New Play Development

Florida Studio Theatre seeks to present the best new plays being written in America today. The purpose of FST’s New Play Development Program is to find new plays for our audience.

In theatre, the “process” is spoken of with the highest regard, as the essential component of creation. The playwright has a process that is often longer and more solitary than any other theatre artist. The process of page-to-stage often takes years of rewriting and reimagining. FST recognizes the playwright’s need for process.

Every playwright works differently and so it is nearly impossible to say, “we work this way” in New Play Development. It is our job to be flexible. Whether in person, online, closed door workshops or roundtable readings, New Play Development entails any combination of processes.

You, the audience, get to see some of the fruits of New Play Development during the Sarasota Festival of New Plays in May. In the Richard and Betty Burdick Play Reading Series, the public gets a first look at plays in process. Playwrights from around the country come to Sarasota for a week of rehearsal and the opportunity to see their plays on stage in a workshop production. 
View a complete list of plays featured in past reading series. 

New Play Development is not only for adults. Creativity is a lifelong process. FST annually produces Under Six, a collage of plays by writers in kindergarten through the sixth grade during our Young Playwrights Festival. Read more about the WRITE A PLAY program. 

As every playwright will attest, the object of so much process is a fully-staged production. FST is committed to getting writers to the stage and is proud to share this commitment with an alliance of theatres across the country with a similar mission. FST is a member of the National New Play Network (NNPN), a vital force in championing the development, production and continued life of new plays in American theatre.

FST’s audiences have seen many recent examples of plays that have benefited or originated from New Play Development. Black Pearl Sings! by Frank Higgins was featured in the Burdick Play Reading Series in 2008 before gaining critical and audience acclaim as part of the 2009 Mainstage Season and going on to be one of the most produced plays in the country. In 2010, Shotgun by John Biguenet was produced at FST as a Rolling World Premiere through NNPN and in partnership with Southern Repertory Theatre and Orlando Shakespeare Theater. In 2012, Jericho by Jack Canfora was produced as a Rolling World Premiere through NNPN.

In 2014, FST presented the WORLD PREMIERE of Tom Jones by Mark Brown. Based on the ground-breaking novel by Henry Fielding, Tom Jones is a rollicking romp through the back alleys and bed chambers of England. It is through New Play Development that we work to keep the theatre artform growing, evolving, and always relevant for our audience.

In 2015, FST presented Dancing Lessons by Mark St. Germain which had previously been produced in the Richard and Betty Burdick Reading Series in 2014.

In 2016, FST presents the NNPN ROLLING WORLD PREMIERE of Relativity by Mark St. Germain. FST commissioned St. Germain to write
Relativity in 2015.


Thank you for your interest in new plays at Florida Studio Theatre. We are looking for submissions of full-length plays, musicals, and musical revues. Submitted plays are considered for possible inclusion in future seasons on all three stages and the Richard and Betty Burdick Play Reading Series. FST is especially interested in plays that present diverse perspectives on current social and political themes.

Please submit your plays through a literary agent or accompanied by a letter of recommendation by a theatre professional (i.e. – an Artistic Director or Literary Manager at a professional theatre). Submit a full script and character breakdown. If you are submitting a musical, please include a CD/mp3s.

Before submitting your work, we strongly encourage you to review FST’s production history to get a sense of the type of material we produce. View our production history. 

Florida-based writers without representation, please introduce your work to FST by submitting a query letter, a brief synopsis (including cast requirements), and a 10-page dialogue sample. Please also include a self-addressed, stamped envelope if you would like your materials returned. Regarding any playwrights outside the state of Florida, FST is unable to accept unrepresented samples at this time.

Submit your play to Florida Studio Theatre's Literary Team

All materials may be submitted either electronically (Word or PDF format) or via regular mail. Electronic submissions are strongly preferred.

Catherine Randazzo   |   Associate Artist

Florida Studio Theatre
1241 North Palm Avenue
Sarasota, FL 34236
[email protected]