Charles M. Getchell New Play Contest

Submission Period

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

About the Award

SETC’s Charles M. Getchell New Play Contest is dedicated to the discovery, development and publicizing of worthy new plays and playwrights. Submissions are accepted between March 1 and June 1, annually. One winning playwright receives a $1,000 cash award and an all-expense paid trip to the annual SETC Convention, where both a critique and staged reading of the winning play are held. The winning play is also considered for online publication and a feature in Southern Theatre magazine.

Click Here to read about the history of the award in an article by Chip Egan in the Winter-Spring 1999 Southern Theatre.

Click Here to learn more about Charles M. Getchell.

2021 Winner

AGATHE by Angela J. Davis

In the spring of 1994, hundreds of thousands of Rwandans were brutally murdered in a vicious campaign of ethnic cleansing that the world would later recognize as the Rwandan genocide. The genocide began on April 6, 1994, with the assassination of the country’s president. As a result of a fragile coalition government, the person who was next in line for the country’s presidency – and who was, in fact, the country’s head of state for less than a day – was Agathe Uwilingiyimana, a university professor by training and an advocate for women and girls’ education.

Although she is often omitted or mentioned only in passing in accounts of the Rwandan genocide, and although her voice was literally silenced by the extremists’ takeover of the central radio towers in the hours before her assassination, Agathe Uwilingiyimana was the country’s true president during the first 14 hours of the Rwandan genocide and accomplished a miracle during one of the darkest moments in modern history: the survival of her five children as well as her spirit.

About the Playwright:

Angela J. Davis is the author of The Spanish Prayer Book (The Road Theatre Company, 2019-20 Season; L.A. Times Best Bet), AGATHE (an official selection for the 2020 New American Voices Festival at The Landing Theatre as well as this year’s Getchell’s Award recipient), Clara and Serra and The Talking Bear (commissioned as a radio play by the Antaeus Theatre Company and soon to be presented in visual format by Playhouse Creatures – NYC) and other plays. Named the 2020 Honoree Playwright by PlayFest Santa Barbara, 2020 recipient of the Playhouse Creatures (NYC) J.R. Rodriguez Award, a three-time Eugene O’Neill semi-finalist and one of the top 21 for the Moss Hart and Kitty Carlisle Hart New Play Initiative, her work has been performed and/or is forthcoming at Playhouse on the Square, The Road Theatre Company, Playhouse Creatures, The HRC Showcase Theatre, Chameleon Theatre Circle, The Dayton Playhouse, The Landing Theatre, and elsewhere. Her poetry and prose pieces appear in numerous publications, including a University of Iowa Press anthology, and her playwriting is also forthcoming in the 2021 Smith and Kraus anthology of Best One-Act Plays. She holds degrees from Stanford and UCLA and is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America, PEN America, and the Antaeus Theatre Company Playwrights Lab. More about Angela at

Past Winners

Play Title
2021 Angela J. Davis AGATHE
2020 Rachel Bykowski 28 Light Years From Now
2019 Mark Cornell The Other Half
2018 Sean Michael McCord Moving
2017 W.L. Newkirk Miss
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


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