static image of poster reads: Nuevas Voces, a 10-minute play festival & contest, founded by Jim Blair

Founded in Fall 2017 by alumnus and former Northeastern professor Jim Blair to create a platform at Northeastern Illinois University for new playwrights, Nuevas Voces is a thrilling launch point for new work from NEIU and its vibrant community. Featuring multiple prize-winning short plays selected from an extensive competition, Nuevas Voces reveals the complexity of our human experience through the many lenses that make up Northeastern.

Jim Blair also teaches a playwriting workshop each spring through NEIU's Office of Community & Professional Education.

4th Annual Nuevas Voces 10-Minute Play Festival, April 2021

Performance premiere: April 15 via CMT Department YouTube Channel
Director: Leslie Hull

Prize-Winning Plays:

  • 1st Place: Sean Carey (M.A. '19 Communication, Media and Theatre) for "Departure, Initiation, Return. The Bus" - Prize of $250
  • 2nd Place: Raeghan Draper (CMT major) for "Under Par" - Prize of $200
  • 3rd Place: Charles Sipps (CMT major) for "Chekov's Potato" - Prize of $150
  • Honorable Mentions, $50 prize each:
    • Emily Maso and Raúl Dorantes' play "El Tres Laredos"
    • Michael Maura (Studio Art major and African and African American Studies minor) "Somethin' Somethin'"
    • Ata Younan (B.A. '19 Communication, Media and Theatre) "The United Statesian Nightmare"

5th Annual Playwriting Contest for the October 2021 Nuevas Voces Festival

The October 2021 Nuevas Voces Ten-Minute Play Festival, the winners are:

  • 1st Place, Prize of $250: "Oh Snap!" by Alex Chicas, B.A., NEIU CMT 2020
  • 2nd Place, Prize of $200: "Scared" by Wyn Thomas, Greater Community
  • 3rd Place, Prize of $150: "The Better Life" by Mara Galeno, Current NEIU CMT major and Marketing minor

We look forward to producing their work at Stage Center Theatre. We also have three Honorable Mentions, listed alphabetically by author's last name, that will also be honored at the festival during the certificate ceremony:

  • "Holiday Plans" by Brenda Gilmore, Greater Community
  • "6 Feet" by Mary Kroeck, M.A., NEIU CMT 2016
  • "The Right Decision" by Zaria McDonald, Current NEIU English major and Theatre minor

Specific dates and times for the October 2021 Nuevas Voces Festival are forthcoming.

6th Annual Playwriting Contest for the Fall 2022 Nuevas Voces Festival

Submission Deadline: Feb. 1
Winners Announced: March 31

Entry Categories

  • Current high school students in Illinois
  • Current NEIU or other college students in Illinois, ages 17-28 (full- or part-time)
  • NEIU and the greater community, age 29+. Must be an Illinois resident.

Sign Up

  • A $15 sign-up fee will be required unless you are enrolled in Jim Blair's non-credit Playwriting Workshop, or enrolled in the Department of Communication, Media and Theatre's Playwriting course.

 Sign Up

Submission Information

Submission Requirements

Play Requirements

  • The cast may not exceed five actors.
  • Make sure you time your play so that it is 10 minutes or less. Longer plays cannot be considered for performance.
  • Please include translations if any of your dialogue is in a language other than English.
  • Your play will not be considered if it has already receive recognition through a professional premiere.


  • The Nuevas Voces: A 10-Minute Playwriting Contest and Festival will consider only original work.
  • Submitted plays that are based on any other published work, including but not limited to novels, short stories, films, teleplays, other theatrical scripts, etc., unless also written by the submitting author(s), are ineligible.
  • Judges will make final production decisions based on the quality of the work and practicality of production, and such decisions shall be final. 

The 2022 Nuevas Voces judges are:

  • Sarah J. Fabian, M.F.A.: CMT Department Assistant Professor and Managing Director of Stage Center Theatre
  • Adam Goldstein, M.F.A.: CMT Department Assistant Professor and Artistic Director of Stage Center Theatre
  • TBA

Past Contest Winners!

October 2020 Winners

First Place: Sean Carey, "Departure, Initiation, Return. The Bus."
Second Place: Raeghan Draper, Under Par"
Third Place: Charles Sipps, "Chekov's Potato"
Honorable Mentions: Emily Maso & Raúl Dorantes, "El Tres Laredos;" Michael Maura, "Somethin' Somethin;" Ata Younan, "The United Statesian Nightmare"

October 2019 Winners

First Place: Shannon Naylor, "The Fear of the Little Things"
Second Place:
Emily Feldman, "Live It Up List"
Third Place: Ariel Notterman, "Frosted" 
Honorable Mention: James Jarvis, "Too True to Be Good" 

January 2019 Winners

First Place: Diego Roman, "Enough" (Current College Category)
Second Place: Ariel Notterman, "Meet Me in the Parking Lot" (Current College Category)
Third Place: Becca Peterson, "A Private Hell" (Current College Category)

First Place: Dan Wirth, "Full Life" (NEIU and Greater Community 29+ Category)
Second Place: Sidney Davis III, "Crisis of Independence" (NEIU and Greater Community 29+ Category)

January 2018 Winners

First Place: Dalton Brown, "Spring Cleaning" (Current College Category)
Second Place: Becca Peterson, "Talking the Talk" (Current College Category)
Third Place: Becca Peterson, "A Private Hell" (Current College Category)

First Place: Felicia Madlock, "Anna's Assumptions" (NEIU and Greater Community 29+ Category)
Second Place: Dan Wirth, "Shed" (NEIU & Greater Community 29+ Category)
Honorable Mention: Mike Palatnik, "An Unusual Bar" (NEIU and Greater Community 29+ Category)