Meet the Winners of Our Playwrights’ Contest

One of the best ways for theatres to find useful material is to hold a contest. Mixing It Up Productions received close to 800 submissions in one and a half months. Our judges stepped up to the challenge and made a decisive choice as to who would be awarded first place in each of our three categories: full-lengths, one-acts, and short plays. We have listed on our website, and on our Facebook, the three top winners, along with playwrights who we felt deserve to be recognized and given second and third places and Honorable Mentions.


Lia Romeo’s play, The Forest, was well received and voted for first place in the full-length category. It was selected for the Eugene O’Neill Playwrights Conference and was scheduled to receive a National New Play Network rolling world premiere in the upcoming season but canceled due to the coronavirus. The Kilroys List has recognized this and three of her other plays. A New Jersey native, Lia graduated from Princeton University and achieved her M.F.A. in playwriting from Rutger’s University. Her plays have been produced at 59E59 Theatre, Unicorn Theatre, Project Y Theatre Company, Dreamcatcher Rep, HotCity Theatre, and many other companies. They have received workshops and residencies from the Lark, the National New Play Network’s M.F.A. Playwrights Workshop, Orlando Shakespeare Theatre’s PlayFest, and elsewhere.
Lia has been a nominee or a finalist for the Steinberg Award, the Kesselring Prize, the Weissberger Award, PlayPenn, and the NYIT Award for outstanding full-length script. She was the winner of City Theatre’s National Short Playwriting Award and was an Individual Artist Fellowship winner in playwriting from the New Jersey State Council for the Arts. Lia is also a published author in theatre, fiction, and nonfiction.


Among the One-Act writers, David John Preece won first place for his play Dancing Among the Wildflower. He has had several productions of his plays and screenplays. David has received several awards by New Hampshire Theatre Awards for his plays Charles Dickens’ Ghost Stories (2008), The House of the Seven Gables (2009), The Picture of Dorian Gray (2011).
Besides being a produced and published playwright, David has had several scripts optioned over the years. His short film, Lunch with Eddie, which he wrote, directed, and produced, was shown at over thirty international film festivals and won many awards, including Best Short Film and Best Director. David is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison (theatre/film) and the University of California (screenplay). He currently resides in Manchester, New Hampshire,


It’s no surprise that Rich (a.k.a. R.A.) Pauli was awarded first place as the author of a charming, witty ten-minute comedy called The New Me. R.A. began writing for the theater in 2009, while a senior writer at Hallmark Cards in Kansas City. Since then, theaters in 14 different states have undertaken many productions and staged readings of his work, in formats ranging from one-minute, don’t-blink-or-you’ll-miss-it play extravaganzas to please-God-let-there-be-an- intermission full-length productions.
R.A. is currently working on his first full-length musical piece; a comic operetta tentatively titled Captain Quirk and the Love Goddess of Outer Space for which he has written the book, lyrics, and music. When not writing, R.A. can often be found engaging in activities involving strings, such as tennis, banjo playing, or untangling Christmas tree lights (seasonal). “I am grateful to my sister, Linda, for her continuing role as a first reader, and to my spouse and best friend, Rosemary, for, well, just about everything,” says R.A.


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