Theatre Festival Submission (July 19-21, 26-28)

The Nuyorican Poets Cafe is excited to announce that we are accepting original, previously unproduced monologues and short plays for our upcoming 2019 Theatre Festival! Twenty works will be selected from an open-submission process to be performed at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe during a two-week festival in July 2019. Chosen participants will have an opportunity to receive a cash prize, “Best of Fest” nomination, and possibly participate in encore performances at the Cafe during the Fall 2019. We are eager to see your submissions and pick out wonderful pieces to enjoy with our community!

General Information

Twenty plays or monologues will be selected to be presented at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe during the two-week festival period. Dramatists whose works are selected will have the opportunity to either direct, choose a director, or work with a director appointed by the Cafe. Artists will not need to pay any fees in order to participate.

All writers, directors, and performers who participate in fest will receive an honorarium from cafe, ranging from $50-$200 based on the nature of the artists’ involvement ($50 for each performer, $100 for each director, $150 for each writer).

The Festival runs July 19-21 & July 26-28, with performances taking place Fridays from 6-8pm, and Saturdays/Sundays from 3-5pm and 6-8pm. Each selected work will be performed at least five times during the festival. Playwrights, directors and actors will also be invited to participate in post-show discussions and talk-back sessions attended by school groups.


  • Each submission must include a title page with playwright’s name, address, phone number, and email. The playwright’s name and contact information should not be on any other page of the script.

  • Total running time of each work must not exceed 10 minutes.

  • Playwrights and monologists must submit their scripts between May 6-June 6, 2019


Audience members may vote for the festival’s top three shows via online or paper ballot (in program). At the end of the festival, these votes will be tallied and the authors of the top three plays will receive a cash prize ($150 for first place, $100 for second place, $50 for third place) and a “Best of Fest” designation. “Best of Fest” pieces will have the opportunity to participate in an evening of encore performances at the Cafe in Fall 2019.


The Nuyorican Poets Cafe will provide:

  • A 100-seat theater space (standing room for 20), including a basic lighting plot with limited pre-set general light cues and basic sound equipment. Participants must supply their own board operator, or request one from the Cafe.

  • Limited furniture and properties (chairs; folding tables; music stands). Producing companies may supply props, set pieces, etc.; however, we strongly advise that productions be kept as simple as possible.

  • Front-of-house personnel including house manager and bartender.

  • Festival promotion on the Cafe’s website, social media, and e-newsletter. We cannot promote individual shows. Companies are responsible for their own show-specific marketing efforts.

  • Access to individual directors, upon request; participants may also select their own director.

  • Access to a joint casting session conducted by the Cafe’s staff; participants may also select their own casts.

  • Use of the Cafe for up to 10 hours of rehearsal time per show, pending availability; however, we request artists also secure alternate rehearsal space

Plays & Monologues Premiered at the Cafe