Appalachian Playwriting Festival

So that we may celebrate the people and stories of our Appalachia, Parkway Playhouse is presenting The Appalachian Playwriting Festival. We strive to elevate and amplify the underrepresented voices of new playwrights who live in, or have a strong connection to, our Appalachian home.

Our first-ever Appalachian Playwriting Festival will take place on September 8, 9, and 10, 2023 at Parkway Playhouse. This festival will feature staged readings of new plays written by Appalachian Playwrights that celebrate Appalachian Culture. One script from this festival will be chosen to be produced on our stage in 2024. Submissions are free.

Our Mission

When Parkway Playhouse was founded in 1947, it was founded out of a love of theater and dedication to education as college students joined together from around the nation here in our mountain town to produce high-quality productions each summer.

What they found here was not only the knowledge of how to create wonderful theater; but also, farmers harvesting crops at the end of each season, teaching them the value of hard work; potters, quilters, and cloggers showing them the power art can have on a community; and a town thriving in the Blue Ridge Mountains because of the people that cherish it and each other, teaching them how to be good neighbors.

Students from all those years ago and the audiences who pass through our doors today all found a special feeling of community here at Parkway Playhouse. The secret ingredient? Our home. The impact of our people and our location here in the Appalachian Mountains is keenly felt in our theater.

Appalachia is defined as a cultural region in the Eastern United States that stretches from the southern tier of New York State to northern Alabama and Georgia. It’s an area rich in tradition, ideals, and culture. The Appalachian Playwriting Festival is a celebration of Appalachian Culture. It is a preservation of the stories, people and traditions that make our community so wonderful. This festival is an opportunity to give back by offering a microphone to those voices telling the stories of our home and heart.

Each year submitted plays by Appalachian playwrights will be read by a committee of local community members and theater industry professionals, and the favorite select handful will be given staged readings. These previously unpublished works will all celebrate Appalachian Culture. The readings will be adjudicated and the winning script will be fully produced on our stage the following year. Appalachian stories deserve to be told and we’re so excited to provide this opportunity for those with stories to tell.

Submission Guidelines

  • Submission is FREE.

  • Submissions are due no later than November 1, 2022 at 12pm EST.
  • The play must be in some way about Appalachian Culture. This means that it must include some sort of representation of the life and people of the Appalachian Region of the United States. *See map.
  • The playwright must have resided in the Appalachian Region of the United States for a significant amount of time. (10+ years)
  • The script must be the final version. No edits will be received at a later date.
  • The play must be a full-length script. No one acts plays or short plays will be considered.
  • The play should feature six actors or less.
  • One entry per person. Additional entries will not be considered.
  • Plays must be unpublished and must not have had a full professional production.
  • Plays must be submitted electronically in PDF format.

Submissions are now closed.

Support Local Playwrights

Donate Today

Your donations will go towards producing this event and making local stories more accessible.

Join Our Team

We’re looking for festival volunteers, play readers, directors, and actors. Email us at to find out more!

Buy Tickets

Join us for our first annual Appalachian Playwriting Festival on September 8-10, 2023! Tickets will be available soon.