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2019 College Playwrights Festival

2019 CPF Reading Schedule

Saturday, January 19, 2019 at 1:00PM

Merry, Love, Happy, Joy by Gracey Falk

Merry, Love, Happy, Joy is a non-linear memory play which follows the ten year relationship of Adam and Carol. As the two navigate forgiveness, broken promises, and lost dreams, we see Adam and Carol at their best and worst moments: family holidays. Ultimately, the two must put all things aside to face the question: is love enough?

Saturday, January 19, 2019 at 2:00PM

Contemporary Companyby Nick Struck

Louis, a lonely guy looking for love, sets out to end his unfortunate streak of failed romances and desperation by entering the world of online dating. He encounters conspiracy theorists, tentacles, beefers, and the girl of his dreams. Through a series of Louis’ bad dates and almost-good dates, “Contemporary Company” explores love, modern dating, and what one will do to be a little less lonely.

Saturday, January 19, 2019 at 3:30PM

Humans Ar People Toby Dyer Rhoads

Four humans gather for a dinner party. When a fifth, nearly human, guest arrives, their desires, hopes, and confusions are clumsily unmasked.

Sunday, January 20, 2019 at 1:00PM

Prettyby Rosemary Pearl Moore

Looks are everything to Sage and Madeline’s mother, Sylvia. The two sisters learned from a young age that how they looked matter more to their mother than how they acted. This shaped what they ate, what they wore, and how they were seen by potential suitors. Sylvia wants only what’s best for her two girls, but now that they are grown, she doesn’t have as much control as she used too. Both sisters are finding that honesty may be the best policy, but at what cost?

Sunday, January 20, 2019 at 2:00PM

White Zinfandelby Savannah Hard

Laurel is a bubbly housewife with a love of attention and affection. She cares deeply and tries to be the glue for everyone in her life, but her family and friends have to decide whether or not to take a stand against her drinking and her delusions.

Sunday, January 20, 2019 at 3:30PM

Shark-Infested Watersby Lee Kromer

Following the death of his father, Owen—along with his trusty stuffed shark, Mr. Mouth—moves in with his sister, Ava, and her fiancé, Rhys. Between Rhys trying to launch his political career and Ava’s teaching salary, there’s not much money left over for the added cost of Owen’s arrival. But that won’t stop Ava; she’s determined to support her autistic brother and his love of sharks. Unfortunately, when an unexpected addition to the household changes the equation, the waters get choppy, and someone is likely to get bitten.

CPF Free Workshops

SATURDAY, JANUARY 19, 2019 10:00AM — 12:00PM



Dr. John Hardy, Associate Artist at Barter Theatre will lead a workshop for college students that will focus on directing a play—preparation, rehearsals, working with actors, new plays and playwrights. Whether you’re an actor, director, playwright, or designer this workshop will be an invaluable resource to any theatre artist looking to pursue a career in the arts. Come learn from one of the most esteemed theatre artists in our region! Free to all college students!

SUNDAY, JANUARY 20, 2019 10:00AM — 12:00PM



Wendy Piper, one of the most renowned improv artists in the region, will lead a workshop for college students looking to gain the basic skills of improvisation. An invaluable skill for all actors of any level, this workshop will be a great way to get your feet wet in a fun and supportive environment! Free to college students!

Space is limited—please call (276) 619-3316 to register!

Meet The Playwrights

Rosemary Pearl Moore

Pearl is a senior BFA in Acting major with a Creative Writing minor at Emory & Henry College. Pearl has performed in Emory & Henry’s theatre department productions of The Government Inspector (Anna), Eurydice (Loud Stone), Grapes of Wrath (Mrs. Wainwright), and American Classics: 27 Wagons Full...(Flora). When she is not performing on the stage, she loves to tell and write stories. She was told by her mama that everybody has a story and it’s our job to listen to them all and to even tell our own. Pearl would also like to thank Rachael Swartz for telling her to do the damn thing. She wants to thank her family and friends for all their love and support. She would like to honor her hometown, Cana (where there are no sidewalks) for all the love.

Savannah Hard

Savannah is a fourth-year drama major at the University of Virginia. She enjoys playwriting, preforming, and impromptu dance parties. Savannah is fortunate enough that two of her one act plays were performed at UVA, White Zinfandel and They're Still Friends. She discovered her love for playwriting in her second year in her professor Doug Grissom’s class. He first encouraged her to develop her short piece Eggsto be performed in the music library exposition. Prior to that she has focused on singing and acting, preforming in Company as Joanne and #46 in the Wolves. She has also served backstage as an assistant stage manager in Urinetown and sound designer for Tartuffe. However, she prefers to trap herself in the room and write for hours. She hopes to pursue playwriting and theatre education post-graduation. Savannah is incredibly grateful to have this wonderful opportunity to learn from fellow playwrights and see their work come alive.

