2018 National Call for Scripts

INNER VOICES Social Issues Theatre at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (“University”) is now accepting submissions for its Spring 2018 National Call for Scripts.

INNER VOICES Social Issues Theatre is sponsored by the Counseling Center and co-sponsored by Illinois Theatre at the University of Illinois.

INNER VOICES Social Issues Theatre addresses complex, timely and often difficult social issues that connect deeply to the university communities and beyond, through performances followed by post-performance audience dialogues. Recognizing the event of live theatre as a rare and non-trivial dynamic juncture in a social space occupied not only by people but also by possibility, INNER VOICES Social Issues Theatre commits itself to the cultivation of this social space for rich civic dialogue vital to the wellness of community. With an eye on civic engagement and social justice, INNER VOICES concerns itself with where and how change might be made.

The 2018 Call for Script will explicitly focus on the theme of Social Justice as Environmental Justice. The possible topics might include such things as food deserts, environmental hazards, recycling, sustainable architecture, water and energy issues, and the impact of these on mental health and well being, etc. (hereafter, “Theme”)

This call for script is initiated by INNER VOICES Social Issues Theatre, and supported by Student Sustainability Committee at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

An award will be given to those playwrights whose scripts comply with the guidelines and are selected. Decisions of the panelists shall be final.


We are looking for scripts in two categories:

A. Ten-Minute play: up to six will be selected, $700.00 will be awarded per selected winning script

B. Forty-Minute play: up to three will be selected, $1,500.00 will be awarded per selected winning script


Play Submission Guidelines

Eligibility and Deadlines.   Playwrights (hereafter, “Entrant(s)”) must be 18 years or older and residents of the United States. Scripts must be submitted by no later than 11:59 pm on March 15, 2018. No late submissions will be accepted.

Script Submission Requirements.

A.  Entrants must complete the attached application along with his/her/their submission.  If there is more than one playwright for one submission, each playwright will need to complete the application.

B.  Each script must be original, unproduced, and not an adaptation or translation of an existing work and the submitted script must address the Theme. Addressing an issue does not necessarily mean bringing the issue to resolution. We value work that brings up the conditions of a social issue in a unique, complete and complex way.

C. Entrants must specify in the application whether the submission is for the Ten-Minute play or the Forty-Minute play. Ten-Minute plays should have 1 to 5 characters. Forty-Minute plays should have 3 to 8 characters.

D. For each Entrant, only one Forty-Minute play or two Ten-Minute plays or one of each is permitted.

E. While not a requirement, humor is welcome as is non-traditional utilization of theatrical form.

F. Each submission must be in Adobe Acrobat PDF form and hard copies will not be accepted.

G. Each submission must include the Entrant’s contact information, including, name title of the play, address, phone number, and email address. If there is more than one playwright as an Entrant for one submission, please identify all of the playwrights but designate one person person as the Entrant representative for purposes of contact information and any questions concerning the script.

Judging.  Submissions shall be judged by three to five University students and staff who have an interest and expertise in theatre and/or the Theme on the following criteria: meeting all of the administrative requirements in the submission guidelines, the feasibility of producing the script by INNER VOICES, the originality and compelling use of the theatrical form and structure of the script, and the capacity for original and compelling theatrical execution. By submitting your script, you give INNER VOICES the right to evaluate and compare your scripts against other scripts in order to choose the winning scripts. Up to six scripts will be selected as winning scripts for the Ten-Minute play and up to three scripts will be selected as winning scripts for the Forty-Minute play. The panelists decision on the winning scripts for each category shall be in their sole discretion and final.

Winning Script.   The winning script(s) for each category (the Ten-Minute play and the Forty-Minute play) will be used by INNER VOICES for the production and public performance of a play. However, the selection of a script does not guaranty its production by INNER VOICES Social Issues Theatre. Should the play be brought to production, a best efforts attempt will be made to inform the winning Entrant of its performance dates. The winners shall be announced on May 1st, 2017.  The scripts that are not selected shall be destroyed by the University.

Original Work.   By submitting a script, Entrant warrants that you and each other accompanied playwright is/are the sole creator(s) of the script or that you have the requisite ownership rights to the script, the script is non-infringing, and you agree to the warrants and representations, as further provided in the attached application.

Non-Exclusive License.   Each Entrant, by its submission, grants the University the non-exclusive, royalty-free right to copy, perform, and the right distribute the script to others within the University for internal evaluation purposes. In addition, submission of a script includes acceptance of production, if selected as a winning script.

Payment.   The Entrants for each winning Ten-Minute play shall receive a one-time award payment in the amount of $700.00. The Entrants for each of the winning Forty-Minute plays shall receive a one-time award payment in the amount of $1,500.00. There shall only be one award payment regardless of the number of playwrights for a single submission. If, in the opinion of the panelists, none of the entries in a particular category is appropriate for selection, no award shall be awarded in that category

License to Winning Script.   In consideration of the award, the Entrants of the winning submissions shall grant the University full performance rights, including the non-exclusive and royalty-free right to copy, produce, and publically perform a play from the script. In addition, Entrants of the winning submissions shall grant the University the non-exclusive and royalty-free right to record the play provided that any such recording shall only be used for internal University purposes. The University shall retain the winning scripts for a period of 5 years from the date the winning scripts are selected with the option for INNER VOICES to produce the scripts for performance at any time during this period. The Entrant(s) of the winning script for each category may be required to execute additional agreements or documents, including for tax purposes, prior to production of the play or reaffirming the terms of the attached application.

Tax Consequences.   Each winning Entrant is solely responsible for reporting and paying any and all applicable taxes related to the award payment. Each winning Entrant entitled to the award payment must submit to the University the required information in order to process the applicable tax forms which shall be the sole responsibility of the winning Entrant to complete and file.

Non Obligation and Disclaimer.   The submission of a script or selection of a winning script does not guaranty that the script will be produced into a play or publically performed. The University shall not be responsible or liable from any claims or damages resulting from its evaluation and selection of scripts or exercising its production or performance rights to the scripts. The University is not responsible for lost, late, illegible or misdirected entries. Scripts are null and void and will be rejected if any part is illegible, altered (other than spelling or address corrections), or mutilated.

Ownership.   Entrants shall retain ownership of the copyright in each of their respective scripts.


Note: All scripts will be read, however, we are unable to provide individual feedback on scripts.

Guidelines and Submission Form

Email entries and application to: ivsitcall2018@mx.uillinois.edu



Further information and an application for the contest can be found on our website or by contacting us at innervoices@mx.uillinois.edu.


INNER VOICES Social Issues Theatre is sponsored by the Counseling Center and co-sponsored Illinois Theatre and at the University of Illinois.