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Woolly Mammoth x Black List Playwriting Commission


The Black List has reopened submissions for the Woolly Mammoth x Black List Playwriting Commission. The recipient of this partnership will receive a $10,000 grant for the commission of a new play.

Woolly Mammoth’s mission is to produce courageous and invigorating new work to radically redefine theatre as a catalyst for an equitable, creative, and engaged society. In an effort to carry out their mission, Woolly Mammoth looks for artists with original voices who are experimenting in form or content and asking big questions.  

Writers are invited to submit a play or musical for consideration by uploading it directly to The Black List website. Submissions will be accepted until midnight on April 2, 2023. Only plays and musicals will be considered for this opportunity. Please do not submit feature film and one-hour or half-hour pilot scripts.

Up to 15 writers will be invited, based on the strength of their plays and/or musicals as determined by the Black List, to submit additional materials, including a professional resume and a personal statement. From those submissions, select writers may be chosen to interview, via Zoom, and up to one writer will be selected to receive the commission.

If you submitted work during the initial submission window for this Commission, we kindly request that you do not re-submit the same script.

What Makes A “Woolly” Play?

  • Woolly Mammoth appreciates heightened theatricality through energetic language or innovative narrative structures. They are interested in challenging or provocative subject matter with a preference for comedy or irony.  
  • Woolly Mammoth tends to not be drawn to work that is earnest or overly sentimental. They tend not to be drawn to work that lives primarily in realism and traditional narrative structures. Woolly doesn’t really do “living room plays”–unless they are the bonkers version of that. 
  • Woolly Mammoth acknowledges the spectrum in which courageous and innovative work can fall on between playing with content, style, and aesthetics. The two pillars of the work done at Woolly Mammoth are artistic innovation and civic provocation, and by that they mean what is the question or subject that needs to be discussed or have light shined on it that is not being addressed–or in other words, what is the mammoth in the room that we avoid talking about because it is new or controversial or  uncomfortable -- “Woolly”  plays have a balance of these two elements. 


  • Submissions Open - October 27, 2022
  • Evaluation Purchase Deadline - March 2, 2023
  • Submission Period Deadline - April 2, 2023


Woolly Mammoth creates badass theatre that highlights the stunning, challenging, and tremendous complexity of our world. For over 40 years, Woolly has maintained a high standard of artistic rigor while simultaneously daring to take risks, innovate, and push beyond perceived boundaries. One of the few remaining theatres in the country to maintain a company of artists, Woolly serves as an essential research and development role within the American theatre. Plays premiered here have gone on to productions at hundreds of theatres all over the world and have had lasting impacts on the field. Co-led by Artistic Director Maria Manuela Goyanes and Managing Director Emika Abe, Woolly is located in Washington, DC, equidistant from the Capitol Building and the White House. This unique location influences Woolly’s investment in actively working towards an equitable, participatory, and creative democracy.

Woolly Mammoth stands upon occupied, unceded territory: the ancestral homeland of the Nacotchtank whose descendants belong to the Piscataway peoples. Furthermore, the foundation of this city, and most of the original buildings in Washington, DC, were funded by the sale of enslaved people of African descent and built by their hands.