A lot of us grumpy olds like to grumble about how everyone gets a trophy these days just for showing up. (Example: My kid's in second grade and he's already had three "graduations").
This seems to be the prevailing wisdom at the Baltimore Playwrights Festival, which just announced the winners of its 33rd season:
"Under the Poplar Trees," by Rosemary Frisino Toohey, directed by Miriam Bazensky, and produced by Fells Point Corner Theatre, won the $250 first prize. Also, decide for yourself whether it's relevant, but Toohey's husband, Bill Toohey, does all the publicity for the Baltimore Playwrights Festival. Such arrangements are sometimes unavoidable in D.I.Y. theater circles, but it might have been good for one of the Tooheys to disclose the connection.
"Fourteen Days in July," by Lewis Schrager, directed by Barry Feinstein, a production of the Theatrical Mining Company, won the $100 second prize.
"The Soulman's Soul," by Joycelyn Walls, directed by Nate Couser, a production of the Theatrical Mining Company, took the third place $50 prize.
Unfortunately, Walls' play also came in last, since this year's BPF only included three plays. Five plays were intially announced, but two never made it to the stage. 2014 seems to have been a down year for BPF—the website's "Current Season" page still lists productions from 2013.
But as you can see from the links above, we reviewed the top two finishers and (mostly) liked them. Still, we look forward to a wider range of work at BPF in 2015.