The Process

Phase I: Submission

Every year, the BPF receives a number of original, never-produced plays by people who live in Maryland or Washington, DC. Plays are accepted for a current season from March 1 through April 30. A maximum of 50 plays is accepted each year. For details on how to submit a play to the Festival, read our submission guidelines.

Phase II: Review

Submitted plays are read and evaluated by members of the Baltimore theater community as well as representatives of the BPF’s producing theater companies. Evaluations are intended to provide playwrights with positive, thoughtful feedback regarding many aspects of their work, such as the structure, plot, dialogue, characters and theme. Review our Reader Guidelines.

Phase III: Public Readings

Those plays ranked highest by our readers have the opportunity for a public reading at one of our member theaters. We strive to offer readings to as many plays as possible, given the available time and theater space. The BPF supplies a director or will use a director suggested by the playwright, and works out a suitable date with the playwright and director. The director then recruits local actors for the reading. Review our Public Reading Guidelines.

The playwright must attend the public reading and supply scripts for the actors. Following the reading, the playwright receives feedback from the audience, actors, and director. Public readings occur between November and March, weather permitting. Most readings take place on a Saturday between 11am and 3pm.

Phase IV: Selection for Production

Our producing theaters choose the plays they will produce. BPF producing theaters are independent organizations, each with their own tastes, ambitions, and strengths. Each theater chooses the play (or plays) they will produce based on their own criteria. A script does not need to have a public reading to be selected, and theaters may select a script from a previous season.

Phase V: Production

From June through August, the Festival kicks into high gear as the BPF and member theaters produce the plays they’ve selected. These productions traditionally take place in the Baltimore metropolitan area.