The 10th annual NEWvember New Plays Festival, 3rd to 6th November 2022, at Smock Alley Theatre announces its call for submissions for this year’s festival!

NEWvember is a festival of rehearsed readings of new plays that takes place over one weekend in Dublin, produced by the theatre company AboutFACE. There is no fee for submissions and all plays are read blind of name or gender by our panel. The spirit of NEWvember is to provide a dynamic, interactive and comfortable place where writers can hear their plays read by professional actors, and discuss their work and creative process with the audience.

2019 marked NEWvember’s third year in Dublin after 5 years in New York. AboutFACE co-created and co-produced NEWvember at the Carpenter Shop Theatre in the village of Tivoli in upstate New York, with our partners Tangent Theatre, from 2011 to 2015. During this time, NEWvember was highly successful – drawing large audiences, including breaking the box office record for the venue on successive nights; and finding massive interest from writers – by its fifth year, submissions reached nearly 500 plays a year and rehearsed readings of new work by over 30 playwrights had been presented, while several plays developed at the festival have gone on to Off-Broadway and regional American productions. NEWvember then moved to Dublin, Ireland, where the festival was held in 2017 at Belvedere House, in 2018 at The New Theatre and in 2019 at Smock Alley and The Civic. 2020’s festival during the pandemic took place online.

From NEWvember, many plays have gone on to further success, including recently:

The Gods of the Ozarks by Matthew Cole Kelly was given its world premiere by AboutFACE in 2019 at The Civic in Dublin
Extremophiles by Fergal O’Byrne has since been awarded the prestigious Eamon Keane Playwriting Award at the 2018 Listowel Writers’ Week and had its world premiere production in Denmark in 2020
Deanna and Paul by Dagney Kerr and The Paper Hangers by Emily Brauer Rogers were produced together at Stages Theatre in California in March 2020
Charlotte’s Letters by Jennifer O’Grady has won the Henley Rose Award
Holy and Unruly by David Beardsley had its world premiere in the 2022 season at New World Theatre in New Hampshire.
“To me this event is a leading light for the theatre sector.” – Fergal O’Byrne, Extremophiles (NEW’17)

“I’ve had the privilege of participating in many developmental readings of my work, and my experience with AboutFACE Ireland was, hands down, among the best.” – Matthew Kelly, The Gods of the Ozarks (NEW’18)

“NEWvember was one of the best playwriting experiences I’ve had. I received invaluable feedback that helped my play grow significantly!” – Emily Brauer Rogers, The Paper Hangers (NEW’19)

We are now pleased to invite submissions of new plays for the 2022 NEWvember festival:


submitted plays should be previously unproduced (we will consider plays that have had readings before but are still in development)
plays should have a cast size of 2-8
plays should have a running time of 30 to 120 minutes
we will only accept one submission per writer each year
we are interested in plays from playwrights based in Ireland, and Irish playwrights around the world
we ask that the writers of the chosen plays attend the reading of their play towards its further development and to be present for a post-reading Q&A with the audience
there is no fee for submissions
while we are open to all styles and subjects, we do have a preference for narrative and character-driven stories. Plays will be selected based on their originality, range, production potential, narrative quality and emotional resonance

Please submit your play via our online application form here. 

You will be asked to include:

your play as a PDF (without the writer’s name, email or other identifying marks on any page throughout the script – to aid our blind reading process). The script should include a character list. Please ensure the file name of your play matches the name of the play e.g. theweir.pdf
Within the form, you will be asked to include your name, play title and contact details (location, email and phone), which will be kept in a database unseen by the reading panel.


The closing date for submissions is Friday July 15th 2022 (5pm Irish time).
Please note that these criteria will be applied strictly and any submissions made after the closing date or not following the submission guidelines will not be considered. In addition, our festival’s reading panel will not be able to provide feedback on specific plays or on the status of your application.

The writers of the plays that have been shortlisted will be contacted in September and will be asked to send any updated version of their play, as this will be the final version considered and the version read at the festival if chosen.

The invited plays will be announced in October.