2017 Playwriting Contest Winners

CTAM fall conference attendees were entertained with readers’ theatre style excerpts from six plays submitted to the playwriting contest.  Thanks to the playwrights and their readers for bringing life to their works.  Following the last performance, the contest winners were announced.

Congratulations to:

1st place winner, Erin Osgood, for her play Family Pains

2nd place winner, Art Nemitz, for his play Down on the Farm

These plays can be performed by CTAM member groups royalty-free for the next two years!


trophy1Family Pains by Erin Osgood
Farmington Players

Synopsis:  Pippa Matthews hasn’t been home in 2 years. She returns home to reveal her true self to her very Catholic family. Her goal is to announce she is, in fact, gay, married, and expecting a baby. The reality isn’t exactly what she imagines in her mind. Her brother, Claw, tries to help take the heat off Pippa by announcing that he is gay first. The problem is Claw is not gay. Phil/Dad comes from a very strict Catholic upbringing and is a Republican. He does not adjust to the news very well. Patty/Mom is obsessed with cleanliness, good manners, and tries to welcome the news with grace but fails miserably. Her sister Pam has inherited Mom’s OCD tendencies. She isn’t very close to either Claw or Pippa, but her cold demeanor cracks at the end of the play. Pam shows she has longed for closer relationships with her siblings after having a few shots of alcohol. Pippa’s spouse Bobby shows up at the end of Act I and helps Pippa navigate her dysfunctional family. The play shows Pippa’s imagination of how she would like her news received by her family, only to surprise the audience that it was actually very different. Although in the end, not all of her family members agree with Pippa’s life choices, there is the hope of acceptance.


Contact Erin Osgood, Farmington Players, (810) 355-8472,


trophy2Down on the Farm by Art Nemitz
Kalamazoo Civic Theatre

 Down on the Farm synopsis:  The time is 1946. The war is over, but conflict is ongoing in the Mueller family.  Fred Mueller, a prosperous dairy farmer and businessmen, lies dying while his five children are engaged in various ongoing personal battles of their own, some of which have origins from many years past. Charlie, the oldest son who is in charge of the farm, is greedily impatient for the family’s fortune and assets to come completely under his control. The second brother, Tom, has recently returned from the war with his new wife to take his former job of partnering in the overseeing the farm, but Charlie and his vapid wife Lola,  plot to get him out of the way. Their sister, Ruth-Esther, is reluctant to give up her position as CEO of the family’s creamery business given to her by Fred when he took ill.   Lydia, hysterical by nature, and Albert, interested primarily in beautiful blondes and having fun, add their own special problems to the family’s combustible dynamic.  As the situation spins out of control, a murder occurs and the family is shattered. Following Fred’s death, the reading of his will forces the family to  deal with some long-kept secrets that they must face before they can hope to find resolution to their complicated relationships.

The play calls for a two-story set, representing a farmhouse living room and two upstairs bedrooms.  The cast calls for 7 men and 7 women. Double casting is possible for one man and one woman.

Contact Art Nemitz, at for perusal copies. Perusal copies of his prior works are also available:  The Zimmerman Annual 4th of July Picnic and Romance Guaranteed, both 1st Place winners in the  2015 and 2016 CTAM Playwriting Contests.

For more information on the plays or the contest, contact the Playwriting Committee at


2016 CTAM Playwriting Contest Winners

1st PLACE: Romance Guaranteed
by Art Nemitz

Kalamazoo Civic Theatre

Summary: Romance Guaranteed is a two-act romantic comedy for two women and one man. A woman and a man, meet in a seedy Detroit-area Italian restaurant for a first date after connecting via an internet dating site – The woman, a shy city bus driver, is a nervous and unsure introvert. The man is a wildly eccentric, talkative extrovert with a mysterious background. During the course of a spaghetti dinner, this highly unlikely pair shares their life stories, argue, empathize, quarrel, laugh, and cry. Food gets thrown, but ultimately, the two misfits find a mutual connection. A wise-cracking waitress, worldly and quick, becomes involved in the couple’s budding relationship. The play is easily adaptable to any type of staging: proscenium, arena, or black box.

