American Shakespeare Center seeks responses to another round of Shakespeare titles

In the fourth application cycle of Shakespeare’s New Contemporaries (SNC), the American Shakespeare Center will accept unproduced new plays that are inspired by or in conversation with an array of Shakespeare works. The titles for consideration are As You Like It, Henry VI (any/all parts), Romeo and Juliet, and Troilus and Cressida.

Applications will be accepted October 1 – November 18, 2020. The winning play will be selected in 2021 and produced in a subsequent season. 

Shakespeare’s New Contemporaries is a ground-breaking initiative to discover, develop, and produce a contemporary canon of new plays that respond to each of Shakespeare’s 38 plays. ASC launched the competition in 2017 to inspire today’s playwrights to interrogate Shakespeare’s plays and to engage with his stage practices.  Winning playwrights are awarded a $25,000 prize. The plays receive their world premiere productions at the Blackfriars Playhouse in repertory with their Shakespeare counterparts.

“Each application cycle affirms the richness of Shakespeare’s texts, and each application pool proves how creative contemporary writers are in responding to those works. From comedy to tragedy to history, the titles included in this upcoming application cycle offer myriad opportunities  for writers, and I look forward to seeing what they come up with,” says Literary Manager Anne G. Morgan.

To date, Shakespeare’s New Contemporaries has produced the world premieres of Anne Page Hates Fun by Amy E. Witting (a response to The Merry Wives of Windsor) and 16 Winters, or the Bear’s Tale by Mary Elizabeth Hamilton (a riff on The Winter’s Tale). Winners The Defamation of Cicely Lee by Emma Whipday (a companion to Cymbeline) and Keene by Anchuli Felicia King (an exploration of Othello) will be produced later this year. A winner from the Cycle 3 selection process will be announced in the coming months. 

More information about the project can be found at