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BRIDGEWATER – Elise Harvey, a sophomore from Hillsborough in the Theater Arts program at Somerset County Vocational & Technical High School (SCVTHS), recently placed first overall in The Theater Project’s Young Playwrights Competition. 

Elise Harvey, First Place Winner  in The Theater Project’s Young Playwrights Competition.
Elise Harvey, First Place Winner of The Theater Project’s Young Playwrights Competition

Now in its 21st year, the Young Playwrights Competition invites students from over 800 New Jersey schools to take part in its state-wide competition, made possible in part by a grant from Investors Bank Foundation, The New Jersey Theatre Alliance Stages Festival, and The New Jersey Arts and Culture Renewal Fund.  This year, a total of 77 New Jersey high schools participated in the competition. 

Harvey’s winning play submission, “Alistair’s Garden,” is a story of dealing with loss and making connections with a mother, daughter, and an imaginary friend.  When asked about winning the contest, Harvey said, “It was very unexpected but very exciting.”  Harvey added, “It gave me hope that this is something I could do as a career.”

On March 27th, a virtual award ceremony will be held for the contest.  In addition to the recognition, certificates, and prize money, the four top winning playwrights will get the opportunity to see their one-act plays performed by professional actors.  Additionally, the performance will include a live award presentation, the opportunity to meet the 12 honorees, and interaction with the winners. Registration for the free Zoom performance/ceremony is open to the public here:

For more information on this story, please contact James Strickhart at (908) 526 – 8900 x7169 or