The Highland Arts Theatre is proud to announce its first ever Playwrights Unit for 2018!

The HAT will be soliciting submissions for drafts or play proposals between December 4th and January 15th. Once the submission deadline has passed, Artistic Director Wesley J. Colford and a reading team will select 4 plays for artistic development through the course of the year, ending with a Weekend of Readings in Fall 2018. 

The development models will be tailored to the needs of each individual playwright with dramaturgical support, readings, and office space provided as appropriate for each individual process. 

Plays submitted for development can be any length, any genre, and we are interested in developing both Musical and non-Musical works. 

Once the development process has ended, playwrights are under no obligation to continue their relationship with the HAT or the play, however the Highland Arts Theatre will exercise first right of refusal for programming in its 2019 Season. This program is focused on development and craft with an emphasis on process and there is no guarantee of production, however we are always looking for great new plays!

Submissions are open to any playwrights currently residing in Canada, however, as per our mandate, priority will be given to artists to identify as Cape Breton based. As such, there will be a $10 reading fee attached to each submission, however that fee will be waived for anyone who identifies as a Cape Breton Artist.

Playwrights who are currently not based in Cape Breton are very much encouraged to submit, with dramaturgical support and development delivered through Skype/Facetime. There may also be an opportunity to apply for funding for some level of residency. 



1) E-mail us. You can send your application to highlandartstheatre@gmail.com any time up to and including January 15th at midnight. 

2) Subject us. Please make the subject of your e-mail "HAT 2018 PLAYWRIGHT UNIT SUBMISSION - YOUR NAME" (With "YOUR NAME" replaced by... your name.)

3) Introduce us. Please include your name, background, any artistic experience, any writing experience, a summary of your play, and a history of any development it may have had thus far (maybe this is an idea you've had for 20 years but never written down, maybe it's been produced 3 times but it's not done... it doesn't matter - we just want to know where you're at.)

4. Pitch us. Send us what you have. This may be a full draft or a detailed proposal but either way, we want to know what your story is. What makes it special? Why is it a play? What makes you obsessed and why should be become enablers of your obsession? What about your story will make audiences laugh and cry and compel actors to share a little piece of their soul?

5. Reading Fee us. This is to cover the expense of hiring readers to help us make the final calls. It's a one-time, $10 fee which you can submit on our website (below) with a credit card, or if you prefer, send us an e-transfer to the same e-mail address. 


1) Experience. While a lengthy resume certainly doesn't hurt, it is by no means a requirement and we encourage submissions from artists with all levels of experience.

2) A hard copy. We prefer digital so e-mail your PDFs to our address, no hard copies please.

3) A finished draft. The more you have to illustrate your idea, the better, and a draft often does a pretty great job of illuminating that, however don't let that stop you from submitting. The best ideas in the room will always be the most exciting and if you can convey your vision with a script sample or summary, we are perfectly willing to consider you for the program. The most important thing is that you have a story you want to tell - we'll help you find the best process for your art.

Thank you so much and we so look forward to reading your submissions! Get writing.

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