Suffolk alumna receives theater award

Published 5:04 pm Tuesday, August 11, 2020

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A Suffolk native has once again won a major playwright competition.

Savannah Miller, valedictorian of the 2017 class of Nansemond River High School, was one of two winners of the Eleanor Frost Student Playwright Competition for the second time.

Miller attends Dartmouth College majoring in theater and double majoring in English and Russian. She has written many original plays, including past winner “The House” and current winner “Little Circles,” about the global pandemic and its impact on quarantined families.

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“It was inspired by the pandemic,” said Miller. “I wrote it in March when everything was still up in the air. I was inspired by social media posts and the impact the pandemic was having on different family dynamics.”

Miller writes plays about experiences in life and the world around her.

“I am always inspired by the things I know and the world around me,” said Miller.

Miller hopes to pursue a career in arts education and writing plays. Winning a second Eleanor Frost Student Playwright Competition came as a surprise and honor to her as she pursues this goal.

“It was a big surprise, but I am very grateful,” said Miller. “Winning this is very validating as someone who is trying to pursue a career and receive this recognition.”

After writing this play in March, Miller submitted it for the competition in April. Two entries were chosen to be performed at the 2020 Frost & Dodd Student Play Festival in early August. This year, it was performed virtually.

“I am really grateful to Dartmouth for the opportunity,” said Miller. “Virtual theater isn’t ideal, but it is important for the arts to continue in this new normal.”

Miller has one more year at Dartmouth and plans to go to graduate school for playwright or arts education.

“I am not sure exactly what my next step is,” said Miller. “I had an internship with the Smithsonian’s Discovery Theater in Washington, D.C., and loved it there. I loved working with the kids and exposing them to the arts. I may go back to D.C. for a few years to establish myself before going back to school.”