Winner: Southwest Playwriting Competition

Winner: Robert Chelsley/Victor Bumbalo Foundation Playwriting Award

Woodward/Newman Drama Award, top 10 finalist

Todd McNerney Playwriting Contest runner up

Inkslinger Playwriting Competition semifinalist

Finalist for the 2016 Eugene O’Neill Playwrights Conference:
It is the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s pleasure to recommend Erik Forrest Jackson
and his play LIKE A BILLION LIKES as a finalist for our 2016 National Playwrights Conference.
The play rose through a competitive, anonymous, multileveled selection process that took
nearly nine months to execute. As one of 54 finalists out of more than 1,450 submissions, the strength
of its writing has allowed this work to prosper in such a competitive selection process.
Our readers especially responded to the way the humor highlighted the timeliness
of the themes of the piece.

Misty Riggs is a nobody. No, really, she is— that’s an undisputed fact, even by Misty herself. She’s not particularly brainy, she’s definitely not popular, and until now she hasn’t felt much drive to change that. But just as she’s starting sophomore year in her Texas high school, she gets a vague notion that she should try to stand out somehow before it’s too late.

After seeing the outpouring of attention and clicks from her classmates to social causes, she decides the solution is to champion… something. It seems like gay rights would fit the bill as well as anything. Never mind that she doesn’t have any real passion about it—if it’ll help turn her life around, she’s game.

Her fuzzy plan involves a handmade T-shirt adorned with pro-gay messages in puffy paint and glitter glue. But when the slogan tee lands her in the office of out-of-touch Principal Segars and in hot water at home, she escalates her game. To the chagrin of Alixandra, who’s her BFF (and pretty much only F), Misty aggressively works to cozy up to Jacey, the weird guy in the grade above them who wears skirts, in the hopes that her well-documented show of tolerance will win her social-media fame and put her on the map.

But Misty’s maneuver only results in sparking an unexpected attraction between Alix and Jacey, an attraction that alarms Alix’s mom, Colleen, who’s the school guidance counselor. To Misty, losing Alix’s attention to Jacey is one blow too many, so she makes one final, desperate bid for glory—the terrible culmination of her burning desire to get recognized for something, for anything, no matter how she achieves it.

Like a Billion Likes. A darkly comic new drama.