Applications for the 2017 award have passed. Please check back in September for news on how to apply for the 2018 award. 

Like the Jane Chambers Playwriting Award, the Jane Chambers Student Playwriting Award recognizes plays and performance texts created by women that present a feminist perspective and contain significant opportunities for female performers. This competition is open to both graduate and undergraduate students. The Jane Chambers Award for emergent playwrights encourages diversity of style and content. All forms of drama are accepted, including solo performance work. 

The winning play receives a staged reading at the annual Women and Theatre Program pre-conference.


2016 Winner: Inda Craig Galván

Announcing our 2017 Winner!

Inda Craig Galván is an MFA Dramatic Writing candidate and Teaching Assistant at USC’s School of Dramatic Arts. In her play Black Super Hero Magic Mama, Sabrina Jackson, a single mother, is unable to cope with the shooting death of her 14-year-old son Tremarion by a White police officer. Rather than become yet another grieving Black mother leading community rallies, Sabrina escapes into her own mind to live out a comic book fantasy where she is a super hero crime fighter, mimicking the Maasai Angel comic book her artist son had created. Sabrina must decide if she’ll stay in the splash-and-pow world where sons don’t die, or return to the real world and mourn her loss. Through gripping dialogue, honestly rendered characters, and effective flashbacks Craig-Galván’s play asks timely questions about being a black mother that challenge and engage.  

We are thrilled to announce that Rachel Calnek-Sugin's play Flush has been selected as the winner. Her play will be featured in a staged reading at the Women and Theatre Program's pre-conference on August 2nd in Las Vegas. 

Flush (5 women) portrays a semester in the lives of five 15-year-old girls as glimpsed through scenes in the girls' bathroom of their New York City public high school. The girls grapple with love, intimacy, beauty, race, faith, friendship, queerness and violence in an adolescence that is often comical, mostly excruciating and always desperately tender. 

Rachel Calnek-Sugin is a writer and activist from New York City and a rising junior at Yale University.  She has had readings and performances of her work—including The Better Half and Flush, along with shorter works—in New York City at Rattlestick Playwrights’ Theater, Primary Stages, Watermark Theater Company, Brick Prison Playhouse, and the Writopia Lab Worldwide Plays Festival, and in New Haven in the Yale Playwrights’ Festival.  Her writing appears in The New Journal, The Yale Daily News Magazine, Winter Tangerine Review, Scholastic’s Best Teen Writing, and has been honored in the Norman Mailer Awards, Bennington Competition, CCNY Poetry Contest, CT Circuit Poetry Contest, and with the Wallace Prize. At Yale, Rachel double majors in English and Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies, works on campus organizing, edits the Voices section of the Yale Herald, and is the artistic director of TEETH Slam Poets.

Honorable Mentions

The reading committee has also recognized the following two plays with honorable mentions for their strength in meeting our criteria of valuing feminist perspectives, providing significant roles for female performers and creative excellence:

Tight End by Rachel Bykowski. Rachel is currently an MFA student in playwriting at Ohio University. 

InTight End (2 women, 3 men), Ash Miller's dream is to catch the winning touchdown pass for the Westmont High Titans’ Homecoming game. Football is in her blood. In order to make the team, Ash will have to prove she is one of the guys even if that means sacrificing her body for the love of the game.

Why We Have Winter by Alexa Derman who is currently an undergraduate pursuing a B.A. degree in English and Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Yale University. 

In Why We Have Winter (2 women, 2 men), the myth of Persephone's abduction is refracted through the story of a young queer couple dealing with sexual assault. The play is about high school, teenage girls, and loving when it hurts on both sides.