Core Apprentice

The Playwrights' Center's Core Apprentice program is offered in partnership with the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. At least one slot each year is reserved for a KCACTF awardee. Each year the Playwrights' Center will offer fully funded play development workshops for three student playwrights combined with a nine-month mentorship with a professional playwright. Previous mentors have included Pearl Cleage, Rajiv Joseph, Nathan Alan Davis, Chay Yew, Daniel Alexander Jones, and Charly Evon Simpson.


  1. Any current student (graduate or undergraduate) or recent grad from a New Plays on Campus (NPOC) Member School may apply for the Core Apprentice program. Schools will no longer be limited to three students, and there is no need for a faculty nomination, only a letter of recommendation from someone chosen by the applicant.

  2. Recent grads are eligible to apply for the Core Apprentice program up to one year after they graduate. This means that anyone who graduated in 2022 from a New Plays on Campus school is eligible to apply for the 2023-24 Core Apprentice program.


The top twelve to fifteen rated students after the first round of review will be contacted in May 2023 for the full script of their play, which will then be read by a panel of Playwrights’ Center Fellows. The three writers selected for the Core Apprentice development experience will receive: a professional mentorship with an established playwright who will read the student's work, provide career advice, and serve as a connection to the field; recognition on the Playwrights' Center website and consulting opportunities with Playwrights' Center artistic staff; Playwrights' Center Membership for two years; professional development and educational opportunities; an intensive workshop with professional actors, a dramaturg, and a director; a $550 stipend for the workshop sometime between March-June 2024. Applicants do not need to be residents of Minnesota. Past recipients of the Core Apprenticeship are ineligible to apply again. 

“When I think about the Playwright's Center, the words that come to mind are community and artistic family. The Core Apprentice Program is a haven for emerging playwrights to receive support and mentorship as they navigate the professional world of playwriting. The people who work at the Playwrights Center are generous, kind, and deeply connected to the theater industry. They are fully present and want the best for each playwright who enters their space.”
Christin Eve Cato


Core Apprentice, 2021-22

The Application:

Each application will contain the following pieces:

-Application Form (including contact details, eligibility, and optional demographic survey)

-Professional Resume

A professional resume must include details of your work and education in any legible format. This may also include life experiences that are relevant to this opportunity.

-One-page Artistic Statement

This is a one-page artistic statement written by you describing how the Core Apprenticeship (which includes a nine-month mentorship, career development and educational opportunities, and a professional workshop) would be transformative for you as an artist. What goals would you hope to achieve by the end of this apprenticeship?

-Script Sample

Please submit a 15- to 25-page sample of a full-length script you have written. Please include a brief play synopsis and casting description at the beginning of the sample. Be sure your name and the play title are on the cover page. All script submissions must be written only by the applicant—no co-written submissions will be accepted. Scripts for musicals may be submitted by the book writer only. If you advance to the finalist round, you will be asked for the full script, but please only submit a play for which you have a complete, full-length draft. Full-length plays are defined as those that run at least one hour in performance.

-One Letter of Recommendation

Please request a letter of recommendation from a faculty member or other individual who is familiar with your work as a playwright. This letter should detail why you would benefit from a Core Apprenticeship at this time, your strengths as a writer, and areas in which you have room for growth in your craft. Letters of recommendation are due by the application deadline (February 23rd, 2023, 11:59 p.m. CST). You will be requesting your letter through the link below. You may request a letter through the application system before finishing your final application. We suggest that you open your application in Slideroom early and identify the person who will share their letter of recommendation. Please allow 2-4 weeks for your recommender to complete their letter. Letters of recommendation from previous Core Apprentice applications may be submitted. If you would like to use a letter from a previous year, please reach out to Shalee Cole Mauleón at least two weeks before the deadline. 

Evaluators will weigh your application materials as follows: Script - 30% Artistic Statement - 40% Suitability for the program (based on artistic statement, letter, sample, and resume) - 30%

  • The panel will adjudicate your Artistic Statement based on their understanding of where it fits in the trajectory of your career, from student to professional playwright. Articulate your awareness of what is being offered and how it pairs with your goals and readiness to participate.

  • The panel will adjudicate your Script Sample as a compelling exploration of the theatrical form for the stage.

  • The panel will adjudicate your Suitability for the Program based on the potential for transformative experience, your willingness to collaborate within a cohort of playwrights, and how aligned your practice as a playwright/work is with PWC values.

Questions may be addressed to University Programs and Partnerships Assistant Shalee Mae Cole Mauleón at

Note: You will need to make a SlideRoom account in order to apply. If you are a Playwrights' Center member, your PWC login will not automatically log you in to SlideRoom—they are two different systems. If you already have a SlideRoom account, you should be able to access the application using your existing login.

For a video tutorial on using SlideRoom, please click here.


February 23rd, 2023

An information session about the application and Core Apprenticeship was held on Friday, December 9, 2022. A recording of that session is available below.



February 23, 2023
UCP Membership, Core Apprentice
UCP Membership, Core Apprentice
Core Apprentice