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Highview Arts Center presents
Quick Quills

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Highview Arts Center is proud to produce its second Quick Quills (formerly named the New Play Festival)! We are particularly focused on helping the development of new and diverse voices, and are pushing to bring work, new writers, and new theatre artists to the stage, from multiple backgrounds and experiences.  We will find a director and actors to perform your play, and you can watch it live on our stage.


The 2nd annual Quick Quills will take place in the Highview Arts Center March 14-17, which each show chosen receiving 4 performances.  We are excited to give your work a World Premier!


Submissions are now open and will be accepted until December 31st 2023 at 11:59 p.m. Final decisions will be made no later than January 22, 2023. 


To be eligible for entry into the Quick Quills, you and your play must adhere to the following rules:

  • Plays should be no less than 8, and no longer than 12 minutes long.  

    • A play will be disqualified from entry if it does not fit within this time in a reading.

  • Playwrights must live in or come from the Kentuckiana region 

    • The Kentucky counties of Jefferson, Bullitt, Hardin, Oldham, Meade, Shelby, Trimble, Henry, and Spencer; and the Indiana counties of Clark, Floyd, Harrison, Jefferson, Scott, and Washington

  • Plays should not have been previously produced locally 

  • Plays that have received readings are permitted

  • Playwrights may submit up to (2)  two scripts. 

    • If more are sent, only the first two will be read

  • Plays should require a maximum of 5 actors (though doubling of characters is not necessarily a problem)

  • Plays must be entered in good faith under your real name

    • Plays entered under a name other than the authors own will be rejected

  • Email submissions or questions to



  • As long as a play is clearly and consistently formatted, any straightforward format is acceptable. If unsure how to format for stage, this is what the Dramatists Guild recommends. The key is making sure it is easy to read and follow your play.

  • The play should be submitted as either a PDF or a Word document

  • There should be a separate title page with the title of the play and the playwright's name and contact information.

  • The second page should have the list of characters and any setting descriptions needed.

  • Your own name should not appear on any of the pages following the first two.

  • Page numbering: The title pages should not be numbered. Please start numbering at the start of the play itself.

  • Font and margins: 12-pt font and 1-inch margins are preferred to help us determine length of the play.

  • Length: If following the above formatting guidelines, the play should be between 8-12 pages (not including the title page and second page)

  • A playwright bio – no longer than 250 words

    • Please provide separately with your entry, in either PDF or Word format


10 Useful Tips for Quick Quills

  • Unless it is mostly monologues, you can gauge a play as being roughly 1-1.5 m per page.  Reading your work out loud, especially with a friend, helps too.

  • Think theatrically, rather than televisually – how can your play engage with a live audience?

  • Show, don’t tell!

  • 10 minutes is a short time, so don’t waste time on exposition.  For the same reason, it’s generally better not to incorporate scene changes either

  • If you are having trouble creating an opening for a play, start in the middle, and fix it later – worked for George Lucas (mostly)

  • We provide the directors, who in turn will select the actors.  Some directors may wish to get in touch with you before or during the rehearsal period, at their discretion

  • Owing to limitations created by a festival of short plays in a small theatre, each play will be staged with minimal set, furniture and props.  

    • While we do not wish to limit your ambition and vision on the page, do bear this in mind while you write.

    • Props, set pieces, furniture, etc may or may not be used in conjunction with other plays

  • Similarly, we are limited in what we can do in terms of lighting effects and in terms of sound cues

  • If you write something that requires music, please be prepared to send us a digital clip of the music you want us to use if your play is chosen to be produced

  • If you want your play to be performed anonymously or under a nom-de-plume, please note this in your email on submission, and we can make that happen

Highview Quick Quills

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