Dunster Sophomore Wins Anderson Prize

David J. Eilenberg '97, a resident of Dunster House, received the Phyllis Anderson Prize for his one-act play, Pumpkin. The prize, which is given by the College every other year to a student playwright, is accompanied by a $500 cash award.

"I saw a flier on a kiosk the Yard two days before [the deadline]," said Eilenberg, who had tried his hand at playwriting before he knew about the prize. "I turned in the only completed decent script I had."

Although he was officially notified by letter, Eilenberg first found out he had won when his roommate called him at work.

Eilenberg said he plans to use the award money go to London "in the near future."

Pumpkin, which has yet to be performed, is "about three kids, a cat and a gun," Eilenberg said.


The main character is "a teenager who can't sleep because there is a cat outside his window meowing day and night," he said. "He buys a gun to kill a cat, and two of his friends get involved."

"It becomes a battle between the two friends, and older friend and a new friend, for him."

Borrowing a conceit from Citizen Kane, Eilenberg does not reveal the reason for the play's title, Pumpkin, until the end of the 30 to 45 minutepiece--Pumpkin is the name of the cat.

Eilenberg, a resident of Dunster House, says hehas been writing since he was eight. He wrotePumpkin over the past summer.

"When it appeared to me, it appeared to mewhole," he said.

"I tossed it around in my mind for monthsbefore I started writing it."

Eilenberg said that Pumpkin is hisfavorite play so far. "I like the fact that it istight and holds together and that none of thecharacters are me or anyone I know."

Michael B. Smith '97, a roommate of Eilenbergwho also entered the contest, said Eilenbergdeserved the award.

"Dave takes his writing very seriously," Smithsaid. "I was very excited to hear he had won.