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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.

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

2022 Festival of New Works One-Act Plays

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, July 5 – July 14, 2023.  In 2023, 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.


One-Act play submissions and applications are now open for the 33rd New Voices for the Theater playwriting competition!

New to the competition is a cash prize for all eight winning playwrights that complete the online intensive playwriting workshop with renowned playwright, Kaela Mei-Shing Garvin.

In addition to the prize money, SPARC will produce four of the eight one-acts as virtual plays in the 2023 Festival of New Works.

Deadline to Apply: January 14, 2023








Join playwright, Theresa Ohanian, for an all-levels playwriting workshop series that is geared towards supporting students in their New Voices for the Theater one-act play submissions.   

11/1/22 6-8pm Zoom 

12/6/22 6-8pm Zoom 

1/3/22 6-8pm Zoom 

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.