But we are more than genteel or civilized

We are an idea in the process of being realized

We are young, we are cultures strung together then woven into a tapestry

And the design is what makes us more than the sum totals of our history

Shane Koyczan

"We are More"

After the wild success of our 2017 inaugural year, and our continued growth in 2018 and 2019, the NNPF is back for our fourth season, celebrating our country’s diverse voices and regional perspectives.

The Newmarket National Ten-Minute Play Festival, located in Newmarket, Ontario (also known as The Newmarket National Play Festival) puts the emphasis on “New” and “Market,” hearkening back to the early 1800’s when traders came to the “new market” along the Holland River instead of making the long journey down to York [Toronto]—the “old market.”  In that spirit, the NNPF offers artists from across this great country a national “new market” for their stories, and a national stage for their regional perspectives.


Twenty-four original ten-minute plays are packaged into four “pods” of six shows playing at Newmarket's newly refurbished Old Town Hall Theatre.  Plays are selected from submissions sent in from across the nation and from Canadian writers living around the world.  Cash awards are presented to the top three plays submitted.

The 2020 festival runs seven days, July 20th-26th and will feature all the extra programming festival-goers loved last year and some new surprises.  


Only 40 minutes north of Toronto, Newmarket is easily accessible by public transit or private vehicle.  Following two weeks after Toronto's Fringe Festival, the NNPF is a summer staycation event that satisfies the public’s ongoing craving for fresh, innovative entertainment.

Festival goers have a selection of pods to choose from on weekdays and can see all four pods on each day of the weekend.  Pricing is $20  per pod.

Ten-minute plays are not “sketches.”  They demand, just like full length plays, fully realized characters that make us laugh and weep, and stories that touch us to the core of our being.  The challenge to the playwright is to create a world in 600 seconds that keeps each audience member fully committed to the truth of the story being told.

For more information concerning the Newmarket National Ten-Minute Play Festival, play submission, auditions, volunteering, and more, please check out the other pages on this site.  

Specific questions or interview requests should be directed to the festival’s Artistic Director, Michael Halfin, at connect@nationalplayfestival.ca  or by phone at 905-953-5106.