1st Place – “Wolves At The Door” by Ali MacLean
Wolves At The Door is a story about a couple - Grace and Gavin, who lost their daughter Lucy in a shooting where she was in the wrong place, wrong time. The shooter, Marc, had returned to work to kill his co-worker in an ‘incel’ styled revenge plot. Lucy was at a dance class in the building next door and was collateral damage. While grieving, Grace is bombarded by a stream of visitors, all who seem to want to exploit her in some manner. A Pastor wants her to convert
and be the face of the ministry. A psychic wants her to connect with her daughter and be an advertisement for her popular practice. A cop who was at the shooting wants absolution. Her ex-husband, Mitch, wants custody of half of his daughter’s ashes. Meanwhile, Grace and Gavin grapple with the harassment of ‘hoaxers’ who don’t believe that Lucy is dead, and their own relationship woes, as one of them wants to heal and one isn’t ready to move on.
Ali MacLean of Los Angeles, CA is an award-winning playwright, TV writer, and actor in Los Angeles. A graduate of the Miami University actor’s program and the LaJolla Playhouse acting conservatory, her plays and writing have been workshopped all over Los Angeles and the UK. Ali’s play She’s Not There received the 2018 John Gassner Playwriting Award and was named 2019 Best Production by She NYC Arts. She was nominated for a Broadway World Directing Award for the same play. Her play Wolves At The Door was a finalist in the 2019 O’Neill National Playwright’s Conference and her scripts have been finalists for the Orchard Project, Pegasus Playlab, Kitchen Dog Theatre, New American Voices, and the Marsha A. Croyle Scribe Award. This Will Be Our Year, her latest play will be presented in the 2020 SHE NYC Arts Festival. Ali was named the winner of the 2020 David Sedaris Humor Writing Competition. She is a member of the Ensemble Studio Theatre’s Playwrights Unit, Antaeus Theatre’s Playwrights Lab, and the Dramatists Guild.
2nd Place – “Hitch” by James McLindon
Hitch is play that addresses many big issues: #Me-too, race, sexual abuse, gender and racial privilege and so on – but embeds them in a very human and intimate story. When Lane, 36, white, picks up a young biracial hitchhiker, Dee, in upstate New York, his casual fantasy of a hook-up is quickly blown up when he learns she is escaping from her mother’s abusive boyfriend. Dee’s initial assumptions about Lane are similarly wrong: far from being a geeky, wannabe ladies’ man, Lane in fact is recovering from a devastating divorce as he drives to pick up his eight-year-old daughter to take her home for the summer vacation. The lies each has carefully told about him/herself to the other begin to unravel: Dee’s father didn’t die in a trucking accident, but rather abandoned her family; Lane’s philandering didn’t end his marriage, rather his wife’s did. In the end, both need to face their demons: Dee, to return home and rescue the little sister she has left behind who she fears is now being groomed for abuse; Lane, to return and pick up his daughter who Dee has taught him is likely heartbroken.
James McLindon of Northampton, LA is a member of the Nylon Fusion Theater Co. in New York. When We Get Good Again won the Playhouse On The Square New Works competition and premiered there in January, 2020. His play, Salvation, was developed at PlayPenn and premiered in New York, Giovanna Sardelli directing, to critical acclaim in the New York Times and elsewhere. Comes a Faery was developed at the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, Sean Daniels directing, was a finalist for the Humana Festival, and was premiered at the New Ohio Theatre by Nylon Fusion. Mr. McLindon’s plays have been developed and/or produced at theaters such as the O’Neill (selection and six-time semifinalist), PlayPenn, Victory Gardens, Lark, Abingdon, hotINK Festival, Irish Repertory, Samuel French Festival, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, New Rep, Lyric Stage, Boston Playwrights, Local Theatre, Telluride Playwrights Festival, Great Plains Theatre Conference, and Seven Devils. His plays have been published by Dramatic Publishing, Smith & Kraus, and Applause Books and produced all over the world including London, Edinburgh, Ireland, Australia, the Philippines, Luxembourg, India, Dubai and Estonia.
