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Volume 24, Number 9 — September 2017

Theatre Professor Wins Major Playwriting Competition

<strong>Don LaPlant</strong>
Don LaPlant

January 01, 2007

Professor Don LaPlant recently was named the winner of the Charles M. Getchell Award for his play, Two Body Problems. The award, which carries a $1,000 prize, goes to the winner of a playwriting competition sponsored by the Southeastern Theatre Conference.

As a result of his award, LaPlant will present a reading of his play at the SETC convention this spring in Atlanta and the play will be considered for publication in the Southern Theatre magazine.

The award represents the third time in less than a year that one of LaPlant's plays has been honored in competitions. The same play was named a finalist in the 2003 Last Frontier Theatre Conference hosted by Edward Albee in Valdez, Alaska. Over the summer, an extensively revised edition of the play won the 2006 PlayWorks Competition sponsored by the Association for Theatre in Higher Education.

LaPlant's most recent honor carries with it significant prestige as a result of the high quality of the competition. Many of the finalists of this year's competition, for example, have won numerous other awards and have had significant productions of their works in major theatre centers.

LaPlant will pursue production ofTwo Body Problems by sending the script to literary management departments of select theatres across the country. "The first step is finding the right theatre with the right mission and a history of doing works similar to this one," LaPlant said.

A four character play, Two Body Problems explores the impact of the struggle to maintain family and romantic relationships while seeking professional growth and career advancement. Two couples in the play are forced to decide what levels of compromise, sacrifice and dissatisfaction are acceptable to them.

LaPlant, who will teach playwriting this spring at Emory and Henry, praised students in the Theatre Department for their support. A current student, Will Coleman, and a recent graduate, Sarah Crockarell, offered constructive critiques of drafts of LaPlant's script.

"I'm glad my teaching position here connects me with a group of smart, literate, articulate threatre people who provide thoughtful feedback on my work," LaPlant said.