More than 100 entries have poured in for the 2nd Act Players’ 2021 Script Competition with two weeks to go until the final entry deadline. This makrs the fifth year the 2nd Act Players have put out a call for new scripts and will likely be the year that sets a record for most entries.
“Entitled ‘2021: It’s not 2020, or is it? Plays that look at people changing in a changing world.’ this year’s contest really struck a chord for playwrights all over the world,” says 2nd Act Players’ Cofounder John N. Frank. Entries have come in from across the United States and from countries such as Ireland, New Zealand and Canada.
“We like to joke that we’re the best-kept theater secret in the northern suburbs of Chicago, but apparently the world has heard of us,” says Frank. The theater has shifted to online productions because of the Covid-19 pandemic. All its 2021 performances will be done online as were those it did in 2020.
Entries in this year’s competition will be reviewed by a panel of notable judges who will narrow the field to a group of finalist scripts. The 2nd Act Players’ board of directors will then select the scripts that will be performed online this spring. “We plan to do six short plays looking at the past year and the challenges ahead this year,” Frank explains.
Judging scripts for this year’s competition are three winners of the 2nd Act Players’ 2020 script competition, 60 is the New 40: Elizabeth DeSchryver, Craig Gustafson and John Mabey. Also judging are:
- Sam Radom, whose play Carole White & the Seven Deadly Sins received a staged reading in 2019 on the City Lit Theater stage in Chicago. The reading came about thanks to the Chicago Writers’ Bloc in collaboration with Stockyards Theatre Project.
- Wilson Cain III, Ed.D., a member of the literary managers and Dramaturge Association (LMDA). Wilson has worked as adjunct faculty at Columbia College Chicago, Auburn University, and Auburn University at Montgomery. As a professional actor, Wilson has performed extensively in the Chicago, regional, and off-Broadway Theatre. Wilson Is a recipient of the Joseph Jefferson award for “Outstanding ensemble work,” for the production, The good times are killing me.
- Kathy Weiss, an actress who has appeared on stage on such plays as Damn Yankees and Once Upon a Mattress, and also has taken part in several new script workshops at the 2nd Act Players.
- Karen Nystrom is the Chair of Three Brothers Theatre in Waukegan. A full production of her play, Smoke was produced at Three Brothers in 2019, and staged readings of her plays, Plath, and Falling Off a Horse were also done pre-Covid. She is a member of the Three Brothers playwrights residency and lives in Waukegan. She is currently shopping around her dark farce, The Seven Teeth. She was an original member of the Chicago Poetry Ensemble that had many works seen at the Green Mill Jazz Lounge.