Now celebrating its 20th Anniversary, The Blank Theatre's Nationwide Young Playwrights Festival has chosen 12 plays by young playwrights, aged 9 -19, from nine different states. These plays will be presented by professional actors and directors in this year's festival at The Stella Adler Theatre in Hollywood, May 31 - June 24. Full details below.
"Ever since I acted in the first Young Playwrights Festival, I have always had a special place in my heart for these extremely talented teenagers," says Blank Artistic Producer Noah Wyle. "The issues tackled, and the depth of emotion and understanding these kids have is remarkable. I wish I knew as much as they do when I was their age!"
This year's winning plays are: COFFEE TALK by Spencer Opal-Levine, Sarasota, FL, Age 9; DAMMIT! by David Agronin, Owings Mills, MD, Age 17; BEAR IN MIND by Emma Steinkellner, Santa Barbara, CA, Age 17; THE ART OF LOSING by Nicole Acton, Interlochen, MI, Age 18; ARC by Elana Zeltser, Sherman Oaks, CA, Age 16; THE INDEX by Zachary Weaver, Overland Park, KS, Age 19; OTHER PEOPLE'S ORGANS by Paige Roth, San Antonio, TX, Age 18; SCRAPBOOK by Brendan Blaber, Indian Head Park, IL, Age 17; THE GRANT PROPOSAL by Nick Mecikalski, Madison, AL, Age 18; ONE PLUS ONE IS FOUR by Rachel Kaly, Forest Hills, NY, Age 16; PRINCESS by Kate Herzlin, Rockville Centre, NY, Age 19; and THE CARDIOLUTHIER by Dylan Zwickel, Manhattan Beach, CA, Age 19.
The schedule for this year is a follows:
WEEK ONE May 31 - June 3
By Spencer Emerson Opal-Levine (age 9), Sarasota, FL
What do you want to become? Do you have to follow the rules? The denizens of a local Starbucks ask these same questions, but the answers are not what you expect.
Mentor – Ellen Byron
Director – David Shine
THE GRANT PROPOSAL
By Nick Mecikalski (age 18), Madison, AL
In the too-near future, your productivity is very closely watched and charted. This family struggles with what one must do when Grandpa is no longer "useful."
Mentor – Mark Saltzman
Director – James Kerwin
By Kate Herzlin (age 19), Rockville Centre, NY
Princess has been sheltered her whole life, as if raised in a fairy tale. But what should she do if a dream life isn't her dream? Can she ever ?nd her true self or must she live everyone else's version of happily ever after?"
Mentor – Brighde Mullins
Director – April Webster
WEEK TWO June 7 – 10
By Zachary Weaver (age 15), Overland Park, KS
What if they kept a list of your life accomplishments? What would be in your Index? Maybe you haven't done anything noteworthy. Does that make you not worthy?
Mentor – Patrick Burleigh
Director – Trevor Bishop
By Brendan Blaber (age 17), Indian Head Park, IL
The last day at Camp Itchyknee seems like the end of the world. And when you are 12 years old, it just may be. Especially if you haven't been able to tell the cute girl how much you like her yet.
Mentor – David Rambo
Director – J. Richey Nash
THE ART OF LOSING
By Nicole Acton (age 18), Interlochen, MI
Family matters. It is important to give of yourself to help those that have always helped you. But how much can one give? And for how long? And at what cost?
Mentor – Christopher Kyle
Director – Loni Peristere
WEEK THREE June 14 – 17
By David Agronin (age 17), Owings Mills, MD
Len needs to apologize to his girlfriend but she's not picking up her phone, so he leaves a message. And then another. And then another. Can he stop digging this terrible hole for himself and ever get back in her arms?
Mentor – Austin Winsberg
Director – Matt Graber
OTHER PEOPLE'S ORGANS
By Paige Roth (age 18), San Antonio, TX
Getting Mom's attention is never easy, especially when she is so self-obsessed. But Carlton needs
more that just that from her mother: she needs to know what really happened to her father.