Reasons to Give

From Play to Production

Our commitment to writers runs deep and is evident in everything we do. From our open script submission policy, to readings and workshops that help writers develop new work, to dramaturgical support during rehearsal, we believe in supporting playwrights at all stages of their creative processes and careers.

Do you really have an open submission policy?

We are one of the only theater companies in the U.S. that accepts unsolicited scripts. Any writer, at any point in their career and without professional representation, can send us a full length-play; and every play will receive a response. Your support allows us to engage with writers from all across the country. We keep our eyes on playwriting nationwide and forge new relationships with theater artists whose work you may not otherwise experience.

You don’t actually read every script, do you?

Our Literary Department receives nearly 1,000 scripts a year. We read each one and carefully track every artist we encounter. This is possible with our Special Forces Unit; a small team of skilled readers, well-versed in our dramaturgical approach, who help us evaluate and consider the plays. Your support helps us to discover new writers every single year.

Jeremy O. Harris

“I sent one play to Playwrights Horizons, thinking the thing where they accept people’s plays was pure bullsh*t. There’s no way that’s real. Then I got an email ‘Commission?’ I’ve just felt very seen from this place. They recognized something was special about me from a play that was a weird rough draft.”

Jeremy O. Harris, writer of upcoming A Boy’s Company Presents...

Your support allows us to engage with writers from all across the country.

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Where do you develop new plays?

We hold readings and workshops with a director, a full cast of actors and support from our Artistic staff in the New Works Lab. A play is meant to be heard out loud. For writers, experiencing their text with a room full of enthusiastic collaborators is integral to finishing a play. Your support helps writers strengthen their creative process.

Why do you commission?

Our commissioned writers not only receive financial support but are guaranteed a presentation in the New Works Lab. The financial support of a commission allows a writer to focus on writing, easing the burden of day-to-day responsibilities. And with our dramaturgical backing, they’re given the artistic resources to bring a new play to fruition. Our commissions convey to the writer, “We believe in you.”

Jaclyn Backhaus

“It’s always a really big eye-opening moment the first time my process meets other collaborators. That’s my favorite part. That’s why I love theater. The collaborators are what bring it alive, and what help me find out what the story is that I’m trying to tell.”

Jaclyn Backhaus, writer of Wives (Jody Falco and Jeffrey Steinman Emerging Playwright Commission) and Men On Boats (SuperLab)

Your support helps writers strengthen their creative process.

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....Wait, what’s a dramaturg?

The dramaturg is the greatest champion of the playwright’s vision. There to ask questions rather than provide answers, a dramaturg is a sounding board for a writer throughout the development and production processes, sort of like an editor. All our shows receive deeply considered dramaturgical support from their earliest drafts and all through previews.

And then YOU come in.

You, the audience, are the final and perhaps most important character in every production we produce. In preview performances, the creative team engages with our live audience to shape the play to its full potential before it opens. Many of our plays go on to have long lives at other theaters, both regionally and internationally, meaning the adventurous work you saw first reaches audiences around the world.

Michael R. Jackson

“The support we received from Playwrights Horizons was unparalleled and such a welcome reprieve given all of the years I’d been told by the world that my show was too black, queer, and profane to be produced.”

Michael R. Jackson, writer of A Strange Loop

You help spread adventurous work to audiences around the world.

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