Premiere Stages at Kean University announces 2023 Bauer Boucher Playwriting Award winners

Steven Patrick and Chad Colacurcio

UNION, NJ — Premiere Stages, the professional theater company in residence at Kean University, has named Kean University student Chad Colacurcio, Class of ’23, and alumnus Steven Patrick, Class of ‘78, as the winners of the 2023 Bauer Boucher Playwriting Award, named for longtime donors W. John Bauer and Nancy Boucher. Both winners will receive a cash prize and a one-day developmental reading of their play with a professional cast and director.

The reading of “The Troubles,” by Colacurcio, was on Monday, Jan. 23, in Kean University’s Little Theatre. “The Troubles” is a poignant drama about Kasey, who escaped Northern Ireland during the titular period of violent conflict only to confront additional tragedies as she struggles to help her family heal in 2003 New Jersey.

Queer artist Colacurcio just completed his final semester at Kean University in December 2022, earning a bachelor’s degree in theater. While attending Kean, he wrote and staged a reading of the play “I Am Beautiful,” based on the book written by Keiva Coreen and Sophia Ditchfield. During the past decade, Colacurcio has directed a theater recreation program in New Jersey. Along with his passion for writing and directing, Colacurcio also completed the Multimedia Make-Up Artistry Program at Make-Up Designory’s New York campus.

The reading of “X ≠ X (X Does Not Equal X),” by Patrick, will be on Thursday, Jan. 26, at 7:30 p.m., at Lantern Hill Senior Living, 535 Mountain Ave., New Providence. “X ≠ X (X Does Not Equal X)” is the story of Professor Lloyd, whose new theory questions accepted concepts of reality and may be the ruin or salvation of his struggling college.

Patrick is a 1979 summa cum laude graduate of Kean College. He is a partner at Ascendant Architecture & Interior Design PC, 10 Howell St., Metuchen, and has been an adjunct professor at Kean University and Brookdale Community College. His first novel, “Journey at Dusk,” was published by Ironbound Press, and his first short play, “Selective Service,” was produced and performed at Dragonfly Multicultural Arts Center in Metuchen. Patrick has written several novels, short stories, plays and screenplays. He is also a visual artist and has shown his constructivist wall sculptures at the Barron Arts Center in Woodbridge Township, the Arts Guild New Jersey in Burlington, Middlesex Community College’s Performing Arts Theatre gallery and the Edison Arts Society.

Honorable mentions went to Tyler Sautner in the student category and Dustin Ballard and B.V. Marshall in the alumni category.

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 professional actors. The winning student receives a cash prize of $1,000, and the winning graduate receives a $2,000 award. Honorable mention recipients receive $150 each.

Photo Courtesy of Christina Hoffman