Modern Works Festival

Presented by Summer Wallace


April 13-18, 2021

Our third annual playwriting contest, (virtual) reading festival and celebration of women in theatre.

Submit your play today.


Questions? Email

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Apply now to the 2021 



The deadline has now passed and we are no longer accepting submissions. 

See you next year!

Festival Performance Dates:

April 13-18, 2021

All performances, rehearsals, talkbacks and discussions will be held virtually
Rehearsals/Recording Period: March 30 - April 6, 2021


Playwright Eligibility:

Seeking work from emerging and established female-identifying playwrights. Playwrights must be available to attend all festival rehearsals and talkbacks virtually: Rehearsals will take place via zoom March 30 - April 6. Performance talkbacks will take place April 13-18, 2021.

No Entry Fee

Festival Awards for Three Finalists:

Festival Grand Prize Winner: $3000

Second and Third place Finalists: $500 each


Submission Rules and Requirements:

Interested playwrights are encouraged to read Urbanite’s mission statement and familiarize themselves with our production history. 


Urbanite Theatre will only consider submissions that meet the following criteria:


  • Submissions must be from female-identifying playwrights.

  • Playwrights must reside in the United States. 

  • Plays must be unproduced and unpublished with limited development. 

  • No musicals or translations.

  • Full-length plays only (at least 60 minutes)

  • Plays must require five performers or fewer.

  • Quality, female-identifying roles must be well-represented.

  • Plays must include a contact page and character breakdown.

  • One submission per playwright, per festival.

  • Any plays that do not follow these requirements will be dismissed.

  • Playwrights must be available to attend festival virtually, including rehearsals (Rehearsals: March 30 - April 6)

Festival Rules and Guidelines:

  • Three finalists will be chosen to participate in the Modern Works Festival. 

  • Finalists will be selected by panel of readers and notified by Urbanite Theatre on February 15, 2021. 

  • The volume of submissions will prevent us from providing individual feedback.

  • All participants (including actors, directors, stage managers and designers) will be compensated

  • Only finalist playwrights will be contacted. 

  • Plays that have been previously submitted to Urbanite Theatre or the Modern Works Festival are not eligible to be submitted again.

  • Each finalist will receive the following: a paid, professional director and cast, a table read, 12 rehearsal hours, a recorded staged reading with a total of three performances, and facilitated post-show talkbacks. 

  • Each finalist play will be assigned a play development mentor to work with before, and during the festival.

  • Playwrights are required to participate in the rehearsal process and attend the readings and talkbacks for their play (all virtual).  

  • Winner of festival will receive a $3000 prize

  • The two remaining finalists will each receive an award of $500

  • No other royalties or payments will be issued.

  • Submissions will be capped after the first 300 eligible scripts are received.

  • Winner will be chosen by a group of panelists in conjunction with an audience vote and will be announced February 19, 2021.

Deadline to Submit: January 4, 2021

Questions? Email

Festival History

2019 Winner: Sam Collier, Daisy Violet The Bitch Beast King

2019 Finalists: Carey Crim, The Last Broadcast. Marjorie Muller, Regular.

2019 Guest Playwright: Lauren Yee

Festival History

2018 Winner: Mercedes White, The Space In Between

2018 Finalists: Gina Femia, The Violet Sisters. Jayne Hannah, Stalking.

2018 Guest Playwright: Martyna Majok