Charles M. Getchell New Play Contest

Submission Period

Submissions are accepted between March 15 and June 30, 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 15 and June 30, 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.

2023 Winner

A Thing of Beauty by DW Gregory

Mrs. Bouffant is outraged when an anonymous nude takes first prize in the community art competition she sponsors. When she learns the artist is the mailman who is constantly losing her deliveries, she enlists her secretary to lobby the judges for a more appropriate winner, unaware that Imelda herself is the muse who inspired the work. But their joint campaign for decency runs aground when an influential New York art critic arrives in town, hell-bent on sticking a finger in the eye of the elite big city art scene by championing an unknown, working-class painter.

About the Playwright:

D.W. Gregory’s plays frequently explore political issues through a personal lens and with a comedic twist. The New York Times called her “a playwright with a talent to enlighten and provoke” for RADIUM GIRLS, which has received more than 1,500 productions throughout the U.S. and abroad and is one of the ten most produced plays in U.S. high schools. Other plays include MEMOIRS OF A FORGOTTEN MAN, which received a National New Play Network rolling world premiere (Contemporary American Theater Festival, Shadowland Stages, and New Jersey Rep); MOLUMBY’S MILLION (Iron Age Theatre), nominated for a Barrymore Award by Philadelphia Theatre Alliance; SALVATION ROAD, developed through NYU’s New Plays for Young Audiences; THE GOOD DAUGHTER and OCTOBER 1962 (New Jersey Rep). D.W. is currently developing a new musical comedy, THE YELLOW STOCKING PLAY, with composer Steven M. Alper and lyricist Sarah Knapp. More information at

Past Winners

Play Title
2023 DW Gregory A Thing of Beauty
2022 John Mabey A Complicated Hope
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 Scot 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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