The Theatre School at DePaul University is pleased to
announce that submissions are now being accepted for the Cunningham Commission
for Youth Theatre. Playwrights from the Chicagoland area and alumni of The
Theatre School are eligible to apply, and the winner will be announced in June.
The deadline for submissions is April 16, 2018.
The Cunningham Commission for Youth Theatre was established at The Theatre
School to honor the memory of the Rev. Donald Cunningham, a Chicago
playwright, and lover of theatre. The Cunningham Commission was
established by an endowment gift from the Cunningham family and is
presented annually. The purpose of the commission is to encourage the
writing of dramatic works for young audiences that affirm the centrality
of religion, broadly defined, and
the human quest for meaning, truth, and community. The Theatre School
to produce the plays created through this commission in its
Chicago Playworks for Families and Young Audiences series. Each year,
Playworks produces three productions that are attended by over 30,000
people and their families.
Candidates should submit a resume, one sample of their
playwriting work (no more than 20 pages), and a brief statement about their
interest in the commission. The submission should NOT include a proposal for a
project the playwright would complete if awarded the commission. The writing
sample may be from a play of any genre for any audience. The commission
timeline is as follows:
• June 2018: Winner announcement and contract
• September 3, 2018: Script treatment due on
proposed project. Feedback will be collected from committee and given
to playwright within four weeks.
• December 3, 2018: First draft due (payment
• February 1, 2019: Notes from Theatre School
committee delivered to playwright.
• April 1, 2019: Second draft due (payment upon
• May 2019: Reading/Workshop, followed by discussion
• September 2, 2019: Third draft due (final
payment upon delivery). Play will then be considered for the following
year’s Chicago Playworks for Families and Young Audiences series.
The fee for the Cunningham Commission is $6000, with an additional
fee provided if the play is produced as part of the Chicago Playworks series.
The selection committee is chaired by Phil Timberlake, and is composed of
members of the Cunningham Commission advisory committee and faculty of The
Theatre School. Please send all entries to: Cunningham Commission Selection
Committee, The Theatre School at DePaul University, 2350 N. Racine Avenue,
Chicago, 60614. Questions and entries can also be sent to CunninghamCommission@depaul.edu.