essential-theater-logoJoshua Mikel of Conyers is the winner of the 2015 Essential Theatre Playwriting Contest with his piece titled Lillian Likes It. He gets a $600 prize and a full staging of his play at this summer’s Essential Theatre Festival.

The Essential Theatre contest is dedicated to the work of Georgia playwrights. Past winners include such established playwrights as Topher Payne, Valetta Anderson, Larry Larsen and Eddie Levi Lee (Charm School) and Lauren Gunderson, whose Silent Sky opens next month at Theatrical Outfit. The list of winners also includes such playwrights-to-watch as Gabriel Jason Dean, Theroun Patterson and Karla Jennings.


“We liked Lillian Likes It,” says Essential artistic director Peter Hardy, “because it’s a funny, theatrical look at the world of Internet dating, but also because it goes deeper, taking off in unexpected directions and dealing with such timeless issues as the mystery of how we can ever get to truly know another person.”

Mikel, an actor, playwright and music director, is a graduate of Florida State University’s theater and creative writing programs. He’s primarily known for his theater for young audience work, including such titles as The Monster Hunters and Good Good Trouble on Bad Bad Island.

“Getting a piece through Essential has become sort of a rite of passage for the Georgia playwright, I think,” Mikel says. “I’m equal parts anxious and excited. It’s a great opportunity, but I know there’s a lot of work to be done between now and then.”

More details on this summer’s Essential festival, the company’s 17th, are forthcoming. Look HERE for details.

About Kathy Janich

Kathy Janich is a longtime arts journalist who has been seeing, working in or writing about the performing arts for most of her life. She's a member of the Theatre Communications Group, the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas, Americans for the Arts and the National Arts Marketing Project. Full disclosure: She’s also an artistic associate at Synchronicity Theatre.

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