New Play Development

We don’t just produce plays, we develop new works. To date we have produced 58 world premieres. The Unicorn is a proud founding member of the National New Play Network (NNPN), an alliance of not-for-profit professional theatres that champions the development, production and continued life of new plays for the American theatre.  Since 1999, NNPN has fostered the work of dozens of new voices in the American theatre and its unique network has created a longevity most plays never find.  In addition to new plays we have helped develop with the NNPN, the Unicorn has commissioned many new works with the help of funders like the National Endowment for the Arts.

Unicorn Theatre is proud to be a founding member of the National New Play Network.

The National New Play Network is an alliance of leading nonprofit theaters that champion the development, production and continued life of new plays. NNPN strives to pioneer, implement and disseminate ideas and programs that revolutionize the way theaters collaborate to support new plays and playwrights.

Since its founding in 1998, NNPN has commissioned over a dozen playwrights, provided ten MFA graduates with paid residencies, and supported nearly 100 productions nationwide through its innovative Continued Life of New Plays Fund, which creates “rolling world premieres” of new plays. Through these activities and others, NNPN has granted nearly a half million dollars to theaters and artists in the past ten years. All told, hundreds of artists have gained employment through these efforts in the 24 regions of the country where NNPN member theaters are located.

Learn more about the NNPN at


The Unicorn Theatre accepts unsolicited, full-length plays (not 10 minute plays, not short one acts).  The Unicorn Theatre prides itself on producing bold new plays that grapple with today's issues including (but not limited to) women, the LGBTQIA community, diverse and minority populations. To submit your play to the Unicorn Theatre, please ensure that your play is issue-oriented and socially significant. We are interested in plays with contemporary themes that speak to diverse audiences. We do not typically produce a large number of musicals or theatre for young audiences.

To submit a new play please follow the guidelines below and email a copy of your play to: or mail your play to: Unicorn Theatre Literary Department 3828 Main Street Kansas City, MO 64111

Please consider uploading your play to the NNPN's New Play Exchange.


Submission Information: Please read carefully as the guidelines have been updated as of April 1, 2016.

* All submissions must include the following:

     - playwright's bio

     - play synopsis (a full synopsis, not a marketing blurb)

     - character breakdown (including character names, genders, races, ages, etc.)

     - a paragraph-long response explaining why you think your play is a good fit for 

       the Unicorn Theatre

     - full-length script

     - Submissions that do NOT follow the above guidelines will NOT be considered.

* To be considered for the 2016-2017 In-Progress New Play Reading Series, scripts must be submitted by September 1, 2016. We do accept general play submissions year-round.

* Response time varies depending upon time of year and number of current submissions. Typical response time ranges from six months to a year (and occasionally longer).

* If plays are submitted via email you should receive a "received-receipt" within one to two weeks. Once we have read your play we will email you back with regards to whether or not we will consider your play for development or production.

* If plays are submitted via mail you must include a self-addressed, stamped envelope (SASE) if you would like a response. Once we have read your play we will mail a letter back to you with regards to whether or not we will consider your play for development or production.  If you would like a "received-receipt" please email us to check in or include a self-addressed, stamped "received" postcard. Scripts will not be returned.