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Stephanie Swirsky's JEW KAMP Wins Theatricum Botanicum's Israel Baran Award


Botanicum Seedlings, Theatricum Botanicum's development series for playwrights, is pleased to announce the recipient of the fifth Israel Baran "Izzy" Award. Named for Theatricum's first dramaturg, who passed away in 2007, the award was created in honor of Baran's keen mind, sharp tongue and ear for language (despite the fact that he was frustratingly deaf), and recognizes the Seedlings play that "speaks to us the loudest." The winning play, Jew Kamp by New York City-based playwright Stephanie Swirsky, was presented as part of last season's Summer Playreadings series.

"It's wonderful to work with Theatricum through their Seedlings program," says Swirsky. "Their commitment to writers is inspiring, encouraging and absolutely true. They're not just interested in developing one play, but in helping to foster a playwright's unique voice."

Jew Kamp is a darkly comic -- and dangerously honest -- look at Jewish teens exploring their history, culture and sexuality while visiting concentration camps in Poland during the day... and hooking up in their hotel rooms at night. Theatricum company member Alan Blumenfeld directed the Seedlings reading last August. Jew Kamp will be presented again locally as part of the New Work Festival III at the Carrie Hamilton Theatre at Pasadena Playhouse in May, 2016.

Swirsky's plays have been developed or produced at the Brick Theater, Flea Theater, INTAR, Luna Stage and WordBRIDGE, among others. She received her BA from New York University and her MFA in Dramatic Writing from the University of Southern California.

Botanicum Seedlings was created in 2002 by Theatricum playwright-in-residence Jennie Webb and has established itself as a vital resource for writers across the country. Seedlings now offers popular workshops for local playwrights in addition to public and private readings, and is run by Webb along with Seedlings literary manager Kimberly Shelby-Szyszko.

Seedlings is also announcing a new submission window for playwrights: Sept. 1 - Nov. 1, 2015. Only the first 200 works received during this window will be considered.

Botanicum Seedlings encourages submissions from playwrights of color and other underrepresented writers, and has a commitment to gender parity, with a goal of 50% or more women playwrights and directors involved. Over the past 14 years, 63% of Seedlings public readings have been written by women; 72% of Seedlings directors have been women.

Playwrights interested in submitting plays for development and production opportunities should visit and refer to the Submission Guidelines. Questions, queries and submissions can be sent to

Playwrights and new play lovers are also invited to attend the upcoming free Summer Playreadings on Sunday, Aug. 23 and Sunday, Aug. 30, both at 11 a.m.: details at

For more information on Seedlings and the many other programs which act as an adjunct to Theatricum's Summer Repertory Season, call the business office at (310) 455-2322 or visit Connect to Seedlings on and Twittter @botseedlings.

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