About Us - Our Work

New Play Development

The Stratford Festival’s new play programs focus on two areas of activity: the identification and development of projects for production (see below) and the support of Canadian artists through writing residencies that give them time to work on projects of their own choosing. This includes an annual Playwrights’ Retreat each fall and individual writing residencies throughout the year.

Participation in the Playwrights’ Retreat and writers’ residencies is by invitation only. Candidates will be identified in part through submissions and in consultation with senior artistic staff and other theatre professionals.

We are looking for Canadian works to premiere and accept submissions only of previously unproduced scripts.

Full-length manuscripts will be considered only if they are recommended by a director, dramaturge, agent, or theatre company, or if they are by a writer whose work we are familiar with. Musical submissions should include a full libretto and CD of selected songs.


In all other cases, playwrights may submit a package for consideration that includes a cover letter which gives a brief description of the project and its development history, your professional writing CV, and the first twenty pages of the script. Musical projects should also include a CD of selected songs. If you would like your materials returned, you must include a large self-addressed stamped envelope with sufficient postage.


Projects will be reviewed once only; we do not reconsider new drafts. Material will be assessed by one or more members of the artistic staff of the Dramaturgy and New Play Department and/or selected theatre professionals from the community-at-large. Only one play may be submitted at a time. We do not provide any critique or dramaturgical feedback.


Submissions may be made at any time of year. We will acknowledge receipt by email or letter. Response time will vary, although we try to respond to all submissions within four months. We ask for your patience: please do not contact us to check on the status of your submission.

Submissions can be sent electronically to:



If you prefer to send a hard copy, please mail it to:

Dramaturgy and New Play Department
Stratford Festival
55 Queen Street, P.O. Box 520
Stratford, ON
N5A 6V2


Support for new play programs at the Stratford Festival is provided through the generosity of Rita and Rudy Koehler, the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, and Kelly and Michael Meighen. The Festival gratefully acknowledges the Canada Council's support of its new play programs.

HamletThe Taming of the ShrewLove's Labour's LostThe Adventures of PericlesThe Sound of MusicCarouselThe Diary of Anne FrankThe PhysicistsPossible WorldsShe Stoops to ConquerOedipus RexThe AlchemistThe Last Wife