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

ETC_Play Write 2021 Open logoSubmission Deadline of January 31

(Cincinnati, OH) Tristate area playwrights, it’s your time to shine! Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati hosts the third annual PLAY/write: The Jackie Demaline Regional Collegiate Playwriting Competition, held in memory of writer, critic, and arts advocate, Jackie Demaline. Students currently enrolled full- and part-time at a university or college in the Greater Cincinnati/tri-state region are welcome to submit their plays to the competition. Three finalists will be chosen by a panel of judges. The winner of this competition will receive $2,500 from the Jackie Demaline Fund and a professionally-staged reading of their script.

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/tri-state region


  • Original, unpublished full-length plays written in English. Translations, musicals, adaptations, and children’s plays not accepted
  • Plays must be typed and page-numbered
  • Subject matter is open, however, the play should address some of the characteristics Jackie considered when critiquing theatre:
    • Does it tell me something I didn’t know about myself or the world in which I live?
    • Does it hold up a mirror at an angle I’ve never tried so that the things I know now suddenly possess new meaning?
    • Does it move me? Excite me? Provoke me?
    • Does it make me laugh or cry? Make me uncomfortable? Make me think?


  • Submission deadline: 11:59 pm EST, January 31, 2021


  • Submit your script electronically at ensemblecincinnati.org/playwriting-competition
  • If you have questions about the competition or submission process, please email Jared D. Doren, Programming & Events Manager, at jdoren@ensemblecincinnati.org


2020-2021 Season Presenting Sponsor is the Otto M. Budig Family Foundation.

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 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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