Alumna Gethsemane Herron-Coward '19 Finalist for Samuel French’s 2020 Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival

BY Felix van Kann, July 28, 2020

Alumna Gethsemane Herron-Coward '19 is one of 30 playwrights selected from over 500 submissions as finalists at the 2020 Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival from Samuel French, making her a contender for one of the six winning plays to be included in the 45th Festival Plays Series. The full series will be published and licensed by Samuel French, Inc. All plays are up to 15 pages in length and have a maximum run time of 15 minutes. The final winners will be announced on August 21.


Herron-Coward’s play, The Falling Man was inspired by Richard Drew's famous shot of a man falling from the North Tower of the World Trade Center at 9:41am during the September 11th attacks in New York City. 


According to the festival’s website, “Instead of performances, this year the Top 30 plays will be divided into three packets, each one going to a judging panel composed of professionals who represent various parts of the theatrical industry. The judges will read and evaluate their packet, then they will come together virtually to deliberate. Each panel will choose four plays to advance to the festival’s final round.”

Gethsemane Herron-Coward is a poet-turned-playwright from Washington, D.C. She is a 2016 semi-finalist for the Rising Circle INK TANK, a 2016 finalist for the Jane Chambers Playwriting Award, and a 2017 finalist for SPACE on Ryder Farm. Herron-Coward is also a 2016 Grant Recipient from the Puffin Foundation, which supported her residency with JAW Magic Time at Judson Memorial Church. Her short play, The Falling Man received a production in The Fire This Time Festival in 2018. Her work has been supported by the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and the Millay Colony, where she was the 2018 Yasmin Scholarship Fellow. Her work has been seen in Atlanta Black Star, The Washington Post, the 24 Hour Plays: Nationals and Columbia University.


Concord Theatricals presents The Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival (OOB), the nation’s leading short play festival. Beyond playwrights, the festival has given voice to many emerging directors, performers, and production companies. As part of its unique model that requires playwrights to partner with sponsoring producers, it has hosted prestigious theatre companies on the festival stage such as The Royal Court, Circle-in-the-Square, Ensemble Studio Theatre, and The Yale School of Drama.