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The 2016-2017 New Voices year is underway!

New Voices for the Theater is the nationally acclaimed statewide high school playwriting program that celebrates and cultivates young writing talent from across Virginia.

The New Voices playwriting competition provides a life-changing opportunity for high school writers to work with other talented young writers as well as professional theatre artists.

Original plays written by Virginia students in grades 9-12 are accepted through Feb. 15, 2017. Winning playwrights will be invited to attend a two-week residency in Richmond June 24-July 9, 2017.

2017 Winners

Congratulations to ALL of our 150+ students who submitted New Voices plays and to the teachers who support them!
SPARC’s New Voices is proud to announce the 2017 Winning Playwrights!
2017 Winning Resident Playwrights:

47B by Dominique Dowling, Glen Allen High School

Did You Miss Us by Nicholas Schaefer, Loudoun County High School

Playception by Evan Packer by Adam LeKang, Chantilly High School

Never Gonna Give You Up by Jelani Bell, Salem High School

Second Chances by Timothy Glover, Appomattox Regional Governor’s School

Six Pomegranate Seeds by Hannah Smith, Hanover High School

The Unshakeable Mrs. Flowers by Caroline Austin, York County School of the Arts
2017 Winning Non-Resident Playwrights:

Reflected by Emma Robinson, Appomattox Regional Governor’s School

When It Rains by Lindy Pokorny, Appomattox Regional Governor’s School

Please join us at 7pm on July 7th and 8th for the Festival of New Works at Shafer St. Playhouse, 221 N. Shafer St. at TheatreVCU

How It Works

The New Voices for the Theater playwriting competition provides an opportunity for Virginia students to work closely with professional theatre artists during a two-week residency designed to help them bring their original one-act plays to life on the stage.

The Residency is an intensive workshop experience geared towards enhancing and developing the writing talents of the chosen playwrights. The program requires attention to detail, a willingness to work hard, and a commitment to daily homework writing and reading assignments. Students are guided by a nationally recognized Playwright-in-Residence and other theatre professionals. They spend the two weeks taking classes and revising their winning play as well as taking trips to theater productions, museums, and other activities of interest.

2016 New Voices Timeline

February 15, 2017 Script Submission Deadline
May 15, 2017 Winners Announced
June 24 – July 9, 2017 New Voices Residency in Richmond
July 7-8, 2017 28th Annual Festival of New Works


Plays are submitted and eight winners are chosen by a Script Evaluation Committee. The plays are premiered as staged readings at a professional venue.

For More Information

Contact Laine Satterfield, New Voices Program Director, at

Support New Voices

To sustain this program, SPARC relies on generous contributions from individuals, corporations, and foundations. Donations aid in promoting the program to high schools statewide, supporting the participation of highly sought-after professional playwrights and theatre artists, and promoting the program and its Festival within the Richmond community. Support New Voices today by making a gift to SPARC!

“Having been able to see my play performed, and hearing the reaction of the audience was amazing. This program has made me want to write more, to write everyday and to succeed. This program changed my life.”

2012 Playwright Annalee Marguerite Weeks

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