Emerging Playwright Competition

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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.

Submissions for the Sixth Annual Competition will be accepted June 26 through August 27, 2023. Check back for details.


The 2022 winning short plays:

Bruce Walsh
Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania

“Counterfeit Truths”
Jonathan Heaps
New York, New York

“Handshake Deal”
Diane Sansevere-Dreher
New Hope, Pennsylvania

“One Word”
Bara Swain
New York, New York

“The Guestbook”
Patti Veconi
Brooklyn, New York

“You Love Me”
Jim Moss
Branchburg, New Jersey


Congratulations to these fine playwrights! The Phillips’ Mill Drama Committee thanks all who submitted plays to this competition. The caliber of the plays submitted to our 2022 competition was very impressive. They told fabulous stories. Plays that were engrossing and provocative. Thank you for sending them to us. We hope to see you next year at the 6th competition. Keep writing!

Meet the 2022 EPC Winning Writers

Congratulations to the winners of the Fifth Annual Emerging Playwright Competition. Each of the six winning short plays will be read on the stage at the Mill on November 20, 2022. 

Here is a little background on each of the talented writers whose work will be showcased that evening:

Jonathan Heaps - New York, New York
“Counterfeit Truths”

J.B. Heaps was a Creative Director at Showtime Sports, where he won five Sports Emmys. In 2021, his play “Go Gently Into the Good Night” won the Emerging Playwright Competition and had its first reading. It would go on to be a finalist for the Kenneth Branagh Award for New Drama Writing and the basis of a short film voted the Filmmaker Favorite in the Chain Film Festival.

Jim Moss - Branchburg, New Jersey
“You Love Me”

Jim Moss has authored seven full-length plays and over a hundred one-acts. His work has been produced in theaters in London, Chicago, Miami, Tampa, Orlando, San Diego, Albuquerque, Seattle and numerous New York off-Broadway venues, including La MaMa Galleria, the American Globe Theatre and the Manhattan Repertory Theatre. In 2018, his play “Tagged” won three contests: first place in Theatre Odyssey’s One-Act Play Festival in Sarasota, Best Lab Works Production at the Pittsburgh New Works Festival, and the British Theatre Challenge in London. This year his play “Zen Pizza” won first place in the Carrollwood Players One Act Festival, and his full-length play “Beyond the Summer of Love” was the winner of the Tampa Bay Theatre Festival.

Diane Sansevere-Dreher - New Hope, Pennsylvania
“Handshake Deal”

Diane Sansevere-Dreher is a book author, playwright, television/film writer and an actor. Her full-length play, “Silver Alert” was a finalist in the 2016 Thomas Barbour Playwrights Award and the Emerging Artists’ New Work Series. It was performed at the HB Playwrights Theatre, New Works Series in 2017. Several other full length and short plays enjoyed staged readings and workshops which she developed in playwriting labs at HB Studio, Primary Stages (ESPA), and with Padraic Lillis. Her full-length play, “Cherry Lane” is currently in workshop development. and she has just completed her television pilot, “Pudgy’s Place.” Diane is a resident of New Hope, Pa. BA/Journalism, NYU; Creative Writing, The New School. *Member Dramatist Guild.

Bara Swain - New York, New York
“One Word”

Bara Swain’s plays have been staged in 200+ venues in 28 states and abroad (England, UAE, Canada, Australia, Ukraine, Ireland). NYC theatres include Urban Stages, Abingdon, Barrow Group, Symphony Space, Metropolitan Playhouse, Primary Stages, Sam French, NY Madness, Gallery Players, Westside Theatre, Artistic New Directions, Planet Connections and T.A.R.T.E. Recent “live” during pandemic: The Plan (Metropolitan Playhouse, East Side Stories Actually, NYC); The Wonder of You (10th Annual Black Theatre Festival, OH and Shawnee Playhouse, PA); Seventy-Seven (Quake Theatre Sparkfest, Bath, UK); Little Black Dress (Ghostlight Theatre, CA); Incorrigible (Empire Arts Center, ND); Temporary (ProEnglish Theatre, National Cinematheque (Kiev, Ukraine); Can You Hear Me Now? (Crafton Hills New Works Festival, CA), Folded (Nantucket Players, MA). Selective awards: First Place Winner, Shawnee Playhouse One-Act Play Festival 2020-21 for The Wonder of You, Standing Ovation Award for I Love Lucy and Can You Hear Me Now? (Smith & Kraus) and City Theatre National Award Finalist for Short Playwriting for Extraordinary and The Hotel Lobbyist (FL). Bara’s plays and monologues are anthologized by Smith & Kraus, Applause Books, Oxford U. Press, and Art Age Press. Since the pandemic, her plays have been selected for 55+ virtual performances, productions and film work in the U.S. and abroad. Bara serves as the Creative Consultant at Urban Stages.

Bruce Walsh - Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania

Bruce Walsh's plays include Grown-Ass Louis, Berserker, and Prospect Hill. Since receiving his MFA in playwriting from Indiana University Bloomington in 2017, his plays have been produced around the country, winning the Heideman Award, the Gary Garrison National Ten Minute Play Award, and the Maxim Mazumdar New Play Competition. Before attending IU, he was a longtime arts reporter and editor for the Philadelphia Metro and City Paper, where he wrote over a thousand features on the many talented, visionary artists of the Philadelphia region. He currently teaches literature and creative writing at Messiah University and Elizabethtown College.

Patti Veconi - Brooklyn, New York
“The Guestbook”

Patti Veconi is a Brooklyn-based playwright, teaching artist, youth theatre director and dramaturg. Her plays are equally divided between ensemble pieces for the adolescent voice and more intimate works that feature older women. She has been produced in schools and theater festivals around the country and internationally and in 2019, Patti won the Beverly Hills Theatre Guild’s national competition for youth plays. Patti is a board member and Resident Dramaturg with The Bechdel Group in NYC (a marvelous group, look us up) and her education includes a BFA in music theater from Virginia Commonwealth University and a master’s degree in educational theater from New York University. She is also president of her block association, an avid vegetable gardener and a newly enthusiastic birder.

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

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John Augustine & Christopher Durang
Betty Benton
Susan & Peter Brussock
Leslie & Joseph Crilley
Tabitha & Steven Dell'Angelo
Patricia & Marc Dorio
Valerie & Rod Eastburn
Terri & Jonathan Epstein
Kathleen & Ted Fernberger
Mary & Patrick Fowles
Pat & Bruce Hamilton
David Hewitt

Dr. Roberta Heydenberk & Dr. Warren Heydenberk
Cecily Laidman
Maria & Barry Middleberg
Connie & Joao Neves
Linda & Jon Paton
Sarah Eastburn & Michael Peters
PMCA Photo Exhibition
Dennis Riley
Miriam Schwartz
Happy & Sam Shipley
Laura Womack & Dick Williams
Fran & Steve Young

*As of Nov 16, 2022. Names will be added.


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 “Drama at the Mill” with Valerie Eastburn & Fran Young: Laura Womack, Jen McHugh
Q & A Moderator: Dr. Wilbert Turner
Advertising: Terri Epstein, Elizabeth Walker

Ananta Creative Group

Judith Hallberg - Wilbert Turner - Sherry Freidman

Actors who bring the Script to Life

Madison Branch
Ed Diamond
Matt DiMarino
Rick Goodwin
Jo Johnson
Cecily Laidman

Kevin Nalty
Laura Scotti
Nancy Vander Zwan
Tim Wade
Michael Weisser
Fran Young

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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”
Barry Good "Thoughts of Those Passed"

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