The annual international competition was founded in 1989 by Alleyway Theatre in memory of Canadian actor/playwright Maxim Mazumdar (1953-1988).

Mazumdar’s many contributions to the early growth of Alleyway Theatre were artistically invaluable and instrumental in shaping a continuing relationship with Canadian theatre. It was at Alleyway Theatre that Mazumdar gave his final performance in the premiere of his original musical LUPERCAL on March 27, 1988.
Alleyway is committed to producing and developing new works of theatre each season, as it has done now for over forty years. Updated submission information is available below. Please direct all questions to our literary team at newplays@alleyway.com.

Mainstage, Cabaret, and Development projects are chosen through a rigorous selection process. Throughout the year, Alleyway accepts only agent submissions, solicited material, and work from our Playwrights Circle. Alumni playwrights or those writers local to Western New York (or writing about a WNY theme) may submit new work at anytime.

For all submissions, Alleyway seeks a diverse and inclusive representation of plays, stories, themes, locations, styles, as well as a diverse range of playwrights. Preference will be shown to works with vibrant characters and distinct voices, which engage in authentic human connection while representing a uniquely theatrical experience. 

2020 Awards Announced

The Aleph Complex

a full-length play by Deborah Yarchun
will premiere in Alleyway's 2022/23 Season

Deborah Yarchun’s honors include two Jerome Fellowships, the 2020 Neukom Literary Arts Award for Playwriting, a Dramatists Guild Foundation Fellowship, an EST/Sloan Commission, The Kennedy Center's Jean Kennedy Smith Playwriting Award, and the Kernodle New Play Award. Her plays have been produced or developed with The Civilians' R&D Group, The New Harmony Project, Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse, Northern Stage, Amphibian Stage Productions, Centenary Stage Company, Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company,Theatre Squared’s Arkansas New Play Festival, Williams Street Rep, and the William Inge Center for the Arts. Deborah is a 2021-2024 Core Writer at the Playwrights’ Center and a New Georges Affiliated Artist. She earned her MFA at the University of Iowa where she was an Iowa Arts Fellow.

El Árbol

a short play by Josie Nericcio
will premiere in Alleyway's 2022/23 Season

Originally from Laredo, Texas, Josie lives in Los Angeles and works in the entertainment industry. She has participated in writing programs at NBC, FOX, The Producers Guild, and the National Hispanic Media Coalition Writers Workshop. She’s written for Nickelodeon’s HEY ARNOLD! Her poems have been published in HUIZACHE, The Magazine of Latino Literature, and her play, CARLOTTA LEARNS TO WHISTLE, won the 2019 Short and Sweet, Latino Program, Best of Fest, Best Production award.

Full Length Finalists

HURTSONG
by Caridad Svich

SAPIENCE
by Diana Burbano

UNNAMED BABY PLAY
by TJ Young

One Act Finalists

CROC OF
by Seanan Palmero Waugh

LIFT
by Heidi Kraay

THE YELLOW WALLPAPER
by Eliza Randall and Sam Norman

Be a Reader

If you would like to be a reader for the 2021 Competition, please register below. We will reach out with further information at the end of summer.

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2021 Competition Window is closed

Playwrights around the world (with or without representation) are encouraged to submit their plays and musicals each season to the Maxim Mazumdar New Play Competition.

Each category of the Mazumdar Competition is for plays that are ready for production. Outlines or summaries, incomplete or rough drafts will not be accepted. Anyone may submit. The winning script in each category will receive a full production, along with a cash prize.

Finalists and other promising works will be considered for production in future seasons and/or our development lab. Alleyway is an Associate Member of the National New Play Network, and winning plays may be considered for Rolling World Premiere and Showcase submissions.

Entry in the Maxim Mazumdar New Play Competition is understood as an indication of the playwright’s willingness, in the event of winning, to grant first production rights to Alleyway Theatre. Selection as Winner requires the playwright’s prior commitment to grant first production rights under the terms of Alleyway Theatre’s Standard Production Agreement.

Plays must be unpublished and unproduced at the time of submission (developmental readings and workshops notwithstanding). All entries must be withheld from production during the period of the competition, reserving the premiere production for Alleyway Theatre.

Playwrights may submit up to one play in each category. All work must be original and unproduced. The rights to any material used in the script not in the public domain must have been granted to the playwright in writing, and must be available to be presented upon request.

In 2020, the Competition removed its entry fee requirement, thereby providing greater access. In turn, entries multiplied. Over 650 entries in all categories were recorded in 2020, and processed through three rounds of reading by theatre-makers of all types around the country. Based on the number of entries in 2021, the Competition will likely be evaluated in three rounds.

Playwrights, please format your submission draft in the following way. Each full length and one act submission must be uploaded as a single PDF document.

  • Remove all all personally identifying information (name, contact info, agent, agent’s contact, etc) from your script.
  • Be sure to include a character and scene/song breakdown. Include character names and any necessary identifying traits, plus doubling plot, etc.
  • If it is a musical, please indicate on your title page a URL where demos can be heard.

The Mazumdar New Play Competition is not adjudicated blindly, however, the literary staff prefers to first take in the play itself without any identifying information. Your responses to questions on the form will be linked to your script in a separate spreadsheet for use in final rounds.

2021 submissions were accepted from July 1 - August 10, 2021. Check this space for updates on the 2021 competition, and submission window for 2022.