Activate: Midwest

ActivateMidwest is dedicated to developing and producing the plays of emerging theatre artists from Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Playwrights from these states submit their work annually, and three to four plays are selected for a staged reading each summer. The winning play goes on to receive a workshop production in Chicago. The goal of ActivateMidwest is to advance and expand the artistic reputation of Southwest Michigan by providing the community and WMU students with an opportunity to engage with emerging and professional theatre artists from across the Midwest. Supported by WMU student actors, playwrights, and directors as well as several community artists, the festival will facilitate collaboration between students and professionals and encourage theatre innovation through the production of new work.

Call For Plays

Activate: Midwest

A New Play Festival at Western Michigan University

Western Michigan University’s 4th Annual Activate: Midwest New Play Festival is now seeking unproduced full-length plays from playwrights living in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, or Wisconsin.  Selected plays will be developed and presented as staged readings during June 2017 as part of a festival of new plays at the university in Kalamazoo, Michigan.  




Playwrights selected for the festival will attend an initial reading in May, then return to Kalamazoo for a one-week residency during June 2018 leading up to the festival showing. Participating playwrights will be provided with travel, lodging, and meals.  The Festival will feature readings, workshops, and responses from guest playwrights, literary managers, and producers. 

Previous festivals have featured a keynote and workshop led by Sarah Ruhl, Steven Dietz, and Charles Smith.

Deadline for submission is December 1, 2017.


-- Complete the application form.


-- Email the full script to by Dec 1 with “Submission: Activate: Midwest” in the subject line. 

-- A strong preference will be given to scripts with the majority of the characters in the 18-35 age range (appropriate for college age actors).

-- Scripts must be full-length plays in standard play format with a title page that includes the playwright’s name, address, phone number and e-mail address.

-- Playwrights may submit only one (1) play per year.

-- The play must be unproduced and unpublished.

For questions or more information please email