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The Uprising National Playwriting Competition: Peace, Politics and Society

The Uprising National Playwriting Competition: Peace, Politics and Society

(formerly the Canadian Peace Play Competition)
A joint initiative of Downstage and the Consortium for Peace Studies at the University of Calgary.

Downstage and the Consortium for Peace Studies at the University of Calgary are proud to announce the sixth annual Uprising National Playwriting Competition: Peace, Politics and Society. This competition celebrates playwrights whose work dynamically engages with social and political issues and/or promotes peace, social justice and human rights.

Founded in 2006, the Canadian Peace Play Competition awarded prizes to three playwrights from across the country, before partnering with Downstage in 2009 to become the Uprising National Playwriting Competition. In addition to the competition, Downstage reviews all submitted work in order to gain exposure to new politically and socially-engaged material for consideration for their future seasons.

The Director of the Uprising National Play Competition, Dawn Mari McCaugherty, will oversee all aspects of the evaluation, selection and award process. Submissions must be received by September 29, 2014 in order to be considered for this year’s competition.


The Uprising National Playwriting Competition invites stimulating new works which explore socially and politically charged themes and/or promote peace, justice and human rights. 


1st Place Award: $1000, and a public staged reading Friday, December 12, 2014. Included will be a two-day workshop prior to the reading as well as reimbursement of the playwright for travel costs to and from Calgary.

2nd Place Award: $250 Winners will be notified by November 3, 2014. Winners will be contacted by email or telephone. Contest results will be posted on the websites of Downstage ( and the Consortium for Peace Studies (


To ensure impartiality and authenticity in the adjudication process, a double-blind system will be adopted. The identity of playwrights will be withheld from adjudicators and the names of adjudicators will not be revealed. The identity of the winning playwrights and the final adjudication panel will be released when the prize is announced.

Initial consideration of scripts by up to three preliminary adjudicators will result in the compilation of a short-list of 3-5 finalists, which will then be reviewed by a separate jury of three adjudicators who will select the winning entries. Script adjudicators include produced writers, artistic directors, scholars of theatre and creative writing, professional theatre artists and candidates enrolled in Graduate studies at the University of Calgary.

The decisions of the adjudicators are final.

Winners agree to permit the use of their names, biographies and titles of their plays in promotional materials and on the websites of Downstage and the Consortium for Peace Studies.


Please note the following. Any deviation from these requirements may result in disqualification of the entry.

Eligible scripts:

  • Original stage plays (minimum of sixty minutes) intended for an adult audience
  • Musicals are accepted; please provide a CD of the music at the time of submission
  •  Scripts submitted must be the original work of the author/s; in the case of adaptations, please provide proof of permission to adapt from the original author/s or a letter warranting that the original work is in the public domain
  • Scripts may have received a reading, workshop or Fringe/small festival production but not a professional production prior to December, 2014 (if you have a question about whether or not your script is eligible by this definition, please contact the Competition Director)
  • Scripts must be written by citizens or permanent residents of Canada
  • Scripts must meet the criteria expressed in the Mission Statement

Ineligible scripts:

  • Scripts written in whole or part by authors other than those represented on the entry form
  • Scripts that have been published
  • Scripts that have received or have a planned professional production prior to December, 2014
  • Scripts that do not meet the criteria expressed in the Mission Statement


  • Each entry must include a completed entry form
  • An entry fee of $20 must accompany each play submitted. Cheques or money orders made payable to University of Calgary (Uprising fee) will be cashed the week of October 6, 2014.
  • Entrants must submit two copies of their script – unbound and quality printed
  • All manuscripts must be in English
  • Scripts must be typewritten or word-processed on white paper, one side only on 8 ½” by 11” paper
  • The title of the play and page number must appear on each page
  • The cover page must include – the title of the play, the playwright’s full name, address and phone number
  • Any appearance of the playwright’s name, initials or other identifiable marks on any part of the scripts other than the cover page will disqualify the entry
  • Spacing must be double-spaced between speaking parts
  • Include a brief synopsis of the play (no longer than half a page) and brief character descriptions
  • NO Fax or Email attachment entries


Scripts must be received no later than September 29, 2014.

  • Entrants submit their material at their own risk
  • To verify script receipt, submit a SASP. Please write the name of the play on the postcard. It will be returned to you with the play’s Roster Intake #.
  • If you wish the play returned, submit a SASE. The envelope must be large enough to hold the scripts or it will not be returned.
  • Scripts without a SASE will be disposed of after the competition or retained by Downstage for future production consideration.

This Uprising National Playwriting Competition information and entry form may be found on the here and the Downstage website at Questions may be addressed to Dawn Mari McCaugherty at (403) 220-6027 or


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