John Chatterton's Short Play Lab

May Short Play Lab:
We look forward to reading your scripts! 
Production Dates: May 23-24.

shortlab-artDear Friend in the Theatre,
Whether you've thought about doing a short play in New York but have never tried, or if you're a regular at such events around town, please give a thought to producing a show in the May Short Play Lab. Not only do you rub shoulders with your fellow short-play playwrights, but you get to showcase your work to people you don't know yet.  Our Labs are always well-attended, and they can lead to other festivals and events that we produce, such as the Midwinter Madness Short Play Festival and the Midtown International Theatre Festival (visit our website: for submission opportunities and requirements). The rules for submitting to May's Short Play Lab are easy-peasy:
• Deadline is May 8. Notification will be soon after submission, depending on number of submissions. The sooner you get your script in, the more time you have to prepare. Get that script in pronto!
• Plays should be 1 - 10 pp. in standard playscript format.* (The shorter the better; shorter plays get priority.) Include a title page, as the first page of the script, with your contact info (only means of contact is by email).
• Submit scripts in a MS Word document or PDF file.
• You produce the play whether or not you live in New York.  The SPL provides the theatre.  This Lab will take place at Roy Arias Studios, 300 W. 43rd St., New York, NY 10018. 
• Productions must be non-union: no showcases please! (And no Equity waivers, either.)
• Keep production values to a minimum: costumes and hand props are okay. We provide rehearsal cubes, chairs, and a table. You can't leave your stuff in the theatre overnight. 
• We provide a board op, box office, and venue management.
• There are no fees. The SPL keeps the door.
Tickets are $20. Each playwright and director gets to watch his/her show for free. There are no other comps.
• There will be a tech rehearsal in the daytime on Saturday, May 23. The production dates are Saturday, May 23 - Sunday, May 24 
• Every play gets 2 performances, 1 on Sat. and 1 on Sun. Each play will be part of 1 of 2 programs: Program A or Program B, but not both. Program A takes place at 7 pm Sat. and 4 pm Sun. Program B takes place at 9 pm Sat. and 2 pm Sun.  
• We don't do staged readings. Be off-book, please! Plays not off-book during tech will be removed from the line-up.
THE MOST POPULAR PRODUCTION IN EACH PROGRAM RECEIVES A CASH PRIZE OF $75. Winners are determined by polling patrons after the performance. We reserve the right to break ties.

*12 pt Times Roman; character names in the middle on their own line; line spaces between speeches and between speeches and stage directions; indented stage directions.

The SPL is a lot of fun and a good way to see your work on its feet in a supportive environment. It's also a great way to see actors and directors at work, so you can recruit people for later productions.

To submit a script, send it as an attachment, in a Word document or PDF file, to Any questions, don't hesitate to shoot me an E-mail! 

John Chatterton
Executive producer, Short Play Lab


John Chatterton's Short Play Lab

April 25 - 26 Lineup


The Presence of Absence by S. Karlan, directed by Ruya Koman; starring Gregory Davis and Eiko Kawashima. Can a middle-aged man find true love with a robot?

Watch The Gap by John Ladd, directed by Liana S. Afuni; starring Liana S. Afuni and Cayla Buettner. Gaps can be dark, deep and mysterious places. Watch The Gap gives us a glimpse into one of them.

Love Me, Love Me Not by Suzann Capra, directed by Alexa Kelly; starring Pam Ross and Shelly Valfer. Romeo and Juliet are living together--how can that be?

Title: 91! (Or how many police shots does it take to kill two Black men?) by Fernando Mañon, directed by Arthur French III; starring Augustus Wilson, Tiffany Williams, and Robert Wright. The spirit of death haunts its killer.

Match Play by Seth Freeman, directed by Mike Keller; starring Kathalynn Joy, Greg Bell, and Mike Keller. A simple date made on-line takes a very surprising turn.

Bless me Father by Joe Starzyk, directed by Dennis Corsi; starring John Michael Hansen and Gene Pope. Can a priest who lives in sin receive absolution, or are some sins unforgivable?


A Nice Card From Wendell by Blake Walton, directed by Blake Walton; starring Justin Younts, Shannon Whalen, and Tim Walsh. Sometimes a card sent home to Mom and Dad might stretch the truth a bit or doesn't tell the whole story...

In the Scheme of Things by Marcia Samuels, directed by Christopher Richards; starring Jimmy Cintron and Tong Lung. An encounter between a Homeless Man and a Well Dressed Man in the Financial District area of New York City, proves to be the meeting of good vs evil.

Standing For Trayvon by Steven A. Butler, Jr, directed by Courtney Baker-Oliver; starring Desire Dubose, Wilma Lynn Horton, Regina Johnson, and Kandace Foreman. Sabrina Fulton finds herself an overnight celebrity when all she wants to do is mourn the death of her son, Trayvon Martin.

Books That Did Not Help Me Pick Up Women by Harry Dreizen
and Mark Singer (from a story by John McCaffrey), directed by Mark Singer; starring Mark Singer, Darcy Dunn, Harry Dreizen, Dayna Kurtz, and Wilmari Myburgh. A man searches for love in all the wrong pages.

Spooning by Julia Lederer, directed by Michelle Alexander; starring Julia Lederer. Finally her big break is here - Judith has been cast as the Spoon in Beauty and the Beast on Broadway!

Tourniquet by Adrienne Schaffler, directed by Kathryn Rickman; starring Julia Hansen and Caroline Burke. Two young women are confronted with loss in the wake of 9/11.

Peanuts by Tom Dunn, directed by Tom Dunn; starring Kimberly Irene Miller and Sally Nutt. A large GMO sends the new boss in to tell a long-time research scientist that her project is going to be ended, ignoring the human aspect of the work.

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