Innovative Playwriting Instruction Award

About the Award

Each year, SETC honors a high school teacher for innovation in teaching playwriting as part of their curriculum, regardless of discipline. For example, a lesson plan where students write monologues in the voice of an historical character figure for a history class or a short play on molecular adhesion in a science class would be eligible for recognition as would a formal course in playwriting. Key factors are quality of instruction, philosophy behind the use of playwriting instruction in the classroom, and successful realization of student work. Teachers may nominate themselves.


Nominations for the Innovative Playwriting Instruction Award are accepted between March 1 and June 1, annually. The winner will be announced in November.

Nominations are now open:

Nominees will be asked to submit a description of their innovative teaching, their CV, and two letters of recommendation from those familiar with their teaching (one such letter can be from the nominator). Nominators are encouraged, where appropriate, to include samples of student work in support of the nomination. The Chair of the Innovative Playwriting Instruction Award Committee and a panel of advisers will review all nominations.

The winning high school teacher will be recognized during the award ceremony of the annual SETC Convention and will receive funding for travel, accommodations, convention registration, an award banquet ticket, a one-year membership in SETC, and a cash award in the amount of $250. The winning teacher must agree to attend the upcoming SETC Convention (typically held in late February / early March) to be eligible to receive the award.

More Information

If you have any questions, please contact us by emailing

2022 Winners

Two winners were selected in 2022!

David Dvorscak

David Dvorscak has been a theatre teacher for thirty-seven years with passions for collaborations, new plays, directing, physical theatre, stage combat and lighting design.   After earning his graduate degree in Acting and Directing at UNCG, his career has taken him from six years of teaching theatre at St Andrew’s-Sewanee School, to fourteen years as both Department Chair at Hollins University and artistic/teaching staff at Mill Mountain Theatre, to his current position as a one-person, high school theatre department at Carolina Day School in Asheville, NC.  Along the way, David served as a guest director for three summers at Interlochen Arts Camp, as an ACTF adjudicator for a dozen years, and as an actor and fight director for numerous shows and companies.  David devised his first theatre piece with his first high school one-act class at Saint Andrew’s-Sewanee School, starting a journey that continues to this day. Since that time, David has devised over thirty plays with students and shepherded seven student-written shows to production – including Family Portrait – a multi-stage, outdoor musical staged last spring during the height of the pandemic.  He has also created a dozen adaptations of existing works and penned three plays of his own – one of which he performed at the New York International Fringe Festival in 2004.  As a director, David is committed to Viewpoints technique as the foundation for theatre collaborations and productions.  For the past thirteen years at Carolina Day School, David has also led the cross-disciplinary, cross-divisional, Synesthesia Project as a way to foster creative expression and build community.

Jenny Goodfellow

Jenny Goodfellow currently serves as the Director of Theatre for Charlotte Country Day School in Charlotte, North Carolina. Prior to joining Country Day, she served as the Education Enrichment Coordinator for the Children’s Theatre of Charlotte. Mrs. Goodfellow received an M.A. in Theatre Education from New York University and a B.S. Ed. degree in Theatre Education from Columbus State University. In addition, she was one of twenty-five educators from across the United States selected to participate as a Directing Fellow from The Juilliard School. Her Publishing credits include:  Heuer Publishing, Eldridge Plays, and Theatrefolk Drama Teacher Academy.  “Mrs. G” as she is affectionately known by her students,  has been recognized as an outstanding director for the High School Play Festival in North Carolina and Outstanding Director for the 2019 Secondary Theater Festival at the Southeastern Theater Conference. When she is not in rehearsal, she enjoys spending time with her husband, two children, and her dog, Molly.

Past Winners

2020 – Joe Sendek
2019 – Riley Braem
2018 – Kimberly Patterson
2017 – Stacy “Alea” McKinley
2016 – Darlene Freemon
2015 – Bill Leavengood


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