The Highland Arts Theatre is proud to announce the HAT Playwrights Unit for 2019!

The HAT will be soliciting submissions for script samples or play proposals between April 24th and May 24th. Once the submission deadline has passed, a short-list of playwrights will be selected for further interview and from that group, four plays will be chosen for artistic development through the course of the year, culminating with a weekend of public readings at the end of 2019.

The development models will be tailored to the needs of each individual playwright with dramaturgical support, script readings/workshops with the HAT summer company, and admin support provided as appropriate for each individual process.

Plays submitted for development can be any length, any genre, and at any point of creation. The HAT is interested in developing both Musical and non-Musical works. Interested parties must submit a one-page proposal as well as a 10-page sample of their writing.

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 2020 Season.

Submissions are open to any playwrights currently residing in Canada, however, as per the HAT’s mandate, priority will be given to artists who identify with a Cape Breton connection. 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.

Last year, the HAT worked with four playwrights from across Nova Scotia reading samples from three new plays at a public reading at local coffee shop, Doktor Luke’s. One of the plays developed, See Jane Run by Lindsay Thompson, went on to receive a full workshop co-sponsored by the Playwrights Atlantic Resource Centre. It then went on to receive its World Premiere production in March as part of the 2019 HAT Winter/Spring Season.



1) E-mail us. You can send your application to info@highlandartstheatre.com any time up to and including May 24th, 2019 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 brief 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 finished... 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 script sample or a detailed proposal (10 pages MAX) 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 we 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 select the short list. 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. You can also choose to send a script sample of a previous project. 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.