Sky Cooper New American Play Prize

The Sky Cooper Prize is awarded annually to either an established or emerging playwright for an outstanding new work that shows a visionary understanding of the theatrical form.

Norton J. “Sky” Cooper established the New American Play Prize at Marin Theatre Company in 2007 to celebrate the work of the American playwright and to encourage the creation of bold, powerful new plays for the American stage. The playwright selected as the Sky Cooper winner will receive a $10,000 cash award, a 25-hour professional developmental workshop for the winning play, plus round-trip travel and accommodations during their stay at MTC. The workshop will culminate in either an invited or public staged reading at Marin Theatre Company. The winning play will also be considered under option for a full production at MTC as part of the theatre’s annual main stage season.


Sky Cooper Prize Guidelines

Marin Theatre Company receives 500+ submissions for the Sky Cooper Prize each summer. In order to ensure a fair and thoughtful evaluation of each submission, we have established the following guidelines:

  • Submitting to the Sky Cooper Prize is free to playwrights. We love you!
  • One submission per playwright per year only.
  • Submissions are accepted from August 6-31, 2019. Due to the high volume of entries, we ask that you submit via our online process only. Please, no email or snail mail submissions; they will be deleted unread.
  • Submissions must be new to MTC. Any submission that appears in a previous submission round for either of MTC’s prizes will be deleted unread, even if substantial changes have been made. (Unsure if you’ve sent us a given piece already? Email MTC literary manager & resident dramaturg Laura A Brueckner and ask: laurab@marintheatre.org)
  • Submissions must be unpublished, unproduced, original, full-length plays in any genre. Musicals, translations, and one-acts are not eligible.
  • Submissions may not have received a full-scale, professional production prior to submission. Workshops, readings, and/or non-professional productions do not disqualify a submission. (Curious if your small production counts as “professional” or not? Email Laura!)
  • Playwrights must be citizens of the United States.

Click HERE to submit to the 2019-2020 Sky Cooper Prize!


Sky Cooper Prize Selection Process

Phase 1:   

Playwrights without agency representation may submit a completed online submission form, including bio and letter of recommendation, and upload 10 consecutive pages of sample dialogue. PDF is the preferred format. Please begin the filename with your last name and include play title: Williams, Tennessee - A Streetcar Named Desire.pdf 

Theatrical and/or Literary Agents may submit a completed online submission form, including bio and letter of recommendation, on behalf of their clients, and upload full scripts of their client’s work. (Attorneys are not considered agents for the purposes of this program.) PDF is the preferred format. Please begin the filename with client’s last name and include play title: Williams, Tennessee - A Streetcar Named Desire.pdf

Please fill out all sections of the online form completely; we will be unable to consider incomplete submissions.

If sending a 10-page sample, please send only 10 pages; please do not submit a full script with instructions on where to find your favorite 10 pages.

Please do not send videos, CDs or DVDs; we will be unable to review or return them.

All complete, eligible Sky Cooper submissions received will be read by a member of the Marin Theatre Company artistic staff.

Phase 2: 

MTC artistic staff will advance especially promising submissions to Phase 2. Playwrights advancing to Phase 2 will receive an email asking for a full script.

From this pool of full scripts, six finalists will be selected and named.

The winning playwright will be chosen from among the finalists by MTC artistic director, Jasson Minadakis. 

Due to the number of submissions, we are unable to respond individually to playwrights not advancing to the Finalist round. 

Questions or concerns? Please email literary manager Laura Brueckner: laurab@marintheatre.org

Please, no phone inquiries.


Sky Cooper Prize Winners

  • 2017 – Antoinette Nwandu, Pass Over (World Premiere, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, June 2017)
  • 2016 - Sarah DeLappe, The Wolves (World Premiere produced by The Playwright's Realm at The Duke on 42nd Street Theater, August 2016)
  • 2015 - Rachel Bonds, Swimmers (World Premiere, MTC, March 2016)
  • 2014 - Dominique Morisseau, Skeleton Crew (World Premiere, Atlantic Theater Company, January 2016)
  • 2013 - Mona Mansour, The Way West (World Premiere, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, April 2014; MTC production April 2015)
  • 2012 - Martín Zimmerman, Seven Spots on the Sun (World Premiere, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, September 2013)
  • 2011 - Samuel D. Hunter, The Whale (World Premiere, Denver Center Theatre Company, January 2012; MTC production October 2014)
  • 2010 - Bill Cain, 9 Circles (World Premiere, MTC, October 2010; subsequent productions in Boston, Phoenix, Los Angeles and Denver)
  • 2009 - Sharr White, Sunlight (World Premiere, MTC, January 2010; subsequent productions in Seattle, Indianapolis, and New Jersey)
  • 2008 - Zayd Dohrn, Magic Forest Farm (World Premiere, MTC, April 2009)