Marilyn Bianchi Kids’ Playwriting Festival

A Dobama tradition, the Marilyn Bianchi Kids’ Playwriting Festival (MBKPF) is entering its 40th year of producing plays written by kids!  Hundreds of plays are submitted by students throughout Cuyahoga County, grades 1 – 12. Dedicated to the memory of Marilyn Bianchi, the festival is the nation’s first event of its kind, encouraging kids to celebrate the fun and joy of live theatre! 

For performance information including dates, times, and more
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To download the teacher resource guide click here


The Marilyn Bianchi Kids’ Playwriting Festival is open to all kids in Cuyahoga County, grades 1-12, whether home-schooled or attending a public, private or charter school.

Plays must be the original work of the student who is submitting it. No collaborations, adaptations or copying from movies, TV, books, video games or other plays. Teachers and parents can offer advice, such as “This play doesn’t have an ending”, but they should not help with the story line, characters or dialogue.

The play may be any category: comedy, drama, mystery, fantasy – wherever your imagination leads you. The Festival is limited to non-musical plays (but scripts may call for brief music or song as part of the action).

Each play will be read by at least 3 readers. Prizes will be awarded on the basis of imagination and human values as much as playwriting skills. The age and grade of the playwright will be taken into consideration by the judges.

Plays submitted by 1st – 6th graders must be no longer than 10 minutes when read aloud.

Plays submitted by 7th – 12th graders must be no longer than 20 minutes when read aloud.


Plays must be typed. No handwritten plays will be accepted.

Please include a title page that has: the title of the play, your name, address, phone number and your school and grade. Your name and age should not appear anywhere else in the play.

Make sure each page of the play is numbered and contains the title of your play – but not your name.

You can submit your play in one of three formats: A Word document, a PDF, or a hard copy (i.e. , a paper copy).

Email the Word file or PDF of your play AND a copy of the entry form to

If you wish to submit in hard copy, please paper clip (no staples) one copy of the play and the entry form and mail it to:

Dobama Theatre
Marilyn Bianchi Kids’ Playwriting Festival
2340 Lee Road
Cleveland Heights, Ohio, 44118


  1. Keep your play to around 10 -15 pages long.
  2. Having anywhere from two to ten characters in your play is a good thing. The characters can be people (kids, teenagers or grown-ups), animals (dogs, cats, insects), monsters (all kinds), robots, plants (trees, flowers, poison ivy) and even inanimate objects (a television set, a toaster, a washing machine), etcetera.
  3. Having your play take place anywhere from one to three locations is another good thing.
  4. Remember a play is different from a movie.  If in your play a character jumps out of a plane, lands in pasture on top of a giant bull who throws him into a lake that he then swims across: this will be a challenge to put on a stage. This would be something you would more likely to see in a movie.
  5. Remember these are just suggestions and not rules.


Deadline for submissions is March 1, 2017.

Winners will be notified by April 1, 2017.

Festival performance dates are June 2-4, 2017.

For more information on all Young Playwrights' programs, email:


Support for this production is provided by: