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New Light New Voices is a program and development platform designed to support unique theater voices. The program seeks dynamic playwrights in the NYC theater community in order to give them an opportunity to work with NLTP's ensemble and extended network of artists.

In keeping with NLTP's mission to place writers at the center of our process of developing new works, NLTP works closely with the winning playwright to assemble their "dream" team of creatives (including but not limited to director, actors, designers, and production). Throughout the rehearsal process, the writer is supported and encouraged to participate and be a strong voice in the room.

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Photo by Jody Christopherson

The American Tradition by Ray Yamanouchi 

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Photo by Hunter Canning

I Wanna F*ck Like Romeo & Juliet by Andrew Rincón

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Photo by Hunter Canning

Ink'dWell by Erin E. Adams

Photo by Hunter Canning

Breeders by Dan Giles

2023 Winner: Friends with Amenities

by Ahsan Ali & Lisa Jill Anderson

No finalists were selected.

2021 - 2022 No Winners

Pandemic Break

2020 Winner: Ink'dWell

by Erin E. Adams


The Woods by Jahna Ferron-Smith

water from the river is also in the sea by Bella O'Brien

Rape Game by Jerrica White

2019 Winner: I Wanna F*ck Like Romeo and Juliet

by Andrew Rincón


Rafetus by Ali Skye Bennet

Stew by Zora Howard

2018 Winner: The American Tradition 

by Ray Yamanouchi


The Birds of Empathy by Clarence Coo

Tara by Brian Otaño

The Feast by Celine Song

2017 Winner: Breeders 

by Dan Giles


Like Jelly by Jeana Scotti

Lady Judas by Ann Wuehler

The American Tradition by Ray Yamanouchi

2016 Winner: Strange Country 

by Anne Adams

No finalists were selected.

Photo by Hunter Canning

Strange Country by Anne Adams

Submissions are CLOSED.

There is no entry fee. Please follow these submission guidelines:

  * Playwrights must be NYC-based.

  * This contest is restricted to un-produced plays written in the English language.

  * Submissions must be original, unpublished full-length plays. Translations, musicals, adaptations, screenplays, one-act plays, and children's plays are not accepted.

  * Playwrights may submit only one script per year.

  * Plays that have been professionally produced in NYC are not eligible.

  * Plays that have had a workshop, reading, or non-professional production or that have been published as an actor’s edition will be considered.

  * Plays may not be under option, commissioned, or scheduled for professional production or publication at the time of submission. NLTP will have right of first refusal once script has won.

  * Plays must be typed/word-processed and page-numbered.

  * Plays must be submitted electronically. No hard copies, please.


New Light Theater Project reserves the right to reject any manuscript for any reason.

Electronic submissions for the New Light New Voices Award must be submitted no later than February 15, 2020. The submission window closes at midnight EST.

The manuscript must begin with a title page that shows the play's title and a 2-3 sentence description of the play. Your play title with your name and contact information (including address, phone number, and email address), and a brief biography must be submitted in a separate attachment.


Please send the script in PDF format with the title format: PLAY TITLE.pdf

Submit the electronic copy of your manuscript to: with the subject line “NEW LIGHT NEW VOICES SUBMISSION: (title of your play)”

Women, transgender and gender nonconforming artists, and artists of color are strongly encouraged to apply.

Please note: the award is contingent on the playwright's agreeing to the terms of the production agreement.

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