SETC News - January/February 2020

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Charles M. Getchell Award

Rachel Bykowski Explores the Roles of Mothers and Daughters

SYNOPSIS: 25 Light Years From Now In 1942, Josie and Fran’s love is tested when Fran reveals she is leaving to help the war effort with the WAAC (Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps.) Josie, unable to move past her family’s painful history with war, deserts Fran and they never speak again until Josie hears of Fran’s death in the war. Twenty-five years later, Josie receives a letter from Fran’s grown daughter, Isabella, who found an old photo of her recently deceased mother and Josie together. Josie sets off to meet Isabella, leaving her daughter, her life and the present behind to revisit the past one more time as she attempts to fix her broken heart from 25 years ago.

Rachel Bykowski, a playwright living in Chicago, was “surprised and re-energized” when she received the news that her play 25 Light Years From Now had won SETC’s 2020 Charles M. Getchell Award. An accomplished writer who earned her BFA in playwriting from the Theatre School at DePaul University and her MFA from Ohio University, Bykowski says she writes to explore the many facets of the female identity. Her goal when she began 25 Light Years From Now was to create a play about mothers and daughters.

Rachel Bykowski

Could You Be SETC’s Next Getchell Award Winner?

Scripts are accepted from “Recently with my writing, I have been March 1 until June 1. drawn to the idea of legacy and how Details: women contribute to legacies in their getchell-new-play-contest families,” Bykowski said. “I’m especially drawn to matriarchies and mother/daughter relationships. I feel in the old canon of plays, we heard about fathers and sons shaping their heritage, and the women were often relegated to the kitchens or tucked neatly away in living room corners giving advice and side commentary. I wanted to write a play about women being in the forefront, out of the house, going on adventures and creating their own paths.”

Bykowski is looking forward to attending the SETC Convention in Louisville, KY, where 25 Light Years From Now will receive a reading on Friday, Feb. 28, at 7 p.m. (Check your convention program for the location.) Bykowski is no stranger to SETC. She won the 2019 SETC/Stage Rights Ready to Publish Award last year for Rev. (See Page 3 for details on purchasing that script at the 2020 SETC Convention.)


Read an interview with Bykowski in a Web Extra here.

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January / February 2020