2007 Finalists Announced!
Eileen Heckart with sons Mark (age 2) and Philip (age 4)and friend during filming of Bus Stop, 1956.
Ten Minute Plays
Sandra Dempsey, Toronto, ON, Canada : Rosa’s Lament
Jim Gordon, Norwalk, CT: A Good Deed
Douglas Stewart, Santa Fe, NM: Final Exam
Justin Warner, Jackson Heights, NY: Lunch Boat
Harriett Weiss, Palm Springs, CA: Billie and Henry
One Act Plays
Dori Appel, Ashland, OR: Bon Voyage
Martha Boesing, Oakland, CA: Song of the Magpie
Jay D. Hanagan, Geneva, NY: Pitching the Good Game
Maureen Brady Johnson, Oberlin, OH: Limbo
Mary Steelsmith, Los Angeles, CA: List of Honor
Jan August, Mountain View, CA: Still in the Game
Judy Juanita, Oakland, CA: Theodicy
James McLindon, Northampton, MA: For Unto Us
Bonnie Rozanski, Lawrenceville, NJ: Still-Life With Dog
Lynn Snyder, Berkeley, CA: Older Than Dead
More information on the plays and playwrights:
Ten Minute plays
Sandra Dempsey, Toronto, Canada: Rosa’s Lament. A monologue: Rosa, a 70s woman of Russian-Slovakian descent, recalls in the hereafter the humiliation and abuse she endured during life, and the redeeming effort to save a wounded sparrow. Canadian playwright Sandra Dempsey’s plays are known for their vivid, deftly drawn characterizations and vibrant dialogue, acerbic wit, and unique, sensitive styling. Her writing is uncompromising, powerful and vital; compassionate and impassioned.
Jim Gordon, Norwalk, Connecticut: A Good Deed. In a tavern next to a funeral home, Barney, a regular, cheers mourners who come in for a drink with fond memories of the deceased. Actor/Director turned writer, Jim’s have won or been finalists in over 60 national and international competitions, and all have been produced. Jim's most recent full-length play, Fake, was produced Off-Broadway in 2006. In 2005, Jim received the "Alan Minieri Award for Playwriting Excellence" from "The American Globe Theatre" in NYC.
Doug Stewart, Santa Fe, New Mexico: Final Exam. Saint Peter tells Mother Earth that God is fed up with the way humans are destroying Earth; Mother Earth comes up with a final test for humanity. If they pass, great. If not . . . . Doug Stewart is a member of the Santa Fe SRO (Seniors Reaching Out) Players, an Advisory Council member of Senior Theatre USA, and a board member of the Santa Fe Playhouse. His plays have won several awards.
Justin Warner, Jackson Heights, New York: Lunch Boat. A stroke victim with only fine motor skills carves small boats, as his wife reaches her limits. Justin Warner’s plays have been widely produced. He is a Harrington Award winner (BMI Musical Theater Workshop), a Kennedy Center-ACTF winner, a Global Age Project winner, a Source Theatre 10-Minute Play Competition winner, a Sam French Fest Critic's Choice winner.
Harriett Weiss, Palm Springs, California:
Billie and Henry. Two aged motion picture veterans—a onetime starlet and an extra—face old age, and plot to jump ahead on the waiting list for the industry retirement home. Harriett Weiss was a five-year staff writer and story editor for All in the Family and Archie Bunker’s Place, among other credits. She received the Scott Newman and Gabriel awards, and was a finalist three times for the Humanitas Prize.
One Act plays
Dori Appel, Ashland, Oregon: Bon Voyage. Three sisters, about to embark on a cruise, find out new things about each other even after long, close lives. Dori Appel’s plays and musicals have been widely produced across the United States. She has performed her work at the Senior Theatre USA meeting in Las Vegas.
