Comedies. Dramas. Musicals.

All are welcome!

New Art City Theatre celebrates the writer and his work. It doesn’t matter if it’s a comedy, a drama, or a musical. If it’s compelling, we’ll put your script into the hands of professional theatre artists who rehearse and refine according to your vision. This exciting process culminates in a series of readings in front of a live audience for realtime feedback.

The Submission Portal for Festival ’24 is Now CLOSED

If you intended to submit for 2024 but missed the deadline, we sincerely hope you’ll come back and submit next year.

We’re dedicated to creating a nurturing, creative, fun, inspiring and encouraging environment for writers to “play” in. The ultimate goal during a writer’s residency in Ventura is for you to make discoveries about your piece, or to have your instincts confirmed, or both. We do our utmost to make your time here and the reading of your project a wonderful experience. We will always bring positive energy to our conversations and the support we offer. Our expectation of writers who are included in our festivals is that you likewise bring a spirit of collaboration and kindness to the room, along with respect for the many artists who bring their talent to the table so that your work can grow. Our dearest wish is that you find artistic success with your projects and that you’ll want to come back to NACT in the future.

We look forward to learning about your work!

We hope this page will answer all your questions regarding our submission process. In addition, you can always email us at

Submission Criteria and Process

We accept submissions of full-length (two act) plays and musicals, or full-length one-act (75 minutes+) plays or musicals. Your project must not be published or have received any fully-produced productions, either amateur or professional. We understand the process of writing for the theatre takes time, and multiple developmental opportunities are key to the advancement of any project, so we do consider scripts that have been through readings elsewhere or have been included in festivals like ours where your work was presented as a reading only. 

You’ll need to fill out the application which can be found here. If you are part of a writing team, one member of the team should fill out the form as the primary contact and list collaborators as team members. Once you’re in our system, you’ll need the following materials ready to upload:

  • A pdf of your full script. Because we’re committed to evaluating projects through a blind screening process, your name must not appear anywhere on your script. Your project will be given a unique ID so that we can identify you as the author once our selections have been made.
  • A pdf of a “writer’s statement” regarding the piece you’re submitting. What inspired its creation? What do you hope audiences experience when they see it?
  • If your project is a musical, upload mp3 demos of the first four (4) songs from your project
  • If a musical, upload the sheet music that corresponds with your mp3 demos. The name(s) of the composer and lyricist (and librettist on the project) must not appear on any of the music.

Once your application form is completed and all documents are uploaded, you will be prompted to the last step which is payment of the $25 application fee. This fee helps in part to offset the cost of administrative and operating tasks that are specific to the screening process. We wish that NACT were in a position to offer a free submission opportunity and hope to do so in future. We can accommodate a limited number of reduced fees which will be disbursed on a first come, first served basis. At the bottom of your submission form you’ll have a chance to make the request.

If Your Work Is Selected

If selected for inclusion in Festival ’24, you will receive an invitation to spend a week’s residency in California. NACT covers the expenses for:

  • Roundtrip air and/or ground travel expenses for participating writers/writing teams 
  • If needed, a rental car for use during the rehearsal period (to be shared with another writer or writing team)
  • Housing during the residency* 
  • A $1,000 stipend for all participating writers

*Housing varies and may be with a host family. NACT supporters who volunteer to host are aware that you need quiet time and rest when not at rehearsals and are sensitive to that fact.

During the residency, you’ll work hand in hand with a professional director (who has been chosen specifically for your project), a dramaturg and professional actors. The week will be spent rehearsing and preparing for a reading of your project. This time can provide a valuable opportunity for you to revise and edit as you may be hearing your script interpreted by professionals for the first time. We encourage this work and strive to provide necessary resources so that you can make changes during rehearsals, if you feel inspired to do so. 

At the end of the week, all projects are presented to live audiences and writers have the chance to receive feedback in a positive and structured talk-back, guided by the Artistic Director of NACT. The feedback sessions are for your benefit with the aim of helping you advance your work. We ask you to craft the questions you’d like asked of attendees and every effort is made to ensure the audience response is constructive and addresses those questions. 


Can I submit more than one project?
No. You know your work best. Send us the project you think has the best chance at success. Only one project from each writing team will be considered for the festival.

Will I receive a confirmation that my materials have been received?
Yes, absolutely.

Will I receive feedback from the screening team?
Unfortunately, no. We do not have the resources to provide individual feedback on all projects.

How many projects will be selected for Festival ’24?
We anticipate four new works will be presented as part of Festival ’24.

How are projects selected?
The NACT reading team is comprised of theatre professionals as well as community volunteers. We ask that you remove your name from your materials so that your project can be assessed in a blind screening process. 

When will you announce selected projects?
We anticipate sending invites to writers of selected projects in late February. If you’re not selected, you will receive a group email sent to all submitters alerting you that final selections have been made. No matter the outcome, we thank you for submitting and encourage you to submit future projects.

I’ve written a one person show. Is it eligible?
Yes. We accept submissions for projects with any cast size.

My show has a large cast. Can I still submit?
Yes. We accept submissions for projects with any cast size. We do recommend including any possible suggestions where actors might play multiple roles, if your project will allow for that type of casting. This allows us to consider more projects with large casts.

Can I pay a reduced fee?
Yes, that is possible. We are happy to offer reduced fees to a limited number of applicants on a first come, first served basis. At the end of your application form you’ll have a chance to make the request.

I don’t have sheet music for my musical. Can I still submit?
Unfortunately, no. All musicals must have sheet music ready in order for the MD and actors to be able to work effectively. The sheet music doesn’t need to be fancy. Simply legible and an accurate representation of what you are trying to achieve musically.

May I send a hard copy of my script?
No. We can only accept digital submissions at this time.

My piece is an adaptation of an existing work. Can I submit?
Yes, but if someone other than you (or another member of your team) holds the copyright, we will need a copy of any/all contractual agreements showing you have the right to work on the material.

Does NACT make money from Festival ’24?
Not through tickets sales. Attendance at our readings is free and anyone can be part of the audience if they make a reservation. That said, NACT operates as a non-profit association and has fiscal sponsorship through The Field out of NYC. We rely on charitable gifts to keep the engine humming. Readings help to drive fundraising. All funds that are raised through NACT programs go right back into the company to help other writers participate with future projects. 

If selected, will my project be reviewed by critics?
No. Since selected projects are in development and should not be subjected to critique from the press, no critics are invited to Festival ’24. However, we will share links to any/all press coverage that mentions your inclusion in the festival, along with pictures taken at rehearsals and/or the public readings. If any video is recorded, that footage will also be shared with you.