New Play Festival

Riot Act, Inc. Announces Winners of First New Play Festival

March 25, 2014

Riot Act, Inc. is thrilled to announce the winners of its inaugural New Play Festival. Nine original works were submitted for the contest and judges ultimately selected three short plays by local playwrights to be produced as part of Riot Act’s Annual Series of Shorts June 12-14.

Winning plays are: Ezekiel, by mother and daughter writing team Betsy and Eve Bernfeld; Floral Deliveries by Marilynn Barner Anselmi; and Point of Rocks by Caryn Flanagan.

All three plays are excellent examples of our talented writing pool and Riot Act is excited for the opportunity to bring these new creations to life on the stage.

This year’s winners were selected by judges Bob Berky, Deanna Darr, John Hanlon, Robin Moore, and Tim Sandlin, all of whom have strong ties to the local theater community.

Due to the success of this year’s competition, Riot Act is already planning the second installment of the New Play Festival for 2015.


In honor of the 10th anniversary of Riot Act, Inc.’s Annual Series of Shorts, the company is celebrating by hosting its first New Play Festival.  Always wanted to write a play?  Or maybe you’re an experienced writer who would like some feedback.  Anyone can enter Riot Act’s New Play Festival and four talented finalists will have their plays produced for our Annual Series of Shorts in June 2014. 

Here’s how it works:  You write a 20-30 minute play (see guidelines below) and submit it by February 1, along with a $30 entrance fee.  One of our fantastic judges (see below) will read your play and give you written feedback and suggestions.  The judges will narrow the field down to the final four plays, which will all receive a full production as part of Riot Act’s Annual Series of Shorts in June! 

Winners will be notified no later than March 30, 2014. Judges for this inaugural competition include:  John Hanlon, head of Playwrighting Lab 47, a local drama teacher, actor and director; Tim Sandlin, the head of the JH Writers Conference and a noted local novelist; Bob Berky, a Jackson-based performer, director and playwright; Deanna Darr, a Riot Act board member, theatre critic with the Boise Weekly,  and avid theater supporter; and Robin Moore, local actor and theater supporter. Auditions will be held in early April after directors are selected for each of the final four plays. Rehearsals will run April through May with performances June 12-14, 2014.  This is a wonderful opportunity for playwrights to gain valuable feed-back and see their work produced. 

Playwrights can take advantage of the expertise and experience generously offered by Off Square Theatre’s Playwrighting Lab 47—a local playwriting class/club that meets first Thursday of every month. Writers can not only learn more about the craft, but also use the group as a sounding board as they create their plays. Playwrights can also submit their plays for a round table reading and review with the Think Tank 47 group as long as they give at least six-weeks-notice. 

Basic Guidelines:

Plays must run 20-30 minutes in total (20-30 pages).

Plays can require no more than six total actors.

Set and prop concepts should be simple and must be easily broken down and moved.

Please visit our website for registration materials, format guidelines and more specific directions. 

Deadlines and Submission Fees 

Entries cost $30 each and must be submitted by Feb. 1, 2014.

For more information and registration, please visit our website at  For any questions please contact or 307-203-9067.

New Play Festival Guidelines

Riot Act Playwriting Registration Form

New Play Festival Submission Fee