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.

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

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2023 Winner

Amy Patel

AMY PUGH PATEL has been teaching high school theatre for 25 years and has directed over 80 productions, including many student-written scripts. Every semester, she directs a showcase of student written plays, and many students have won state and regional awards for playwriting. She earned her M.A. in Directing from Roosevelt University in Chicago and her National Board Certification in 2018. She currently teaches at James Clemens High School in Madison, AL, and was recently named Alabama Theatre TOTY. She is eager to make future shows more accessible for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and recently directed Shuddersome: Tales of Poe with a cast of student shadow signers which won Best in Show at the state one-act play festival. She is committed to teaching playwriting because she agrees with Margaret Atwood: “A word after a word after a word is power.” When students’ words rise from the paper to the stage, that power is LOUD.

Past Winners

2022 – David Dvorscak & Jenny Goodfellow
2020 – Joe Sendek
2019 – Riley Braem
2018 – Kimberly Patterson
2017 – Stacy “Alea” McKinley
2016 – Darlene Freemon
2015 – Bill Leavengood


We are 110% committed to our constituents, inclusion, and the craft of theatre.