About The Gassner Award

The John Gassner Memorial Playwriting Award Competition fosters new playwrights and scripts through this important competition established by Molly Gassner, wife of theatre historian John Gassner. The Award was created in 1967 to honor the late John Gassner (1903-1967) for his lifetime dedication to all aspects of professional and academic theatre.

This award will be administered by a panel of judges named by the NETC Executive Board. A staged reading of the award-winning scripts will be given at the NETC annual awards ceremony.


  • The contest is open to all playwrights and is for new full-length plays for adult audiences. No musicals nor plays targeted toward children
  • Plays submitted to the contest must not have been
    • previously published
    • submitted to NETC’s Harris Playwriting Contest
    • previously produced by a professional or Equity company
  • Plays submitted which have had workshop productions or staged readings are eligible and encouraged.
  • Plays submitted to this contest may have been submitted to another playwriting contest, and may have previously won a prize or an award in another contest. However, such plays must not have been published or professionally produced and must not be under option for publication or professional production.
  • Playwrights may submit only ONE play to the contest in one year.
  • All pages of the script must be numbered in sequence, along with title of play, in upper right hand corner.
  • In the case of an adaptation from a book or any other source, permission from the original author is the responsibility of the playwright.


  • Will I receive a response that you received my submission?
    • An automatic confirmation will be sent. Individual emails about submissions will NOT be returned.
  • Can the play contain music?
    • All submissions MUST be plays. If your play contains 1-2 songs or snippets of songs, it will be accepted. If your play is written with music, it will NOT be accepted.
  • Can it be an adaptation of a book?
    • Yes
  • What format should it be uploaded in?
    • All submissions should be in PDF format ONLY
  • How should my play be labeled?
    • Name of play, name of playwright, email address, and contact phone number.
  • How many scripts can I submit?
    • You may submit ONE script per contest year.