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A lot of factors come into play when you submit your work to a theater. But the most important part of any play submission is, of course, the play itself.

It’s great if you have connections in the theater and send them a terrific query letter. But at the end of the day, your submission will be judged based on the quality and originality of your work.

This probably goes without saying.

But what you may or may not realize is that Literary Managers are often inundated with submissions, which means they might not have time to read every word. If the opening of your play doesn’t grab them from the start, they might pass on it without reading the entire thing.

Your play might have an absolutely mind-blowing twist 2/3 of the way through. But it won’t matter if no one actually reads that far.

That’s why my #1 best play submission tip is to…

## Make the opening of your play as strong as you possibly can. ##

Of course you want your entire play to be as good as you can make it. But pay SPECIAL attention to those 5-10 opening pages. Make them as compelling as you can.

Does your play get off to a slow start? Consider speeding up the pace to get the story moving immediately.

Is your voice distinctive and grabbing? Do a deep edit of every single line. Of every line, ask yourself: “How could I rephrase this to make it more dramatic, compelling, and/or interesting?”

If this helps you improve even 25% of your opening lines, you’ll end up having a much better chance of getting Literary Managers to read through your entire play.

I also highly suggest letting your play sit in a drawer for a while–a few months is ideal, but even a few weeks can be helpful. When you open it back up, you’ll be able to judge it more objectively and find even more ways to strengthen your opening.

Remember, you only get one chance to make a first impression. And when you’re submitting your play to theaters, that impression is made by the first 5-10 pages of your script.

So make sure they represent your absolute best work.