Season 34


Stage Left’s Annual National Contest for the WORST 10-Minute Play.

Presented in association with

DrekFest is on a mission to expose bad writing for what it really is: damn funny. We are not out to make fun of writers or those who love them. We are asking good writers to intentionally write awful plays so that we may laugh at them.

We are now accepting submissions for bad, bad ten-minute plays. We will select four finalists to be performed on Tuesday, March 28, 2017 at The CSz Theatre Chicago, 929 W. Belmont. The audience in attendance will vote on the Grand Loser.

To be clear, we want the funny! Preference will be given to scripts that make us laugh. Here are the submission guidelines:

DEADLINE: Submissions must be received by Tuesday, February 7, 2017 (note, this is not postmark date, it is a “received by” date).

Plays must perform at ten minutes or less (remember that stage directions will be read aloud — our favorite terrible plays often exploit that fact). The performances will be timed. Plays exceeding 10 minutes will be ended with the sound of an annoying buzzer and action will be stopped immediately. Seriously. Keep it short.

Maximum of 5 actors per script (however, write as many characters as you please).

There are no limitations on genre or subject matter. Even though Stage Left’s mission is to inspire political and social debate, we know that bad writing knows no genre, so don’t worry about adhering to the mission for this contest.

We will be using a blind submission process. Please include the following materials with your submission:

  • A cover letter on a separate sheet of paper, included in the envelope with your play (or as a separate attachment, if emailing). Envelopes and emails will not be opened by judges, only by non-judge staff members. List your contact info, including name, phone, email & street address on your cover letter. Cover letter should include your availability to be in Chicago on August 16, 2016. You do not need to be able to travel to Chicago in order to send a submission to DrekFest; however, half of the fun is being there!
  • Your resume.
  • Your play(s). Do NOT include your name, by-line or contact info on the play itself. If mailed, plays must be clipped or bound in such a way that the pages can be easily separated for copying – no spiral bindings.
  • Your submission fee of $10.00 per play (e.g., $20.00 if you submit two plays). All submission fees will go entirely towards the cash prizes awarded to the winners. If mailing, include a check made out to “Stage Left Theatre.” If emailing, you will receive a link to pay your fee online. Credit card payments will have an additional $1 added

A Note About Cash Prizes:

One hundred percent of the submission fees paid go back into the cash prizes. Therefore, the amount of the prizes will depend on the number of submissions we get. In past years, the Grand Prize has ranged from $200.00 to $400.00, and may be less or more as submissions warrant.

A Note About Submission Fees:

As a rule, we do NOT believe in submission fees. We read hundreds of submissions every year and no fees are requested, but Drekfest is a contest and fundraiser. Again, all submission fees go entirely towards the cash prizes.

Please email your submissions to:

— OR –

Mail your submissions to:

Stage Left Theatre

Attn: DrekFest

1541 W. Belmont Ave

Chicago, IL 60657

2016 judges Kris Vire, Chris Jones, and Kerry Reid

Past Grand Losers:

2016: “Mother Goose: The Royalty-Free Jukebox Musical” by Joe Zarrow

2015: “Moths” by Conor Woods

2014: “Dragons in America: A Fantasia on the Theme of How F**kin’ Awesome Dragons Are” by Jonathan Baude

2013: “F*** You Janine: A Play Ruined by My Ex, Like Everything Else in My Life”  by Peter Papachronopoulos

2012: “Abortion Carnival of the Juggalos: by Jake Lindquist

2011: “A Fist Before Dying” by Jamie Campbell

2010: “Man Vs. Carp: An Environmental Tale Exploring Mostly, but not Exclusively, the Themes of Tolerance, Immigration, Conservation, and a General Understanding of the Problems Going on in the World Today” by Jake Lindquist

2009: “SCARECROW” OR SOME SHIT, CALL IT WHATEVER YOU F***ING WANT, I DON’T CARE. A F***ing Harsh Play About Scarecrows and Killing Bitches” by Randall Colburn

2008: “The Frenzied Beating of the Jungle Tom-Toms Once More, Once More” by  Rob Kozlowski

2007: “Wilhelm Ferguson, Nationally Renowned Playwright, in the Midst of the Production of his Holocaust Play The Holocaust, Falls in Love with a Wheelchair-Bound Vietnam Veteran with AIDS, Whose Name Remains Unknown, Like So Many Others Like Him” by Rob Kozlowski