CONGRATULATIONS TO THIS YEAR’S WINNERS!
The 2023 New Play Contest is now CLOSED. 2024 applications will open this fall.
See below for a list of current and past winners!
Applications are NOW OPEN! Submit your 60 minute play or musical by Wednesday, November 15 at 11:59pm ET.
Winners will be announced at the Hamilton Fringe Festival Lottery Party this winter.
Do you have an unproduced 60-minute play or musical hiding deep in a drawer waiting for the right moment? Maybe it’s still the tiniest seed of an idea and you’ve been waiting for a sign from the universe to finally write it out?
THIS IS THE SIGN YOU’VE BEEN WAITING FOR!
The Hamilton Fringe New Play Contest is open to ALL writers, no experience necessary. All submissions are anonymized and read by our jury.
The winner of the contest receives a FREE 60-minute production slot in the 2024 Hamilton Fringe Festival plus a $300.00 cash prize. 2nd and 3rd Place playwrights receive a festival Fringe Binge pass.
Please submit by 11:59PM ET Wednesday, November 15, 2023. Late submissions will be accepted until 11:59PM ET Wednesday, November 22, 2023.
Good luck – and we can’t wait to see what you’ve been working on!
Interested in the New Play Contest?
This year’s winner is Transitions by Ron Davies (Ottawa, ON). Tickets are on sale now!
Check back here this fall for information about how you can enter the 2024 contest!
This year’s winner was “Transitions” by Ron Davies (Ottawa, ON), with a tie for second place, “Seven Virgins” by Ron Fromstein (Toronto, ON) and “Board Game Night” by Joel Pettigrew (Thornhill, ON).
Congratulations to this year’s winners and all of the submissions!
The team from “Transitions” was not able to mount a production at the festival this year.
“Seven Virgins” was awarded the production prize, and can be seen at the 2023 Hamilton Fringe Festival. Buy tickets to “Seven Virgins” now!
Notes From the Jury Room
Rules and Regulations
1. Open to all playwrights/writers.
2. Only one entry per playwright is permitted.
3. All entries must be original, unproduced plays or musicals. (Plays that have been workshopped or produced in student festivals within an academic context are eligible.)
4. First time stage adaptations of other work from another medium are eligible IF AND ONLY IF the playwright has the rights to adapt and present the work for public performance.
5. Plays can be written/performed in any language, however the playwright must provide an English translation for the jury. (The English translation is what the jury will be evaluating.)
6. The playwright may have received funding to create or workshop this play.
7. All plays must have a performance time of 60 minutes or less. There is no page limit, but the play must fit within the Fringe’s 60-minute running time policy. (On average, one page takes 1.5 minutes to read aloud. A standard 60 minute play is between 35 and 45 pages.)
8. The script must be type-written and uploaded as a PDF file. The file name must be the title of the play. Please include a title page with the play’s title only, without the playwright’s name. Please do not include the playwright’s name on the pages of the script, in footnotes, endnotes, title page, appendices, etc. Musicals with audio recordings may share a URL to a YouTube / Vimeo / Soundcloud playlist as long as the creators are ANONYMOUS (create an account that has a neutral name, like MyMusicalName, not a pre-existing personal or professional account that indicates the creators or producers) or upload a .zip file that contains all the tracks.
9. Playwrights who enter the New Play Contest may also enter the Hamilton Fringe Festival lottery. If the first place playwright has also entered the Fringe Festival lottery, their Festival application will be removed from the lottery in advance of the draw and their application fee will be refunded.
10. The winner must use their Fringe Festival slot to produce the play that was submitted to the contest.
11. The non-refundable entry fee ($35) can be paid online by PayPal when completing this application OR submitted by cheque in the mail. Payment is due within 5 days of the online submission of this form. Cheques must be made payable to Hamilton Festival Theatre Company. Please clearly mark the outside of the envelope with “New Play Contest” and mail the cheque and a printed copy of your application form to 41 King William St, Suite 206, Hamilton ON, L8R 1A2.
12. Any/all current Board Members of the corporation of the Hamilton Festival Theatre Company are not eligible to participate in this contest.
Prizes and Notification
1. The New Play Contest first prize includes a 60-minute performance slot in the 2024 Hamilton Fringe Festival for the winning play, plus $300.00 CAD cash prize. The performance slot has no cash value and cannot be sold or transferred to another party. The winning playwright will be required to fill out and sign an Application Form and abide by all Hamilton Fringe Festival policies and procedures.
2. The two runners up will each receive a Fringe Binge Pass for the 2024 Hamilton Fringe Festival.
3. The winning play and runners up will be announced at the Hamilton Fringe Festival’s Lottery Party (event details TBC).
1. Read the Rules & Regulations in this application, paying special attention to how scripts should be formatted and uploaded WITHOUT reference to the playwright.
