Winterfest Festival runs from
January 2 to March 12, 2017
Welcome to the best and most supportive festival in US
Play and Musicals between 10 and 90 minutes accepted
BEST PLAY $2,500


Submissions Accepted from Everywhere in the US
Shows from outside NY and NJ can only run if the
entire cast and crew are from New York City.
Submissions must be between



10 and 90 minutes long.




Winterfest Festival Introduction


Winterfest  is not only a festival,

it’s a competition as well.

Please know that all genres are welcome, including MUSICALS. Several of our winners over the years have been musicals. We are all musicians, and know exactly what you need to make your show a success.



Our 10th Festival Season

There is no question why Winterfest has taken the world of playwrighting festivals by storm, becoming one of the largest festival in the country in just 5 years.
It’s because playwrights enjoy staging their plays with us!


We are a group of playwrights who, after years of staging our plays in NYc festivals, said: “Why don’t we create a festival that includes everything we dreamt of having?”


The result is beyond our wildest expectations. 


Is this sheer luck or an acknowledgment of what we offer?

Let’s find out:


Our participating playwrights receive:

  1. Acknowledgement in the form of excellent prizes: $2,500 for Best Play and $1,500 in the Short play category +  $500 each for Best Actress, Actor, Director and Singer + $300 for Best Musical +  $200 for Best Original Play + $200 for best Satge manager and Set Designer. This is more than any other U.S. festival that we know.
  2. A two-and-a-half month-long festival that lets each production breathe, with 45-minute set-up pre-show and prime performance hours.
  3. And since we offer free tickets to all shows for the cast and crew of every production, participants have the opportunity to learn from the work of their artistic colleagues.
  4. The longest tech time than any other festival.  We believe that each play needs the same amount of care no matter how long it is!
  5. A 99-seat theater with beautiful, fixed red fabric seats, and six places for wheelchairs.
  6. 105 lights on our grid! Yes, you read right; 105 lights, including colored gels and LED lights in order to let you paint the moods and atmospheres of your scenes.
  7. 2  projector – back stage  that covers a 12×21 and stage right 12×8
  8. An electric piano that all productions can use.
  9. sixty prop pieces, including varied pieces of real furniture, that every production can use. Ninety percent of our past participants have created their sets with our props. No more double parking rental vans, while you rush to unload props, trying to outsmart meters!
  10. Enough storage space to allow you you to leave your costumes and props and sets in the theater during your run.
  11.  We don’t have popularity prizes for bringing the largest audience. In our festival, sometimes the barest production with the smallest audience attendance wins first prize simply because it was excellent! We use real judges!
  12. No seasonal volunteers! One of our principle founding members is always at the theater to support you during your tech, box office times and performances.

Winterfest is our dream festival created for you!


Welcome to Winterfest,
a festival created by playwrights
for playwrights!


Please read our Winterfest Festival Introduction. We assure you that, by the time you reach the end, it will be very hard for you not to participate. Over the past few years, we’ve gained an impeccable reputation, gathering praise for our dedication to and support of all the playwrights who participate in our festivals.


Winterfest playwrights production


Browse through a few of the many testimonials we’ve received over the years see: (Testimonials) to see how the playwrights we’ve hosted feel about us. We’ve also been granted a most prestigious award from the International Centre for Women Playwrights; a bit of recognition for our consistent and enthusiastic support of female playwrights.


Production for female playwrights in New York


As playwrights, directors and actors ourselves, it is our intention to give writers a chance to create their vision from the first stroke of their pen to the last scene of their play! Our festival is designed to offer writers a chance to put their shows onstage instead of placing their creative vision into other hands, as often happens with playwrights. We will help you to develop a sense of direction and staging, as well as the meaningful use of lighting and sound.


Theater production for New York playwrights


Please know that all genres are welcome, including MUSICALS. Several of our winners over the years have been musicals. We are all musicians, and know exactly what you need to make your show a success.


