Island Theatre invites Kitsap County playwrights—both established and aspiring—to submit original plays, no more than ten minutes in length, to Island Theatre’s 10th Annual Ten-Minute Play Festival!

Winning plays will be announced in April 2023. A program of the eight to ten plays selected will be performed during Festival Weekend in August on a Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening and a Saturday matinee. Admission will be by donation with a $5 minimum donation required.

The contest is open to all playwrights high school age and older who are past or present residents of Kitsap County or have a strong Kitsap County connection.

Play submissions will be judged on literary/theatrical merit and originality,

as well as for creative use of the theme.

Play criteria

THEME. This year’s Festival will have the theme TABOO. We all operate within taboos—cultural, political, religious, or other. Families have taboos as do relationships. Some are openly acknowledged, others hidden. Playwrights may interpret TABOO as they wish but the notion of TABOO must be central to your play’s storyline.

ENTRIES. You may submit up to three separate entries; however, only one entry per playwright will be selected for the final program. 

LENGTH. Plays should be no longer than 10 minutes; longer submissions will not be considered. (If you are uncertain about your play’s length, please read it aloud before submitting. Plays typically run a minute to a minute and a half per page of script.)

STAGING. Set, lighting, sound, costume, prop and staging requirements MUST be MINIMAL. 

CAST. Plays must have no fewer than two actors and no more than five actors.

SUBJECT MATTER. Content should be of interest to and suitable for high-school age and above audiences.

SCRIPT FORMAT. All submissions should be in standard professional play format. The first page of the script should include the title, characters, and basic setting; title and page number should appear at the top of each page.

SCRIPT HISTORY. Previously produced and/or workshopped scripts will be accepted as long as they weren’t produced or workshopped by Island Theatre or an Equity company. Adaptations will not be accepted.

PRODUCTION AGREEMENT. Selected playwrights agree to permit Island Theatre to produce their contest entry with full cast, without compensation. 

OWNERSHIP. Playwrights retain copyright and full ownership of their plays. 

PUBLICITY. Island Theatre reserves the right to use photography and videography from submissions to promote the Festival and theatre company. (Plays will be video recorded during performance, though no video of any play will be published without consent of its author.)

How to Enter

Submit your play(s) by March 1, 2023.

  • Your script needs to be a PDF file. No other formats will be accepted.

  • Island Theatre has a blind judging policy. To ensure that our judges do not see the playwright’s name, please make sure your name and contact information do not appear anywhere in the manuscript, including title page, header/footer, or embedded as document author. (To see if your name is embedded as author, hover your cursor over the document name in your file explorer.)

  • Put a title page on your manuscript with the name of the play only. Failure to remove your name from the manuscript may result in disqualification of your script.

Ten-Minute Play Festival Calendar

Submission Deadline: March 1, 2023

Winning submissions announced: April 2023

Auditions: May 2023

Rehearsals: June - August 2023

Meet the Playwrights: a panel event before the Festival at which the public can hear from the playwrights about their plays. Playwrights are strongly encouraged (but not required) to attend.

Festival Week: August 2023: three evenings and one matinée performance

Judging criteria

Submissions will be judged by a panel of three theatre professionals plus Island Theatre board members. Plays will be judged according to following criteria:


  • Is there a strong, clear use of the theme in this play?Is the use of this theme original and interesting?


  • Does the author show a strong, interesting writing style?Does the author have a clear viewpoint that’s well integrated into the play?


  • Are the characters interesting and compelling? Are they people you want to hear more about at the end of ten minutes?
  • Do the characters seem credible and real (or appropriately stylized in support of the play’s structure)? 
  • Are these the best characters to propel this action?
  • Does the main character change or develop through the course of the play?


  • Does the plot seem fresh, intriguing and original?
  • Does something happen?
  • Is there sufficient conflict and tension to sustain ten minutes?
  • Will this plot seem active, vital and dramatic on stage?


  • Does the dialogue fit the characters?
  • Does the dialogue sound natural and credible for the plot and location?
  • Does each character have their own unique voice?
  • Does the dialogue seem fresh and compelling, not dull or boring or generic?


  • Will the play be ten minutes or less in performance?
  • Does it fit the minimum props, costumes and staging proviso?
  • Is it appropriate for a small stage?


  • Is the play satisfying and memorable by the end?

Questions? Contact