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Submissions for the 2019 Season of MACH 33

Caltech Theater and the Pasadena Playhouse announce the call for submissions of new plays for the 7th annual MACH 33: The Caltech│Pasadena Playhouse Festival of New Science-Driven Plays to take place in May of 2019! This year we are opening our call to include playwrights from across the United States

MACH 33: The Caltech│Pasadena Playhouse Festival of New Science-Driven Plays energizes the conversations about scientific, mathematical, and technological questions by staging readings of new, unpublished, unproduced science-based plays. The readings are open to the public and present a discussion with Caltech/JPL scientific panelists after the show. Our casts and crews feature professional actors and directors as well as students and members of the Caltech/JPL community. Festival playwrights have the unique opportunity to work with science advisors from Caltech and JPL and dramaturgs from the Pasadena Playhouse. We are particularly excited to receive submissions from women playwrights, playwrights of color, and playwrights from the Greater Los Angeles area.

The deadline for submissions is November 15, 2018. Send to Associate Artistic Director & Literary Manager of the festival Arden Thomas at

Eligible submissions must meet the following criteria:

  • The playwright must be available to meet with the science advisor, dramaturg, and director before the staged reading in May in person or via Skype or other video-conferencing platform.

  • Full length play

  • Never before published or professionally produced (may have received staged readings with actors on book and minimal staging effects)

  • Centers on science-driven questions (see below for details)

Additional requirements for submission:

  • All plays must be submitted electronically in PDF format only with Title (no Author Name anywhere on the document) and brief synopsis of the play (200-word maximum).

  • All submissions must include an additional PDF with Play Title, Author Name, Date of most recent revision, and Contact Information.

  • In your submission, include a short paragraph explaining specifically how working at Caltech will help you develop the science in your play -- please look at the Caltech website to see if there’s a department that would be particularly helpful for you to work with.

  • Send to no later than November 15, 2018.

What does it mean to be "science-driven"? A science-driven play has a scientific, mathematical, or technological theme, and features some or all of the following elements:

  • The science is integral to the play. Science is not just a background effect, a metaphor, or only briefly mentioned. Instead, the scientific theme directly affects the world of the play.

  • The audience leaves the theater with a better appreciation of how science works, and of our connections to science.

  • The play features main characters who are scientists, mathematicians, or engineers, and whose work drives the play.

  • The science is not science fiction but is real-world science or technology, even if set against a fictional backdrop.

A panel of readers —  from both scientific and theatrical backgrounds —  will choose the plays to be produced at the festival.

Questions? Email Arden Thomas at, or Brian Brophy at