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.

Thank you for everyone who submitted nominations. The period for submission has now ended. 

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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2019 Winner

Riley Braem

Riley Braem is the Director of Theatre at Northwest High School in Clarksville, TN. He earned his MFA in Theatre for Young Audiences from Arizona State University, received a certificate in Theatre for Young Audiences for Youth with Complex Disabilities from Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance in England, and a Masters of Teaching and a Bachelor of Theatre from Austin Peay State University. In addition to teaching and directing at Northwest, Riley is a teaching artist with Nashville Children’s Theatre, an Adjunct Professor of Theatre at the University of Tennessee at Martin and Nashville State Community College, and an Access and Inclusion Consultant in Middle Tennessee. Riley is also the Chair of SETC’s Theatre for Youth Division.

Past Winners

2018 – Kimberly Patterson
2017 – Stacy “Alea” McKinley
2016 – Darlene Freemon
2015 – Bill Leavengood