Congratulations to playwrite Stephanie Alexander of Newton. Her play, Tulip House, took 1st prize in Union Street Players‘ 2006 Tulip Time playwriting contest. Second Prize went to Letters from Pella written by Pella’s Tom Vander Well, and Third Prize was awarded to From Paris to the Prairie by Sara Kercheval of Montezuma.
The winners were announced at a special reception at the Joan Kuyper Farver auditorium in the Pella Community Center lat night. Members of Union Street Players along with students and faculty from Central College Theatre performed brief staged readings from all three plays before the awards were presented. The three finalists were awarded cash prizes ($600 for 1st, $300 for 2nd, and $150 for 3rd).
This is the second time USP has held the playwriting contest. Tulip House will be produced by USP for the 2007 Tulip Time Festival. Ann Wilkinson, who spearheaded the playwriting contest was quick to mention that the judges were impressed with all three plays and USP will consider producing the other two shows in future years. Pat Moriarity, who was also on the contest committee added that the judges scores were "extremely close".
A total of five plays were submitted to the contest and judging was done by six different members of the Iowa Scriptwriters Alliance. Judges were not given the names of the authors. In fact, until the announcement last night, only one member of the contest committee knew the identity of all five playwrights. Wilkinson is excited about the future of the playwriting contest. She mentioned that two of the judges expressed interest in submitting scripts next time!
USP is proud to be one of the few Midwest community theaters to have a playwriting contest.
Photo: Finalists (left to right) Sara Kercheval, Stephanie Alexander and Tom Vander Well.