Emerging Playwright Competition

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4th Annual Emerging Playwright Competition

The Drama Committee would like to thank everyone who heped make the 4th Annual Phillips’ Mill Emerging Playwright Competition such a success. The juried competition, now in its fourth year, attracts talented playwrights from a 100-mile radius of the Phillips’ Mill Community Association. Readings of the winning plays and a Q&A with the playwrights were read live on stage at the Mill on November 20.

Click Here for photos from the event, and check back soon for information about next year's competition!

A Q&A and Author Talkback followed the readings of the winning short plays.
One of our volunteers captured it on video. Take a look!

Watch Talkback

Matching FunD ChALLENGE

An anonymous donor has offered to match the first $1,000 we raise during our 2021 Emerging Playwright Competition fundraising efforts. Can you  help us meet the challenge? 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

Congratulations to the 2021 winners of the 4th Annual Emerging Playwright Competition:

Dominique Cieri - Branchville, NJ for Blighted

Dominique Cieri - Branchville, NJ for Blighted

Dominique Cieri is a playwright, master teaching artist and member of the Dramatists Guild. She was the recipient of the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation and New Jersey State Council on the Arts Individual Playwriting Fellowship in 2003 and 2009. A graduate of Rose Bruford College in Kent, England, she is the recipient of the State University of New York Chancellor’s Medal of Excellence for Scholarship and Creative Activities. Ms. Cieri holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College, Vermont. Ms. Cieri’s plays have been produced and developed in New Jersey, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Baltimore.

Lynda Crawford - New York, NY for The Wonderer

Lynda Crawford - New York, NY for The Wonderer

Lynda Crawford lives in New York City. Her plays include “Night Shadows — or, One Hundred Million Voices Shouting” (On Women Festival, Irondale, March 2020); “KP 1968” with Peter Reich (Fenimore Arts Museum, Cooperstown, NY, 2020); “The Rewrite” (Emerging Artists Theatre, NYC, 2019, and The Hive, Provo, Utah, 2019); “Rojo Verde” (Planet Connections Festivity, NYC, 2017 — winner Greener Planet Award); “The Audit” (HB Playwrights Theatre, 2017); “Pillow of Tears” (University of Cape Town, South Africa, 2015); “Strange Rain” (FringeNYC-awarded Overall Excellence in Playwriting); “Consumer Behavior” with Gary Kupper (FringeNYC, 2002). Lynda received an MFA in Playwriting in 2001 from Brooklyn College.

Sherry Friedman - Brooklyn, NY for Beware the Kraken

Sherry Friedman - Brooklyn, NY for Beware the Kraken

Sherry Friedman is a playwright, journalist, educator and Fulbright scholar. She studied at NYU Tisch, AADA, Primary Stages ESPA, and Dramatists Guild with Tina Howe. Her plays have been developed/workshopped/performed at Polaris North, Primary Stages ESPA, Garrison Institute, the Cherry Lane, EstroGenius Festival, OutCast Productions Pandemonium Festival, New Perspective Theatre Company Women’s Work Festival and Boog City Poets Theater Festival. Sherry’s articles have been published in The New York Times, Newsday, New York Magazine, TimeOut New York, Writer’s Digest and regional newspapers. She founded the Mark Twain Wonder Writers Workshop for aspiring NYC student writers. A proud member of the Dramatists Guild, League of Professional Theatre Women, Honor Roll! and Polaris North, Sherry is thrilled to be a selected winner in the Emerging Playwright Competition!

Nancy Vander Zwan - Perkasie, Pa. for Northern Lights

Nancy Vander Zwan - Perkasie, Pa. for Northern Lights

Nancy, who has performed in both one-act and full-length plays at Phillips’ Mill and at other area theaters, appeared in a Zoom performance of Lynn Nottage’s “Sweat” for the incoming freshman class of The College of New Jersey. Twice, she has performed at Manhattan Repertory Theatre in one-act play festivals. She has had the pleasure of performing in numerous radio productions for R5 Productions here in Bucks County and in live and Zoom performances for The Playwrights Bridge. This month she is part of an ensemble who will be reading original one-acts written by playwrights in the New Feathers playwriting company, to be held live at Bucks County Community College’s Zlock Theater. Nancy is owner of StagingCraft home staging company and considers her daughter, Jillian, to be her finest production.

Nancy is thrilled that her own work will now be performed on the Phillips’ Mill stage.

Kate Thomas - Brooklyn, NY for The Advocate

Kate Thomas - Brooklyn, NY for The Advocate

Kate Thomas is a Brooklyn-based writer. She is a Kleban Prize Finalist, Jonathan Larson Grant Finalist, and the book writer and lyricist for her musicals with Joey Contreras, “All the Kids Are Doing It” (Provincetown Playhouse, O’Neill National Music Theater Conference Finalist, NAMT Semifinalist, IWU, Tisch) and “Forget Me Not” (New York Theatre Barn New Works Series, The Dare Tactic, Open Jar Institute, O’Neill National Music Theater Conference Semifinalist, NAMT Semifinalist, Tisch).

