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The Writers' Room 2023/2024 applications are now closed.


A group for Los Angeles-based playwrights, The Writers’ Room is a product of the Geffen’s deep commitment to supporting new plays and specifically to fostering bold, relevant work by the vibrant artistic community of this city.

During a twelve-month residency (September 2023 – August 2024) a cohort of six selected playwrights/writing teams will attend in-person meetings at the Geffen once per month as they generate the first draft of a new play or musical. One to two playwrights share work at each meeting and receive feedback from their cohort in a forum facilitated by the Geffen’s Literary Manager & Dramaturg.

At the conclusion of the residency (September – December 2024), each playwright will have the opportunity to further develop their completed draft in a culminating reading produced by the Geffen. Readings are conducted on AEA’s Staged Reading Guidelines, which allow for up to 29 hours of rehearsal and an invited audience.

Writers’ Room playwrights receive a $2,000 stipend for their participation in the program, as well as a $1,000 fee during their reading week. A meal and parking are provided at each meeting. Playwrights will also receive complimentary tickets to all Gil Cates Theater shows (and to Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater shows, subject to availability) at the Geffen during their Writers’ Room tenure.

Application Timeline (Updated June 5, 2023)

  • March 3, 2023: Applications Open
  • April 3, 2023: Applications Close (12:00pm PDT)
  • May 2023: Semi-Finalists Notified
  • June 2023: Finalists Notified / Interviews Scheduled
  • July 2023: Writers’ Room Playwrights Selected / Announced

Applicant Eligibility

Applications are open to all playwrights who currently reside in Los Angeles. You do not need to be represented by a literary agent to apply.

Project proposals for plays that have had previous productions, productions set for a future date, or previous professional readings or development will not be considered.

Applicants must be available to attend monthly meetings in person at the Geffen on Monday evenings (final dates TBD) from September 2023 – August 2024 and must be available for rehearsals of their culminating reading (typically one week; dates TBD) between September – December 2024.

Materials Required

Please review the requirements below before beginning your application to ensure that your materials are formatted to meet the submission guidelines.

Playwrights selected as Finalists will be notified in May 2023 and will interview with Associate Artistic Director Amy Levinson and Literary Manager & Dramaturg Olivia O’Connor.

  • Name
  • Email
  • Phone Number
  • Permanent Address
  • Confirmation of your eligibility:
    • You are or will be local to Los Angeles during the dates of The Writers’ Room program.
    • You are proposing a project that has not yet had professional development, including a reading or past or future production.
    • You will be available to attend monthly meetings on Monday evenings at the Geffen between September 2023 – August 2024.
    • You will be available for rehearsals of your culminating reading (typically one week; dates TBD) between September – December 2024.
  • A brief bio (200 words max). If you are applying with a collaborator (co-written play or musical), each artist should submit their own bio.
  • Answers to the following questions, which will serve as the proposal for the project you would like to work on in The Writers’ Room. If you are applying with a collaborator (co-written play or musical), you should work together on your answers (200 words max per question):
    • What is the kernel of the project you would like to work on in The Writers’ Room: the image/idea/ambition that is driving you to write this play?
    • To the best of your ability, outline the story, plot, or experience of your piece.
    • How does this project align with or depart from your artistic work to date?
    • Is there anything else you’d like us to know?
  • A sample of your existing work. If you are applying with a collaborator (co-written play or musical), each artist may submit a separate work sample, unless you have collaborated on a previous piece.
    • Playwrights should provide up to 20 pages of original material.
      • We recommend providing a sample from a full-length play. If you are applying to write your first play, you may submit samples of poetry, essays, or fiction.
      • For play samples: please include the play’s title, character list, and setting, as well as a brief synopsis (this material does not count towards the 20 pages).
    • Composers should provide up to three demo recordings of original work.
    • Lyricists should provide up to three lyric sheets with accompanying demo recordings.


  • What/who are you looking for?

    When considering applications, the Geffen staff considers the strength of each applicant’s writing sample and project proposal as well as the fundamental importance of having a dynamic range of identities, creative approaches, and lived experiences represented within The Writers’ Room cohort. Playwrights of all writing styles, races, ethnicities, gender identities and expressions, abilities, ages, and career levels are encouraged to apply.

  • Will the Geffen produce my play?

    The Writers’ Room is not intended to serve as a programming pipeline for the theater. With that in mind, we encourage playwrights to let go of “producibility” or “fit” as guiding principles for their project proposal, prioritizing experimentation and discovery instead. Write the proposal that scares you!

  • I’m writing a piece of musical theater—am I eligible?

    If you are working on a piece of theater that involves music—be it a traditional musical, a play with music, or a song cycle—you are welcome to apply. However, please keep in mind that you will be receiving feedback from peers who may not share your musical expertise/vocabulary.

    Geffen Playhouse produces a 29-hour reading of musical projects at the conclusion of the program (as with all Writers’ Room pieces). We recognize that it can take 29 hours just to learn a score, and so we encourage teams to use rehearsal time in whatever way is most useful to the show’s development within those parameters—presenting an excerpt of the piece, presenting a read with recorded demos, or something else.

  • I have a writing partner and we want to work on a theater piece together—can we send in one application for the two of us?

    Yes! We are open to writing teams of up to three people.

  • When and where are the meetings?

    Meetings will take place once per month (plus an additional introductory meeting) on Monday evenings at Geffen Playhouse. The Geffen’s address is 10886 Le Conte Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90024.

    The program dates are September 2023 – August 2024, with culminating readings scheduled from September 2024 – December 2024.


Olivia O'Connor
Literary Manager & Dramaturg

I have a different question; who should I talk to? Please email all questions regarding The Writers’ Room to Literary Manager & Dramaturg Olivia O’Connor at .

The Writers’ Room is made possible through the generous support of the William Randolph Hearst Foundation and Jerry and Terri Kohl.

Past Writers' Room Playwrights

  • Juan José Alfonso
  • Boni B. Alvarez
  • Vivian Barnes
  • Meghan Brown
  • Diana Burbano
  • Angelica Chéri
  • Inda Craig-Galván
  • Lisa Sanaye Dring
  • Weston Gaylord
  • Dipika Guha
  • Chloé Hung
  • Donald Jolly
  • Alexandra Kalinowski
  • Tova Katz
  • Katie Lindsay
  • Chelsea Marcantel
  • Ramiz Monsef
  • Matthew Paul Olmos
  • Brian Otaño
  • Nicholas Pilapil
  • Liza Powel O’Brien
  • Matt Schatz
  • Michael Shayan
  • Ruby Rae Spiegel
  • T.Tara Turk-Haynes
  • Ali Viterbi
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