Young Playwrights in Process

  • If you’re an Indiana student in 6-12 grade, we want to hear from you. Whether you’re a seasoned playwright, or you've never seen a live theatre production, we know you have a story to tell. 

Maybe it’s about you. Maybe it’s about someone you know. Maybe it’s about somewhere that doesn’t even exist yet. 
But it’s there. 
And we want to help you bring it to life.  


Young Playwrights in Process (YPiP) is an annual playwriting competition for Indiana students in grades 6-12. The competition was created in 2005 through the Margot L. and Robert S. Eccles Trust, and sponsored in collaboration with IRT. YPiP encourages junior high and high school students across Indiana to create plays for live theatre that reflect and challenge their world.

Scripts will be read by theatre and writing professionals who’ll look at your storytelling, dialogue, characters and plot. All students will receive feedback on their script. A selection of top scorers will be invited to our Next Level Workshop to work on playwriting skills and hone their scripts for semi-final submission. Judges will then choose six Semi-Finalists (including both junior high and high school submissions) to attend a weekend workshop where IRT’s professional actors will read your play out loud, and you’ll work one-on-one with directors and playwrights. This will get you ready to tune up your play and turn it in for Finalist selection. Plus, all Semi-Finalists win $100 and half-scholarships to IRT Summer Conservatory.

Two Finalists (one high school, one junior high) win a workshop of their play, and a full public, professional reading at the Final Event and Reception. Both Finalists will also win $1000 and a full scholarship to the IRT Summer Conservatory.


Important dates for ypip 2017

Submission Deadline: September 27, 2017

  • Submit your plays below using the online form. Pay close attention to rules for formatting!

Next Level Workshop: October 14, 2017

  • A selection of top scorers from all submissions are invited to this one day workshop to learn more from a professional playwright. All Next Level participants are invited to re-submit their plays for semi-finals. 

Semi-Finalist Weekend: November 17-18, 2017

  • The top 6 plays, including both middle and high school, will be invited to further develop their scripts with IRT professionals as well as getting an opportunity to have their play read by professional actors. All semi-finalists are invited to re-submit their plays for finals.

Finalist Workshop/Final Event: December 16, 2017

  • The two winning plays, one middle school and one high school, will be presented with a public reading by professional actors.  Excerpts from the select semi-finalist scripts will also be presented.

Please note that to be eligible for semi-finals and finals, students MUST be available on December 1-2 and December 16.


Special Offer for teachers!

If your classroom or home school co-op pledges to submit at least five (5) scripts to the YPiP program, we'll offer you a FREE Artist in the Classroom visit to help your young playwrights start or focus their pieces. For more details about this offer, contact Milicent Wright at 317.916.4843 or mwright@irtlive.com.


Tips and guidelines

Make your play about something important to you. Tell a story. Create memorable characters. Make things happen. For the most successful script, put your emphasis on a carefully crafted plot, interesting character development and a meaningful theme.


SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

  • Plays must be one-acts, 15 double-spaced pages (about 20 minutes) in length.
  • Plays must be original works. No adaptations will be accepted. No musicals or screenplays.
  • Students must be enrolled full time in middle school, high school or home school. Grades 6-12.
  • Students may work together as co-playwrights; however, all writers must be eligible fulltime students. Prizes will be divided between joint authors.
  • In the event of a tie the IRT reserves the right to redistribute prizes.
  • Students may submit more than one play; up to a total of three submissions per student.
  • The title page should only include the TITLE of the play. DO NOT put the author’s names on the title page.
  • The online YPiP entry form must be completed with each submission.
  • Your email must be from a web- or ISP-based service (i.e. Gmail, Hotmail, Comcast, SBC Global). School-based emails may not be accepted.
  • Your submitted file must be editable text (Microsoft Word .doc or docx). Scans will not be accepted.
  • All pages MUST be numbered.
  • Any entries not meeting the above requirements will be disqualified.

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS OF PLAYWRITING

  1. Write about something that you care about passionately.
  2. Write a conflict that builds as the play progresses. As you structure the conflict, give your play a beginning, a middle, and an end.
  3. Remember the idea of cause and effect. Each event in your play should have an effect on the world of the play, which leads to the next event.
  4. Write characters who want something (which puts them in conflict with other characters) and who spend every moment of the play trying to get what they want.
  5. Make sure that each of your characters has something at stake, a price to pay, a consequence to suffer if they don’t get what they want.
  6. Give every major character a character arc, a journey, something to learn. They should end up someplace different from where they began.
  7. Make your play about something. A good play says something to humanity about humanity.
  8. Write believable dialogue that advances the plot and illuminates your characters at the same time.
  9. Make your play theatrical – a story that would only be told in the theatre and no place else.
  10. Always remember, writing is rewriting. Keep polishing and looking for ways to make the play better.

click here to submit your script