Closing Date. The closing date for receipt of submissions for the 2024 Claremorris Fringe Festival of Drama is 23.59 GMT, November 18th, 2023.
Entry fee. Each entry costs €5 which can be paid via Paypal. Entries will not be accepted without payment of fee.
Please read the Submission Guide below very carefully. In the past we have found that a number of otherwise good scripts have disqualified themselves for failing to adhere to these guidelines. Please pay particular attention to length of playing time, number in cast, and correct formatting of scripts. Unfortunately, if your submitted script does not comply with the guidelines below it cannot be considered a valid entry for the competition.
Submission Guide for Playwrights:
What we are looking for? The Fringe is about contemporary drama based on fresh ideas or fresh approaches. We don’t, and we never will, short-list for performance, scripts based on clichéd characters, themes or approaches. We are looking for fresh, contemporary plays that will entertain and engage the audience. Writers should keep this in mind before submitting.
Length. Each script should have a playing time of fifteen minutes (plus or minus two.) If you give your script a quick read after you have written it and it reads anywhere around that time, it is in all probability too long. Plays play slower than they read. If your entry is too long or too short we can’t consider it. Length is difficult to judge.
Cast. Scripts with a large cast won’t make the shortlist. The play should be written in such a manner as it can be performed by a maximum of THREE actors if at all possible.
Include Action. Many entries are too static – they lack action – something happening on stage. People sitting down having a conversation does not make a play, irrespective of how interesting the conversation is. Plays need movement.
Plays must be new. The play must be your own work and it must not have been published or performed prior to entry. If your play is shortlisted it cannot be performed or published prior to the Claremorris Fringe Festival.
Formatting. Plays will have to be correctly formatted to be considered. (You’d be surprised how many we get that are formatted incorrectly. We simply don’t have the time to try and decipher who is saying what, and what is speech and what isn’t.)
Title of file you submit must be the title of the play. (Again, you’d be surprised how many we get that have a different filename to the actual title on the entry form and on the script.) Once an entry is submitted it cannot be changed – there can be no re-submissions.
Your name, address and contact details cannot appear anywhere on the script.
Please use page numbers. These are vital in case we drop your script after we print it.
Please follow this page arrangement:
- First Page – Play Title
- Second Page – Character List and Brief Details.
- Third Page onwards – The Script.
Stage Directions. Don’t overdo stage directions. We don’t need directions for each speech or worse still, multiple directions for each speech. The play should be written in such a manner as it can be performed by a maximum of three actors if at all possible.
Set. The essence of the Fringe is minimalism. We regularly get scripts which say: “The stage is bare except for…” and then go on to list seven or eight items. Unfortunately these plays rarely make it to our stage. With the stage the size it is, there is very little room for much by way of set. And set is not what we are about anyway. The turnaround time between plays is so short (5 mins max) and the backstage space is so small, there isn’t time or space for seven or eight items. Minimalism is just that.
Sound Effects (SFX.) We encourage the use of sound effects/music etc. but don’t overdo it. We have a PA system and technician on hand. The assistance of playwrights may be required to source SFX once shortlisted.
Don’t send One-Act Plays. There is a difference between a One-Act Play and a Fifteen-Minute Play for the Fringe. One-Act Plays usually use a full set and props etc. and are played on a bigger stage.
Don’t send sketches. If yours is a sketch – as opposed to a play – hold on to it – you’ll get better use out of it than we will.
Adjudication. We appoint an independent judge each year, to decide the winner and runner-up. The scripts are sent anonymously to the judge and the results are sent to us in a sealed envelope which is opened on the final night of the Drama Festival. We don’t know the result any sooner than anyone in the theatre on the final night.
Shortlisting. Once we receive the scripts they are read and re-read and a shortlist is drawn up after the closing date. The short-listed scripts are then sent to the judge and the shortlist cannot be announced until the results envelope is returned to us. This is to protect the anonymity of the writers during the judging phase. The winning script wins a prize of €500 and the runner-up gets €250. The envelopes are opened and the results are announced the final night of the Drama Festival.
Performance. Our preference would be that you personally direct and cast your shortlisted play, as this gives you a better chance to interpret it as you intended. If you are associated with a particular group and that group would like to perform your shortlisted play, this is equally suitable from our point of view. If you know of any actors, directors or groups that would like to participate in the Fringe, please let us know. Otherwise, we try to appoint local drama groups, wherever possible, to perform the plays at the final. The drama groups compete for performance and presentation related prizes.
The decision of the organising committee is final and binding in all matters of dispute.
Additional Information required. Please include a 30-50 word biography. This is for the promotional material if your play is shortlisted. It is easier for us to collect this at entry stage.
Abstract. Please include a 30-50 word abstract about the play.
Thanks for your interest in Claremorris Fringe Festival of Drama.