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New Voices for the Theater

New Voices for the Theater is a statewide playwriting competition that provides an opportunity for students, selected out of hundreds of applicants from across the Commonwealth, to bring their original one-act plays to life on the stage for the public each summer at the Festival of New Works.

Program Update

After a hiatus last year, New Voices is back!  We are now accepting applications for new one-act plays by high school playwrights.  Click here to see submission guidelines and submission form.  All submissions are due by Monday, January 31, 2022.

Watch the video to learn more about New Voices for the Theater!

How It Works

New Voices for the Theater is a statewide playwriting competition that provides an opportunity for Virginia high school students to further develop their submitted one-act plays in collaboration with theater professionals and their peers during a two-week virtual residency, June 21 – July 2, 2022.  In 2022, the program will take place 100% virtually.

The residence is an intensive experience geared towards enhancing and developing the writing talents of the chosen playwrights.  The young playwrights will receive one-on-one writing mentorship from a nationally renowned professional playwright-in-residence and have the chance to participate in a virtual writing room with other participants.  Once plays move into rehearsal, the young playwrights will learn how to collaborate with a director and actors to bring their vision to life in the online culminating event, the Festival of New Works.

Submission Guidelines & Application Form

Play Evaluation

Once plays are submitted via the online link on our submissions page, the New Voices Selection Committee will read and assess each play.  In 2022, four (4) winners will be selected for SPARC’s New Voices for the Theater 2022 Excellence in Playwriting Award.

For More Information

Support New Voices

To sustain this program, SPARC relies on generous contributions from individuals, corporations, and foundations. Donations aid in promoting the program to high schools statewide, supporting the participation of highly sought-after professional playwrights and theatre artists, and the young playwrights that have the opportunity to learn, grow, and reveal the truth of their lives each summer in New Voices.  Support New Voices today by making a gift to SPARC!

Major funding for New Voices for the Theater is provided by:


Additional Support Provided By:

Altria, Community Foundation for a greater Richmond, Dominion Energy Foundation,
the R.E.B. Foundation, Robins Foundation, and Holly Rice & Vince Gilligan

All SPARC programs are made possible in part by: 

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Email us at sparc@sparcrichmond.org or call 804.353.3393.