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Jane Chambers Award for Excellence in Feminist Playwriting - Winners

The Jane Chambers Award for Excellence in Feminist Playwriting recognizes plays and performance texts created by women and genderqueer writers that present a feminist perspective and contain significant opportunities for female performers. This annual award is given in memory of lesbian playwright Jane Chambers, a major feminist voice in American theatre. This award is administered by the Women in Theatre Program of ATHE. Chosen from a pool of over 300 submissions, this year’s award winner is:


Pauline David-Sax Pauline David-Sax, How We Survived

Pauline David-Sax is a playwright, children’s book author and educator living in Brooklyn, NY. Full-length plays: How We Survived, Exposure, Illusion of Control, Goldfish Have No Memory, and an upcoming play (title TBD) about the female bunnies from The Tale of Peter Rabbit. Pauline’s primary interest as a writer is in (re)constructing missing or neglected perspectives in order to tell more complex stories. Her work has been read/performed at Nora Salon South & The Nora Salon (Nora’s Playhouse), The Bechdel Group, Tuesdays@9 (Naked Angels), and the Detention Series (ESPA/Primary Stages). In addition to winning the 2020 Jane Chambers Prize, her play How We Survived was also selected for the 2020 Players Club of Swarthmore New Play Festival and named a finalist for the 2019 HRC Showcase Theatre national playwriting contest (both readings currently on hold due to Covid-19). Her play Exposure was a finalist for the 2018 Todd McNerney Playwriting Award. You can read more about Pauline and her work on the New Play Exchange.


Acceptance Speech


The committee is also delighted to recognize the following playwrights for their outstanding work:


Val DunnVal Dunn, Down in the Holler

Val Dunn is a writer/deviser who creates plays, zines, and radical queer joy. Plays and theatrical texts: O, Possum! (finalist Bay Area Playwrights Festival, semi-finalist National Playwrights Conference, semi-finalist B Street Theatre New Comedies Festival ), Down In The Holler (PlayPenn Dark Night, semi-finalist Bay Area Playwrights Festival), A Shock Of Wheat (Philly Plays @ The Drake), Now More Than Ever (Philadelphia Fringe Festival), Johnny Depp: A Retrospective On Late-Stage Capitalism (Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Philly SoLow Fest, Philly Theatre Week), The Beauteous Majesty Of Denmark (Washington College), and bite-sized-works-with-bite such as 100 Ways The World Could End and Fuck Me Be Me Bette Porter. Val is a member playwright of New Pages @ Azuka Theatre, Core Playwrights @ InterAct Theatre, Writers on the Rocks, and an alumna of the Foundry @ PlayPenn. She has received developmental support from the Orchard Project (Core Company), Signal Fire, Centrum, the Bearded Ladies Cabaret, and SANDBOX. B.A. with honors in drama and English from Washington College. Val’s big-hearted plays burst with rural queer realness rooted in a deep sense of place, guided always by the belief that communal art experiences can facilitate compassion.


Morgan GouldMorgan Gould, Nicole Clark is Having a Baby

Morgan Gould is a New York based writer/ director whose plays include: I Wanna Fucking Tear You Apart (which premiered at Studio Theatre in DC with Morgan directing and received a 2017 Helen Hayes Nomination for Outstanding New Play), All The Stupid Bitches (Finalist, O'Neill), Three Fat Sisters (Finalist, Sundance), Jennifer Who Is Leaving (Finalist, O'Neill) and Nicole Clark Is Having A Baby. She is a member of New Dramatists and a recent graduate of Juilliard's Playwriting Program. Her directing work has been featured at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Marin Theatre Company, Hangar Theatre, WP Theater, Primary Stages, and Ensemble Studio Theatre/Page 73.



Lara MillerLara Miller, Catch

Lara Miller is a playwright living in San Francisco, CA. Her full-length play Catch was a 2020 semi-finalist with the Eugene O’Neil National Playwrights Conference. Her short play Sketches of Danae was the 2019 recipient of “Best Script” and “Best Overall Short” with the Bartell Theatre awards. Her other works have been produced at the Playwrights Center of San Francisco and Bricolage Production Company in Pittsburgh, PA. She is co-founder of Fieldwork Creations, a non-profit organization that turns academic research data into theatre for presentation at conferences, fundraisers, and community events. With Fieldworks, she has worked with artists to present data in Rwanda, Kenya, Canada, and the United States. She worked previously as an actor at regional theatre companies throughout the country and continues to be a proud member of Actor’s Equity Association. She holds a BA from NYU, an MS from UCSF, and a certificate from the Stella Adler Studio of Acting.

Other finalists included:

  • Consequences by Rae Binstock
  • The Gradient by Steph Del Rosso
  • Riverkeeper by Katherine Koller
  • vanquished by Jenny Grace Makholm
  • Spare Rib by Winter Miller
  • The Last Daughter by Rachel Luann Strayer


ATHE offers special thanks to the Jane Chambers Award for Excellence in Feminist Playwriting subcommittee for their work this cycle.

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