Contract Playwright Needed: University of Minnesota

Project Overview

Orientation & Transition Experiences (OTE) at the University of Minnesota is searching for a contract playwright to adapt and create social justice scenes for the production, Pieces of the Puzzle. This play is performed by student Orientation Leaders, most of whom have little to no theatrical experience, for first-year students entering the institution during each of the 22 orientation dates from June-August. The play consists of 17 vignettes that include monologues, small- and large-group scenes, two dance numbers and two video components; run time is 75 minutes.

We are looking to create a long-standing relationship with the playwright and will look to this person to consult, edit, and create new vignettes for this production. Ideally, we are looking for someone who understands the issues facing current college students and/or has the ability to write content addressing current social justice issues. OTE will determine the topics of each vignette, and the playwright will be responsible for writing a vignette to address that topic.  OTE would provide key themes necessary for each vignette. In 2020, we are looking to rewrite a scene about microaggressions and work with our campus partners to refresh a scene about mental health. We are not looking to rewrite the whole production but to make select vignettes more relevant for students entering the University. Travel to Minneapolis is not expected for this role.

Competitive Pay

Compensation for this contract position will be negotiated for each annual project. The position is not eligible for the University’s benefit plan.



  • September-November: Feedback collection from audience and former cast
  • December-January: Consultation meetings (campus partners, OTE staff, directing staff, playwright)
  • January-March: drafts and re-writes; final script due by March 25, 2020

History of Pieces of the Puzzle:

Pieces of the Puzzle was created more than 25 years ago in response to the 1993 Minnesota State Crime Bill requiring colleges and universities to provide violence and harassment training for new students as they enter college. The U of M chose to do discuss these topics in the form of a play which addresses concerns related to mental health, sexual assault, LGBTQA, microaggressions, peer pressure, etc.


Application Process

Please send a statement of interest addressing what issues you believe should be included in a student life orientation play performed at a Big 10, urban institution along with current samples of your work to Lisa Gruszka, [email protected].

Contact information

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
Lisa Gruszka
Web site

Respond by
Friday, December 13
Posted November 13