The New Works of Merit Playwriting Contest is an international playwriting contest developed in 2003 to bring works of social significance to the general public, works that might not otherwise have the oppor-tunity to be presented.
The contest is a project of Merit Theater and Film Group, Inc. (MTF), a Theater and Film non-profit organization that helps theatrical and film artists develop their craft and present their work through developmental activities, readings, and/or full productions.
Since 2003, we have been providing:
to theatre artists in all areas of theatre.
Playwright Lee Blessing
(A Walk in the Woods, nominated for a Tony Award and the Pulitzer Prize): People are conditioned more and more to look at any entertainment for its surface values, not at the potential to make people question their values. We're far less content-driven than we used to be. We need to use forms of entertain-ment, particularly theater, as a means to look at ourselves.
We, as playwrights, have been given a precious gift. Let us use that gift to create powerful, heart-felt new works that not only entertain, but also educate, enlighten and uplift humanity.
MISSION STATEMENT CRITERIA AND VALUES:
New Works of Merit Playwriting Contest accepts and encourages exciting new works that:
1) Enhance self-realization
2) Support peace and social justice
3) Foster new understanding of minority issues that focus on racial, ethnic and gender discrimination both in the United States and abroad
4) Empower youth to build healthy inner foundations
5) Educate to gain further insight into healthy social/emotional living
6) Shed new light on religious, spiritual, and cultural differences and issues
7) Build respect for cultural expression and identity in a world that is experiencing rapid globalization
8) Explore the widening gap between the values this country was founded on and the values we present to the world today
** While recognizing the obvious intentions in the categories above, examples of the following premise should be applied to all the categories as well:
...A play about the hardships and horrors of war IS a play that supports peace.
...A play that exposes social injustice, without the intent of making a statement FOR social justice, IS a play that supports social justice.
We foster and cultivate personal growth for script writers and other theatre and film artists, which we believe is essential for writing and producing complex, knowledgeable scripts.
Such works benefit the local and global community by enhancing self-realization, supporting peace and social
justice, and building respect for cultural expression and identity.