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Drama at Phillips’ Mill Emerging Playwright winners named, staged readings slated


Drama at Phillips’ Mill has announced the winners of the 6th annual Juried Emerging Playwright Competition.

The winning plays will be performed by professional actors at a staged reading at the historic Mill, 2619 River Road, New Hope, at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18. Admission is free; donations are welcome.

Adam Richter’s short play “Clips” tells the tale of a reporter on her last day at a failing newspaper, trying to find a way to save her job. A resident of Wyomissing, Richter is the literary manager of Reading Theater Project and a member of the Dramatists Guild and the Playwrights Thriving Writers group.

In “Broken Vessel,” Domenick Scudera weaves the tale of two aging and cynical drag queens who argue with each other as they prepare to perform at the bar mitzvah of a young fan. Scudera is a professor of theater at Ursinus College where he has been teaching acting, directing, and theater history since 1997.

Jennifer O’Grady’s “We Were Happy” engages the audience in the memories of two Italian American sisters remembering growing up on the Lower East Side of New York and finding their memories differ. O’Grady holds an M.F.A. in writing from Columbia University and a B.A. from Vassar. She lives with her family near New York City.

“Hebrew Holy Man” by Peter Langman shares the insights of two old men, a rabbi who survived the Holocaust and a Native American who survived the slaughter at Wounded Knee. Langman’s plays have received recognition in 12 national competitions in nine states, with readings and productions in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio, Indiana, and North Carolina.

“France Is Bacon” by Julie Zaffarano shares the story of a dad who wants his daughter to be prepared for the worst but wonders if she hasn’t already gone through the worst. Zaffarano is the founder of the Media Arts Council Play Reading Series in Media, as well as a nationally produced playwright. She holds two Master’s degrees from Villanova University.

In “An Honest Lesson In Self-Defense,” Patricia Lynn’s protagonist, Missy, needs to learn self-defense ... fast ... by tomorrow night ... before her husband’s big, fancy charity ball. Lynn’s most recent full-length play, “The Maid & the Mesmerizer,” will be performed off-off-Broadway at the A.R.T./N.Y. Theatre Spaces in Manhattan in March.

Jane M. Lee’s “Trite and True” (honorable mention) explores what happens when a commuter experiences an unexpected encounter in a subway station. Lee lives and writes in New York City. Her work has been performed across the United States, as well as in Canada and Hong Kong.

Commenting on the plays selected, 2023 jurist Wilbert Turner said, “What stood out to me most about our selections this year is each playwright’s strong use of dialogue. I’m really looking forward to the readings and having the opportunity to hear voices bring these characters to life.”

Continuing the traditions of William Lathrop and friends who founded the Phillips’ Mill Community Association in 1929, the Emerging Playwright Competition provides playwrights within a 100-mile radius of the Mill an opportunity to see their work read by professional actors before a live audience and receive feedback from the audience during a conversation after the performance. To learn more about the winning playwrights and to make reservations to attend the free staged readings, visit

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