2003 Winners and Runners-Up
Here are the winners and runners-up from the first Eileen Heckart Drama for Seniors Competition, held in 2003.
Playwrights from Philadelphia, New York, and Louisville took the top spots. The winning plays received staged readings on July 25th and 26th, 2003, at the Short North Playhouse in Columbus, Ohio.
Larry Loebell's Memorial Day won first place among the full-length plays. Loebell is Literary Manager and Dramaturg at the InterAct Theatre Company in Philadelphia, and he has had plays produced at InterAct, by the Wilma Theatre (also in Philadelphia), at the Attic Theatre (Los Angeles) and the Ritz Theatre (New Jersey), the Changing Scene Theatre in Denver and the Theatre Catalyst of Philadelphia. He is a two time winner of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowship in Playwriting. Memorial Day is "a moving celebration of life and the renewal of hope in an inner city park," according to Dr. Alan Woods, director of the Lawrence and Lee Institute. It is based on the real-life murder of a community activist in Philadelphia in 1994 for the contents of his wallet.
The Last Dance, by New York-based playwright Edgar Chisholm, was named winner in the one-act play category. Nena Couch, Lawrence and Lee Institute Curator, said, "Chisholm's very funny play shows the power of a long life together as both memory of the past and motivation for the future." The characters in the play, divorced after more than fifty years of marriage, show the affection and concern that survive a lifetime of disappointment.
Nancy Gall-Clayton's Felicity's Family Tree won the ten-minute play category. The short play "deals imaginatively with the problems of memory and a search for family among older Americans," Woods said. "It powerfully shows the inevitable confrontation between an aging woman and the social worker responsible for her well being." Gall-Clayton, a resident of Louisville, has had plays producted at Kentucky's Horse Cave Theatre and the Actors' Theatre of Louisville, among others. She is an active member of the International Center for Women Playwfights, the Dramatists Guild, the Kentucky Writers' Coalititon, and is a board member of Lorna Littleway's Juneteenth Festival.
Warner D. Conarton's Elevator Music was first runner-up in the full length play category, while Katherine Dubois' Shady Manor was second runner up. Massachusetts playwright Miriam F. D'Amato's one-act play, A Noodle Kugel for Company, was named first runner-up in that category, with Delaware, Ohio, playwright Bonnie Milne Gardner's Day Old Bread taking the second runner-up slot. In the ten minute category, Sandra Perlman's Something With Fish was first runner-up; the playwright is from Kent, Ohio. North Carolina writer John Gehris took second runner-up with his ten minute play, Odds 'n Ends.
Members of Footsteps of the Elders and the Senior Repertory of Ohio, senior theatre companies in Columbus, Ohio, read the winning plays in the Short North Playhouse on July 25th (The Long Dance and Felicity's Family Tree, plus A Noodle Kugel for Dinner and Something With Fish) and July 26th (Memorial Day).
To reach the playwrights:
Larry Loebell's home page is http://www.loebell.com/
http://www.bestblackplays.com/ reaches Edgar Chisholm
Bonnie Milne Gardner can be reached at http://english.owu.edu/gardner_bonnie_milne.htm
Sandra Perlman is at http://www.sperlman.com/
for additional contact information, email firstname.lastname@example.org