Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati Hosts Second Annual PLAY/WRITE: The Jackie Demaline Regional Collegiate Playwriting Competition


Submission Deadline of March 31
Winner Presented on May 4

(Cincinnati, OH) Calling all collegiate playwrights in the tri-state area! Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati hosts the second annual PLAY/write: The Jackie Demaline Regional Collegiate Playwriting Competition, held in memory of writer, critic, and arts advocate, Jackie Demaline. Students currently enrolled at a university in the Greater Cincinnati/ Northern Kentucky region are welcome to submit their plays to the competition. The winning play will be selected by PLAY/write’s current judges, Cincinnati writers Joseph McDonough and David Lyman, with the assistance of a selection committee. The winner of this competition will receive $2,500 from the Jackie Demaline Fund and a professional staged reading of their script at Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati.

Demaline’s love of the arts started at a young age. Throughout her life, she continued to be a passionate believer in the arts as an entertainment writer and editor for multiple newspapers and publications. After moving to Cincinnati in 1994, she covered theatre and the arts for The Cincinnati Enquirer for 20 years and worked as an important catalyst for change and growth during a time when new theatres and companies were popping up all over Cincinnati and helped to secure their place in the community.

After a four-year battle with cancer, Demaline passed away on June 17, 2018. As her final gift to the community, she arranged for her estate to fund the PLAY/write competition. Through this, her legacy lives on—providing new voice development, kick-starting arts careers, and caring for the community through thoughtful programming.

Submission guidelines:


  • Students currently enrolled at a university in the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky region


  • Original, unpublished full-length plays written in English. Translations, musicals, adaptations, and children’s plays not accepted.
  • Guidelines based off of the questions that Demaline asked herself when evaluating theatre:
    • Does it move me?
    • Excite me?
    • Stimulate me?
    • Provoke me?
    • Tell me something I didn’t know before about myself or the world I live in?
    • Hold up a mirror at an angle I’ve never tried so that things I know suddenly have new meaning?
    • Make me laugh or cry?
    • Make me mad?
    • Make me uncomfortable?
    • Make me think?


  • Submission deadline: 11:59 pm EST, March 31, 2020



  • The winning submission will be presented at 7:00 p.m., Monday, May 4, 2020 (Jackie’s Birthday), as part of ETC’s Studio Series. Admission is free, but reservations are required.


2019-2020 Season Presenting Sponsor is the Otto M. Budig Family Foundation. Additional support provided PNC.

Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati is supported, in part, by the generosity of community contributions to the ArtsWave Campaign.

The Ohio Arts Council helps fund Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati also receives funding from the Shubert Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati is a professional theatre dedicated to producing world and regional premieres of works that often explore compelling social issues. We fulfill our mission through our stage productions and educational outreach programs that enlighten, enliven, enrich and inspire our audiences.

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