Emerson Stage

Rod Parker Playwriting Award

NewFest: Chops (2010-2011 Season). Photo by Kirk J. Miller.

The Rod Parker Playwriting Award and NewFest are both funded by the generous support of Rod Parker ’51. Mr. Parker wrote his first play while an undergraduate at Emerson College, and in 1991 made the Playwrights' Festival possible by creating an endowment to fund fellowships for student playwrights and support the first productions of their work.

Emerson College is very grateful and fortunate that Mr. Parker recognized the importance of supporting new playwrights and provided a way for the next generation of theater artists to cut their teeth and discover the tools needed to keep theater vital.

2016-2017 Submission Information


The Rod Parker Playwriting Award is open to all current Emerson students.

Submission Deadline

Submissions are due October 14, 2016 at 5:00 pm.
Two copies of each submission should be turned in: one hard copy, and one electronic copy.

Submission Guidelines

  • No more than two submissions per playwright, please.
  • One electronic (PDF) copy of your script submitted to emersonstage@emerson.edu.
  • One paper copy of your script submitted to the Emerson Stage Office, 6th floor of the Tufte PPC
    • Single-sided
    • Bound with a binder clip—no staples
  • IMPORTANT: All scripts must include a title page with your name, major, year of graduation, play title, your address, email address, and a telephone number where you can be reached during the winter break and during the spring semester


The recipient of the fellowship will be announced in December. We plan to host a private reading of the winning play before the semester break. The chosen play will be be added to Emerson Stage's 16-17 Season as the NewFest production, performing March 16-19, 2017 in the Greene Theater.

Selected scripts will also be staged as part of the NewFest Readings, March 21, 23, & 25, 2017.

Winners of the Rod Parker Playwriting Award


Woe Be Gone, by Jamie L. Davenport
See Production Photos » 
As a mother lives her last days, her family comes to terms with her impending death, their relationships, and the fact that the mother is cheating on her husband with a woman. Woe Be Gone is filled with relatable emotions, as well as the healthy dose of humor we all need to deal with our personal challenges. 

The following were presented as part of the NewFest Readings:

Blood Sun by Grace Hoffman
Contact: A Spoken-Word Play by Katherine Logan
The White Mountains by Sam Terry

The following were presented as part of the NewFest Shorts:

Safety Exits by Allison Raynor
Fear of Falling Apart by Lina Benich
Theogony by Samuel Fidler
A Marriage of Policy by Julian Sky Aldana-Tejada


On My Honor, by Robin Goldberg See production photos »
Troop 2185 is the baddest Girl Scout troop on the block, and it's starting to take a toll on the adults. Bad behavior, botched field trips, and don't even get started on the uniforms: On My Honor is a dark comedy about honesty, fairness, courage, compassion and...cookies.

The following were presented as part of the NewFest Readings:

Ideal Conditions for Fruit Flies by Emma Young
Muse by Hannah Mattison
Intimacy and Other Forgotten Things by Grace Hoffman
Once More by Evan Vihlen

The following were presented as part of the NewFest Shorts:

A Fable Regarding the Octopus by Mitchell Buckley
A Man of Great Sympathy by Kyle Peters
The Great Tragedy of Meby Everett Mason by Mary Frances Noser

Jonathan Acorn, Tori Marjorie, Simon Kiser, and Lily Richards also wrote and performed songs that were presented as part of the 2015 festival.


The Listener, by James Kennedy. See production photos »
As The Listener, Jillian Burns provides a safe space for clients to tell their most personal stories, secure in the knowledge that since she is Deaf, their stories cannot be heard – or shared. What her clients don’t know is that The Listener is an excellent lipreader. She relies on the secrets of others to make herself feel powerful, because she knows too well that being Deaf in a Hearing world often makes you vulnerable. But keeping secrets is lonely, and when a hopeful new friendship reveals surprising information, Jillian must ask herself whether it represents a chance for forgiveness or revenge.

The following were presented as part of the NewFest Readings:

Dirty Water by Kelly Voke
….And a Happy New Year by Zak Stevens
Gavin by Pablo Milla
Ad Nauseum by Jamie Hovis
A Lifelong Companion by Julian Sky Aldana-Tejada
Ghost Girl by Lina Benich
Terrible Hearts by Mitchell Buckley
Mixed Signals by Allison Raynor
Plus songs written by Nicky Brownson, Patrick Greeley, and Misha Lambert


Catatonia by Dan Robert. See production photos »

The following were presented as part of the NewFest Readings:

