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 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. Winners also receive a cash prize.

About recent Frost & Dodd Festivals:

Frost & Dodd 2023

Frost & Dodd 2022
Frost & Dodd 2021
Frost & Dodd 2020
Frost & Dodd 2019
Frost & Dodd 2018
Frost & Dodd 2017
Frost & Dodd 2016
Frost & Dodd 2015

Contest Rules

The 2024 Frost & Dodd Student Play Contest

The 97th Annual Eleanor Frost Competition
and the
49th Annual Ruth & Loring Dodd Competition

2024 SUBMISSION DEADLINE: Monday, April 1 @ 5:00 pm
**open to undergraduate students only**
Submit your play by email to Department Administrator Greg Potter.


  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 2024, the three winning plays from these two playwriting contests will be combined into several evenings of theater called the Frost & Dodd Student Play Festival.
  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. Please submit a PDF copy of your script no later than 4 PM on Friday April 1 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. 
  7. The Faculty Coordinator 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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 Student Production in a later term.