New Works Studio



About New Works Studio:

Scripps Ranch Theatre’s New Works Studio (NWS) will function as an artistic home for emerging and established playwrights and a constructive, supportive environment for the development of new work. NWS Playwrights will write and share new plays, refine their skill set, and receive peer and institutional support, providing a springboard for fantastic new work for the American theatre created by local artists. NWS will be following the Liz Lerman Critical Response Process, which you can learn about here:

SRT’s New Works Studio will be a group of up to five playwrights that meet twice a month to read and critique plays in progress. Over the course of nine months, writers will be offered peer review, as well as feedback from a dramaturg and other invited theatre artists, with the goal of completing a production-ready draft of their play by the end of the development period. NWS Playwrights will have an opportunity to present their completed drafts to theatre professionals in the San Diego area, as well as to general audiences, at the culmination of the residency (October 2017) in a festival reading.

Submission Guidelines

The instructions for submission are part of the application, so please read carefully and follow the instructions!  (Note: Click here to download these guidelines in PDF format)

Please submit the following in PDF format:

  • 1 completed full length play with all identifying information removed.
  • A 10-Page sample of a play you want to work on, with all identifying information removed.
  • A writing resume.

The submission form will also ask you for an Artistic Statement of up to 500 Words.

The submission will be open from December 1 to December 31, 2016.
Please submit only during that window.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please read this FAQ section before e-mailing us with a question. If, however, you do not find your question on this list, please contact us at

Q: Is this replacing the Out on a Limb Festival?
A: Nope! This is a totally different thing. Click HERE to find out more about Out on a Limb.

Q: Why are you asking for a full-length completed play along with the sample of what I want to work on?
A: We are looking for writers who have been through the process of writing, revising, and completing a full-length play before. That’s what the completed play will show us. It will also show us what you’re capable of as a writer, so you don’t have to worry so much about the quality of a sample of a brand new idea.

Q: What should I say in my artistic statement?
A: We want to get a sense of your aesthetic and your interests. Tell us, in no more than 500 words, what gets you excited to write, what themes you return to, and how you would describe your style.

Q: What will the review process be like, and when can I expect a response?
A: We will be reviewing all submissions throughout the month of December and January, and we will be interviewing a group of ten to twelve playwrights to fill the five available slots. You can expect to know the status of your application by early February 2017 at the latest.

Q: Do I have to be a San Diego resident to be a part of the SRT New Works Studio?
A: No, but you do have to be within reasonable driving distance. You will need to be present twice a month to participate in the labs. SRT will not be offering reimbursement for travel costs at this time.

Q: Who is running it?
A: The New Works Studio will be co-moderated by the playwright in residence and the dramaturg in residence. But each feedback session will really be left in the hands of the playwright presenting work.

The people behind SRT's New Works Studio

Robert May (Co-founder & SRT’s New Play Development Director)

Robert May is the Founder and Producing Artistic Director of Scripps Ranch Theatre’s Out on a Limb – New Plays from America’s Finest City.  It is his sincere desire to help transform San Diego into a creative hub for playwrights, especially those who make this wonderful city their home. With the creation of the SRT New Works Studio, Robert foresees the start of some exciting new play development that he hopes to see gracing stages in the coming years. He is an accomplished director, actor, and producer, and sits on the Board of Directors for SRT. He holds an MFA from the University of Arizona, and a B.A. from Southern Illinois University.

Jennifer Lane (Co-founder and Resident Playwright)

Jennifer Lane is a California-based writer and teaching artist originally from Troy, Michigan. Her plays, which have been performed across the country, include Harlowe (developed under the mentorship of Sarah Ruhl, winner of the Alec Baldwin Fellowship at Singers Forum, finalist for the Gulfshore Playhouse’s New Works Festival); and The Seer and the Witch (nuVoices for a nuGeneration Festival 2013, Nominated for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and the Sue Nims Distinguished Playwriting Award, a Semifinalist for the O’Neill Playwriting Conference). Jenny teaches at UCSD, San Diego Writers, Ink, and The Playwrights Project. She is a graduate of the Columbia University MFA Playwriting Program and Sarah Lawrence College. (

Jessica Ordon (Co-founder and Resident Dramaturg)

Jessica Ordon is a freelance dramaturg and the Literary Manager for Native Voices at the Autry. Passionate about new plays by diverse writers, Jessica has been living and working in southern California for almost five years. She has been a production dramaturgy assistant at La Jolla Playhouse on shows Chasing the Song, Ether Dome, Milk Like Sugar, and Dram of Drummhicit. For Native Voices, she recently dramaturged Timestop by Joseph Valdez, There is No ‘I’ in NDN by Jennifer Bobiwash, and Cikiuteklluku by Holly Stanton (co-produced with Perseverance Theatre in Anchorage, AK). Jessica is a teaching artist and writing mentor for Playwrights Project, and served as a dramaturg for the Plays by Young Writers Festival in 2013, ‘14, and ‘15. In summer of 2014, she directed Lisabeth Silverman’s Unplugged, part of the Out on a Limb Festival at Scripps Ranch Theatre. Jessica holds an M.A. in Theatre Arts from San Diego State University, and a B.A. in Theatre from Florida State University. She is a proud member of the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas.