Emerging Playwright Competition

Grist Wheel Icon

Annual Emerging Playwright Competition

The Emerging Playwright Competition attracts talented playwrights from a 100-mile radius of the Phillips’ Mill Community Association. The goal of the competition is to encourage new work and bring it to the stage. Every year, six short plays are selected by a jury to be read on stage, with talkbacks with the audience following the readings,

The winning plays of the 6th Annual Juried Emerging Playwright Competition will be read on the stage at Phillips' Mill on Saturday, November 18.

Attend the Reading

Congratulations to the winners of the 6th Annual Juried
Emerging Playwright Competition

“Broken Vessel” by Domenick Scudera
“Hebrew Holy Man” by Peter Langman
“France Is Bacon” by Julie Zaffarano
“We Were Happy” by Jennifer O’Grady
“Clips” by Adam Richter
“An Honest Lesson in Self-Defense” by Patricia Lynn
Honorable Mention: “Trite and True” by Jane Lee

Peter Langman

Peter Langman
“Hebrew Holy Man”

Peter Langman’s plays have received recognition in twelve national competitions in nine states, with readings and productions in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio, Indiana and North Carolina. Seven monologues from his plays have appeared in anthologies published by Meriwether and Smith & Kraus. Langman is also a poet and a psychologist whose research on school shooters has received international recognition. He is most excited, however, about having recently composed his first symphony.

Patricia Lynn

Patricia Lynn
“An Honest Lesson in Self-Defense”

Patricia Lynn (she/her) fancies herself to be a gothic feminist playwright; she writes vivid, witty plays inspired by themes and tropes associated with gothic literature. Her most recent full-length play, “The Maid & the Mesmerizer,” will perform off-off-Broadway at the A.R.T./N.Y. Theatre Spaces in Manhattan in March 2024. Her other plays have been developed at Triad Stage, Manhattan Repertory Theatre, The Parsnip Ship, Hunger & Thirst Theatre, the COVID-19 Theatrical Response Team, and Elephant Room Productions. Patricia recently earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Lesley University. She also has an MFA in Acting from Brown University/Trinity Repertory.

Jennifer O'Grady
“We Were Happy”

Jennifer O’Grady is an award-winning playwright whose work has been performed nationally and internationally, and published in “The Best Ten-Minute Plays,” “Best New Ten-Minute Plays,” “Best Women’s Stage Monologues” and other anthologies. Also an award-winning and widely published poet and the author of two poetry books, she holds an MFA in Writing from Columbia University and a BA from Vassar. Jennifer lives with her family near New York City. (

Photo by Deborah Lowery

Adam Richter

Adam Richter

Adam Richter is a playwright from Wyomissing, Pa. He has written more than 50 plays, ranging in length from one minute to 100 pages. He tried writing novels but prefers dialogue to descriptions. He has not yet learned if stage managers love him for that or hate him for it. His play “Eye Contact” won the Philips’ Mill Emerging Playwright Award in 2021, and his one-act play “Everybody Hates This Place” has been produced by Barley Sheaf Players and the Reading Theater Project. Adam is the literary manager of Reading Theater Project and a member of the Dramatists Guild and the Playwrights Thriving writers group. His website is He will discuss theater, writing and Irish history/music with anyone who’s interested. Sometimes, but not always, this includes his dog.

Domenick Scudera

Domenick Scudera
“Broken Vessel”

Domenick Scudera is Professor of Theater at Ursinus College, where he has been teaching acting, directing and theater history since 1997. He has directed 40+ plays at the college. Professionally, he has directed at theaters such as the Philadelphia Shakespeare Theater, Delaware Theater Company, the Uptown Knauer Performing Arts Center, and Historic Philadelphia Inc. New Hope audiences may recognize Domenick by his drag alter ego, Summer Clearance. As a playwright, he recently finished work on an original full-length play, “The Half of It,” inspired by the life of vaudeville drag pioneer Bert Savoy. Domenick and his two-legged dogs are pet therapy volunteers at area hospitals, including Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital. The dogs can be followed on social media @2legdogs.

Julie Zaffarano

Julie Zaffarano
“France Is Bacon”

Julie Zaffarano is a Philadelphia-area playwright who believes everyone’s lives are made of a myriad of stories. Her work spans multiple genres and forms, and comes alive with varied characters. She especially loves creating strong roles for women. Julie is the founder of the Media Arts Council Play Reading Series.

She is a nationally produced playwright. Her recent recognitions include: Finalist, Terrence McNally Award; Two-Time Semi-Finalist, O’Neill National Playwrights Conference; Finalist, Veterans Repertory Theatre; Best Production, Pittsburgh New Work Festival; Winner, Best New Work, What If Productions.

Julie is a member of PlayPenn Foundry (alum), Dramatists Guild, Ghost Light Dramatists, Witherspoon Circle, Honor Roll, Indiana Playwrights Center, Minneapolis Playwrights Center, Director’s Gathering, and Philadelphia Dramatists Center. She holds two master’s degrees from Villanova University. Find her on her webpage,, or new play exchange,

Jane M. Lee

Jane M. Lee
“Trite and True”
- Honorable Mention

Jane M. Lee lives and writes in New York City. Her work has been performed across the United States, as well as in Canada and Hong Kong. Her short play “Family Emergency” was praised for “fus[ing] the hostility of a Jerry Springer program with the warmth and irony of an O. Henry story.” Her play “Open House” was a winner in the Social Issues category in the Theatre in the Raw Biennial One-Act Playwriting Contest in Vancouver. Her full-length play “Closet Space” won the College of Charleston’s Todd McNerney National Playwriting Award; her play “Good Neighbors” was previously a finalist.

