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Geffen Playhouse will launch the third year of The Writers’ Room virtually in September, with plans for participants to gather in person when possible, dependent on current local government guidance or regulations regarding COVID-19. We will not ask participants to meet 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.

Applications for the 2020/2021 Writers' Room are closed.
Please check back in March 2021 for more information.


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.


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.


Rachel Wiegardt-Egel
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.