No Refund Theatre Sponsoring Playwriting Competition

No Refund Theatre (NRT), an acting troupe on campus, has announced a new playwriting competition open to all Penn State students called Tell Me A Story. You might know NRT from the free student-produced shows they put on in the Forum building, but the club is looking to expand its horizons in sponsoring this contest.

Tell Me A Story is looking for original, short scripts that will run about 15 minutes when read aloud. The Tell Me A Story committee will review all submissions, and eight lucky productions will be chosen to be performed live by a group of actors before an audience and a panel of judges comprised of students, faculty, and community members.

But hold up, they’ve got some rules for you. According to the competition website, there are some pretty specific guidelines.

General Guidelines:

  • Plays must be under 15 minutes (after a one minute grace period, the play begins losing points).
  • Play must be original (no adaptations, satires, and spoofs are acceptable).
  • Writers are encouraged to submit their own actors, but in the absence of actors, NRT will provide them to the best of our ability.


  • Must be submitted electronically as a PDF.
  • One writer must be listed as the primary writer so that if they win, we may present the award to that individual.
  • It must be clear which character is speaking which lines.
  • Stage directions must be italicized and in parenthesis on submitted scripts.


  • All writers must be current Penn State Students
  • There is no limit to the number of people who may be listed as writers on one particular play. However, an individual may only be listed as a writer on one submission.
  • No submissions through a proxy are permitted.
  • No judge or member of the TMAS Contest Committee may be listed as a writer on any submitted play.
  • The top three scripts will be awarded monetary prizes between $50 and $500, and have the chance to have their piece performed by NRT.

Submissions are due on March 1, and the competition will take place on April 24. For more information and to register for the competition, you can visit the Tell Me A Story website.

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About the Author

Melissa McCleery

Melissa is a senior majoring in Women’s Studies, Political Science, and Spanish. In the little free time she has, Melissa likes to cook, spend all her money at The Phyrst, and add to her collection of blue and white striped clothing. She can be reached via Twitter (@mkmccleery) or email ([email protected]).

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