New Partnership Will Give Publishing and Licensing Opportunities to The Black List Playwrights | Playbill

Industry News New Partnership Will Give Publishing and Licensing Opportunities to The Black List Playwrights

Theatrical Rights Worldwide will publish a six-play collection, the first of an annual series, from online submissions.

The Black List has partnered with Theatrical Rights Worldwide on a new, annual collection of plays from Black List playwrights. The published collection will be available for purchase and licensable by schools, community theatres, regional theatres, and more.

Plays can be submitted for consideration via, with six works slated to be chosen for the first volume. The project hopes to continue the series with at least six new plays published in similar collections each year.

The partnership is also working to uplift BIPOC playwrights studying at HBCUs. Up to 50 students from undergraduate- and graduate–level HBCU theatre programs will be invited to host their plays on the Black List website, with writers also receiving two professional evaluations of their work free of charge. Those works will be considered for Black List and TRW's College Commission, which will fill one slot in the Black List/TRW collection annually.

“This partnership with Theatrical Rights Worldwide is another step toward bridging the gap between emerging playwrights and the theatrical community at large, great writers and the professional opportunities their merit demands," says Black List Founder and CEO Franklin Leonard. "Like all of our work, we hope this is a catalyst, an investment in the future of theatre, making sure that the stage, the small screen, and the big screen can be places where every story, regardless of its origin, has the potential to be shared and heard.”

“I'm so excited about this partnership as it’s such an important platform for underrepresented voices in the theatre world,” adds TRW Plays Executive Director Lysna Marzani. “It achieves a big milestone in creating a more inclusive and diverse theatre scene, giving playwrights the chance to share their stories with a larger audience. This initiative not only celebrates creativity but also creates a supportive space where unique voices are recognized and appreciated. Through our collaboration with the Black List, we will inspire upcoming playwrights, motivate them towards embracing their own narratives, and make meaningful contributions to the theater industry.”

Founded in 2005, the Black List publishes an annual survey of the most-liked unproduced screenplays in Hollywood. Their work has led to 400 scripts being produced, earning more than $28 billion at the box office and winning four Best Picture Academy Awards. The group also has several support programs for writers, including mentorships, script development deals, production funds, play commissions, and financial grants. Visit

Theatrical Rights Worldwide licenses plays and musicals to theatres and schools around the world. Initially built on a catalog of musicals that has gone on to include All Shook UpSpamalotThe Prom, and The Color Purple, the company launched TRW Plays in 2020. That catalog includes works by such artists as Martyna Majok, Matthew López, Robert O'Hara, Douglas Carter Beane, and more. Visit

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