METLab: Plays in Progress 2020

About METLab:

About METLab:

METLab is an arts program committed to the development of new and original work from local playwrights and performance artists. A sub-organization of the Maryland Ensemble Theatre, METLab is dedicated to cultivating audience outreach, community discussion, and new play development in Frederick, MD.

Submission Deadline: January 10, 2020

Festival Dates: March 9-22

About the Plays in Progress Festival:

The Plays in Progress Festival is a two-week long event showcasing new works from playwrights local to the Mid-Atlantic region.
Submissions to the METLab 2019 Plays in Progress Festival will be considered for the following Festival Events:

Workshop Series:

Each year, three scripts are chosen from among the year’s submissions to be featured in a staged reading performance series. Playwrights and their works are paired with a professional director, stage manager, dramaturg, and cast of actors. The cast and crew curate and workshop the script while discussing the piece — and the process culminates in two staged readings, open to the public. Following each staged-reading, there will be a guided post-show discussion with the audience in which the playwright garners feedback, reactions, and suggestions. The playwrights have the opportunity to implement edits, additions, and rewrites to their script before regrouping with the cast and crew for a second staged reading. After the second staged reading, there will be an additional post-show discussion in which the playwright may conclude how their changes to the script were received by the audience.

Coffee House:

In addition to the Workshop Series, METLab will host an evening of short play readings. Scripts chosen for the Coffee House will benefit from hearing their piece read aloud by professional actors in front of an audience and will receive one rehearsal, led by a director. Each short play selected in the Coffee House series should observe a reading time of no longer than 20 minutes.


Submission Guidelines:

  • Scripts with 8 or less actors are preferred. Roles may be double cast if a script requires more than 8 actors.
  • Musicals will be accepted for consideration. As a staged-reading series, the composer will be responsible for the music – either by submitting tracks or by playing accompaniment themselves. Please submit a recording or three sample songs with script submission. Cast size requirements are the same for musical entries (8 or less actors).
  • Submissions for the Coffee House Readings must read no longer than 20 minutes.
  • Submission must display clear and consistent formatting.
  • Script files must be either .doc, .docx, .rtf, .pdf, or .celtx
  • Playwright must currently reside in or be from the “Mid-Atlantic” (approx.: MD, DC, WV, VA, PA).
  • Playwright must be available in Frederick, MD for the entire span of the festival (including rehearsals) which run March 9-22, 2020
  • Housing is generally not available, though inquiries may be made upon acceptance and request.
  • Selected playwrights shall be responsible for selling twelve (12) tickets to the festival. Ticket sales will be used to provide stipends for participating artists, including the playwrights themselves.
  • Only ONE submission per playwright, please. Should a playwright submit more than once, the first entry will count as a submission and the other(s) will not be considered for entry.
  • Please include the entire script in your entry — partial scripts and excerpts will not be considered.
  • Accepting online submissions only.

For entries and submissions of plays to MetLab

  • Accepted file types: doc, docx, pdf, txt, celtx, Max. file size: 512 MB.
  • Accepted file types: mp3, wav, Max. file size: 512 MB.

Maryland Ensemble Theatre