Thank you to all of our playwrights who entered work. We received a flood of entries--far more than we anticipated. We hope to have a winner selected by the end of March. Thank you for sharing your work.
For our 2015 competition, we are looking for a comedy that features college-age characters as the majority of the cast. We will be accepting submissions between the dates of July 1, 2014 and Sept. 1, 2015. Details regarding acceptable submissions can be found on our website here.
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.
Submissions will be accepted biennially, and must adhere to the theme of that competition cycle. Each play will be blinded then read and judged by members of a screening committee.
- $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 Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival.
- Transportation, 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.
- Northern Michigan University has the right to produce the play as part of the theatre season and for any additional performances if entered in the Kennedy Center American College Theater 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 Forest Roberts Theatre reserves the right to video tape the production for archival purposes.