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Friday, May 6, 2011

Panowski playwriting award

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The Playwriting Award was established in 1977 by the Forest Roberts Theatre at Northern Michigan University. From 1978 through 1993, the Shiras Institute, a prominent Upper Michigan philanthropic fund, participated in this event, which was known as the Shiras Institute/Forest Roberts Theatre Playwriting Award. Beginning with the fourteenth annual competition, Dr. James A. Panowski, director of the Forest Roberts Theatre, has provided financial assistance for the competition in memory of his parents, Albert and Mildred Panowski. In 1993, Dr. Panowski became the sole benefactor of the competition, which now bears the name of his parents. The award is designed to encourage and stimulate artistic growth among educational and professional playwrights. It provides students and faculty the unique opportunity to mount and produce an original work on the university stage. The playwright will benefit from seeing the work on its feet in front of an audience and from professional adjudication by guest critics.


Each play will be read and judged by members of a screening committee. Semi-finalists will be read by a select departmental committee and finalists will be judged by an undergraduate and graduate theatre student, the director, the designer, a playwriting instructor and an at-large play reader.


~ $2,000 cash award to the winning playwright.

~A fully-mounted production during the following year’s theatre season.

~ The winning playwright will be flown to Marquette to serve as Artist-in-Residence the week of the show.

~ The production of the winning play may be entered in the American College Theatre Festival competition.

~ Room and board will be provided.

~ Classroom and media appearances, along with conducting seminars and workshops will be part of the residency.

~ The winning playwright may be asked to participate in a script development workshop, working with a professional dramaturge, the director, and an assembled cast.

Transportation, room and board will be provided.

Winning Playwright

Northern Michigan University has the right to produce the play for five performances, as part of the theatre season and for any additional performances if entered in the American College Theatre Festival.

Northern Michigan University has the right to use the name of the play and the author's name in publicity and promotion.

Northern Michigan University has the right to negotiate with the playwright for future productions of the work.

In the event of all subsequent publications or productions of the winning manuscript (or versions thereof), and as one of the stipulations of the award, the author agrees to indicate in a footnote or in the playbill that the script won the Mildred and Albert Panowski Playwriting Award by the Forest Roberts Theatre at Northern Michigan University.

Northern Michigan University will not make any additional claims to the use of the script.

The winning playwright is ineligible to enter future playwriting competitions at Northern Michigan University.

The Forest Roberts Theatre reserves the right to video tape the production for archival purposes and/or the Kennedy Center/ American College Theatre Festival

Playwriting Competition Rules

1. There is a broad theme selected each year for the competition that entries for that year must adhere to. There is no restriction to style.

1.2. Theme:

The Panowski Playwriting Competition theme for entries submitted during 2011-2012 is “environmental issues.” This includes but is not limited to sustainability, climate, biodiversity, conservation, natural disasters, environmental health, natural resources and resource depletion, population effects, land use, energy, etc.

2. The competition is open to any playwright, but only one play per playwright may be entered per year.

3. Entries must be original, full-length plays or musicals. They also may be co-authored, based upon factual material or an adaptation. The applicant must be the owner and controller of the copyright. The legal clearance of materials not in the public domain is the full responsibility of the playwright.

4.One-act plays and works previously entered in playwriting competitions sponsored by Northern Michigan University are ineligible.

5. Submission is restricted to plays that have not been previously produced or published.

6. No revisions will be accepted once a script has been submitted.

7. No written or oral critique will be given on plays submitted.

8 .Entries may be submitted starting February 15, 2011 must be received no later than September 1, 2011 to be considered for the current theme. The Winner will be announced in December.

9. Northern Michigan University reserves the right to accept or reject any play entered in the contest.

10. Paper scripts must be securely bound within a notebook, cover or folder and clearly identified. All entries must be accompanied with a synopsis, unbound from the script, of no more than one page. Scripts bound with staples or fasteners are not acceptable. They must be either typewritten or word processed. Entries not meeting these criteria will be disqualified.

11. By submitting a paper copy of the script the playwright agrees to allow their work to be scanned into a PDF.

12. Each paper script must be accompanied with a stamped, self-addressed envelope and a 3 X 5" index card with:

City, State & ZIP
Area Code & Phone Number
E-mail Address

Index card should be paper-clipped to the script!


13. Paper entries not accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope with sufficient postage will not be returned.

14. All entries will be handled with extreme care, but Northern Michigan University cannot assume responsibility for lost or damaged scripts. It is suggested that playwrights retain copies of their scripts.

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