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Submissions Now Being Accepted for Cunningham Commission for Youth Theatre
3/17/17

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 14, 2017.

Night Runner by Ike Holter
Night Runner by Ike Holter, produced through the Cunningham Commission for Youth Theatre. Photo by Michael Brosilow.
The Cunningham Commission for Youth Theatre was established at The Theatre School to honor the memory of the Rev. Donald Cunningham, a Chicago priest, 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 intends to produce the plays created through this commission in its award-winning Chicago Playworks for Families and Young Audiences series. Each year, Chicago Playworks produces three productions that are attended by over 30,000 young 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 2017: Winner announcement and contract signing.

• September 1, 2017: Script treatment due on proposed project. Feedback will be collected from committee and given to playwright within four weeks.

• December 1, 2017: First draft due (payment upon delivery).

• February 1, 2018: Notes from Theatre School committee delivered to playwright.

• April 1, 2018: Second draft due (payment upon delivery).

• May 2018: Reading/Workshop, followed by discussion of draft.

• September 1, 2018: 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.