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Announcing the Winners of the

Mario Fratti-Fred Newman Political Play Contest

Mitigating Damages  

by Marilynn Barner Anselmi    •    Reading will be on Monday, August 5 at 7 PM


About the play: Julie works as a court-appointed lawyer for pregnant girls under 18 who want to obtain an abortion without parental consent.  Julie and her paralegal Rhonda take on the cases of Enaya—a Palestinian-American concealing her condition from her strict Muslim family--and Taneesha--an African-American who lives with her equally strict grandmother. While shepherding the two girls through their trial and appeals process, Julie undergoes painful fertility treatments and Rhonda fights to conceal her own past traumas. Mitigating Damages follows these four women and how they form an unconventional web of support through some of the most difficult times of their lives.

Marilynn Barner Anselmi is a playwright based in Rocky Mount, NC. Marilynn’s plays have been performed across the country, and have been named semi-finalists for the Eugene O’Neill Conference three times. She  has been published in three national journals, and her short film about the NC Eugenics Program, You Wouldn’t Expect, was selected for six national and international film festivals.  Her stage adaptation of You Wouldn’t Expect was a finalist for Playwrights First, National Arts Club and received its professional debut at The August Wilson Center (Pittsburgh, PA)  in March, 2016 and its NYC premier at The American Bard Theatre in 2018. She is a member of The Dramatists Guild of America.  


American Summer Squash: Katrina 2005 Raw  

by Don Wilson Glenn    •     Reading will be on Monday, August 12 at 7 PM


About the play:  Rev. Ratcliff La Blount flees New Orleans with his son Slidell and daughter in-law Treme (also known as Sweet 16) to escape the wrath of Hurricane Katrina. They take refuge in his old Texas hometown with Ratcliff’s stepmother Lucille, but escaping the storm was just the beginning. As they hear news of their beloved city flooding and crumbling, the La Blounts are forced to confront their relationships with each other, and with a world that is changing faster than they can imagine. American Summer Squash grapples with what it means to be a family when you have lost everything, and how to find a way to carry on when the rest of the country looks right through you.  

Don Wilson Glenn is the current Artistic Director/President of the Angelina Community Theatre in Lufkin, TX and Co-Executive Producer of theatre categories for the Vanport Mosaic Festival in Portland, OR. He received his BA from the University of Houston at Clear Lake. Mr. Glenn is an award-winning playwright with 4 AUDELCO Awards Nominations, an 2003 Outer Theatre Critic Nomination and the 2002 AUDELCO Award for Excellence in Black Theatre and Playwright of the Year for his play American Menu. His plays have been produced across the country including by The New Federal Theatre (NYC), Theatre for the New City (NYC), New York City Fringe Festival (NYC), Passin Art’s (OR), Ensemble Theatre (TX), and Classic Stage Company (CA), Chicago Black Theatre Company (Ill). Mr. Glenn is most proud of his work with the New York Public Library at Lincoln Center, The Billy Rose Theatre Collection from 1989 – 2001 as the lead archivist for the Off-Off Broadway Collection - Archives. His life work has been about building and bridging communities to give support to everyone’s voice and space for everyone’s story. Glenn is also the Democratic County Chair for Polk County Texas and has served on the board of Texas Jail Project as an advocate for better conditions for Texas inmates.


The winners of the 2019 Fratti-Newman Political Play Contest were chosen from among the six finalists. The other four finalists were:

Fixing Mother's Day by Cliff Blake

Marianas Trench
by Scott Sickles

by Elspeth Tilley

by Cate Willey

Submissions are currently closed for the Mario Fratti-Fred Newman Political Play Contest. We will begin accepting scripts for the next contest in February of 2020; details will be posted in September of 2019. 


The Castillo Theatre sponsors the biennial contest and reading series to encourage the writing of progressive plays that engage the political/social/cultural questions affecting the world today and/or historical events and issues that impact on our communities.The contest encourages scripts from all countries and cultures that experiment with form and seek new ways of seeing and new ways of experiencing theatrical performance.  


Questions and inquiries should be addressed to Madelyn Chapman at