What exactly should you submit to a theater?

First, the easy part: if the theatre specifies what they want, send them exactly what they’re asking for. This is a great way to let them know that you’re invested enough that you actually read their website.

Besides–if you don’t follow directions, you’ll be starting off on the wrong foot…and your submission might be rejected out of hand.

But what if, as the reader asked, a theatre doesn’t specify what to send?

In that case, I would send the basics:

* Cover letter. I like to include a brief pitch for the play, a brief bio, and an expression of what I love about the theatre.
* 10 sample pages. These should be the first 10 pages, or 10 strong pages that make sense out of context.
* Synopsis. Briefly convey what happens in the play.
* Résumé. This is a playwriting résumé–if you’re not sure how to format one, you can find examples on Google.
* Casting information. Somewhere in your submission, make sure you convey the cast requirements.

And next, how do you make your submission as enticing as possible?

This is a tough question, because it’s going to depend so much on your play. But here are a few tips:

Of course you want your sample pages to display your very best writing, so refine those sample pages to the best of your ability.

You also want to come across as the kind of person who would be easy and fun to work with. (Remember, theatre is a collaborative art form.)

Don’t try to explain absolutely everything about your play. Instead, think of your submission package like looking through a keyhole into a room full of interesting objects. You won’t be able to see everything in the room. Just make sure that you present a view that makes sense given the context.

Finally, make sure to connect the dots between the themes & aesthetic of your play and the style of the theatre. Is it obvious that your play would fit in with the kind of work they usually do? If not, explain how you believe it can fit in with their artistic sensibility.