Names and Faces

NMU playwriting

winner named

MARQUETTE – “A Paper Tiger in the Rain” by David J. Swanson was selected from more than 150 entries as the winner of the Albert and Mildred Panowski Playwriting Award at Northern Michigan University.

The competition is held biennially and this year’s theme was the economy.

“The process was very difficult this year because of the overall quality of the entries,” said Ansley Valentine, NMU director of theater. “We have a panel of readers across the country who rank the plays independently. I gather those scores to come up with a list of semifinalists. Those are ranked by different readers and I generate a list of finalists. From there, we read and discuss the plays until we come to consensus.”

Swanson, an aerospace engineer in Wichita, Kan., was involved in theater in college, and began writing several years later.

“A Paper Tiger in the Rain” is a semifinalist for the Playwrights First Award at the National Art Club in New York City and Wichita Community Theater chose it for a staged reading in March.

The Albert and Mildred Panowski Playwriting Award honors the late parents of former NMU theater professor James Panowski. It encourages artistic growth among educational and professional playwrights.

It also provides NMU students and faculty the unique opportunity to mount and produce an original work on the university stage.

The NMU production will be directed by professor Paul Truckey and run Sept. 30-Oct. 11 in the Panowski Black Box.