How the Moss Hart & Kitty Carlisle Hart New Play Initiative Works

Scripts for the Hart New Play Initiative are accepted during a three month period each year. All material is sent electronically and there is no submission fee to ensure the program is available to as many playwrights as possible. Playwrights may only submit one script each year.

The initial screening is done by the staff and selected readers. There will be several stages of work to ensure that as many deserving scripts as possible are read by multiple people. The initial readers choose sixteen semi-finalists. Another round of reading by a group of elite Hart Initiative readers brings the number down to the eight finalists. These eight plays are then read by our panel of theater notables (including playwrights, directors and producers) and they select the final four plays.

These four playwrights are each awarded the Hart New Play Bronze Medallion. The plays then move on to the developmental part of the program.

  • Each playwright receives extensive dramaturgical advice from that year’s director(s), the program’s artistic staff, and other theater professionals.
  • Each of the four chosen plays receives a reading with a professional cast in front of an audience with a moderated discussion afterward. In 2018, these readings took place at 59E59 Theaters in New York as part of our Jeremy Nussbaum New Play Reading Series.
  • Two of these plays are chosen to receive a professional production at Grove Theater Center in Burbank, California. These two playwrights are awarded the Hart New Play Silver Medallion.
  • One of these playwrights is then awarded the Hart New Play Gold Medallion and the play is given its Off-Broadway premiere.

In future years, the Hart Initiative will expand to include the ability to work with past program winners on new projects outside of this process.