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Geffen Playhouse intends to launch the third year of The Writers’ Room in September, as scheduled, understanding that the current COVID-19 outbreak may impact the program’s timeline. We will not ask participants to gather in person if it is not safe to do so, and will reevaluate the parameters of the program, if necessary. In this time of uncertainty, we seek to continue supporting the work of our vital Los Angeles artistic community.
The Writers' Room 2020/2021
Now accepting applications through May 17.
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 one-year residency, playwright members gather monthly at the Geffen to share their work and receive feedback from their peers in a forum facilitated by Rachel Wiegardt-Egel, the Geffen’s Manager of New Play Development. With applications that are open to all Los Angeles-based playwrights, this program is ideal for those who would benefit from a structured and supportive environment in which to work on a new play. In addition to the feedback of their fellow writers, members receive dramaturgical support from the theater’s artistic staff, a ticket to all Gil Cates Theater shows at the Geffen for the season in which their residency takes place, and the opportunity to further develop their work with a director and actors in a culminating reading that may be open to the public.
Application deadline: 11:59 p.m. PDT on Sunday, May 17, 2020
Program start date: September 2020
Program end date: August 2021
All applicants will be receive a response by August 2020. Please refrain from calling or emailing to inquire about your application status.
The Writers’ Room is open to all playwrights who currently reside in Los Angeles. When considering applications, we take into account the fundamental importance of having a balance of voices in the group in addition to the strength of each applicant’s writing sample and project proposal. Playwrights of all writing styles, ethnicities, genders, abilities, and ages are encouraged to apply. The selection committee is comprised of Matt Shakman, Artistic Director, Amy Levinson, Associate Artistic Director, and Rachel Wiegardt-Egel, Manager of New Play Development.
Please keep in mind that we are looking to help writers develop brand new plays. Plays with previous productions, productions set for a future date, or previous professional readings or development will not be considered.
We invite local playwrights to apply with ambitious new projects. In order to apply, please send a one page project proposal and a 20 page writing sample (from a previous full-length play) to . The project proposal should include: your name, your email address, your phone number, your permanent address (including zip code), and the title of your writing sample, as well as a description of the plot and style of the play you’d like to work on during this one-year residency and why you would benefit from taking part in The Writers’ Room program. Please send both the proposal and writing sample as PDFs. This year, we have extended the application window until May 17.
If you’d like to pull your sample pages from somewhere other than the beginning of your script, please also provide a character list and a short synopsis for context.
The Writers’ Room group will meet once a month on Monday nights from September 2020 through July 2021. (There will also be two months over the course of the year when the group will meet twice, for a total of 13 meetings.) Readings of each play will take place in summer 2021. While we understand that conflicts can be unpredictable, please do not apply if you know you will be unavailable on Mondays generally or will be out of town for an extended period of time that will cause you to miss more than two of the monthly meetings. If you are unsure whether your conflicts will prohibit you from participating, please note this in your proposal. Once the group has been selected, conflicts will be taken into consideration to pick dates that work for everyone.
See the FAQs below for further information about the program and application process.
Short answer: yes. However, our metropolitan area is sprawling and we want to support playwrights from Santa Monica to Burbank and everywhere in between. As such, there’s no requirement to have a zip code specific to the city of Los Angeles, though we do require that members of The Writers’ Room reside in L.A. County. Please ensure that you will be able to arrive at the Geffen Playhouse (10886 Le Conte Ave, Los Angeles 90024) by 7pm on Mondays.
We are looking to help writers develop brand new plays. Plays with previous productions, productions set for the future, or previous professional readings or development will not be considered. Consider proposing an idea for a new project instead!
There is no limit to the type of work with which you can apply. We are eager to hear about the projects that are of the most interest to you. Please apply with a proposal for a new play to which you’d like to dedicate the next year.
Yes! 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.
Yes! We are open to writing pairs (two playwrights working together on a project, a composer working with a book writer, etc). Please note both applicants in the proposal, and submit a writing sample that you’ve worked on together.
Meetings will take place once a month on Mondays (with the exception of two months in which we will meet twice). The exact schedule of meetings will be announced later in the summer. We will endeavor to find dates that work for all playwrights accepted to the program. If you know you will have Monday conflicts, please note them in your proposal.
Yes, you will receive an auto-response when your application has been received. Please note that you will only receive an auto-response to the first email you send us—no need to panic if you email a second time and don’t receive a response immediately.
Yes, parking validation will be provided.
Please only send in one application. While you may note in your proposal if you have multiple ideas you’re considering, we strongly recommend that you focus on detailing the idea about which you’re most passionate.
Please send all questions regarding The Writers’ Room to .
If you are struggling as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, please see our Artist Resources for information about remote jobs and emergency grants. We wish you safety and health in this challenging time.
Manager of New Play Development
Geffen Playhouse would like to thank Patricia Kiernan Applegate for her generous support in making the first two years of The Writers' Room possible.