2018 Playwriting Contest Open for Submissions

Submit your play before April 23rd to have it considered for the 2018 NotaBle Acts Summer Theatre Festival.

It’s that time of year again when NotaBle Acts looks for new submissions to its annual playwriting contest! Winners will be performed during our 2018 Summer Theatre Festival held from July 25th to August 5th.

Plays from the general public are accepted in three categories:

  • Site-Specific – short plays taking place and performed at specific locations around Fredericton.
  • Street Theatre – short skits performed in a showcase together outdoors and at various venues throughout the festival.
  • Acting Out – One act plays between 30 and 50 minutes in length, performed in theatre.

Plays should be submitted by post and postmarked by no later April 23rd (Shakespeare’s Birthday).

In addition, submissions are still open to our Middle and High School Playwriting Contest! Middle and high school students are encouraged to submit their work to nbacts@unb.ca. Middle school submissions should be between 5-10 minutes long, and high school 20-30 minutes. Winners will be read during the Festival and subsequently produced and performed during the coming fall.

Full contest rules can be found at NBActs.com.   Send inquires to nbacts@unb.ca or you can reach our Artistic Director Len Falkenstein at (506) 458 7406.

May the furious writing (or rewriting) commence!



Meet playwright Jeff Lloyd

Jeff’s play Both Ways is one of three new plays presented as part of our Play Out Loud reading series.

Jeff Lloyd is a teacher by day and a playwright by night. He has directed nine musicals and dozens of short plays. He’s facilitated several pieces of devised theatre, runs high school playwriting workshops and coaches improv. In total, Jeff has written 22 plays and this is his fifth year working with NotaBle Acts.

As he explains in his writer’s notes (found in this year’s festival program), Both Ways has been in development for more than five years. Through countless revisions, character changes and several variations in storyline, life in rural New Brunswick has remained at the centre Jeff’s latest work.

We asked Jeff to explain his connection to rural New Brunswick and how it relates to the story told in Both Ways.

Despite the many revisions you detail in your notes, the play’s connection to rural New Brunswick remained. Why has this thematic element remained a constant through the play’s many revisions?

I’ve always lived in New Brunswick and I’m concerned about New Brunswick, so characters in my plays are always questioning their relationship to this place.

I live in Moncton, because I got a job teaching at Bernice MacNaughton High School.  I’ve lived here for the past eleven years.  I like my job, I like my school and most of the time I like living in Moncton. But sometimes, when I visit other places I like to imagine what life would be like, if I’d gotten a job there.  If I spent my days teaching different students, and working with different colleagues, how different would I be?  Or would I mostly be the same person?  How does my community affect who I am?

I’m fascinated about why people live where they live, so this question is always present in my writing.

What would you say is the biggest lesson you’ve learned throughout the development of this story?                                                                                             

During my last rewrite, a key detail about one character’s experience changed.  It was just a small detail, but it opened up a new problem for her life, and it gives her a more compelling struggle.  So I learned to never be too settled on who the characters are and that writing this play might have just been the opportunity to discover this new detail, and that will lead me to write an entirely new play.

How does it feel to have this play finally developed to the point that it’s ready for a public reading?

I’m grateful to have the opportunity to work with NB Acts again this summer and I’m really looking forward to the reading.  When actors breathe life into the characters and give them a voice for the first time, it gives me a different perspective on who the characters are.  It allows me the opportunity to actually hear these characters for the first time.   It’s a very valuable part of the process.

What’s next for Both Ways?

This fall, I will be directing two of my previous NB Act plays for Hubcity Theatre.  I’m excited about this new opportunity and if it goes well, perhaps they will be interested in producing Both Ways in the future.  I may also submit it to Script Happens, the play development program run by the Saint John Theatre Company. Or I might just set it aside for a few months and see what happens when I look at it again with a fresh perspective.

About the Play

Nineteen-year olds Courtney and Taylor can’t wait to get out of Brewster. Thirty-five year old Dr. Beth Cooper is thinking of moving back from Toronto and taking over as town doctor. Their worlds collide with that of Jake Matthews, Beth’s old flame, as they ponder the push and pull of rural New Brunswick from the confines of the Thirsty Duck tavern.

Directed by Linda McNutt. Starring Leah Holder, Ian Murphy, Stephanie Doucette, and Amelia Hay.

To be followed by performance of Taking it to the Streets: Four 10-Minute Plays

Play Out Loud: Readings of New Plays in Development

Both Ways + Taking It To The Streets | 7:30 PM, Monday, July 31 | Picaroons Roundhouse, Union Street | Admission: by donation

Switched + The Dealer Always Wins | 7:30 PM, Tuesday, August 1 | Picaroons Roundhouse, Union Street | Admission: by donation