Your gifts, of any size, will help us keep theater alive at the Mill. We thank you in advance for your generosity.

Donate to EPC
Grist Wheel Icon

Meet Our Jurors

We are grateful to Judith Hallberg, Dr. Glenn Steinberg, and Dr. Wilbert Turner, for donating their time to make our competition such a wonderful event for the community, as well as an opportunity for aspiring playwrights.

Judith Hallberg

Judith Hallberg has enjoyed many roles in a long and varied career. She studied costume design and construction with Kurt Wilhelm at Actors Theatre of Louisville and designed for Stage One and Walden Theatre in Kentucky. She was administrative director for the University of Vermont’s Department of Theatre and the Champlain Shakespeare Festival. She’s written film treatments from novels, edited theatrical scripts and, having moved to film and video production, served as a judge for the New York Festival of Short Film and Video for six years, viewing over 5,000 narrative films. Hallberg was a reader for Actors Theatre of Louisville’s 2nd Festival of New Plays, a judge for Vermont Repertory Theatre’s New Play Festival, and a judge for Firehouse Center for the Arts New Works Festival in Newburyport, Massachusetts.

Dr. Glenn Steinberg

Glenn A. Steinberg holds a B.A. from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Indiana University in English with a specialization in medieval literature. His research focuses on the reception of classical and medieval texts in England during the late Middle Ages and Renaissance with a particular emphasis on the evolving reputations of Virgil, Dante and Chaucer from the 14th to the 16th centuries. He has published essays in Medieval & Renaissance Drama in England, The Chaucer Review, Chung Wai Literary Monthly, English Literary Renaissance, the Modern Language Association’s Approaches to Teaching Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde and the Shorter Poems, Refiguring Chaucer in the Renaissance, Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900, Modern Philology, and Forum Italicum. He taught as an Assistant Professor at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, for four years before coming to The College of New Jersey in 1998. He regularly teaches courses in the history of the English language, classical studies, and in medieval and Renaissance literature.

He traveled to Taiwan for a month to learn about Taiwanese culture as part of a Fulbright-Hays grant to develop a course on gender in East Asian TV dramas.

Dr. Wilbert Turner

A native of Brooklyn, New York, Dr. Turner is an Associate Professor of English at Delaware Valley University in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. In addition to his teaching duties, he is the publication advisor for The Gleaner, the university’s literary journal. His specializations include African American literature, adaptation studies, film studies and narrative theory. He is also a playwright, whose one-acts have won playwriting competitions in Colorado, Iowa and Virginia.He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Textual Studies from Syracuse University, and a doctoral degree in English from University at Albany, SUNY.

Grist Wheel Icon

Past Winners


“Brambles” by Bruce Walsh
“Counterfeit Truths” by Jonathan Heaps
“Handshake Deal” by Diane Sansevere-Dreher
“One Word” by Bara Swain
“The Guestbook” by Patti Veconi
“You Love Me” by Jim Moss


“Blighted” by Dominique Cieri
“The Wonderer” by Lynda Crawford
“Beware the Kraken” by Sherry Friedman
“The Eulogy” by Jeff Stolzer
“The Advocate” by Kate Thomas
“Northern Lights” by Nancy Vander Zwan


“Close Your Eyes” by Nick DeSimone
“Eye Contact” by Adam Richter
“The New Abnormal” by Jeff Stolzer
“Go Gently Into the Night” by J.B. Heaps
“Far From Providence” by Jim Moss
“Acts Without Words” by Kimberly Kalaja


“Stating Fish” by Phil. E. Eichinger
“Naked Men” by Vita Patrick Morales
“Upstaged” by Lisa Deangelis & Michael Naylor
“Outside the Coffee Shop” by Ann D’Silva
“Rating the Breakup” by John McDonnell
“Eleanor Brindle” by Rick Goodwin


“The Battery” by Paul Kodiak
“The Most Important Meal” by Caitlin Cieri
“Gulls” by James Brenner
“The Helper’s High” by Tom Frangicetto
“Making the Call” by Gwen Ottinger
“Lost” by  John Weeren

A Look Back

Every year, the six winning plays are read on the stage of the Mill, giving the writers a chance to gauge an audience’s response to their work.
Here is a look back at some of these special events.

Grist Wheel Icon

Upcoming Events

Don't miss our signature programs and events.

Grist Wheel Icon


The Phillips' Mill Community Association supports programming in the visual and performing arts, and hosts social and educational events. It is the broadest-ranging venue for artistic expression in Bucks County.

Sherri Andrews “Paths of Life”
Barry Good "Thoughts of Those Passed"

Youth Programs

Amanda Penecale “Cliffs in Autumn- Ottsville Pa”

Art Talk

Joe Gyurcsak “Opening Night”



Sign up to receive new and updates from the Mill.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form. Please try again.
Illustration of the Phillips' Mill -Artist: Kathie Jankauskus