She was a 2018-2019 Athena Theatre Company Playwriting Fellow & Resident Dramaturge, and her plays include “Dirty July” (Monsterpiece Theater Collective Winner “Best Play,” New York Theater Festival, Athena Reads), “Genuinely Here” (Edge Fest Semifinalist, Athena Theatre Company at Symphony Space) and “Shooting Janine” (Athena Theatre Company at Symphony Space). She is part of the Playground-NY Writers Pool, and received her MFA in Musical Theatre Writing from Tisch School of the Arts.

 Jeff Stolzer - New York, NY for The Eulogy

Jeff Stolzer - New York, NY for The Eulogy

Jeff Stolzer’s full-length plays include “Survivors” (Arts Club of Washington Playwriting Award), “Unsportsmanlike Conduct” (Woodward/Newman Drama Award finalist), “Storage Locker” (IATI Theater Mainstage) and “Paralyzed” (Eugene O’Neill Playwrights Conference semifinalist). In addition, his short play, “Miss Irrelevant,” inspired by the #MeToo movement, was produced at the Pleasance Theatre in London in November 2018. “Miss Irrelevant” is included in “The Best Ten-Minute Plays of 2012” (Smith & Kraus).

His latest full-length play, “Sam and Rick,” explores the unlikely friendship between Samuel Beckett and Rick Cluchey, a prisoner in San Quentin serving a life sentence without parole.

Attend the reading of the winning plays! – November 20, 2021, 7 p.m.

More Info



Bruce & Pat Hamilton - John McDevitt & Helen Tai - Valerie & Rod Eastburn - Sarah Eastburn
Terri and Jon Epstein - Happy & Sam Shipley - Joao & Connie Neves - Bob Woodruff - Dennis Riley
Patrick & Mary Fowles - Cecily Laidman - Mike Peters - Benita Ryan - Carol Church & Gary Wilmore
Gail Rose & Ananta Creative Group - Anonymous Matching Fund Donor

Mr. & Mrs. Edward Fernberger - Gale Sparrow - Tim Wade - Mr. & Mrs. Henry O’Donnell
Patricia Whitman - Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Crilley - Mr. & Mrs. Richard Henriques
Mr. Bryan Fisher - Rita & John Roley - Lisa Vargo - David Hewitt
Betty Benton - Laura & Richard Womack - Pat & Marc Dorio
Mary Walrond Goff - Deborah Oliver - Charlotte Zenidakis


Valerie Eastburn, Executive Producer
Fran Young, Casting & Direction
Program: Rick Goodwin
Technical: Joao Neves
Front of House: Betty Benton, Leslie Crilley, Rita Roley
Physical Plant: Joe Phillips
Art Talk/Sit Down with EPC Jurors: Laura Womack, Jen McHugh
Q & A Moderator: Dr. Wilbert Turner
Betty Benton - Tabitha Dell’Angelo - Cecily Laidman
Kevin Nalty - David Shenkle

ArtTalk - Ananta Creative Group

Judith Hallberg - Kimberly Kalaja - Wilbert Turner

Actors who bring the Script to Life

Tabitha Dell’Angelo
Matt DiMarino
Rick Goodwin
JaQuinley Kerr
Sarah LaClair
Cecily Laidman
Emily Levey
Keith Maliszewski
Tom Metelski
Kevin Nalty
Laura Scotti
Tim Wade
Fran Young

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Meet the Jurors

We are grateful to Judy Halbert, Kimberly Kalaja, PhD, and Wilbert Turner, PhD, for donating their time to make our competition such a wonderful event for the community, as well as an opportunity for aspiring playwrights.

“I advise emerging writers to enter as many one-act plays as they can to get their name out there. Once you do that, it gets easier to say, ‘I have a full-length play I would like you to read,’” says Dr. Turner, who shares his own experiences entering one-act plays in competitions. Read more about Dr. Turner here.

Judith Hallberg

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, she 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, MA.

Kimberly Kalapa, Playwright

Kimberly KalaJa, PhD

Kimberly Kalaja is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter, author and Fulbright. Her plays include “Night Moths on the Wing,” “The Shooter,” and “Acts Without Words.” Her nonfiction works include Reading Games —a philosophical consideration of game theory in the production of Art—published by Dickey Archive Press (2007). Kimberly earned her bachelor’s degree from Scripps College,her master’s degree from The Queen’s University Belfast, and her PhD in Comparative Literature from Princeton University.

Wilbert Turner, PhD

Wilbert Turner, PhD

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.

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Upcoming Events

Don't miss our signature programs and events.

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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”
Christopher Bosse “A Night at the Opera”

Youth Programs

Amanda Penecale “Cliffs in Autumn- Ottsville Pa”

Art Talk

Joe Gyurcsak “Opening Night”



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Illustration of the Phillips' Mill -Artist: Kathie Jankauskus