2021 Playwright Competition Winners

Thank you to the winners and to everyone who entered our first annual playwright competition.

The winning full-length play was “What Comes Back” by Bri Stoever, which follows several young adults in a psychiatric clinic as they work through issues of loss and mental illness.  Bri recently received her M.F.A. in Creative Writing and Environment from Iowa State University.  Prior to that, she attended Simpson College where another of her plays was selected for their Ten Minute Play Festival.  Her poetry and short fiction have also been published in literary journals such as Your Impossible Voice, Ample Remains and Analogies & Allegories.

Our first winning one-act play was “By the Stars of Saint Matthew” by Grant Tracey.  Originally from Toronto, Grant has participated in over forty community theatre productions in Waterloo and Cedar Falls since moving here in 2001.  He has also published many short stories and two mystery novels about a private investigator named Hayden Fuller.  In “By the Stars of Saint Matthew”, Grant combined his love of crime fiction, Canada, and theatre to create a script about a wounded bank robber seeking shelter in an Ontario farmhouse.

Our second winning one-act was Ben Jaeger’s “The View From Here”.  Ben is currently pursuing a degree in musical theatre at Drake University where another of his plays, “The Bling Ring”, received its first full scale production last fall.  He has also worked professionally as an actor and technician, including stops at City Circle Theatre Co., Theatre West and The Des Moines Playhouse.  “The View From Here” is a coming-of-age story that was influenced by his own experiences of returning home from college during the pandemic and attempting to transition from the experiences and relationships of his youth into his future.