3rd Place – “The Draper” by Fengar Gael
The Draper is a story about happenings in the Spindles Fabric Shop in the Garment District of New York, where women appear to be vanishing through folds of fabric. Penelope, a young violinist whose sister is dying, and Siegfried, a window draper and former physics prodigy, attempt to unravel the mystery while falling desperately in love. An investigation ensues, involving a journalist who spreads news of the mysterious shop while Siegfried attempts to prove the existence of folds in fabrics that lead through unseen dimensions to a parallel universe. As their curiosity leads to new discoveries, Penelope and Siegfried realize the entire material world may be in peril.
Fengar Gael of Irvine, California, has had workshops and productions at the Sundance Playwrights Lab, the Utah Shakespearean Festival, the InterAct Theatre of Philadelphia, New Jersey Repertory, the Salt Lake Acting Company, the Moxie Theatre of San Diego, the Athena Project of Denver, the Landing Theatre of Houston, and in New York City: MultiStages, Urban Stages, The Secret Theatre, Turn to Flesh Productions, Project Y Theatre, Yonder Window Theatre, and TRU Resources. She is a recipient of the Craig Noel Award (for Devil Dog Six), the Playwrights First Award (for Opaline), the Wilde Award (for The House on Poe Street) and commissions from South Coast Repertory, New Jersey Repertory, the InterAct Theatre, The Hangar Theatre, and a fellowship from the California Arts Council. Most recently, Sycorax: Cyber Queen of Qamara was produced by the Ego Actus Theatre of New York, and The House on Poe Street was produced at the Detroit Repertory Theatre.
COMPETITION FOR YOUTH THEATRE
Michael J Libow Awards
1st Place – “Superstition Afternoons” by Stephen Floyd
Superstition Afternoons is a story about two eighth-grade boys who find adventure in the Superstition Mountains near their home in Apache Junction, AZ. A gold prospector warns them of danger, eagles attack them in the night, and after exploring a cave, they can't account for several hours of their time. Did Bradley and Travis discover the fabled Lost Dutchman Gold Mine, or was it just a dream?
Stephen Floyd of Phoenix, Arizona has taught bilingual secondary math and English for over twenty years, and was honored to present for the National Teacher Training Institute (WNET Buffalo and KAET-TV Tempe, AZ) in 1999. Winner of two Mensa Owl Awards, he earned the Evans-Lerma-Portillo Scholarship for graduate study at La Universidad de Deusto in Bilbao, Spain. His full-length comedy Hogsquatch was performed July 5-21, 2019 in Phoenix. His feature The Llandudno File won Best Screenplay at the New Cinema Film Festival in Lisbon (June 2020). He is a member of the Dramatists' Guild of America, London Playwrights Workshop, Player-Playwrights Kilburn (London) UK, Arizona Playwrights, and the Modern Language Association. Stephen performed undergraduate work at Arizona State, and earned the Master's Degree in Spanish Pedagogy at Northern Arizona University. He works as Master Carpenter at The Aside Theatre and Set Carpenter for B3 Productions in Phoenix.
2nd Place – “The Casandra Syndrome” by Shoshannah Boray
The Casandra Syndrome, Adapted liberally from Greek mythology, The Cassandra Syndrome is an original play about the next generation of leaders stepping up now to solve the urgent problems that adults can't or won't solve. Cassandra has the gift of seeing the future and the curse that no man or woman will ever believe her. The next generation is the answer: neither men nor women yet, the teenagers of Athens and Sparta can hear Cassandra's dire warnings, and they can save the future. Set in Ancient Greece, full of egotistical and childish Greek Gods, noble and war-mongering monarchs and soldiers, the dapper Paris and savvy Helen, The Cassandra Syndrome is a call to action for today's youth to step up and make a better tomorrow. Inspired by today's outspoken teen activists in the fields of climate change, gun violence, and human rights. An ensemble cast of 25-30, mostly gender flexible or nuetral. Simple, spare set.
Shoshannah Boray of Burlington, VT writes contemporary plays about absurdity in the ordinary, the pull between security and freedom, and the need for courage. Her plays, both for adults and for youth actors, have been produced and staged nationwide, including “Escaping Warsaw” (NYC, Los Angeles); Water People (Best Original Script, Maryland One-Act Festival); “Mensch” (JET Festival of New Plays); The Most Important Thing in the World (published by YouthPLAYS.com); Momo No Kawa: Peach River (for elementary age actors, published by YouthPLAYS.com); Mandolin (NYC, Portland, OR) and Strawberry Moon (VT State Winner, Clauder Competition.) She lives in Burlington, Vermont with her family and works as a teaching artist with Vermont Stage.