Festival Submissions 3rd Annual Boston New Works Festival

Festival Submissions 3rd Annual Boston New Works Festival

The 2024 Boston New Works Festival will be held June 20-23, 2024 at the Boston Center for the Arts.


Moonbox Productions invites Massachusetts based playwrights to submit one un-produced play, musical or proposed project for a staged reading as part of the 2024 Boston New Works Festival. All submissions must be received by October 1, 2023.

Script Criteria


  • Scripts will be evaluated based on the goals for the project, the clarity of vision, and the alignment of the proposed project with Moonbox’s mission and values. 
  • Eligible plays must be un-produced and may have no more than one other development process prior to participating in the Boston New Works Festival.
  • Eligible plays must not have any productions of the proposed project upcoming or pre-planned.
  • Moonbox encourages writers at all stages of their careers and projects at all stages of “readiness” to apply.

Proposal Submission

  • Writers interested in participating in Moonbox’s 2024 New Works Festival should submit a statement outlining the writers’ goals for the project/play, what they hope to get out of the process and what their vision for the project is.  Writers are also encouraged to write about how they believe this project serves Moonbox and contributes to the Mission, Vision and Values of the organization.  
  • The statement should also include details regarding the play’s creation and development: Was it a commission? Is there a committed or probable production of the script? Are there any local or regional planned or past participation in another development process?
  • In addition, writers should attach either a current draft of the play, a 10 page sample of dialogue or a detailed outline that clearly articulates the scope of the project, the story that will be told (non-traditional storytelling is as encouraged as traditional narrative structure) and any other supporting materials that will help the adjudication team understand the proposed project.
  • Selected projects will have development support from March to June.  They will receive a 6-hour table read/work thru, a 15 hour workshop and a 2-week (20hrs/wk) rehearsal process.
  • Selected projects will receive a staged reading with lights up/lights down and limited sound and costume support.

Submit to Bridget O’Leary, Director of New Play Development, at bridgetkathleenoleary@gmail.com.

Script Selection

The Reading Committee composed of a diverse group of theater makers, educators, advocates and administrators will blind-read all submissions. There will be three adjudication rounds: Round 1 (October 15-November 15), Round 2 (November 20- December 30) and Round 3 (January 15-February 15). Selections will be announced by March 1, 2024.

All submissions will be responded to and Moonbox will update the writers with regards to the status of their submission along the way.

Projects that make it into Round 3 will have an opportunity to submit an updated version of their proposal/submission.

Reading Process

Each reader in either round may be asked to read up to ten submissions. Each submission will have a minimum of four readers who will give them a number score and offer a brief (up to 150 words) descriptive justification of that score. 

Playwrights’ names and collaborators will be unknown to the readers. The Reading Committee will rank the plays to select a slate of finalists, from which the New Works Festival plays will be selected by Moonbox core staff.

In addition to the numerical scores that the plays receive, the final selection committee will consider diversity and balance of storytelling.

When scoring the play readers are encouraged NOT to take into consideration “produce-ability.” Moonbox is specifically looking for strong, compelling voices and interesting, relevant stories regardless of cast size, locations, set requirements or “magic”.

Readers are encouraged to think about the following elements when evaluating Showcase submissions:

  • Did you find this proposal compelling?
  • What are the moments of storytelling that you felt pulled in to?
  • What do you think this play or project is about?
  • Do you think this proposal aligns with the goals and mission of Moonbox Productions?
  • Is this project in a place with regards to development that you feel that Moonbox can support over the course of the 3 months?
  • Do you have reservations about this project with regards to authenticity of voice, clarity of vision or scope of project?

If you are interested in participating in the reading process, please contact Bridget O’Leary, Director of New Play Development, at bridgetkathleenoleary@gmail.com.