A film student from Brigham Young University was named the first winner Thursday (March 21) in the William P. and Arlene R. Lewis Playwrighting Contest for Women.

Janine Whetten, a Pocatello native attending BYU as an undergraduate with an emphasis in screenwriting, received first place for her drama "When Circles End."Orem attorney Lisa Bolin Hawkins, a director of the legal clinic in the J. Reuben Clark Law School, received second place for her drama "Surviving Witnesses."

Announcement of the award came at the annual BYU Spring Writers' Forum where Susan Lewis, a Chicago playwright who endowed the competition, was the keynote speaker. Her own credits include the works "Storm" and "Watch the Garden Grow."

The 1991-92 competition will expand to allow women in colleges and universities anywhere in the United States to enter, according to competition director Tim Slover, a member of the BYU theater faculty.

"Janine is one of those quiet dynamos," says Sharon Swenson, who directs the film program at BYU. "She's kind of small and slight, but her mind is an incredible processor. She has written probably the best papers I have ever read, and she is good at history, theory, creative writing. When you talk about changing the world, she's one of those people who just might do it."

- THE UTAH SHAKESPEAREAN FESTIVAL has selected Kathleen F. Conlin as casting director.

Conlin, who is also directing the festival's 1991 production of "The Taming of the Shrew," is director of the Ohio University School of Theater and a master acting teacher with extensive background in Shakespearean production.

"I have the ability to sense the intricacies of a play and the technical things an actor has to do both vocally and physically," said Conlin, when asked about herself and her position.

"The festival is fortunate to have her expertise," added Rick VanNoy, festival operations manager and associate casting director. He noted that Conlin has a diverse list of qualifications.

Conlin's first work with the Utah Shakespearean Festival was during the 1990 season, when she directed a production of "The Two Gentlemen of Verona."

She has also directed or acted in productions of "Julius Caesar," "Richard II," "The Merry Wives of Windsor," "As You Like It," "All's Well That Ends Well" and "Love's Labour's Lost," among others.

Her productions have also been seen at the Illinois Shakespeare Festival, the Three Rivers Shakespeare Festival, the Berkeley Shakespeare Festival and the Monomoy Theatre.