Martha Boesing, Oakland, California: Song of the Magpie. A middle class woman lives on the streets as a homeless person for a week, describing her experiences in a monologue intercut with comments from a homeless woman she meets. Probably best known as the founder and artistic director of At the Foot of the Mountain in Minneapolis, the longest running professional women’s theatre in the United States, Martha Boesing has written and directed for nationally. Song of the Magpie was written for the Faithful Fools, a street ministry in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco.
Jay D. Hanagan, Geneva, New York: Pitching the Good Game. Long time baseball fans celebrate their anniversary at the game—but Samuel’s beginning to have memory lapses. Jay D. Hanagan’s plays have been featured in festivals in the United Kingdom and Hong Kong, as well as in major American cities. His plays are published by Samuel French and Dramatic Publishing.
Maureen Brady Johnson, Oberlin, Ohio: Limbo. The long term (think millennia) caretakers for all the babies in Limbo have a problem: the Church declares that Limbo doesn’t exist. What to do? Maureen Brady Johnson teaches secondary school theatre and is the author of Shoes on the Highway: Using Visual and Audio Cues to Inspire Student Playwrights, published in 2005.
Mary Steelsmith, Los Angeles, California: List of Honor. Slipping away from a reception at which she’ll receive a major honor for a career as a philanthropist after having been a film star, Dory is confronted by a fan who turns out to have revenge on her mind. Produced across North America and internationally, Mary Steelsmith has been writing since her high school days in Boise, Idaho. Her plays have won numerous awards, most recently the Helford Prize at Jacksonville University in Florida for Isaac, I Am.
Full length plays
Jan August, Mountain View, California: Still in the Game. The residents of a senior shared home cope with the death of the home’s legal owner, and with the needs of his heir and daughter, a high-powered executive with no desire to become owner of a senior shared home. Jan August is a graduate of the Creative Writing Program at San Francisco State University and holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from San Jose State University. She is the author of several full-length plays in addition to Still in the Game.
Judy Juanita, Oakland, California. Theodicy. Two older black men fall improbably into a river of death, where one, a retried ophthalmologist, questions God and evetns from black history that touched his life. As if in a parallel universe, opposite them, their wives busy themselves with mundane affairs while grieving their lifelong partners. Judy Juanita has been a major writer for the past two decades; her plays have been produced at the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, the Brava! Theatre in San Francisco, the National Black Theatre Festival in North Carolina, and the San Francisco Mime Troupe, among others.
James McLindon, Northampton, Massachusetts: For Unto Us. Two elderly men, one a blind priest, live with, torment, and are tormented by the sighted man’s daughter, a conservative anti-abortion protester. When her pregnant daughter returns home with her female partner, and the local diocese wants to close the priest’s former church because of the costs of scandals the priest unwittingly allowed to take place, complications ensue. James McLindon has four full length plays scheduled for six productions in the coming year. He recently resigned from a partnership in a Boston law firm in order to write plays full time.
Bonnie Rozanski, Lawrenceville, New Jersey: Still-Life With Dog. A recently-widowed grandmother has trouble fitting into the household of her son, his second wife, and two children, and particularly with the family dog. Eventually the grandmother comes to terms with her new family (and they with her) as well as with the hapless, chocolate-loving, pet. Bonnie Rozanski lives in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, where her husband, Mordechai, is the President of Rider University. She holds an undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania, and Master’s degrees in Computer Science and Business.
Lynn Snyder, Berkeley, California: Older Than Dead. Four aging followers of the Grateful Dead celebrate annually on New Year’s Eve. When one has a stroke, the others are convinced that he’ll be brought out of it by a visit from Jerry Garcia; then they learn of Garcia’s death, and resolve to put their friend out of his misery. But how to safely get into his hospital room? Complications ensue when a Dead-loving policeman enters the picture. Lynn Snyder’s plays have had productions and staged readings across the United States and in England and Italy. She has received playwriting fellowships and grants from the University of Massachusetts, the Minnesota State Arts Board, the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, and the Mary Roberts Rinehart Foundation.