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This one-act play playwriting competition was designed for Colorado high school students to nurture young writers, develop new plays and inspire creativity through playwriting.

Submissions are judged blindly by DCPA artistic, literary and educational professionals. From a talented pool of entrants, we choose 10 semifinalists, then three finalists who each receive a cash scholarship of $250 and have their plays read at the annual Colorado New Play Summit in February. In addition, each teacher of the three finalists receives a $250 gift certificate for books, supplies or other teaching tools for their classrooms. One play is selected for full production in the summer by the Education department — written, cast with and produced by teens.

Sponsored by the Newman Family Foundation with a matching gift from June Travis.

The semi-finalists and finalists for the 2015/16 playwriting Competition


Sonder by Kendra Knapp, Valor Christian High School

Finalists (alphabetical by play title)

Dark River by Jessica Wood, Denver Christian School

Divinity of Hell by Gabrielle Moore, D’Evelyn Senior High School

Sonder by Kendra Knapp, Valor Christian High School


Black and Blue by by Ashley Wright and Amelia Middlebrooks, Valor Christian High School

Daffodil by Kristine Guo, Peak to Peak Charter School

Dark River by Jessica Wood, Denver Christian High School

Divinity of Hell by Gabrielle Moore, D’Evelyn Senior High School

Don’t; Quixotic by Kalina Gallardo, Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy

Empty Space by Kiera Eriksen-McAuliffe, Denver School of the Arts

Home in the Garden by Stephanie Kiel and Mady McGraw, Chatfield Senior High School

Mahdi by Jacob Kendrick, Peak to Peak Charter School

Moonlight by Jafei Pollitt, Denver School of the Arts

Sonder by Kendra Knapp, Valor Christian High School

Playwriting Competition FAQs

  • How should I format my play?

  • What is the difference between a screenplay and a play?

  • Can I submit an adaptation?

  • What kind of subject material are you looking for?

  • How many pages can I write?

  • Should I write my name on my manuscript?

Colorado high school drama and language arts teachers can sign up for a free 60-minute playwriting workshop that introduces students to the fundamentals of writing a one-act play. Workshops are taught by industry professionals and are an excellent way to engage students’ interest in the competition and teach them about playwriting and the theatre simultaneously. Teachers can book up to five consecutive workshops. Subject to availability.

Free workshops available September-November, 2016.

Contact us: 303.446.4855

Please join us for the full production of the 2015/16 winner of the Regional High School Playwriting Competition

Sonder by Kendra Knapp, Valor Christian High School

  • Fri Jun 17; 1:30pm and 7pm
  • Conservatory Theatre
  • Free

Robert and Judi Newman Center for Theatre Education
Third Floor
1101 13 St.
Denver CO 80204

Past Playwriting Competitions

  • 2013/14 Playwriting Competition

  • 2014/15 Playwriting Competition

Submissions must:
  • be an original, unpublished, one-act play.
  • be previously unproduced.
  • be limited to no more than 30 pages.
  • be typed in standard play-style format, 12 point Times New Roman font and page numbered.
  • be submitted online or postmarked no later than Dec 1, 2016.

Submissions must not:

  • be a translation or excerpt.
  • have the playwright’s name anywhere on the manuscript.

Submissions are read blindly. Students submitting online enter contact information on their profile separately from their manuscript. If submitting by mail, please include all of your contact information on a separate sheet of paper.

Playwrights must:

  • be currently enrolled in a Colorado high school or home school.
  • limit submissions to one entry per year.

No revisions will be accepted after submission. Do not send your only copy. Manuscripts will not be returned. No submission fee.

Preferred method:

Alternate method:

   Playwriting Competition
   1101 13th St., Denver, CO 80204

QUESTIONS? Contact us at 303.446.4892

"It doesn’t appear that arts education will ever escape the need for support from the private sector…it’s a need that is not going away. It is very important to us that we can identify how funds will be used, and that they will provide an opportunity for some unknown kids to have a hell of a good time." — Carole & Robert Slosky