The Frost/Dodd Student Play Competition & Festival

For the Department of Theater, 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

The Frost & Dodd Student Play Festival

The Frost and Dodd Playwriting competitions are supported by a pair of longstanding endowments established by theater lovers: Eleanor Frost (1950) and Ruth and Loring Holmes Dodd (1969). Each spring, two Frost contest play submissions are selected to be produced as staged readings, while the winning Dodd contest play is mounted as a fully-produced production. Performances take place in July, in the Bentley Theater; winners also receive a cash prize.

About recent Frost & Dodd Festivals:

Frost & Dodd 2019
Frost & Dodd 2018
Frost & Dodd 2017
Frost & Dodd 2016
Frost & Dodd 2015

MAY 2020

The 2020 Frost & Dodd Competition Winners

The winning one-act plays will be performed via distance technology 2020 Frost & Dodd Student Play Festival in August 2020; DETAILS HERE.

The 2020 Ruth & Loring Dodd Playwriting Contest Winner

Spaceship 99
by Naomi Lam '21

Naomi Lam '21 is a history and theater double major. She was born and raised in Miami, FL. In high school, she joined the drama club to confront her fear of public speaking. She's been in love with theater ever since. Outside of participating in theater department productions, Naomi is involved with the Dartmouth Glee Club, the Office of Pluralism and Leadership Ambassadors, First-Year Undergraduate Advising, and Epsilon Kappa Theta. She would like to thank her parents for taking her to shows as a kid.

The 2020 Eleanor Frost Playwriting Contest Winners

N.I.G.G.A. (For Black Boys and the Black Folk Who've Loved Them)​ 
by Armond Epps Dorsey '20

Armond Epps Dorsey '20 is a first-generation student and graduating senior at Dartmouth College pursuing a major in music modified with neuroscience and a minor in African and African-American studies. Armond not only graces the stage as a spoken word poet and classically-trained clarinetist but also writes for the stage as a playwright and composer. Dartmouth has been a world of artistic firsts for Armond--where he first received clarinet lessons and first began writing. As a musician, Armond aspires to design music therapies to spread the joy and healing of music. As a writer, Armond creates original poems and plays centered on storytelling, Black masculinity, sexuality, and being. After Dartmouth, Armond intends to study in the United Kingdom, attaining his MA in Music at the University of Birmingham.


Little Circles 
by Savannah Miller '21

Savannah Miller '21 is a theater major and english and russian double minor from Windsor, Virginia. While her start was in acting, Miller finds herself drawn to the more literary aspects of theatre, specifically playwriting and dramaturgy. At Dartmouth, she has had two original plays produced through the Department of Theater: Eleanor Frost Playwriting Contest Winner The House (Summer 2018) and Trivia Champion (Summer 2019). She also has experience with stage management, working as an assistant stage manager on the theater department's Cabaret (2017) and stage-managing "Dartmouth Idol" with the Hopkins Center for the Arts this past winter. As a theatre artist, Miller has worked with different theatrical organizations, including the New York Theatre Workshop, the Smithsonian's Discovery Theater, the Stratford Festival, and the Virginia Theatre Association. Outside of the arts, she writes for the student newspaper on campus, is a tour guide and undergraduate advisor, and is an active member of Alpha Xi Delta sorority. She also considers herself a connoisseur of bad puns and "dad jokes." After Dartmouth, Miller plans to attend graduate school for playwriting and pursue a career as a writer and arts educator.

Special Note:

2020 Eleanor Frost Playwriting Contest Honorable Mention

by Mia Nelson '22

Mia Nelson '22 is studying english and biology at Dartmouth. Her poetry is most recently published in The American Poetry Review. She has a national Gold Medal in Fiction from the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Her poetry has been recognized by Princeton University, Columbia College, The Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald Museum, and The Foyle Young Poet of the Year Award, among others. At Dartmouth, she received honorable mention for The Ralston Prize, awarded for the most outstanding student in an introductory creative writing class. She is indebted to Moss Kaplan and Azar Kohzadi of Denver School of the Arts, the best teachers you could ask for. 

Contest Rules


The 93rd Annual Eleanor Frost Competition
and the
45th Annual Ruth & Loring Dodd Competition

2020 SUBMISSION DEADLINE: Monday, April 13 @ 4:00 pm
**open to undergraduate students only**
Submit your play by email to Department Administrator Milena Zuccotti


  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 2020, the three winning plays from these two playwriting contests will be combined into several evenings of theater called the Frost & Dodd Student Play Festival. The Festival will be produced July 31, August 1, and August 2 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 Student Play 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 Student Play 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 Department Administrator Milena Zuccotti no later than 4 PM on Monday, March 30. 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 YourSpace, Studio Lab, or Student Workshop Production in a later term.