Cast: 2 women, 1 man


2nd PLACE: The Summer Cottage
by Priscilla Cogan

Old Town Playhouse

Summary: The central questions of the comedy, The Summer Cottage, are – What do we owe our ancestors and what do we owe our descendants?

Middle-aged Melody arrives to open up the beloved summer cottage and rudely awakens the cranky ghost of her grandmother, the eccentric, meddling Olivia. Plunged into a marital crisis, Melody continues to deny the existence of ghosts, but Jazz, her rebellious graduate-student daughter, delightfully discovers that she can actually hear her great grandmother’s voice! Soon, Frankie, Olivia’s dead daughter, appears, prepared to drag her resistant mother over to the Other Side. Jazz’s pronouncement that she plans to eventually sell the cottage sends all three former generations into an absolute tizzy of manipulations, until the four generations work out what it really means to be a family.

Cast: 4 women


Any CTAM member group can perform either of these plays royalty free for the next two years (until September 2018). For a reading copy of Romance Guaranteed contact playwright Art Nemitz at For a reading copy of The Summer Cottage contact Priscilla Cogan at


Honorable Mention: Keeping Cadence
by John & Ellen Young

The Village Players – Birmingham

Summary: For most of the year, Cadence lives a quiet, reclusive life as a mortuary makeup artist.  However, each year as her family’s annual Christmas gathering draws near, she undergoes a manic metamorphosis.  With Cadence’s seasonal swings becoming more and more severe, her coworkers fear that this year’s reunion may do her irreparable harm, and decide to risk an intervention.  Can Cadence’s friends, with both support and opposition from her misfit family, help her let go of the demons of the past and embrace a new future?

Cast: 3 men, 6 women

(Note: John and Ellen have a website with information on each of the 7 plays they have written at

For more information on the plays or the contest, contact the Playwriting Committee Chair, Pat Paveglio at





First Place
An Orphan in the Storm and
I’m on My Journey Home
by Andrew C. Jones
Players De Noc



First Place
Secrets of Lucce Talk Tavern
by Anne-Marie Oomen

Second Place
A Christmas Carol an Adaption
by Larry Nielsen

First Place
A Sale In Boston
by Thomas E. Klunzinger

Second Place
Let’s Play Crossroads
by Michal Jacot

First Place
Downward Dog
by Wendy Hedstrom

Second Place
223 Brush Street
by Michele Taylor

Uncommon Good
by Oralya Garza Uberroth
Lansing Civic Theatre

A Snake That Eats Itself
by Chad Baker
Grand Rapids Civic Theatre

The Ladies of Harmony
by Ron Hill

Like Mother, Like Hell
by Ricki B Schwartz

The Watch List
by Eric Dawe
Grand Rapids Civic Theatre

Goodbye Memories
by Anita Yellin Simons

Gus & Angie
by Dick Hill

Mayor Mac
by Michael Burgan
Windsor, CT


Joyce’s Choices
by Linda LaRocque
South Haven

Second Chances
by Ronald Bernas
Grosse Pointe

813: American History
by Allan Dreyfus
Ann Arbor

Where A Certain Future
by James Carr


The Pledge
by David Warnshuis & Steven Gnewskowski
Grand Rapids







The Thunderer
by Marilyn Mattys


The Great Bardo or How Does Your Garden Grow
by John l. Beem

Farewell Party and The Cure
by Wenta Jean Watson

By the Book
by Richard Lewis & Gordon Laing

by Roger Rochowiak

The Zoo Keeper
by Carol Duffy
Ann Arbor

When I Grow Up
by Carol Duffy
Ann Arbor

Evidence indicates no winner was declared this year

A Ritual of the Blacks
by Ray Adams

Jake & Jill
by Raymond Maurin

Home to Stay
by Robert Well

Uncle Herman’s Mole Tamper
by Wayne Harlow
Grand Rapids

A Room With a Harwood Floor
by Wayne Harlow
Grand Rapids

Way Leads Onto Way
by Patrick William
Bay City

A Tooth for a Tooth
by Vic Zink

To the Dogs
by Robert McElya
Eastern Michigan University

Just so Long and Long Enough
by Robert Barton

Dirty Old Sam
by Dorothy Zatell
Lathrup Village

The King’s Mistress
by George Long

A Lovely Day for a Picnic
by Shirley Slater