2. Fill out and submit this application form by 11:59 PM ET Wednesday, November 15, 2023. Late submission deadline for artists requiring additional time as an accessibility accommodation or who learn of the program late is 11:59 PM on Wednesday, November 22, 2023. Submissions will not be accepted after the late submission deadline.
3. Pay the non-refundable $35 entry fee. Payments can be made online by PayPal when completing this application OR submitted by cheque in the mail. Payment is due within 5 business days of the online submission of this form.
Interested in the New Play Contest?
New Play Contest 2024 Winners
First Place: submissions now open
Second Place: submissions now open
Third Place: submissions now open
First Place: Transitions by Ron Davies (Ottawa, ON)
Second Place (tied): Seven Virgins by Ron Fromstein (Toronto, ON)
Third Place: Board Game Night by Joel Pettigrew (Thornhill, ON)
First Place: Samca by Natalia Bushnik & Kathleen Welch (Toronto, ON)
Second Place: Whale Fall by Stephen Near (Hamilton, ON)
Third Place: Recovering by Claud Spadafora (Hamilton, ON)
Honourable Mention: A Pineberry’s Past by Jordan M. Burns (Kitchener, ON)
The 2020 Hamilton Fringe Festival was cancelled due to COVID-19. New Play Contest Winner Steven Elliot Jackson instead presented an alternate work as part of the 2021 festival’s Digital Exclusives series.
First Place: Three Ordinary Men by Steven Elliot Jackson (Toronto, ON)
Second Place: The Fruits That Rot in Our Bellies by Kitoko Mai (Hamilton, ON)
Third Place: Where Do We Begin? (Musical), by Thalia Ranjbar and Jake Schindler (London, ON)
First Place: We All Got Lost by Camille Inston (Dundas, ON)
Second Place: Where The Wind Carries Us (Où Le Vent Nous Portera) by Andrew Lee (Hamilton, ON)
Third Place (tied): INQUEST by Marilo Nuñez (Hamilton, ON)
Third Place (tied): How I Became a Tramp by Vicki Zhang (Toronto, ON)
First Place: Superman and Skinny Dan and Bird Boy by Rex Emerson Jackson (Hamilton, ON)
Second Place: DASHEVSKY AND LEV by Phyllis Heltay (Calgary, AB)
Third Place: The Greatest Minds by Francesca Brugano (Hamilton, ON)
First Place: Subway Extension to the Mariana Trench by Andrew Lee (Hamilton, ON)
Second Place: The Team by Michael Kras (Hamilton, ON)
Third Place: Henry by Ron Fromstein (Toronto, ON)
First Place: Faith by Ben Hayward (Toronto, ON)
Second Place: ‘Tis Some Visitor by Peter Genoway (Toronto, ON)
Third Place: Lullaby Jones by Ron Fromstein (Toronto, ON)
First Place: B & E Basehead by Breen Godfrey (Toronto, ON)
Second Place: Mrs Lansen by Ron Fromstein (Toronto, ON)
Third Place: Oasis Love by Johnny Salib (Toronto, ON)
First Place: Mommy’s Mask by Peter Gruner (Oakville, ON)
Second Place: Bootlegger’s Wife by Victoria Murdoch (Toronto, ON)
Third Place: A Zoo, of Sorts by Ron Fromstein (Toronto, ON)
First Place: Oh God the Drums by Brad J Hart (Toronto, ON)
Second Place: Learning to Swim by Radha Menon (Hamilton, ON)
Third Place: Test by Stephen Near (Hamilton, ON)
First Place: The Drive-Up Counter of the Universe by Lesley Strutt (Ottawa, ON)
Second Place: One by Ron Fromstein (Toronto, ON)
Third Place: Dairy-Free Love by Victoria Murdoch (Toronto, ON)
First Place: Interface by Stephen Near (Hamilton, ON)
Second Place: The Gods and Calvin Brewer by Jessica Anderson (Ottawa, ON)
Third Place: Minced by Peter Gruner (Oakville, ON)
First Place: Dianne and Me by Ron Fromstein (Toronto, ON)
Second Place: Digging by David Finley (Toronto, ON)
Third Place: Tremble by Judith Skoff (New Jersey, USA)
First Place: Love Shack by Michael Wilmot (London, ON)
Second Place: The Whore Of Babylon by Rufus F and C Hickok (Hamilton, ON)
Third Place: Goodnight Amherst by James Fanizza (Toronto, ON)
First Place: Gerald Hilroy’s Guide To The Art Of Seduction by David B. Fraser
Second Place: Without Whom by Robert J Downes
Third Place: Ho Ho Ho by Ron Fromstein (Toronto, ON)
First Place: Balls by Rob Salerno (Toronto, ON)
Second Place: The Big Smoke by Ron Fromstein (Toronto, ON)
Third Place: Perfect Wives, Desperate Lives by Vanesa Burns
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