New York musical production


If your show has already had a run (in theaters or in other festivals before 2015) you can still participate as long as you work with a completely new cast and crew! Now, take a look at why this festival is the perfect place for you to put your work onstage.
Each production is given:
An incredible theater
  • Extra long techs and the opening night on the same day so you have long time in the theater to prepare…instead of being rushed in a tech that is merely the time of your show’s run time, you will have time to make it great rather than compromising your vision in a stressful rush.
  • An incredible website on which all shows are listed by date, in alphabetical order. You will receive a dedicated page/post where you can upload all you need like a dedicated website, such as:
  • Amazing awards: you won’t find bigger prizes anywhere!
  • A 10-week long festival that offers the opportunity for all cast you get that much inspiration in one place!
  • Special guidance for playwrights staging their first show to help make their performances a success.
  • Answers to all questions in a matter of hours and only from the festival’s founders. You’ll never wait days for an answer.
  • Knowledgeable staff. We don’t fill our festival with seasonal volunteers. All those who work in the festival are dedicated and experienced members of our theater company, giving you real answers and a personal touch.
  • A professional lighting and sound system–including 105 professional lights including LED lights and color gels – that’s easy to use, even for non-techies.
  • A free tutorial on how to use the light/sound/projection system, and expert technical guidance on how to paint the mood of your play.
  • Storage for your props, costumes and set pieces during the entire run of your play. (This is an enormous time and money saver!)
  • A large, varied collection of props to help stage your play 60. ( That means no more truck rentals and the risk of getting a ticket while you rush to unload your props. And we spare you the time and money it takes to search for & buy them. So, rather than use a few available rehearsal blocks or black folding chairs that make every play look alike, we offer you real furniture & set pieces.
  • Free box office management.
  • An extremely low participation fee
  • The incredible opportunity to hire a professional  tech directors who is part of the festival. They will cover your show at half of the usual price.
  • No Audience Choice Awards, which usually translates as ‘the show with the biggest audience wins’. Many of our past winners presented very small, intimate and ‘unglitzy’ productions.
  • An unforgettable award ceremony at the end of the festival that honors your talent in front of your artistic colleagues, similar to Oscar night! (
  • Above all, you will be treated with great respect, support and a real spirit of friendship.
We are happy to welcome you into our community of playwrights and theater innovators!
Plays are considered on a first-come first-served basis. (The earlier you submit, the better your chances are of having your script invited to the festival.) Submissions may close before December, 2015, if we reach the maximum number of plays.
I have worked in a variety of NYC festivals and I have never worked with a more accommodating venue. The management made my cast and crew feel instantaneously comfortable. As artists we were given the support we needed to put on a well-polished production. I would highly recommend Winterfest Theater Festival to artists of all ages.
Madeleine Rose Parsigian –
Director of Cal and Grey -Second place, 2012
Winterfest Theater Festival was an amazing opportunity for my cast and creative team to showcase our work at the professional level. As young artists, it can be difficult to find affordable space and supportive people to sponsor us as we work towards polishing our aesthetic. The festival team was an invaluable resource to us, being warm, friendly and full of good advice as we went through the festival process. As this was my very first time participating in a festival, I feel very lucky to have had the wonderful folks at Winterfest to teach me the ropes. Moreover, the opportunity to extend our show into the Finals portion of the competition was incredibly exciting and made the entire team feel as if they had accomplished something at a much higher level. Winterfest Theater Festival has been an incredible experience – bringing together many artists into one collaborative atmosphere. Thank you!
Lily Raabe –
Director of Eaten Voices & Winner  2012
I have been investing and producing in NYC theatre for over ten years. I have participated in financing two off Broadway productions of plays that I have written. I have produced numerous showcases, stage and table readings of over seven different plays. The experience was the same for each; frustration, disappointment and great financial loss. In absolute contrast, the Festival was a joy to participate in on every level. The group made everything easy to accomplish and bent over backwards to be certain that our production would have every chance of success, both artistically and financially. Several of the members of my creative team had participated in other well known festivals in NYC and agreed that the festival was several notches above the rest. I can only hope that in the future I can write other plays that will be accepted into this wonderfully nurturing home for a playwright and creative team.
John Anastasi –

Winterfest Theater Festival / Competition

wants to make staging your show a pleasure.

First-time writers are more than welcome!

We’ll help you with everything you need to

stage your play.




Each applicant is fully responsible for

all elements of their production.

These include directing, casting, stage-managing.