Stage East excitedly announces the second year of the Jay Skriletz Playwriting Initiative. The state-wide competition caters to young Mainers in hopes of providing production experience to early-career playwrights. The winning writer will receive a $1,000 prize and a week-long workshop at Stage East culminating in a staged reading. Lodging will be provided and a grocery and travel stipend are also included. 

Readers Lindy Weston, Mark Macey, Damon Weston, and Jnana Hodson perform In the 45th by 2022 Skriletz Playwriting Initiative Winner Wilder Fray Short.

About the competition:

To be eligible, writers must be between the ages of 16-25 and reside in Maine full-time with preference given to Washington County residents. The winner must also be available May 22-27, 2023 for the workshop and staged reading. 

Submissions are open as of March 15th. Interested playwrights should submit a blind copy of their script as a .pdf file to with their full name, city of residence, and age in the body of the email. The subject line should read, “Jay Skriletz Playwriting Initiative 2022.” For further information contact Stage East’s artistic director, Mark Macey, at

  • Submissions guidelines:
    • A playwright’s submission must be:
      1. An original, full-length or one-act play with no more than 4 characters unless casting is doubled. 
      2. Primarily in English. 
      3. A non-musical. However, plays with limited music requirements are acceptable.
    • There are no restrictions on subject matter or style, but plays dealing with social justice issues will be given preference.
    • A playwright may only submit one play a year.
    • Plays that have been professionally produced or published are not eligible. Plays that have received staged readings, workshops, or have been produced by high schools, universities, or community theaters are still eligible.
    • A playwright may submit a previously submitted play if there have been substantive revisions.
    • Due to our limited staff size only the first 15 plays will be considered.
    • Plays must be submitted blind to by April 17th  at 11:59 pm. 
    • The deliberations of the Skriletz Prize committee are confidential; we do not offer oral or written feedback of submitted work 
Jay Skriletz

About the man behind the prize: 

Jay Skriletz spent over 50 years passionately involved in the theater. His employment took him from Seattle to Eastport including a position as technical director at Penobscot Theater. With a Master of Arts in Theater, he was a force in all aspects and genres including Shakespeare, farce, musicals, tragedy, drama and outright comedy. He directed, produced, designed, constructed, acted and sang in show after show. As founding director of Stage East, he elevated the quality of every production he undertook and never let difficulties or challenges become an obstacle to success.

Jay was also a prolific playwright, completing 16 plays, 3 of which were performed locally. His plays reflected his belief that live theater could serve as a vehicle for discourse about important social and political issues. He lived his life in the same manner as a soldier for advocacy and community. He especially enjoyed fostering similar interests and passions in young people. The Jay Skriletz Playwriting Initiative creates a legacy for Jays’ contribution to community theater and the arts.

For more information about eligibility and application instructions visit or email