Bellevue College instructor Dennis Schebetta wins national playwriting award

Bellevue College Theatre Arts Playwriting instructor Dennis Schebetta has won the national John Gassner New Play Competition for his work "Albatross."

The Gassner award is an annual prize intended to encourage the development of new American plays.

The contest, moderated by Stony Brook University in New York, accepts submissions of full-length plays from all U.S. playwrights.

"Albatross" tells the story of an award-winning poet and teacher whose polished lectures about “life as an artist” hide a secret pain – the suicide of his wife five years ago – now numbed through alcohol.

One of his students shakes him out of his stupor with her raw talent, but a reactionary response to one of her poems starts a chain of events that eventually cause him to drown under the watery weight of his past.

Nineteen of Schebetta’s plays have been produced in various venues around the nation. In 2006, his play "Obscura" won the John Getchell New Play award and was a finalist for a Princess Grace Award.

Schebetta's play “7 Minutes to Midnight,” which had its world premiere at Bellevue College last November, was honored as a regional nominee for the national David Mark Cohen Award of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.

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