Above: Young Playwright winners and Bennington College actors at the 2017 Jean E. Miller Young Playwrights readings.

Above: Young Playwright winners and Bennington College actors at the 2017 Jean E. Miller Young Playwrights readings.

Dorset Theatre Festival’s Young Playwrights Program

The Young Playwrights Program provides an opportunity for students in regional middle and high schools to learn about play writing and create a play of their own, with help from the Dorset Theatre Festival play writing mentors, a group of advanced play writing students at Bennington College. After a series of workshops, students are invited to submit a short play for adjudication by a panel of nationally recognized professional playwrights. Winners from each group (middle and high school levels) are given a public staged reading onstage at the Festival in the autumn along with an award and special gift.

Interested in bringing Young Playwrights to your middle or high school?

Contact Will Rucker at will@dorsettheatrefestival.org


Jean E. Miller Young Playwrights Competition


Middle School:
The Blackmail
By George Zilkha from Maple Street School (faculty mentor: Conor Welch)

High School: 
For the Greater Good
By Will Koch from Stratton Mountain School (faculty mentor: Mary Mangiacotti)

How to Write an Essay
By Gracie Smith from Arlington Memorial School (faculty mentor: Gayna Cross)

Drama Skit
By Rudy Senecal from Burr and Burton Academy (faculty mentor: James Raposa)

More About the The Jean E. Miller Young Playwrights Competition

Each winter and spring, Dorset Theatre Festival teaches playwriting residencies in the many regional high schools and middle schools that participate in the Young Playwrights Program. Participating student writers also take advantage of feedback from Bennington College mentors as they write and re-write their play drafts prior to submission to the Competition. Winners are chosen by a panel of nationally recognized playwrights, and the winning plays will have a staged reading performed at the Playhouse in Fall 2018. In addition to a reading of his or her work, each student also receives an award and a special gift. Their teachers, family and community come together to hear these readings as the Dorset Theatre Festival community celebrates these brand new plays and the young writers who made them possible!

Above: Bennington College actors and Artistic Director Dina Janis at the 2017 Jean E. Miller Young Playwrights readings

Above: Bennington College actors and Artistic Director Dina Janis at the 2017 Jean E. Miller Young Playwrights readings


“Every class I visited through the Young Playwrights Competition was bursting with imagination, enthusiasm, and curiosity. The students were eager to create worlds and characters and stories. My favorite moment in each of these classes is when a student realized that these worlds and stories were theirs; the choices for what should happen and how were entirely up to them. Engaging students with the arts encourages them to find their own voices, and to explore the world around them and empathize with others in new ways.”

- Playwright Nick Gandiello,
2017 Teaching Artist


2018 Teaching Artists: Annie Considine & Maizy Broderick Scarpa

Annie Considine is an education artist, playwright, director, and actor based in Lenox, Massachusetts. She has been a teaching artist with Shakespeare & Company since 2013, and has since directed 17 educational productions of Shakespeare’s plays. Annie is also a member of the Writers Group at Berkshire Playwrights Lab, and participated in the Radius Playwrights Festival this past January. In the summer of 2016, she traveled to Bosnia & Herzegovina to teach and direct an educational touring production of Romeo & Juliet (Romeo i Julija) with the program Youth Bridge Global, a non-profit that stages youth productions in countries with histories of violence. Annie holds a B.A. in Theater and Performance Studies from the University of Chicago, and has trained with the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts, Black Box Acting Studio, and Shakespeare & Company.


Maizy Broderick Scarpa is a playwright, performer, and director. Her plays Pandora Shakes Things Up and Cirque du Dismay were both finalists at Radius Playwrights Festival. Others include Adults (Women's Shorts); Strange New Planet (NYU/Tisch/ETW), and A Play Where Nothing Happens (Shakespeare&Co Fringe). Wayward Home, a musical folktale created in collaboration with singer-songwriter Clara Strauch, will tour the Northeast in-concert this April (waywardhome.weebly.com). A passionate education artist, Maizy has taught at Hampton Shakespeare Festival, and in Shakespeare & Company's award-winning education program. She also co-created an English as a Foreign Language program for government employees in Erbil, Kurdistan. She enjoys tea, breaking the fourth wall, and children's books.

This program is made possible through the support of the following organizations: