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LC State’s Petersen receives national playwriting honor

Lewiston, ID – Lewis-Clark State College instructor Jef Petersen has been named the one of the recipients of the David Mark Cohen National Playwriting Award for his play, “Emme and the Taking of the Woods” that was produced at the college last fall.



Petersen is an instructor of theater and is the technical director in the Humanities Division at LC State. He will receive the honor during an awards ceremony at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. on April 21 as part of the 54th annual Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF).


The national award is intended to provide incentive to college and university theater production departments to foster the growth and development of playwrights through the public presentations of unpublished full-length plays or a collection of shorter works for the stage that have not received a professional production. This award is supported by the KCACTF and the Association for Theater in Higher Education.


The award honors the memory of David Mark Cohen, professor of playwriting at the University of Texas-Austin. He was a consummate teacher who provided support to playwriting and served on several national playwriting committees.


In addition to a $1,000 cash prize, Petersen has been offered a professional development residency with the O’Neil Playwrights Conference in Waterford, Conn., on Aug. 3-6. He also receives a free membership into the Dramatists Guild.


Petersen’s play “Emme and the Taking of the Woods” is a story that follows Emme, a precocious and intelligent nine-year-old, who answers a mysterious call for help emanating from the woods. Emme soon faces a destructive force that is obliterating entire worlds across the multiverse. The epic adventure includes an assortment of companions to aid in the fight. Petersen also served as one of the directors for the play, which was performed by LC State students in theater classes.


Petersen also serves as the KCACTF’s national playwriting program chair for Region VII.



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