THE CONTEST

OVERVIEW OF THE PLAY:
A naturalistic family comedy/​drama centering on a shy young adolescent, Bevvie Sue, caught up in the web of her hilarious but powerful mother's fantasies of gaining fame and fortune through compulsive contest entries, her beloved immigrant father's broken dreams and ambitions, and her rich judgmental relatives. Set in a small midwestern city in the middle of World War II, the story sweeps through a year in this American Jewish family's life, as Bevvie Sue struggles to disentangle herself and emerge as her own person: a young woman, eager for life, on her way to finding her own place in the sun.
3M: 6W

AWARDS:
National Foundation for Jewish Culture Award as "Outstanding Play Reflecting American Jewish Family Life."

PLAY HISTORY:
2005 Staged Reading, January 18, 2005
New Theatre, Coral Gables, FL

New York's Ensemble Studio Theatre

Philadelphia Festival Theatre at the Annenberg Center
Directed by Jerry Zaks.

New York's Ensemble Studio Theatre: The Classics of EST

The Alley Theatre of Houston, TX

OF INTEREST:
A production of THE CONTEST, starring Phyllis Newman, was presented by Applause Books, NY, in honor of the play's publication in 2000.

REVIEWS:
"A tenderly evocative family album about a midwestern Jewish family in the '40's...THE CONTEST lightly wears a coat of nostalgia much of it funny, but the play is not a comedy, rather it's a skillful play that rises far above its genre...its characters freshly observed, the situation richly specific, a play with dramatic impact!"
-The New York Times

"A pot of gold! Written with a great deal of love and compassion...a simple tale, movingly told. It's a good evening!"
-NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

"THE CONTEST is a powerful play!...and much more than the quite moving story of a girl and her family...the play is about distorted dreams of happiness, avoidance of life, compulsive and destructive hope.!
-WNYC, New York

AVAILABLE FROM:
January 2005 publication,
Samuel French Publishers

Samuel French, Inc.
http:/​/​www.samuelfrench.com

45 West 25th Street - Dept.W
New York, NY 10010
Phone (212) 206-8990
Fax (212) 206-1429 Samuel French, Inc.

7623 Sunset Blvd. - Dept.W
Hollywood, CA 90046
Phone (323) 876-0570
Fax (323) 876-6822

SELECTED WORK

Full Length Plays
NEW YORK PREMIERE 2012, Red Fern Theatre, New York City; WORLD PREMIERE 2010-11 The New Theatre, Coral Gables, FL. THE RADIANT centers on the true, tempestuous, and love-torn life of Madame Marie Curie. Winner of the TCG/Edgerton Award; Ensemble Studio Theatre/Sloan Grant; and the Dramatists Guild Play Grant.
NEW YORK PREMIERE October 2009 Chicago World Premiere, 2005 "Jeff Award"
2006 Carbonell Award Nominee; 2004 NEA "Access to Excellence Award", in collaboration with New Theatre, FL; 2001 New American Play Prize (Finalist)
Dark comedy of shifting identities and cultures.
Tony & Drama Desk nominations, New York Times pick for the “Ten Best Plays of the Year” list, Dramatists Guild Hull-Warriner Award.
The Barbara Deming Prize for Women Playwrights, The Susan Blackburn Prize (Finalist, The Kittredge Foundation Award.
National Foundation for Jewish Culture Award
Susan Smith Blackburn Award (finalist)
National Endowment for the Arts Residency Grant at The Alley Theatre of Houston, TX Jane Chambers Play Award (finalist)
Multigenerational play commissioned by Theatreworks, USA.
An explosive, sexually charged drama drawing on the supernatural.
Anthology of Plays
2009 New York Coalition of Professional Women in the Arts & Media, Collaboration Award Finalist. Playwrights include: Paula Vogel, Quiara Hudes, Emily Mann, Shirley Lauro, Cindy Cooper, Nilaja Sun, Jessica Blank. Foreword by Julie Crosby, Artistic Director, The Women's Project, New York.
One Act Plays
New York Times pick for the “Ten Best Plays of the Year” list, Dramatists Guild Hull-Warriner Award, Samuel French OOBA Festival Award.
Samuel French Play Writing Award
The Heidemann Prize at Actors Theatre of Louisville's Humana Festival, selected for "Best Short Plays of 1980"
A play commissioned by Actors Theatre of Louisville showcasing the work of their Playwrights.
Other Work