Young Playwrights Festival 

Every year Syracuse Stage invites Central New York high school students to write original ten-minute plays and other performance pieces for entry into our annual Young Playwrights Festival contest. Our panel of theatrical and literary professionals evaluate each student's play. Semifinalists are invited to attend a writing workshop with Syracuse Stage where their plays will be read and critiqued. Finalists will see their plays performed as virtual staged readings by Syracuse University Drama Students.

Free Playwriting Workshop

For the first time ever, the Syracuse Stage Education Department is offering a free pre-submission playwriting workshop to help our playwrights craft their best plays and performance pieces.

Thursday, January 28, 4 - 5 PM

The free workshop will focus on creating character voices, conveying thoughts and actions through dialogue, and helpful stage directions. Participants should bring questions and ant writing already started.

Pre-registration required.


Now Accepting Entries

All plays and performance pieces must be submitted electronically.

Important Dates

January 28, 4-5 PM: Free Playwrighting Workshop

February 10: Entries due

March 6: Virtual writing workshops

May: Virtual Young Playwrights Festival

"I just wanted to thank you so much for selecting my play, Winners and Losers to be read tonight at Syracuse Stage. It was an incredible experience. The actors were phenomenal, and seeing the whole thing come together was something that I'll never forget. I know a lot of work went into it on your end, and I'd like you to know that I'm truly grateful". - Matthew Preston, Senior, Christian Brothers Academy

Past Participants

Tell us what you're doing - college, major, recent writings? We'd love to hear from you! Contact Kate Laissle at 315-442-7755 or


Kate Laissle
Associate Director of Education

Past Winners

Winners of the 2019 Young Playwrights: Top row left to right- Clayton Reynolds, Alice Yi, Alethea Shirilan Howlett and Jamiya Chandler Bottom Row left to right- Kamryn Lenning, Jessica Davidson, Alexander Schulz and Marisa Jaquin


Top row left to right- Clayton Reynolds, Alice Yi, Alethea Shirilan Howlett and Jamiya Chandler
Bottom Row left to right- Kamryn Lenning, Jessica Davidson, Alexander Schulz and Marisa Jaquin


Bridget Fallon, Natalie Feikes, Kai Gesek, Katie McPeak, Jenna Peyer, Trey Romano, Anna Sasser, Ashton Sloan

2017 Winners

Nathaniel Archer, Kyle Hotaling, Mark Tallents, Molly Bankert, Shannon Birmingham, Greg Buckley, Anna Burnam, Scottie O’Bryan, Hadar Pepperstone, Noah Rigby, Emily Rivito  

Young Playwrights Festival 2016

2016 Winners

Theodore Brill, Sir Dennis II, Francesca Giardine, Breanna Neal, Michale Schueler, Garrett Sirotkin, Kayden Vigneux


2015 Winners

Lauren Guinnip, Teagan Todd, Kristina Bell, Ronni Merriweather, David Siegel, Sara Boyle, Alexandra Landry, Jordyn Werfelmann

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Past Shows