Living with Disabilities

The VSA Playwright Discovery Program


Part of the New Jersey Young Playwrights Contest, and inspired by its contract with VSA Washington to teach playwriting to people with disabilities, we are looking for plays written by people with disabilities.  This category is intended to encourage the creation of plays that can be sent to the National VSA Playwright Discovery Program.

The three divisions in this category correspond to the national contest submission guidelines: Primary (grades 6-7), Junior (Grades 8-9) and Senior (grades 9-12).

This is not an exclusive category, students can submit to both the NJ Young Playwrights Contest and the Living With Disabilities Category.


  • At least one author must be a person with a physical or other disability.
  • All scripts must incorporate the subject of disability. A disability is defined in the Americans with Disabilities Act as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of an individual. An impairment is a physiological disorder affecting one or more of a number of body systems, or a mental or psychological disorder. The disability may be visible (e.g., a character who is blind or uses a wheelchair) or invisible (e.g., a character with a learning or developmental disability).  The Playwright Discovery Program criteria states the following: “Writers may craft scripts from their own experiences and observations, create fictional characters and settings, or choose to write metaphorically or abstractly about the disability experience. “

If your play qualifies for this category, please check the appropriate box in the NJ Young Playwrights Application form.

Playwrights Theatre may select one of the submitted plays for performance at the NJ Young Playwrights Contest. For all plays submitted, we will facilitate entry into the National VSA Playwright Discovery Program.