Frost & Dodd Student Playwriting Festival

For the Theater Department, summer days are a time to focus on the cultivation and development of new work. At the heart of this annual initiative is the Frost and Dodd Student Play Festival, which brings to the Bentley stage the winners of two annual student one-act playwriting contests: The Eleanor Frost Playwriting Contest and the Ruth and Loring Dodd Playwriting Contest. 

About the Festival


Each spring, two Frost contest play submissions are selected to be produced as staged readings, while the winnng Dodd contest play is mounted as a full-produced production. Performances take place in July, in the Bentley Theater; winners also receive a cash prize. Tickets are $4 general admission; $2 Dartmouth students; $3 Other students.

2018 Contest Rules



2018 SUBMISSION DEADLINE: Monday, March  26 @ 4:00 pm
**open to undergraduate students only**


  1. Dartmouth undergraduates are invited to submit original, previously unproduced, one-act plays for the Eleanor Frost Playwriting Contest and the Ruth and Loring Dodd Playwriting Contest. Submitted one-act plays will be considered for both the Frost and Dodd Awards. Playing time of the one-act plays may not exceed one hour. Play adaptations will be accepted only on the condition that the playwright submits a copy of the original work from which the competing script was adapted. (Please note that the ‘original work’ must be in the public domain or the submitting playwright must have the rights to do an adaptation.)
  2. In summer 2018, the three winning plays from these two playwriting contests will be combined into several evenings of theater called the Frost & Dodd Playwriting Festival. The Festival will be produced July 27, 28 and 29 in the Bentley Theater.
  3. Two plays will be selected as the Frost Award winners and will be produced and directed as readings during two evenings of the Frost & Dodd Playwriting Festival. (A reading means that no design elements will be employed.)
  4. One play will be selected as the Dodd Award winner and will be fully produced and directed by a faculty member during two evenings of the Frost & Dodd Playwriting Festival.        
  5. Playwrights must be available to work on their plays via email and phone during the summer term. In addition, playwrights will be required to be on campus for initial readings of their plays and also the beginning of the rehearsal process - exact dates TBA - and for the week of tech and dress rehearsals. If a playwright is not enrolled or on campus in the summer term, the department will provide the playwright with transportation to/from Hanover and housing during these required periods.
  6. Winning playwrights may obtain academic credit by enrolling in Theater 80: Independent Study during the summer term.  Playwrights may not act in their own plays, so that they may work with the director of their play during the rehearsal process.
  7. Please submit a PDF copy of your script to the department administrator ([email protected]) no later than 4 PM on Monday, March 26. Number the pages of the script and include a cover page with your name, Hinman Box and title of play. Your name should not appear anywhere else in the script. 
  8. The Director of Theater and/or the Department Chair will organize a reading panel of three individuals who will read all the submitted plays (with authors' names removed by the Theater Office). This panel of judges will choose the two Frost Contest winners and the one Dodd Contest winner. The panel may also choose to award "Honorable Mention" status to additional plays. The Frost and Dodd winners will receive cash awards, which will be presented at the Arts Award Ceremony in May.
  9. Neither the Theater Department nor Dartmouth College will retain any rights to any play submitted to the Frost & Dodd Festival other than the right to produce the play in the Festival.
  10. Plays submitted to the Frost & Dodd Festival, but not chosen for production in the Festival, may (with the permission of the author) be submitted for consideration for a YOUR SPACE or student production slot in a later term.