Lee Kromer

Lee is a sophomore at Davidson College from Charlotte, NC, currently undeclared but considering a Fine Arts major with a Pre-Med track. This is my first time writing a play, and I can’t think of any theatre I’d be more honored to share it with than the Barter. This has been a dream come true for me. I’d like to offer thanks to my family and friends, my professor and mentor Steve Kaliski, and my Davidson Buddy Club friends who inspired Owen.

Gracey Falk

Gracey is a senior Acting student at The University of North Carolina School of the Arts. While she has most often been seen onstage at school, she has a passion for directing, writing and producing original work. Gracey is a native to Winston-Salem, but has spent several summers in the state of Maine where she has helped to establish The Aris Project, a student artist retreat for the development of new works. Over the past three years, Aris has worked to showcase her writing, among others, in Maine, North Carolina and New York City. Her first full length play, Merry, Love, Happy, Joy will be presented by UNCSA’s Keys to The Kingdom program in February of 2019. She would like to thank Carl Forsman, Maddie, Dyer and Chris for their support and inspiration.

Nick Struck

Nick is a senior at Western Kentucky University where he is pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting. Some of his favorite college memories include starting a 24-hour play festival at WKU, studying abroad at the University of East Anglia for the 2017-2018 academic year, and when the sandwich artists at Subway learned his order. When he is not writing, Nick can be found studying, reading, or eating chips and salsa. He is grateful to have this opportunity and he would like to thank his friends & family for their support and guidance.

Dyer Rhoads

Dyer is an actor, writer, and director from Portland, Maine. He has worked with the Children’s Theatre of Maine, The Celebration Barn Theatre, Figures of Speech Theatre Company, Shakespeare and Co, and the North Carolina Symphony. In 2016 he founded a summer retreat in Walpole, Maine that serves as a space for college age creator/performers to write and develop new material and then work as a company to produce, direct, and act in the material. His plays include Space/Toes/Bed, The Bees, Humans Ar Peple To, and Untitled Foley Studio Play. He is currently a senior at the University Of North Carolina School of the Arts.

Be A Part Of CPF

2019 College Playwrights Festival January 17-20


Submission Form:CLICK HERE


What is it?

Barter Theatre’s College Playwrights Festival is a one-act playwriting festival dedicated to celebrating college undergraduate playwrights, giving them an opportunity to develop their work in a professional environment.

How does it work?

Each participating college submits plays from their students to the CPF. A panel of Barter Theatre professionals reads each play blind, chooses the top six plays, and those plays have public readings during the Festival.

The top six playwrights will have:

One-on-one mentorship with a Barter professional before the festival to work on his or her play
Opportunity to be present at all rehearsals of her or his play during the Festival
Talkbacks with playwrights of the Appalachian Festival of Plays and Playwrights, Barter professionals, and mentors

What are the guidelines for the plays?

Each playwright must be sponsored by a teacher from their school. This simply means that the teacher has read the play and thinks it is ready to submit. A teacher may sponsor as many students as they wish. Each play must include a completed submission form, cover page, and character list. Each play should be under 50 minutes. 6 actors per play maximum (if doubling can occur, please notate in character description page). No adaptations, no musicals. The playwright can write about any topic he or she chooses, but it must be an original piece. Submissions will be accepted from undergraduate playwrights who attend colleges and universities in the states of Virginia, Tennessee, West Virginia, Kentucky, South Carolina, and North Carolina.

When is the Festival?

The College Playwright Festival will be from Thursday, January 17 to Sunday, January 20, 2019. Public readings will take place, 3 per day, on January 19-20, 2019 at Barter Theatre Stage II. The play chosen as First Place in the CPF will also be read during the Appalachian Festival of Plays and Playwrights on Saturday, January 26, 2019. Winners will be housed from Thursday, January 17 through Sunday, January 20, 2019, and will receive a meal stipend.‚Äč

How do I submit?

All play submissions must include the attached submission form and emailed

Submission Form:CLICK HERE

Submissions must be received byFriday, November 16, 2018. Please note: this is not a postmark date, but a received date; late submissions will not be accepted. Winners will be notified mid to late November.

Questions? Want to sign up?

Contact Festival Director Barrett Guyton (

Barter Theatre's College Playwrights Festival is made possible through the generosity of our sponsors:

Dr. Bert Bach

Henry and Flora Joy