Playwriting Festival

The Central PA Theatre and Dance Fest is proud to announce the winners of its 3rd Annual Playwriting Competition. The selected plays were given virtual readings and broadcast through Zoom and Streamyard. Encore presentations of those plays will be held throughout the 2020-2021 season.

The judges selected the 5 best short works, and 3 best one-act submissions and awarded three Honorable Mentions from among 34 One-Act entries and 91 Short Play entries. Tempest Productions celebrates new work throughout the year during our mainstage productions and this playwriting competition grew out of our mission of supporting new work.

Winning works in the One-Act Category were:

Nate Briggs for Boz Takes a Walk
Bethany Dickens for Adam’s Ridge
Chuck Smith for Before, During, and After

Winning works in the Short Play Category were:

Jeff Dunne for Cassie’s Curse
Craig Gustafson for Think It Through
Marsha Roberts for Unplugged
Karla Sorenson for Barbershop Duet
Stephen Stewart for Seven Seconds Plus 45 Percent

Honorable Mentions in the Short Play Category were awarded to:

Fay Ellen Graetz for The Petition
Rich Rubin for Brave Blood
Kirt Shineman for 42 Seconds

Submissions for the 2021 Festival can be made up through March 15, 2021.

One Act Submissions                                         Short Short Submissions

Encore Readings of the 2018-2019 selected plays kicked off the series in spring 2020. Join our mailing list to receive updates and information.

Congratulations again to the 2018, 2019 selected playwrights!


A.I. Dramaturg by Joe Wolff

Piper wants to learn to be a better playwright. Ragnar wants to learn about human emotions. It’s a win-win.

Battle for the Front Seat by Rex McGregor

A businesswoman has agreed to get fit by joining her wife on tandem bicycle rides. But don’t expect her to sit at the back.

Biscuits & Bacon by Sharece M. Sellem
It’s the Spring of 1929 in Harlem. The streets are filled with lights and glitter and to Daisy, who only wants to find her sister, four very different women show her how to grow in concrete.

Blue Bench by Aleks Merilo

For his birthday every year, a young boy’s mother buys him a ticket to the circus. This year he learns why she does and whose gift it really is.

Coming to Town by Keith Whalen

Sometimes a secret can be kept too long — way too long! Once the truth comes out, things get more confusing by the minute.

Fluent by Chuck Smith
A bench in a Chinese railway station. Two low-level managers have been separated from their superiors and neither the man nor the woman speaks the other’s language.

Graveyard Shift by Jenell Abram

The Grim Reaper and his partner, Angel, decide which of their customers get to go back and which need to stay behind. Working the night shift during the holiday season gets pretty busy, especially on New Year’s Eve.

The Naughty List by Trevor Suthers
So who’s really responsible for compiling that Naughty list, and where do the funds come from?

Theories by Jenell Abram
A bar in a small Pennsylvania city. Present day. What the bartender sees night after night.

Therapy Dog by Les Abromovitz
Neurotic Jerome forces his hypochondriacal dog, Achoo, to pose as his emotional support animal, but the canine becomes increasingly uncomfortable with perpetuating this charade.

Whose Plot is This? by Pamela Weiler Grayson

For some people, “until death do us part” isn’t quite enough. They hope instead to spend eternity resting side by side with their one true love. For Alan, things get complicated, and he discovers that eternity really is a long time.


Agathe by Angela J. Davis

On the twenty-five year anniversary of the Rwandan genocide, this short play celebrates the bravery and heroism of Agathe Uwilingiyimana, Rwanda’s one-day female president, who accomplished the miraculous survival of her five children during one of the darkest moment in history.

All in the Numbers by: Evan W. Saunders
Can you run user experience on finding the meaning of life? Is there an app for that?

Drive by Robert Weinstein
Three people and one awkward cross-country car journey.

Factory Treasure by Amy Oestreicher.
Four family members, one factory and an incalculable legacy.  A collective confrontation of how we view our past and what we choose to do with it.

Playing for Real by Ron Asher

In this play within a play within a play, the young and talented members of a new theatre troupe demonstrate just how good they are.

Trials of a Scientific Mind by Will Lacker

Miles is a terrific physicist and a lousy boyfriend. But he’s willing to try and win Judith back, and hopes that given enough time, he’ll succeed.