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O’Neill calls for new plays

Oct. 21 deadline for open submissions

The submissions window at the O’Neill Theater Center’s National Playwrights Conference is now open, and scribes can submit works for consideration through Oct. 21.

The annual summer session at the O’Neill is one of the country’s most prominent development showcases for new legit works and is one of the few to allow playwrights to submit scripts without an agent or other industry connections. About eight shows are usually selected each year from a pool of 800-1,000 contenders, with most drawn from the open submissions process (and one or two by invitation).

Participating conference writers get a monthlong summer residency at the O’Neill, located in Waterford, Conn., along with a stipend, housing, meals and transportation. Each play is seen by the public — and by industry types checking out the wares — in staged readings over the course of the month.

The Playwrights Conference, founded in 1964 and currently led by a.d. Wendy C. Goldberg, has helped launch the careers of scribes including August Wilson, Wendy Wasserstein and John Guare. One work seen recently at the conference, Molly Smith Metzler’s “Close Up Space,” will land at Manhattan Theater Club later this season in a production toplined by David Hyde Pierce.

The O’Neill also hosts a musical theater conference around the same time as the playwrights session. This year tuner submissions will be accepted Nov. 1-Dec. 1.

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