This theater will pay you $25,000 for your Shakespearean fan fiction

Are you a modern-day Shakespeare? Here's your chance to prove it.

Story highlights

  • The American Shakespeare Center is looking for new plays inspired by Shakespeare classics
  • Winning playwrights will get $25,000 and the opportunity to produce their play

(CNN)Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears -- and your Shakespearean fan fiction.

Do you want to become a modern-day Shakespeare, or at least the next best thing? Do you have a great idea for a play about, say, Hamlet's evil twin?
The American Shakespeare Center, a regional theater company in Staunton, Virginia, is looking to stage new plays as companion pieces to William Shakespeare's classics -- all 38 of them.
    "We want to open the playhouse up to the next generation of the world's greatest playwrights by having them write pieces that vibe off of, or are inspired by, each of Shakespeare's plays," Artistic Director Jim Warren announced on the center's website.
    The project, called "Shakespeare's New Contemporaries," is open to all aspiring playwrights and will run for the next 20 years.
    Two playwrights will be selected each year and will be awarded $25,000, as well as the opportunity to produce their play at the center's Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton -- a faithful recreation of original indoor Blackfriars Theatre in London.
    The first two productions will be mounted during the 2018-2019 season and will accompany either "The Merry Wives of Windsor," "Henry IV, Part 1," "The Comedy of Errors" or "The Winter's Tale."
    Eligible plays must meet Shakespeare's original staging conditions, which include a cast of 10-12, minimal sets and cross-gendered casting.
    "Help us build a canon inspired by the greatest playwright of all time," Warren said.
    The Blackfriars Playhouse was built in 2001 and uses Shakespeare's staging conditions, which include the audience as a part of its productions.