The Inkwell Theater Development LAB Submission Information and Guidelines

About The Inkwell Theater Development LAB and the Max K. Lerner Fellowship

A unique program in Los Angeles, the LAB aims to bring the writer out of their office, or coffee shop, and into the rehearsal room. While we recognize the necessity for writers to work on their own, we believe that nothing benefits works-in-progress more than artistic collaboration.

The LAB is focused on developing new plays through a collaborative workshop process. We believe that by working in a rehearsal setting with a director and actors, a playwright can best further their plays. Playwrights tell us often how they gained a new insight from simply seeing their work with a cast, not to mention the constructive input from directors and other artists. The LAB gives them that opportunity.

We begin with a writer and their first-draft. During a two – six week intensive process, writers will not only see and hear that draft as written, but will see their re-writes, changes, and inspired ideas come to life. This is first aided by introducing an experienced and versatile director, bringing his or her own unique insights to the play. Mixing in a cast of talented performers only adds to the volume of artistic brainpower being brought to bear upon the play. And pulling the playwright into the rehearsal room brings the whole thing together.

The authors selected for each LAB season are the recipients of The Lerner Fellowship, which provides financial, logistical and artistic support to our playwrights. Max K. Lerner was special council and a senior advisor to the Shubert Theatre Organization for over 30 years. During his tenure there, new writers and plays were strongly fostered, including such pieces as: AmadeusChildren of a Lesser GodCity of AngelsDreamgirlsA Few Good MenGlengarry Glen RossJerome Robbins’ Broadway, “Master Harold”…and the Boys‘night, MotherThe Real ThingSunday in the Park with George, and Little Shop of Horrors.

Max was always a passionate advocate for both new and emerging writers in the theater, and this Fellowship honors his lifelong commitment.

  • Anyone is eligible to submit. There are no restrictions based on age, experience, representation, formal training or union-affiliation.
  • Submitted work cannot have been previously produced. (Private workshops and readings are not considered productions).
  • Commissioned work is not eligible for submission.
  • Previous applicants may re-apply, but only with new material. We do not accept plays that have been previously submitted.
  • Submissions from writers outside of the LA area are accepted, but the writer is responsible for transportation and accommodations (if selected).
  • Please limit your submissions to one every six months
Fellowship Requirements
  • Applicant agrees to grant The Inkwell Theater Development Lab exclusive use of the submitted project, for the purpose of its stated workshop and development process, for up to a two-month period.
  • Applicant acknowledges that the project will be rehearsed/work shopped over a period of two – six weeks.
  • Applicant agrees to provide a “First Rehearsal” draft no later than two (2) weeks after acceptance.
  • Applicant agrees to provide a second draft by the end of the fourth (4th) week of the workshop.
  • Applicant agrees to provide a third draft, for presentation, no earlier then seven (7) days and no later than two (2) days before the final scheduled rehearsal.

If selected for the Max K. Lerner Fellowship, playwrights will be offered a rehearsal and presentation slot during the LAB season as well as a $700 honorarium.
The Inkwell Theater Development LAB will provide a professional team of artists (director, actors, dramaturge) and production support, as well as rehearsal and production space.
For more information, you can contact us at

Submit now for our 2024-25 Season!