Last February, the very first edition of Shakespeare is dead – contemporary playwriting festival in Leuven (B) presented over 20 new plays from around the globe to an international professional audience.

In March 2023 Shakespeare is dead travels to Amsterdam (NL) and focuses on dutch language female playwrights.

In February 2024 Shakespeare is dead will return to Leuven for another international festival.

For this 2024 edition we’re looking for new voices to be heard. So, we’ve got two questions for you.

First of all. If you would like to introduce one playwright from your country or mother tongue into the Dutch-speaking world, who would that be? Why, and with which play?

Second. If you would like to introduce one international playwright from around the globe into the Dutch-speaking world, who would that be? Why, and with which play?

You can answer the questions quickly and intuitively, you can also think about it for a moment. It is important that the authors you mention are still alive and working, so that we can invite them to the festival.

We ask these questions to theatre professionals worldwide. A selection committee will then consider all the nominated authors and plays and make a selection of 10 international playwrights. The selected authors will be invited to the 2024 festival, their plays will be presented to an international audience and translated to Dutch.

We hope you will participate in this small survey. You can use it to showcase an unknown talent or put your personal hero forward. Either way, it will help us. If possible, please enclose the full text in your e-mail. The Shakespeare is dead-selection committee will accept texts in English, French or German (original or translations). Texts will not be distributed outside of the selection committee without the consent of the author or publisher.

If you’re a professional playwright yourself, and you want to hand in one of your own texts, please attach a letter of recommendation by a theatre professional to your e-mail.

Send your e-mail (with full text and recommendation) to:

Of course, you are also very welcome at next year's festival!

24-25 March 2023 – Amsterdam (NL)
13-17 February 2024 – Leuven (B)

Thank you very much!


In 2022 a total of 97 plays were submitted, by 74 different authors, from 43 different countries and 31 different language areas. After reading all the plays (in English, French, German or Spanish), a selection committee drew up a longlist of 30 texts, from which these were eventually chosen.

Burkina Faso * Aristide Tarnagda * Façons d'aimer
Canada * Chelsea Woolley * Enormity, Girl, and the Earthquake in Her Lungs
China * Si'an Chen * Underpass
Germany * Maria Milisavljevic * Beben
Finland * Pipsa Lonka * Second Nature
Cameroon * Edouard Elvis Bvouma * Not koko's notes
Kosovo * Jeton Neziraj * Department of dreams
Slovenia * Simona Semenic * We, the european corpses
UK * Jasmine Lee-Jones * Seven Methods of killing Kylie Jenner



International call 2024


In 2023, the Ministry of the State of Rhineland-Palatinate will for the first time award the CARL ZUCKMAYER SCHOLARSHIP to promote contemporary European drama and the memory of the political German playwright Carl Zuckmayer.

The scholarship is addressed to playwrights living in Europe who have already written at least one theatre play that has been staged already. The working scholarship is intended to enable them to write a play on a socially relevant, European topic with financial security. 

Download the call!