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Call for Submissions (Calgary): 37th Annual Stage One Festival of New Canadian Work – Lunchbox Theatre

Call for Submissions (Calgary): 37th Annual Stage One Festival of New Canadian Work – Lunchbox Theatre

Lunchbox Theatre invites playwrights to submit one-act plays (45-60 minutes) for consideration for the 37th Annual Stage One Festival of New Canadian Work.

Lunchbox Theatre presents one-act plays with a focus on celebrating human stories—creating engaging theatre that is accessible, inclusive, affordable and sustainable. We are committed to representing diverse voices and encourage playwrights of all backgrounds to submit. We acknowledge that Lunchbox has a history of programming a majority of white playwrights, and we are committed to continuing to build a more inclusive future. We are eager to hear from IBPOC creators.

We are pleased to announce that we are accepting pitches as well as submissions of workshop-ready scripts.

Stage One submissions must be suitable for an eventual production at Lunchbox Theatre. Scripts must be able to be performed by 1 to 4 performers (including live musicians for musicals) and the final running time must be under 60 minutes. While selection to participate in Stage One does not guarantee a future production, please note that certain complex technical requirements and excessive use of foul language or nudity may limit a project’s viability at Lunchbox. Applicants are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with our mandate and recent programming to ensure their submission is appropriate.

Stage One will take place in June 2024. Funding dependent, up to six plays will be chosen for development. Successful applicants must be available to attend the full schedule of workshops and reading. Consideration of the playwright’s availability is given when scheduling the workshops, and playwrights who are not based in Calgary can attend virtually.

Our focus is on uplifting and meaningful entertainment. For our 2024 Stage One Festival, we particularly invite submissions that reflect one or more of the following themes:

  • joyful explorations of identity
  • IBPOC perspectives
  • perspectives shaped by lived experience with disability
  • hopeful looks at the future
  • the climate crisis, particularly stories that positively imagine ways forward
  • connection across lines of difference
  • … and of course: comedies, love stories, musicals and plays for the winter holidays!


  • Submissions are open to all permanent residents of Canada who have been residents of the country for a minimum of 12 months
  • Scripts that have been professionally produced are not eligible
  • Maximum of one submission (either one draft of a script OR one pitch) per playwright

Compensation & Support
All chosen playwrights receive a weeklong workshop including dramaturgical support, with a professional director and actors, followed by a public reading. Playwrights will also meet with Bronwyn for dramaturgical feedback before the workshop. Playwrights submitting a complete draft will have one meeting (in late February), while playwrights submitting a pitch will have two meetings (one in March and one in May).

Playwrights will receive a $1,000 development fee: $600 during the workshop process and $400 upon receipt of the post-workshop draft.

Application Timeline:

  • January 15 – deadline for pitches
  • January 30 – deadline for scripts
  • January 30 – notification of shortlisted pitches
  • February 24 – deadline for 5-10 page script samples from shortlisted pitches
  • Early March – notification of selected playwrights
  • June 2024 – Stage One Festival

Theatre Alberta does not necessarily endorse the organizations and/or individuals submitting Classified listings on our site. It is the responsibility of each patron using the Theatre Alberta Classifieds to research the integrity of the organizations who submit listings to which they are applying/responding and to verify specific information, especially pertaining to the job/audition listings and youth listings.

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