Meet the Winners of the 2017 New Playwrights’ Showcase!!!

The 2nd Act Players’ mission is to showcase new talent. The Showcase marks the 2nd time this year the 2nd Act Players will be fulfilling that mission by presenting new playwright works. Earlier this year, we held our One-Act Play Festival that featured two one-act plays.

Audiences enjoyed those performances but we wanted to do more to showcase new talent, so we held a short-script competition early in 2017 and selected six winning scripts from the entries received. The 2017 New Playwrights’ Showcase will feature staged readings of the six winning scripts plus a bonus reading of a new 2nd Act Players’ Founder John N. Frank 10-minute play as well!

The six winning playwrights biographers (in alphabetical order):

Barbara Blumenthal-Ehrlich has had full length plays produced at Northern Light, Overtime, Forward Flux, Trustus Trinity Rep, the New York International Fringe Festival, the off-Broadway Summer Play Festival, and more. A contributing writer to the upcoming 2017 national tour, THE GRIEF DIALOGUES. Plays have been developed in NYC at Playwrights Horizons, Second Stage, EST, ARACAworks, Stella Adler, and Rattlestick, and regionally at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Geva, Victory Gardens, among others. She won the 2016 Beverly Hills Theatre Guild Julie Harris Award and her play SISTER SISTER was nominated for Best Original Play in Edmonton’s Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Award, and STILL LIFE was nominated for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize.

Scott Carter Cooper’s recent work has included, Three Dudes in a Diner at the ArciTEXT 2017 Festival, and Mother and Daughter at Canada’s largest ten-minute play festival, InspiraTO 2017.

Last year, Three Cat Productions incorporated The Termination of Cissy Snowflake into their production of The Other Side of Christmas, and this coming holiday season they will present his solo show, Christmas Carolyn, starring RjW Mays.

Scott is also part of the 2017-2108 Mastermind program with Ken Davenport, producer of Kinky Boots, Groundhog Day, and the upcoming Broadway revival of Once on This Island.

Hyten Davidson is a Chicago-based writer and actress, having graduated from The Hartt School Conservatory with her B.F.A in Acting. For more, please visit



Andre R. Hogan II is a resident playwright at Magnified Gift Theater and Dance Company, and at the Timber Lake Playwrights Playhouse Colony. He also is a literary manager of Sanfoka Theater Company and an associate artist of the Black Lives/Black Words International Project. Among his works are You Happy Now? You Satisfied? (1978!), An Ode to the Washermen, and The Hot Wing Special.

Lawrence Keller is a writer, director and teacher.  He teaches playwriting at Lyons Township High School in LaGrange.  Lawrence made his playwriting debut in 2015 at the annual Cherry Picking Festival in New York. 

Other short plays include, Breaking Gnus in the Serengeti, A Lullaby for Irving and A Plague on One of Your Houses. He recently completed his first full-length play, Sins of the Fathers.

As a director his work has been seen at The Alliance in Atlanta.  He is a two-time nominee for the Alan Schneider Award as well as a finalist for the TCG/National Endowment for the Arts Directing Fellowship. He lives in Oak Park with his husband Scott.

Jean Waller is a newcomer to playwriting but she has previously had semi-staged readings of her work done by Aston Rep, the Skokie Playwright’s Workshop and Chicago Dramatist’s.  She is also a working actor in Chicago, having performed with various area theatres including City Lit, TimeLine, The Artistic Home, Remy Bumppo, Chicago Commercial Collective, Idle Muse, Three Cat Productions,  and 2nd Act Players.

Her wayward youth was filled with dreams of opera stardom but somehow she ended up in Los Angeles working in movies and TV, mostly though not completely, behind the camera.

The 2017 New Playwrights’ Showcase will take play Sept. 23, a Saturday, at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 24 at 3:00 p.m. Tickets are only $10 in advance, $15 at the door. To purchase your tickets now, simply click this link.

2 thoughts on “Meet the Winners of the 2017 New Playwrights’ Showcase!!!

  1. From the piece about your company in the Evanston Magazine, I thought the plays were about life’s second act. Call it “old age” if you will. This interests me greatly, but when I read the six snippets about the plays for Sept. 23-24 I saw absolutely nothing about the plays, only about the playwrights. I would say that’s a serious omission. I wouldn’t attend a play or plays about which I knew nothing. Mel Livatino

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