Submission Guidelines

We are now accepting submissions for our eighth annual #HamilTEN Festival. HamilTEN 2020 will take place April 3, 4 & 5 at Hamilton’s Staircase Theatre. Submissions are due on Friday, November 1, 2019 at 11:59pm.

General Guidelines

  • Each playwright may submit only one script – send us your best!
  • We are looking for short plays that run no longer than 10 minutes. Plays that run overtime will be subject to a lights out / blackout.
  • We are looking for a diversity of genre submissions – comedy, drama, mystery, historical, horror, and theatre of the absurd. However, we do not accept children’s shows (sorry!).


  • Scripts must be 7-9 typed pages in length (plus a title page) and contain no more than four (4) characters.
  • The title page must include: 1) the playwright’s name and theatre company (if applicable); 2) the playwright’s address, email, and phone number; 3) the play’s character list; 4) props to be used; 5) proposed number of tech cues; and 6) your play synopsis (which will be used on the website if selected).
  • Playwrights must also ensure that the script follows both the festival tech and set requirements (see below).

Set Requirements

  • Set / prop requirements will be limited to a maximum of five (5) small hand-held props. No exceptions.
  • HamilTEN will provide two (2) chairs and one (1) small table to be used as additional set pieces, if required. Please visit our Past Festivals page for photos of the table and chairs.
  • The HamilTEN Festival will provide a Stage Manager to transition your set / props during your performances.

Tech Requirements

  • Technical requirements should be simple and are limited to no more than five (5) cues which can include lights up, lights down, simple fade, RBG colour wash, and basic sound effects. 
  • The festival will provide a Theatre Technician to operate your sound and lighting cues during your performance.
  • Each play will be given a 20-minute tech rehearsal before the festival which will allow directors to determine tech levels and actors to run a dress rehearsal in the theatre.


  • Companies are not offered any financial compensation for their involvement in HamilTEN.
  • The festival does have four Audience Choice Awards which are determined by a ballot vote.
  • HamilTEN is a non-Equity venture and has no association with the Canadian Actors’ Equity Association.

How to Submit

  • Please send your script in a .PDF format to: by no later than November 1, 2019.
  • If your script is accepted into the HamilTEN line-up, you will be responsible for rehearsing and casting your play in time to perform at the Festival in April.
  • We look forward to reading your work!

Submit Your Script Today