Playwright Residency FAQ

What is the Playwright Residency? 

Boston Center for the Arts is a non-profit Visual and Performing Arts Center. We support working artists to create, perform, and exhibit new works; develop new audiences; and connect the arts to the community.

The Playwright Residency is a year-long residency program created to support and enrich rising playwrights creative process and work. It is a process based residency where the playwright is given the opportunity to create a new work from beginning to end.


What is the philosophy of the selection process? 

BCA has adopted an artistic ethos that we apply to all of our residency programs. Our goal is to gather a diverse and inclusive community of artists for the purpose of supporting innovative work across disciplines, connecting artists with peers and resources, and providing a vibrant platform for new art in Boston.

Each application will be evaluated based on artist’s demonstration of:

Experimentation. Does the artist’s practice display innovation, openness to new ideas, perspectives and techniques?

Responsiveness. Is the artist’s work relevant, topical, in dialogue with issues of contemporary interest?

Balance. Does the artist think holistically about the relationships between art and life?

Community engagement. Does the artist demonstrate a willingness and aptitude for significant give and take exchange among colleagues and audiences?

Potential impact. How does the artist articulate the impact of this residency on their practice?


How do you define “new work” in context to plays?

We define new work as something that does not exist or is an idea that needs cultivating. This can be an idea that you have had and just need the time and space to create, or an idea that you create while in residency.


How do I apply?

Applications for FY24 will open in summer 2023. Please contact Michaila Cowie at


Who can apply?

Playwrights who reside in Boston or the Boston-Metro area will be given priority for this residency. Should you have any questions regarding the specifics, please reach out to the Associate Director of Theatre Arts,


Are there restrictions on what type of play needs to be created? 

There are no restrictions on the type of play – it can be fiction, nonfiction, devised, etc. The only requirement is that it falls in line with our residency pillars (listed above).


What are the expectations for the final staged reading?

There are no exceptions for the final staged reading. This can consist of actors with music stands, light blocking, etc. This is not required to be a fully produced play by the end of the year long residency.


Will space be provided with the residency? 

Yes! The residency will include a shared office space with the fellow playwright residents. Each resident will have their own station. Along with the office space, each resident will have access to 4 days in the Black Box Theatre or Martin Hall for a mid-year workshop of the play. The final staged reading will take place in the Plaza Theatre at the end of the residency that includes a desk and office chair.