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The Drama Department Annual Marilyn Swartz Seven ’69 Playwriting Competition

The Marilyn Swartz Seven ’69 Playwriting Award was established by friends and classmates of the late Ms. Seven to support an annual playwriting competition open to all Vassar juniors and seniors. ​After Marilyn Swartz Seven ’69 died of leukemia in 1997 at the age of 50, her classmates, with the help of Professor Emeritus of Drama James Steerman, honored her memory by establishing a fund to support this yearly award. Although Seven was a psychology major at Vassar, she was immersed in theater. During her college years, Seven spent her summers performing in stock productions and touring as a dancer with Ann Corio’s This Was Burlesque. After graduating, she continued to dance and act, and also began to embrace her true creative lifelong passion: writing plays. To this day, Ms Seven’s classmates are dedicated to her legacy.

The awards began in 1999, making this the 22nd anniversary opportunity to Vassar College students from any discipline. Past recipients of this award went to English, Math, Science and Drama students who showed extraordinary writing skills.


About the Competition

The author of the winning play receives a $1,000 award and a certificate from The Drama Department.

Documents for the Competition

2020-2021 Competition

Play Submissions may consist of:

  • One full-length stage play
  • Two one-act stage plays
  • One full-length musical stage play
  • Two one-act musical stage plays

The author of the winning play receives a $1,000 award, a staged reading, reception and a certificate. (details about a staged reading and reception will be forthcoming based on the college guidelines on gatherings due to the Covid situation)

  • Deadline for submissions: Monday, March 1, 2021 by midnight to drama@vassar.edu
  • Announcement of award recipient: Wednesday, March 30, 2021
  • Reading: Sunday, May 23, 2021

Previous Recipients

Co-recipients 2020:

Jacob Liss ’20
“Mr Maurice, His Cats, And An Impossible Tower: A Reality As Dream”

Lindsay Irwin ’21
“A Tale of Broken Boundaries’


Yael Haskel ’19
Winner 2019
“Trivial Pursuit”



Imani Russel ’18
Winner 2018
“Audra McDonald and Marsha P. Johnson Deliver a Message About the End of the World”



Alexa Jordan ’17
Winner 2017
"Fine"



Juliany Taveras ’16
Winner 2016
“Anatomy of Light”



Rebecca Jannou ’16
Winner 2015
“INDIGO”



Kevin Ritter ’15 and Nick Pearl ’14
“Lawn Play” by Kevin Ritter
Also Starring Ellen Burstyn” by Nick Pearl

Winners 2014



Erin Gallagher ’13
“American Soldier”
(honorable mention presented to Tatiana Collet-Apraxine ’13 for "Planet of Ashes and Snow")

Winner 2013



Isabella Batts ’12
Winner, 2011
“The Inheritance of Nightdreams”



Julianna Gonzalez ’11
Winner, 2010
“El Mundo del Bolero”



Kartik Naram ’10
Winner, 2009
“Straw Men & The Remainders One Act Plays”



Carly Flint ’10
Winner, 2008
“Draining Still & Waterlines”


Marissa Skudlarek ’08
Winner, 2008
“The Rose of Youth”

Ensemble: Rigel Byrum-Ridge ’07, Li Cornfeld ’07, Erica Fox ’07, Tyler Penfield ’07 David Rosenbaum ’07
Winners, 2006
“Live Feed”

Jason Platt ’06
Winner, 2005
“Entering in Verdant Skin”

Christopher Johnson ’05
Winner, 2004
“Ol’ Head Country Wisdom & the Ibeiji’s Tale”

Megan Melanson Cooke ’03
Winner, 2003
“Over Here”

Sharyn Rothstein ’03
Winner, 2002
“The Three O’Clock”

Sri Gordon ’01
Winner, 2001
“Faust(s)”

Rob Grace ’00
Winner, 2000
“Paper Hearts and Suffern”

Trevor Oswalt ’99
Winner, 1999
“Young Boys Under Hot, Hot Lights”