A Touch of Stars by Lina Benich
The Grad Party by Leandro Benzaquin
Right There with Me by Bryan Curran
Tall by Robin Goldberg
Mr. Dog’s Long Journey Home by Nash Hightower
Couch Troll by Jamie Hovis
Mixed Signals by Allison Raynor
Lady Liberty’s Fall by Lilliana Winkworth
And a special reading of Halloween by Griffin "Griff" O’Brien


Rough & Tumble by Patrick McDonald

The following were presented as part of the NewFest Readings:

Crystallization by Jenna Danoy
Sam Loves Alex by Robin Goldberg
The Crib in the Corner by Taylor Paul
End of the Line by Ady Pié
Menage by Lena Raff
Catatonia by Dan Robert
And a special reading of Closet Talk by Rod Parker


Chops by Kirin McCrory

The following were presented as part of the NewFest Readings:

Tiny Vessels by Nick Chris
Adam and Evelyn by Patrick Curran
Sunshine Farm by Elizabeth Hagerty
When Zachary Beaver Came to Town by Katie Johnson
Carry That Weight by Nora Reilly
Binarism by Emily Skeggs
Facilitator of Fatalities by Zachary Stevens
Things We Said Today by Nathaniel Taylor-Leach


Paint by Dan DeNicola

The following were presented as part of the NewFest Readings:

The Gallows by Zachary Forray
Lethologica by MJ Halberstadt
Pillowtalking by Nicolas Coburn
Jim and Paul Meet in Dreams by Danielle Mohlman
Transportation Theory and the Statistical Interpretation of Thermodynamics by Jason E. Weber


Harold Fall or King Will by George Watsky

The following were presented as part of the NewFest Readings:

Another Kind of Dreamcatcher by Brandon Koons
Beauty by Andres Solorzano
Called Back by Harry Vaughn
Dangerous Curves by Emily Fulop
Duck and Cover by A.J. Knox
Hamlet versus MacBeth by Dan Perrault
Nice Guys Finish Last by Patrick Lord
Shooting the Moon by Emily Graham-Handley
Tin Pan Alley by Justine Spingler


Rubik’s Cube by Kimberly Barrante

The following were presented as part of the NewFest Readings:

Better Home Awaiting by Adam Patterson
The Wonder by Lindsay Soson
Harold’s Fall by George Watsky


Lift by Kelly McCabe

The following were presented as part of the NewFest Readings:

The Rubik’s Cube by Kimberly Barrante
The Family Room by Josie Campbell
The Rise and Fall of the Sensitive Man by Liam Carnahan
I Don’t Want to be Frankenstein by Anders Nelson
Bound by David Shaw
A Collaboration by Jessie Shaw


Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by David Lawson
Life in Space by Justin Becker


Blue Cheese Chronicles by Sarah Carey

Halfway Home by Amanda Shank
Monsters by Gail Phaneuf


Goodbye Dolly by Jody Houser
Top Hats and Old Standards by Alison Potoma


Shoot the Bull by Jeffrey VanDreason
Cubicles by Alexander C.P. Danner


a TACK of an American Conscience by Johnmichael Rossi

A Murder, a Mystery, and a Marriage by Jason Beaubier


People Watching by Alexis Clements


Fiddler’s Green by A.J. Mell
Prodigals by Rachel Grissom


The Bug by Julie Christine Phillipps

And Truth by Mary Stanford
Breaking Procedure by Nicole DuFresne


Back Porch by Michell Sylvester

The Ripening by Sage Wells
Gritos Y Chismesitos by Michael Cavazos-Alcacio


Because I Remember You by Julianne Homokay

Instant Life by Amy French
Family Business by Laurie Leftkowitz


When in Duluth by Steven Abrams

Cold Water Flat by Marylou DePietro
Land of the Jane, Home of the Dicked by Thessaly Lerner


Dinner by Lucy Holstedt

Brave Navigator by David Valdes-Greenwood


Death in Wintertime by Cristina Iovita

Thursday by Sean Graney
Struggle in a World Without Love by Tom Epstein


Ashika by David Frankel

Scarcity by Amy Ansara


Love on the Vine by John Cole

Nirvana is Dead by Josh White
Separation Anxiety by June Rifkin Clark


Back in Your Own Backyard by Joe Antoun


Joe Antoun, Artistic Director of NewFest & Part-Time Faculty in Performing Arts

Behind the Scenes
of NewFest 

Each year, Emerson turns a student-written show into a full-scale production. Learn about the selection process here. Watch the video »

Academics - Performing Arts - Kirin McCrory Video

Kirin McCrory '11, NewFest 2011 Playwright

NewFest 2011's Playwright Kirin McCrory on Why She Wrote Chops

Learn about why Performing Arts major Kirin McCrory wrote her play Chops and the process of bringing her idea to life on stage. Watch the video »