Premiere Stages announces winners of 2021 Bauer Boucher Playwriting Awards

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UNION, NJ — Premiere Stages, the professional theater company in residence at Kean University, has named current Kean University student Lucien Edme, Class of ’21, and alumnus Megan Hoche as the winners of the 2021 Bauer Boucher Playwriting Awards, named for longtime donors W. John Bauer and Nancy Boucher. Both winners will receive cash prizes and one-day developmental readings of their plays with a professional cast and director. This year, the readings will be held virtually via Zoom and are free and open to the public. A question-and-answer session with the playwrights will follow each reading.

The virtual reading of “Councilman,” by Lucien Edme, was scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 19, at 3:20 p.m. via Zoom. “Councilman” tells the story of Wesley Grande, a new kid at St. Thomas Public School, a middle school full of power-hungry tyrants in the making. Running for class president with his best friend, Wesley plans to “bring power back to the underdog,” but Wesley soon has to decide what matters more to him: power or respect.

Edme is a senior at Kean University pursuing a bachelor’s degree in theater. Edme’s many acting credits include playing Mr. Billy in “Sunday in the Park with George,” Riley in “Parade” and Gomez Addams in “The Addams Family.” As a recording artist, Edme has an EP titled “555,” which is available on all music-streaming platforms.

The virtual reading of “Forever Mom,” by Megan Hoche, will be Tuesday, Jan. 26, at 7 p.m. via Zoom. In “Forever Mom,” Linda is a full-time caregiver to her adult son, Kevin, who has intellectual disabilities. With Kevin consuming her days, things such as travel, relaxation and even aging seem to be luxuries that are out of reach. But when a family member offers up a change, Linda begins to consider a life without Kevin for the first time. To register for the free reading of “Forever Mom,” visit

Born and raised in Edison, Hoche started performing and writing at a young age. She graduated from Kean University in 2008 with a minor in theater and received her master’s degree in speech pathology at Kean two years later. She now lives and works in New York City and is currently a writer for the Mission to (dit)Mars Propulsion Lab, where she developed and had a staged reading of her play “End of the Line,” a 2021 More Than Roses podcast feature. Her play “Talk to Me” had its world premiere in New York City in June 2019 at the Theaterlab. Her feminist play “A Period Piece,” a 2019 O’Neill National Playwrights Conference semifinalist and 2019 Playwrights Foundation/Bay Area Playwrights Festival semifinalist, had its world premiere in New York City in July 2019 with the Shrill Collective. Her new play, “Forever Mom,” recently had a virtual reading as a part of Plays-in-the-Park’s Sunday-in-the-Park Play Reading Series.

The Bauer Boucher Playwriting Award, established in 2014 through funding by Premiere Stages supporters W. John Bauer and Nancy Boucher, recognizes the work of one Kean University student and one playwright from the alumni community on an annual basis. The Bauer Boucher Award supports Kean University writers with enhanced visibility, dramaturgical feedback, a cash award and the opportunity to hear their play read out loud by an ensemble of professional actors. The selected plays are directed by John J. Wooten, producing artistic director of Premiere Stages, and performed by Actors’ Equity Association actors. The winning student receives a cash prize of $1,000 and the winning graduate receives $2,000.

The 2021 Bauer Boucher Award Readings will benefit the Kean Foundation. Donations will help support Premiere Stages’ education initiatives, particularly those that support emerging artists.