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December 1, 2021

Call for Submissions: 35th Annual Stage One Festival of New Canadian Work

Hosted by Lunchbox Theatre

Lunchbox Theatre invites playwrights to submit one-act plays (45-60 minutes) for consideration for the 35th Annual Stage One Festival of New Canadian Work.

Lunchbox Theatre presents one-act plays with a focus on celebrating human stories—creating engaging theatre that is accessible, inclusive, affordable and sustainable. W e are committed to representing diverse voices and encourage playwrights of all backgrounds to submit. We acknowledge that Lunchbox has a history of programming a majority of white playwrights, and we are committed to continuing to build a more inclusive future. We are eager to hear from IBPOC creators.

Stage One submissions must include a solid, workshop-ready draft of a script that could be suitable for an eventual production at Lunchbox Theatre. Scripts must be able to be performed by 1 to 4 performers (including live musicians for musicals.) While selection to participate in Stage One does not guarantee a future production, please note that certain complex technical requirements and excessive use of foul language or nudity may limit a project’s viability at Lunchbox. Applicants are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with our mandate and recent programming to ensure their submission is appropriate.

For our 2022 Stage One Festival, we particularly invite submissions of scripts that reflect one or more of the following themes:

  • Indigenous perspectives
  • joyful explorations of identity
  • hopeful looks at the future
  • the climate crisis, particularly stories that positively imagine ways forward
  • connection across lines of difference
  • … and of course: comedies, love stories and plays for the winter holidays

All chosen playwrights receive a weeklong workshop including dramaturgical support, with a professional director and actors, followed by a public reading. Successful applicants will receive a $1,000 development fee: $600 during the workshop process and $400 upon receipt of the post-workshop draft. Stage One will take place in March and April, 2022. Funding dependent, up to eight plays will be chosen for development.

Successful applicants must be available to attend the full schedule of workshops and reading. Consideration of the playwright’s availability is given when scheduling the workshops. Depending on Covid-19 provincial and city restrictions, the workshops will happen over Zoom if we are unable to gather in person.


Lunchbox Theatre is committed to accessibility. If submitting a hard copy presents a major hurdle to entering the festival, then please e-mail Bronwyn by November 15, 2021 with a request to submit electronically.

If you have any questions, or for more information, please contact Artistic Director, Bronwyn Steinberg at ad@lunchboxtheatre.com.


Lunchbox Theatre

160 115 9 Avenue S.E. , Calgary, AB, T2G 0P5, Canada

Phone number: 403-265-4292

Email: info@lunchboxtheatre.com

Bartley and Margaret Bard and Betty Gibb were looking for a way to present live theatre during the lunch hour to downtown shoppers and workers, so in 1975 they founded Lunchbox Theatre. Located in Calgary’s downtown core, it is now recognized as one of the most successful and longest running noon hour theatre companies in the world! Lunchbox Theatre delivers a fun and unique experience to its audience – upbeat performances in an intimate and comfortable atmosphere. Patrons are encouraged to eat their lunch while they enjoy the show. This friendly approach makes Lunchbox Theatre an ideal place to introduce theatre to new audiences, both young and old.