Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Chew On This: Dentyne, MTC Announce Playwriting Contest

This announcement is courtesy of Nancy Martira and all the good folks at Ketchum Communications. Given how difficult things are in terms of corporate involvement in the arts (a lot of folks are kissing corporate philanthropy, for example, goodbye), this is an interesting project (even if the headline of the press release is a bit hyperbolic).


National and Student Playwriting Contests Examine Modern Relationships in the Digital Age; Winning Plays to be Performed in New York City

Dentyne, the gum brand behind the popular Make Face Time campaign and Manhattan Theatre Club, one of the country’s most prominent and prestigious theatre companies, today announced two playwriting contests about personal relationships in the digital age – one a national contest open to the public and the other a contest open to students at participating colleges and universities. As part of the contests, Dentyne and MTC are inviting budding playwrights from across the country to write short plays about sustaining personal relationships in the age of technology.

Students from participating colleges and universities, in the case of the student contest and other amateur playwrights, in the case of the national public contest, can submit their entries for a chance to have their original, short two-person plays performed by professional actors in New York City before a live audience, along with cash prizes. Entries for the contests must be postmarked by 3/9/09 and received by 3/16/09; official rules and entry forms for both contests are available at

In a joint statement, MTC’s Artistic Director Lynne Meadow and Executive Producer Barry Grove said, “We are so grateful to the team at Dentyne gum for their support of this new initiative that will take MTC’s Education Program onto college campuses and help cultivate the next generation of American playwrights.”

“When it comes to live theater, nothing is more important than the relationships you develop with your fellow actors and with the audience,” said three-time Emmy Award- and Golden Globe-winning actress Laura Linney, who is also an arts education advocate and an artistic friend of Manhattan Theatre Club. “I’m delighted that Dentyne and Manhattan Theatre Club are giving aspiring playwrights this exciting opportunity to express their views on the importance of personal relationships in the digital age.” Ms. Linney has enjoyed a long-standing relationship with MTC, having made her professional debut with the company and more recently having played Patricia in MTC’s production of Sight Unseen for which she received Tony and Drama Desk Award nominations.

The theme of the plays resonates with Dentyne gum’s popular Make Face Time ad campaign, which depicts everyday people spending time getting face to face. In fact, a recent national survey conducted by the brand shows that an overwhelming two-thirds of Americans wish they could get more face-to-face time with family and friends while nearly 80% said they feel more connected to another person when they’re face-to-face, rather than when communicating through technology.

“The ‘Make Face Time’ campaign is a simple but powerful reminder that the most important connection of them all is the human connection,” said Josette Barenholtz, marketing director for Dentyne. “Most everyone uses technology to connect, but there really is no substitute for the powerful emotional bond we create when we get face to face. We are pleased to be supporting Manhattan Theatre Club, which provides the unique face-to-face experience of live theatre.”

About the Dentyne Playwriting Contests
Undergraduate students from Stanford University, UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles), Northwestern University and Hunter College of the City University of New York, can enter the student contest.

Four finalists will be selected from the eligible entries for the student contest. Each finalist will receive a trip to New York City in early May to have their plays performed by professional actors in front of a panel of judges and a live audience at one of MTC’s theatres at New York City Center. One grand prize winner will be chosen, and he/she will receive a $7,500 cash prize plus a one-year mentorship with MTC.

Others who wish to participate can do so by entering the national public contest; one grand prize winner will receive a trip to New York City in early May to have his/her play performed by professional actors in front of a live audience at one of MTC’s theatres at New York City Center the day of the student performances. The grand prize winner of the national public contest will also receive a $7,500 cash prize.

For additional information on the Dentyne playwriting contests and for official rules and entry forms, visit

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1 comment:

Seth Christenfeld said...

Because when I think playwriting, I think chewing gum!