Our 2020 YPF Contest is underway!


Students may enter in one of the following categories:

Middle School Students– a traditional style ten-minute play
High School Students – a traditional style ten-minute play

Plays should have no more than 10 pages of dialogue (no smaller than 10-point font) and use a maximum of 4 actors. Submissions longer than 10 pages of dialogue or require more than 4 actors will be disqualified.


Plays will be read by a panel of theatrical and literary judges. The judges will choose a winner and a runner up in each category. The 2 winning plays will be fully performed at the festival, and 2 runner up plays will be read onstage.  The authors of the first prize winning plays are invited to participate in all aspects of the staging of their play, from auditions to final dress rehearsals. All students who submit a play will be invited to attend the day of the event. (See "Tips for Writing Scripts" below)


To enter the festival, simply fill out an entry form available below and email it and your play to: 
or mail to: 15 Brandy Brook Ave Saranac Lake, NY 12983

*To ensure fairness, the entry form is the only place where the playwright’s name and school should appear. Please create a separate title page for your play that does not include your name and school*

ENTRY DEADLINE – Postmarked by March 3, 2020

FESTIVAL DAY:  April 25 @ 2 pm    


Click here to learn more about how to format your play: 



Pendragon Theatre is encouraging aspiring young playwrights to take pen to paper and fingers to keyboard for the annual youth playwriting event open to all middle and high school-age students!


We are asking young playwrights to submit original, 10 minute long one-act plays and musicals based on the theme "Insider/Outsider. 

The winning playwrights will work with a creative team including directors, designers, and actors to develop and stage the scripts.


The Festival culminates in a full performance of the winning plays and a script-in-hand public reading of the runners-up on April 25 at 2 PM with a reception to follow. Admission is FREE (donations appreciated)!

Download Entry Form Here

Reprinted from:


Tips for Writing Scripts

If you’ve never written a play, you’re like most teenagers. Keep in mind that:

Plays are about desire. We witness a journey in which characters discover what they desire, try to get it, and succeed or fail. A play works when the desire is universal - health, love, comfort, independence - and the obstacles are difficult to overcome.

Effective plays show us a story (prose tells us) through dialogue and dramatic action. If you let us watch your characters interact at key moments, you won’t need a narrator.

Plays are about people in relationships. We stay glued to our seats because events in the play cause the people, and their relationships, to change. Skip the car chases, physical violence and special effects; film does these better.

Create characters you can understand and care about. Find something to love or respect in every character, and we’ll care about your characters too. Since each should be well developed, use as few characters as possible.

Plays come from experience, imagination and knowledge. You’ve got all three. Mix them together and write about what you know, deep inside. Plays that work, regardless of their genre, style or structure, give us a sense of truth.


To start planning, ask yourself:

* Who is the main character?
* What does the character desire (or want or need)?
* What gets in the way of achieving this?
* What tactics might the character use?
* Does the character succeed or fail?
* How is the character’s world changed as a result of the struggle?
* How might our world be changed?


As you discuss, improvise, write and revise each scene, decide:

* Which characters will be in the scene
* What each character wants to have happen in the scene
* How the scene will move the story forward through a discovery, decision or declaration (the 3 Ds)
* Where and when does the scene take place. Choose settings that can be reflected in the dialogue and will help to reveal the characters and their relationships; one time and place per scene.


Leave plenty of time for revision. Playwriting is rewriting. Good luck with your play! 


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Pendragon Theatre

15 Brandy Brook Avenue

Saranac Lake, NY 12983


Thank you to the Glenn and Carol Pearsall Foundation for their support.

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© 2020 by Pendragon Theatre.