be contacted on or about July 1st to discuss the commission process.
MAXIM MAZUMDAR NEW PLAY COMPETITION – submission window closed (will reopen Spring 2021)
Playwrights around the world (with or without representation) are encouraged to submit their plays and musicals each season to the Maxim Mazumdar New Play Competition. Each category of the Mazumdar Competition is for plays that are ready for production. Outlines or summaries, incomplete or rough drafts will not be accepted. Anyone may submit. The winning script in each category will receive a full production, along with a small cash prize. Finalists and other promising works will be considered for production in future seasons and/or our development lab. Alleyway is an Associate Member of the National New Play Network, and winning plays may be considered for Rolling World Premiere and Showcase submissions.
The annual international competition was founded in 1989 by Alleyway Theatre in memory of Canadian actor/playwright Maxim Mazumdar (1953-1988). Mr. Mazumdar’s many contributions to the early growth of Alleyway Theatre were artistically invaluable and instrumental in shaping a continuing relationship with Canadian theatre. It was at Alleyway Theatre that Mr. Mazumdar gave his final performance in the premiere of his original musical LUPERCAL on March 27, 1988.
Entries are accepted in the following categories. Playwrights may submit up to one play to each category per year. *New in 2020: there is no submission fee for any category.
— 90 minutes or more, requiring no more than 10 performers
— Finalists will be notified approximately November 1, 2020
— Winning play will be announced approximately December 1, 2020 and will receive its premiere production in the 2021/22 Alleyway season. The playwright will receive an award/royalty prize of $500.
— 20 minutes or less, requiring no more than 6 performers
— Finalists will be notified approximately November 1, 2020
— Winning play will be announced approximately December 1, 2020 and will receive its premiere production in the 2020/21 Alleyway production of BUFFALO QUICKIES. The playwright will receive an award/royalty prize of $100.
Special Category for 2020: Digital
— Original plays or musicals written specifically for a tech platform such as Zoom. As theatres face the challenge of moving programming online, please consider the following:
— Creativity. We are not looking for plays that could just as easily be performed on stage. We want you to truly embrace the digital/virtual platform. How can you engage with an audience through this distant reality? How can you make this mediated form immediate?
— Technology. We are only at the beginning stages of understanding all the incredible opportunities technology can afford us. Which platform will work best for your play? How will it be done? What “magic” can you employ to use technology to help tell your story in the most successful way? Is it Zoom? Skype? FaceTime? An app? Something else? Is it live? Live to tape? Filmed previously and heavily edited? The winning plays will be specific and creative in this approach, as emphasis should be placed equally on the story and the form.
— Audience. Who is this for? Is it interactive? Passive? Zoom fatigue is real. How long can your production honestly ask an audience to sit at their screen? 10 minutes? 60? 90? Be realistic in your attempts at engaging your target audience.
— Finalists will be notified by early Fall 2020 and the winning play will receive its premiere production via Alleyway online during the 2020/21 season and will be awarded a royalty/prize of $250.
Entry in the Maxim Mazumdar New Play Competition is understood as an indication of the playwright’s willingness, in the event of winning, to grant first production rights to Alleyway Theatre. Selection as Winner requires the playwright’s prior commitment to grant first production rights under the terms of Alleyway Theatre’s Standard Production Agreement, and additional terms will not be negotiated.
Plays must be unpublished and unproduced at the time of submission (developmental readings and workshops notwithstanding). All entries must be withheld from production during the period of the competition, reserving the premiere production for Alleyway Theatre.
Each year, entries will be accepted during a late-Spring submission window. In 2020, entries were accepted from May 15 through June 30 only. The 2020 deadline for the Mazumdar New Play Competition was June 30. Entries are no longer accepted for this opportunity.
Maxim Mazumdar Awards Announced November 2019
Full Length Winner
BERSERKER by Bruce Walsh
(Will receive its premiere in Alleyway’s 2020-21 season.)
Full Length Finalists
RED ALIEN by Jane B Jones
THE MIGHTY MAISIE by Bella Poynton
One Act Winner
THREE OR MORE by Collin I. Hood
(Will receive its premiere as part of Alleyway’s Buffalo Quickies, Spring, 2020.)
One Act Finalists
BLUE SKY WITH APPROACHING STORM by Kate Katcher
COUNTDOWN TO LOVE by Ron Asher
Would You Like a Detailed Critique?
Any playwright may purchase a detailed critique by the Alleyway Theatre Dramaturg (Note: purchasing a critique is not required for submitting your play.)
View Sample Critique (available soon)
A detailed critique of a submission is $250.00
If you are mailing your script by US Post, include a check made out to Alleyway Theatre. Whether you are mailing or emailing your script you may purchase here:
(Note: you will have the opportunity to list the Title, Author and Submission Date.)