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for short plays-to-be-filmed

during #lockdown

Trapped inside during the time of Corona, VR Theatrical (with a nudge and a push from some friends) decided to embrace the challenge of continued theatre-making.

To this end, we are looking to produce and film three 10-minute 'plays' with a special little twist.
If your play meets the following criteria, we’d love to hear from you!

NO ENTRY FEES!  Can you afford NOT to enter?


  • Length:  10 - 15 mins

  • Comedy or Drama

  • Must be an unpublished new work

  • For 1 - 4 characters (max 4 - even if played by one actor)

  • Playwrights may submit a maximum of 2 plays

  • Any topic under the sun that could be filmed under lockdown regulations.


Three plays will be selected to receive artistic support for its production.

VR Theatrical will provide suitable creative teams for the production and filming of each of the three plays, taking care of casting, direction, filming (under lockdown strictures) etc.

The three filmed plays will be presented on a pay-per-view platform.  As a writer you will receive a pro-rata remuneration – the more downloads the plays get, the more money you make.

In summary:  you write, we'll take care of  the rest!

Should your play be selected, we will be in touch to discuss further details before production commences.


  • Your play will be produced and filmed under the current lockdown restrictions - keep this in mind when choosing settings for your play.  (Keep it indoors or garden-territory.)

  • Write as much "stage direction" as you feel necessary to paint the picture of what you're trying to achieve.

  • Write compelling characters who audiences will be interested in getting to know.

  • Make sure your play has a clear beginning, middle and end.

  • Make sure your characters have an arc - they go through something that changes them, for better or for worse than when they started.

  • There are loads of good articles on how to write a good play - do some research!

  • Proofread your entry, have someone else proofread it, and then proofread it again before sending.

  • Read your play out loud or, better yet, have a group read your play to hear if dialogue sounds authentic.  (Zoom is a useful tool!  Throw a play-reading-party!)

  • Think of creative ways to 'bring your cast together' in the play, i.e. are they on a Zoom call?  Are they shouting to each other from different rooms?  Think of creative ways to shoot these scenarios and note them in your script.


The Submission deadline is

1 June 2020 at 12:00 noon

Entrants must be at least 18 years of age by June 1, 2020. 


By entering, playwrights consent to VR Theatrical producing their work and declare that the work submitted is their own and does not infringe on any copyright whatsoever.

Entries should be submitted in an electronic format, PDF or Word Document

and attached to the application on the next page. 


We’re particularly excited about plays that embrace the creative possibilities of storytelling through sound and language. Your play may include brief moments of music, but it shouldn’t be a musical.  We’re unable to accept any supplementary tracks or audio files at this point.

Please make sure that your play contains the following:

  1. A title page

  2. A short synopsis

  3. A character breakdown with sufficient details on the character.

Please keep formatting consistent.  Here is an example for reference:

Feel free to contact us on for any questions.


Feasibility  (5 points)

Could this play be staged within the restrictions of lockdown, considering setting, costumes, number of characters, subject matter and language? 

Essentials  (20 points)

Does this play have the essentials for dramatic development?  Is there a protagonist?  Is there an antagonist? Does this play have a protagonist who has a clear and compelling goal and who is involved in a central dramatic conflict?  Are there obstacles to these goals?  Are the obstacles believable?  Does something really happen on stage? 

Mood and Genre  (15 points)

Have the mood and genre been clearly developed?  Are there clues early on that tell the audience that they will be seeing a comedy or a melodrama or a psychological thriller, etc.?  If it starts out funny, does it stay funny?  If not, is the audience surprised in a logical or satisfying way? 

Characters  (10 points)

Are the characters interesting and credible?  Have they been clearly defined and fully developed?  Are all the characters necessary to the play?  Have the main characters evolved through the course of the play?  Will the audience care about what happens to them? 

Dialogue  (5 points)

Does the dialogue sound natural and credible?  Is it fresh and compelling?  Does it suit each character?  Does each character have a unique voice? 

Story/Plot  (15 points) 

Does the story progress at an engaging pace?  Does something happen?  Do the events within the play lead to significant changes in the main characters.  Is there a resolution to the conflict?  Is the plot interesting enough to hold the audience’s attention ?  Is each scene important and relevant?  Does the play capture your attention? 

Overall rating  (30 points)

Is the dramatic situation involving the protagonist and his/her conflict interesting for an audience?  Did you enjoy the play?  Were you comfortable with the setting, situation, characters, dialogue, pace, and resolution?  Could you picture the action onstage?  Did you feel it was worth your time to get to know the characters and their story?

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