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Winner emerges from Arizona Playwrights Competition

January 13, 2003

And the winner is… John Franklin, whose play “Crosswords” was deemed the state’s best original script in the third biennial Arizona Playwrights Contest 2002. This is a statewide contest for playwrights to have their original, unpublished and unproduced work recognized.

Arizona State University's Herberger College of Fine Arts Department of Theatre and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Department of English sponsor the contest.

“Crosswords” is a deeply felt drama of two senior citizens who contemplate suicide in order to put an end to their many health difficulties. Franklin is a writer from Prescott Valley.

Franklin’s play will be featured as a staged reading in the Herberger College of Fine Arts New Plays Festival in spring 2003, and he will also receive a $500 honorarium from the Department of English.

“It's a delight to be recognized for this honor,” Franklin says. “‘Crosswords’ is a very personal play for me, as it deals with the death of my own mother a few years back. It became a therapy for a grown son working through the many issues attendant to the loss of a parent.

“My mother taught me to do crosswords at a very young age and I remain an addict to this day. I find the morning crossword a delightful, disciplined routine for jumpstarting creativity.”

The play was chosen among 40 entries throughout the state. The finalists were Scottsdale’s Kathy Hotchner for her play, “Passing for Normal,” and Tucson’s Adrienne Perry for her play, “Into the Wind.”

Playwright Guillermo Reyes, professor of theatre in the Herberger College of Fine Arts at Arizona State University and head of the playwriting program, began the contest in 1998 as a way of creating a link between Arizona playwrights. The college’s theatre department features an annual New Plays Marathon geared toward the professionalization of graduate students in the MFA Playwriting program.

Previous winners include Elaine Romero in 2000 for her play “Before Death Comes for the Archbishop” and “Touch” by Toni Press-Coffman in 1998.

Media Contact:
Megan Krause