Charles M. Getchell New Play Contest

Thank you to everyone who submitted work to our 2017 contest! One winner will receive a $1,000 cash award during the banquet gala and an all-expense paid trip to SETC’s 68th Annual Convention in Lexington, KY, where both a critique and staged reading of the winning play will be held. The winning play will also be considered for publication in Southern Theatre magazine.

Submission Period

Entries are accepted between March 1 and June 1, annually. Please review the guidelines before filling out and submitting your application.

2017 Winner ~ [Miss]  by W.L. Newkirk

W.L. Newkirk’s [Miss] was chosen from a field of 43 submissions. A panel of readers who are established in professional and/or academic theatre evaluated the plays.

[Miss] Synopsis:

Based on true events, [Miss] tells the explosive story of Dr. Frances Kelsey’s epic battle with the William S. Merrell Company over the introduction of thalidomide into the United States. New to the FDA, Dr. Kelsey, only admitted to graduate school because she was thought to be a man, is tasked with approving the drug. Concerned about the drug’s potential effect on pregnant women, she refuses. Merrell attacks Dr. Kelsey to force her to back down. [Miss] is about the challenges women face in science, medical malfeasance, pharmaceutical company greed, and the ability of one uncompromising woman to change history.

About the Playwright:

W. L. Newkirk’s recent award-winning stage plays include: East Lansing (Best Play, 2014 Tampa Bay Theatre Festival), 5 to 4 (Best Play, 2015 4 X 6 Fest), In Me(2015 Vigoda Award, Best Dramedy), Suffocation (Grand Prize, 2016 Emerald Theatre Company New Play Festival), and My Strange Journey (Nominee, Best Production, 2016 Pittsburgh New Works Festival). He holds degrees from the Ohio State University and Harvard where he was a John Harvard Scholar and Lecturer. He is a member of the Dramatist Guild.

The Southeastern Theatre Conference advocates experience and education. The annual staged reading of the winning play is followed by an in-depth response session.

Staged reading of 2015 Getchell-winning Helvetica by Will Coleman at the 66th annual convention.

Past Winners

Play Title
2016 Ben Gierhart Another Man’s Treasure
2015 Will Coleman Helvetica
2014 Robert Plowman The Missing Link
2012 Beth Kander Scrambled
2011 Eddie Zipperer Nicolas the Worm
2010 Alice Shen Entitled
2009 Tommy Trull Honeyboy
2008 Richard Aellen Nobody
2007 Don LaPlant Two Body Problems
2006 Dennis Schebetta Obscura
2005 Scott Lahaie Dogfall
2004 Lew Holton Portal
2003 David Blakely Tales of Shoogilly
2002 William Hayes Going South with Phil and Margaret
2001 Alison Pruitt The Trial of Susan B. Anthony
2000 Linda Nell Cooper April Morning
1999 Steve Downs Glossolalia
1998 Sheryle Criswell …Where Late the Sweet Birds Sing
1997 David Davis Five Exits
1996 (Tie)          Kenneth Robins Atomic Field
1996 (Tie) Thomas W. Stephens Miserere, Passing Through
1995 Jason Milligan Walking on the Moon
1994 Bob King Dry Thunder
1993 Jett Parsley Locked Doors and Lightning Bugs
1992 Richard Zinober The House at the Edge of the World
1991 Adam Kraar A Twist of Faith
1990 Andrew Young Sanctuary
1989 Bernard Sabath Father and Daughter
1988 Jan Henson Dow & Robert Shroeder The Golden Dawn
1987 Eddie DeSantis American Subway
1986 Bobbi Evors Another Dimension
1985 Beverly Shatto Song of the parakeet
1984 Pat Kaufman Cookie Jar