Charles M. Getchell New Play Contest

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.

Submission Period

Entries are accepted between March 1 and June 1, annually. Please review the guidelines before filling out and submitting your application. Complete applications should be sent to

2019 Winner

The Other Half by Mark Cornell

A staged reading of The Other Half by Mark Cornell was held Friday, March 1, 2019 as part of the 70th annual SETC Convention in Knoxville, TN. The reading was immediately followed by an in-depth response session and critique.

About the Play

The Other Half is a love story. It centers around Michelle, a tough, but damaged young woman, and her relationship to identical twins, one of whom she falls in love with. Set in the foothills of the Sierra Mountains in Placerville, California, the play tells its story jumping backwards and forwards over a six-year period.

About the Playwright

Mark Cornell has had more than 75 of his plays produced in theatres around the world. Plays include Sprucehaven B (Frigid Fest, NYC), Two Turtle Doves (Common Ground Theatre), On Pine Knoll Street (winner of AACT NewPlayFest 2020), Bad Thing, Story Road, Theater More Like Baseball, and All the Answers. He lives in Chapel Hill, NC. He has an MFA in playwriting from UCLA.

2019 Respondent

Craig Pospisil

Craig Pospisil is an award-winning playwright and filmmaker. He’s the author of Months on End, Somewhere in Between, The Dunes and Life Is Short, published by DPS. His work has been seen in New York, LA, around the U.S., and in 17 countries, and has been translated into seven languages. His short film January was screened at over a dozen film festivals, including Bahamas, Berkshire, Big Apple, Hollywood Sky and Roma Cinema. He has written more than 60 short plays, including It’s Not You (theAtrainplays), Dissonance (Best American Short Plays 2010–2011), and There’s No Here Here (Best American Short Plays 2014–2015).

Past Winners

Play Title
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