Phillips’ Mill Announces Winners of the 2020 Juried Emerging Playwright Competition

December 8, 2020

6 New Short Plays to Be Read Outdoors in June 2021

NEW HOPE, PA, December 8, 2020—It is said that “writers write.” And, during a global pandemic, they apparently write a lot. Possibly the most inspiring, intriguing and captivating work of their lives. At least that is what you might surmise if you were one of the three judges of the 2020 Phillips’ Mill Emerging Playwright Competition.

The juried competition, now only in its third year, attracted talented playwrights from a 100-mile radius of the Phillips’ Mill Community Association, receiving the maximum number of 50 submissions well before the deadline.

The judges noted that while people have been writing more this year, the interest in this competition was particularly strong. “The word is out that Phillips’ Mill offers emerging playwrights an opportunity to have their work critiqued by experienced judges and read by actors in a live setting,” says Valerie Eastburn, chair of drama at Phillips’ Mill Community Association.

“The quality of the work this year was really impressive. We look forward to presenting the work this spring on the picturesque grounds of the Phillips’ Mill in New Hope, Pa.,” adds Judy Halberg. She along with John Augustine and James Schiffer judged this year’s competition. 

2020 Winning Plays and Playwrights

Close Your Eyes – Nick DeSimone, New York, N.Y.

Eye Contact – Adam Richter, West Reading, Pa.

The New Abnormal – Jeff Stolzer, New York, N.Y.

Go Gently Into the Night – J.B. Heaps, New York, N.Y.

Far From Providence – Jim Moss, Branchburg, N.J.

Acts Without Words – Kimberly Kalaja, New York, N.Y.

“It is wonderful to have these plays read on the stage at the Mill,” says Eastburn. “The feedback you get from a live audience is satisfying and instructive to the playwright, and enjoyable to the audience.”

In previous years, the plays were performed in the historic Mill. While the timeline for the return of safe indoor gatherings remains “up in the air,” the committee has determined that this show must go on — and plans a springtime outdoor event.

“I am honored to be able to read the works of so many talented writers. My advice to any emerging playwright is to submit your work to our future competition (and others) and, above all else, keep on writing! Your stories and insights enrich our lives,” says Ms. Halberg.

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The Phillips' Mill Board of Directors wishes you all a joyous holiday season and thanks you for your continued support. In this issue of the Grist, we look back on our accomplishments in 2021, as we also announce plans for the new year.

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Illustration of the Phillips' Mill -Artist: Kathie Jankauskus