The Scratchpad Series, our newest program, jumpstarts The Realm’s relationship with early-career playwrights by doing one of the things we do best: listening to what playwrights need and then giving it to them. Whether it’s a place to hear a rough draft aloud for the first time, space to fine tune a more mature work or time to focus in on a particular aspect of a piece, we want to give playwrights what they need to thrive. Scratchpad is a chance for us to engage with a whole new group of playwrights each year, erasing limitations of geography or access by working to identify early career playwrights from all across the country to participate.

Scratchpad participants will spend a week in New York City for a developmental reading of their play with top-notch professional collaborators—director, cast, and The Realm’s artistic staff. If the playwright is based outside of New York, The Realm will also facilitate travel and housing for the workshop.

Playwrights Receive
  • One week developmental reading of their play
  • Professional collaborators, such as a director, cast, and The Realm’s artistic staff.
  • Facilitated travel and housing (if the playwright is based outside of New York City).

    Program Criteria
  • Playwright must consider themselves early-career.
  • Play to be considered should be a complete draft.
  • Submitted script has not been produced in NYC.
  • Submitted script is not under commission from, or slated for production by, another institution.

    What We’re Looking For
    We love plays with evocative language, plays that contemplate big, unanswerable questions, that are intellectually curious and embrace the complexity of life, and demonstrate an understanding of the possibilities of dramatic storytelling. And of course, plays that are inherently theatrical—that could never be anything other than a play!

    As a playwright-centric company hoping to help create the next generation of successful playwrights, we believe it is our responsibility to ensure that the playwrights and the stories we support fully reflect the diversity of the society we live in. As such, we encourage writers and stories with unique cultural perspectives, experiences and backgrounds. With Scratchpad in particular, we aim to help artists break through any barriers that may exist—geographical, economic or otherwise—bringing voices and stories as diverse as our country to work with us and hopefully one day be seen on stages all across the United States.

    The Scratchpad Series application will open May 17th, and the final deadline is July 16th at 11:59PM EST.

    Check back here in early May for more details and the application.

    Looking for info on our other open application program the Writing Fellowship? Click here.


    I have a script that I’d like The Realm to consider for production, but it doesn’t need a reading. Can I still submit to the Scratchpad Series?
    Unfortunately, no. For the Realm, it’s as important that we get to know you as a playwright as it is to get to know your play, and we generally only produce writers we’ve already worked with in some way. We’ve started The Scratchpad Series specifically to create more opportunities to start new relationships with more writers.

    Do I have to live in New York to be eligible for Scratchpad?
    No! This series was created, in part, to eliminate geographical barriers between The Realm and writers across the country. We will facilitate travel and housing for Scratchpad participants based outside of NYC.

    Are there any limitations on the type of work I can apply with?
    At this time we don’t consider one person shows. We don’t consider musicals for the Writing Fellowship because this program focuses so heavily on script work but writers can apply with musicals to the Scratchpad Series, as long as at least half of the members of the team–lyricist, bookwriter and/or composer–identify as early-career.

    When will Scratchpad readings be held?
    Specific dates will be discussed during finalist interviews. We will do our best to make schedules work for finalists within the parameters of The Realm’s availability.

    Does enrollment in a graduate program have any bearing on my eligibility for The Scratchpad Series?
    No. As long as you can arrange to be fully present in New York for the duration of the reading, your enrollment status has no bearing on eligibility.

    When can I expect to hear about my Scratchpad application status?
    As this is a new program, we can’t precisely predict how long it will take us to give the appropriate care and consideration to each application. However, our goal is to notify all applicants of their status by the end of October.