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2023 Sunflower Shorts Festival

The Sunflower Troupe at the Sunflower Theatre in Cortez, Colorado, is pleased to announce the return of the Sunflower Shorts Festival for 2023. 


The 2020 festival ran afoul of the pandemic, but the Shorts were performed in 2021 to the delight of audiences who were hungry for entertainment. Now the Sunflower Troupe is continuing its commitment to playwrights in the Four Corners with a new festival. As before original plays submitted by local playwrights will be showcased in several evenings of six 15-minute short plays.


To be eligible to enter the festival, authors and collaborators must be residents of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, or Utah. All works must be original, i.e., not an adaptation of a longer play or another work.

By March 30, 2023, the six finalists will be selected by a panel of judges. Sunflower Shorts production is planned for September 2023. Recognition will be awarded to the most popular play, which will be determined by audience vote at each performance. The festival winner will be announced on KSJD radio and on social media.


The submission deadline is January 31, 2023. There is no submission fee; entries are limited to two plays per author. Submission guidelines follow below. To request an entry form, email

Submission Guidelines

1. Eligibility—Plays must be the original work of persons who reside in the Four Corners Region (defined here as the states of Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona). In the case of collaborations, the residency requirement pertains to all authors. 


2. Script Requirements

  •  No more than 3 actors; more characters are allowed if actors may double. A list of characters with a brief physical description of each should be included with the submission.

  • Comedy drama. ( No musicals or plays for children. )

  • No theme per se but every play must include the set piece of a window, which must figure in the action of the play.

  • Technical Limitation: Play settings should be simple, suitable for small stage or black box theater, requiring minimal furniture, props and limited technical effects.

  • PDF or Microsoft Word prepared using standard formatting for a stage play. Please place the title of your script and page numbers as a footer on every page of your script.

  • The author’s name shall not appear on any of the script pages, allowing the script to be initially evaluated anonymously.


3. Originality—We seek plays that are new, inventive, fresh, and are not an adaptation of a longer play or another work. Submissions shall not have been previously presented as a full production before an audience of paying persons in any venue in the Four Corners Region.


4. Submissions are limited to two plays per author and must be submitted electronically with the completed submission form. No submission fees required for 2023.


5. Deadline for completed script submissions is January 31, 2023


6. Selection—The play selection process begins with evaluation by a team of readers, who will independently score each play according to their assessment of plot, character, dialogue, language, theatricality and their own emotional response. The plays in the top six rankings will be chosen for production.  Upon submission, the author agrees to abide by the decision of the judges. Selection deadline is March 30, 2023.


7. Auditions will be held (TBD) in late summer 0f 2023


8. People’s Choice Award—Audiences will vote for their favorite play after each performance production. Winner will be announced on KSJD and social media.


9. Performance—Early fall 2023. Plays will be staged as full productions.


10. Submit requests for information and access the entry form by emailing

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