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Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati Names Winners of Demaline Play Competition

‘Hi! Maintenance.’ by Wright State’s Megan Ledford and ‘Bury the Rest’ by Ohio University’s Skye Robinson Hillis will receive staged readings on ETC’s YouTube page.

CINCINNATI: Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati (ETC) has announced the winners of the third annual PLAY/write: The Jackie Demaline Regional Collegiate Playwrighting Competition. The competition, which nurtures local aspiring dramatists who are helping to shape the future of the theatre field, provides $2,500 cash awards to support the work of each winner along with staged professional readings of their scripts.

This year’s winners are Hi! Maintenance., by Megan Ledford (Wright State University), and Bury the Rest, by Skye Robinson Hillis (Ohio University). Both plays will receive a full-length staged reading streamed through ETC’s YouTube channel. Finalists for this year’s award include Stoop Pigeons, by Christin Cato (Indiana University), and Greater Illinois, by Steven Strafford (Ohio University). Both finalists will receive a staged reading of a 10-minute excerpt of each their plays, also to be streamed online.

“This year’s competition was very close, as many entries were well-constructed and each had a unique voice and point of view,” said programming and events manager Jared D. Doren in a statement. “This competition is a testament to the younger, local writing talent that is being cultivated in our schools today. We are excited to share some of these works, some comedic, some serious, but all worthy of recognition.”

Readings will take place on May 12 (Greater Illinois), May 19 (Stoop Pigeons), May 26 (Hi! Maintenance.), and June 2 (Bury the Rest). Panelists for the competition have also selected Jayne Deely, Trevor Browning, and Eleanor Alger as honorable mentions.

The competition commemorates the life and work of writer and critic Jackie Demaline, who served as an important catalyst for change in the theatre community. The competition provides professional development for emerging writers, amplifies new voices and perspectives, and kick-starts arts careers. More information on each of the selected plays is available on ETC’s website.

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