2015 Young Playwrights Festival winners announced
The culmination of Florida Studio Theatre’s Write A Play program
(Sarasota, FL) – FST is proud to announce the winning plays of this year’s Young Playwright’s Festival. Playwrights have been hard at work creating their own original scenes, characters, and dialogue. However, these playwrights are not what you might expect – that is, they are all students ranging from Kindergarten to 12th grade. FST is proud to announce that this year’s winning plays have now been selected and are being presented in UNDER SIX which runs through May 22.
These playwrights will be honored on Saturday, May 9 at the Young Playwrights Festival awards ceremony. They will have the opportunity to see their winning plays performed in professional productions of Under Six and readings of Seven Up. Winners will receive a special certificate and a medal honoring their original work.
This unique program reaches students that in some cases have never even seen a live theatre production. FST’s WRITE A PLAY program begins each season with the Fall Children’s show as the example. Kicking things off this year was the production of Rap-Punzel by Beth Duda and Adam Ratner. The process then continues with the Playmaker’s Tour. FST’s Acting Apprentices go into Sarasota and Manatee County schools to teach students the basics of playwriting development. The students then put what they’ve learned into practice as they submit their final scripts. After an extensive selection process, the winning plays are produced by FST’s professional staff for the productions of UNDER SIX and SEVEN UP. Throughout the run of Under Six in the Keating Theatre, approximately 10,000 students from Sarasota and Manatee Counties are bussed to FST to see the work of their peers. The UNDER SIX cast includes FST Acting Apprentices: Kayla Bussel, Marcus Cunningham, Joey James, Sara LaFlamme, Michael Manley, Ashley Mifflin, Zach Shotwell, and Valentine Williamson.
It takes real gumption to glean what’s in the mind and put it down on paper for all not just to read, but eventually see live in action on a professional theatre stage. FST’s Lead Teaching Artist and YPF Coordinator Adam Ratner speaks to this process stating, “The Young Playwrights Festival is a magical time of year here at the theatre. We received plays from over 3,300 playwrights both locally and internationally. As the plays arrive by mail there is a sense of energy that permeates the envelopes in which they arrive.
They seem to be calling out, ‘Look at all the imagination, effort and fun that went into the process of creating these tales.’ Each play that is submitted gets read several times as we whittle down to the top chosen few. This year 100 playwrights were honored in various categories. This is a day to celebrate their courage to create; the act of putting their thoughts and feelings out there for perfect strangers to see is truly an act of bravery.”
This year also marks the introduction of the Celebration Tour. The tour features selected work from winning playwrights in grades 7-12. The show is called SEVEN UP. Two different casts of Acting Apprentices perform daily at differing locations. The work of these young playwrights reaches more than just the audiences in the theatre seats.
Ratner further recalls a poignant moment from last year’s festival. “A parent of an honored playwright approached me and said, ‘We had no idea our son had even written a play! And now I feel like he’s become a celebrity.’ The WRITE A PLAY program strives to do exactly that – to showcase the talents these young writers possess and to take a moment’s glance at the world through their eyes of creative wonderment.
If you are interested in attending a performance of Under Six, the show is running now through May 22. Tickets are $6. Please contact Patrick Jackson – WRITE A PLAY Coordinator – at (941) 366-9797 for show times or any other questions.
ABOUT THE SARASOTA FESTIVAL OF NEW PLAYS
The Sarasota Festival of New Plays seeks to provide a forum for playwrights of all ages to develop plays that can be fruitfully produced. From our young playwrights to emerging adult playwrights and seasoned playwriting veterans, the Sarasota Festival of New Plays seeks to expand the breadth and depth of thought in American theatre by encouraging people of all ages and all perspectives to write plays. FST has presented the Sarasota Festival of New Plays for 22 years.
New Play Development is the lifeblood of FST. It is a year-round activity that is fully integrated with each of the theatre’s other programs. FST’s approach to new play development focuses on the continued life of the work. Going beyond producing the world premiere, FST frequently provides plays with their 2nd, 3rd or 4th productions. In 2012, in partnership with the National New Play Network, FST presented the Rolling World Premiere of Jericho by Jack Canfora. In 2014, FST presented the World Premiere of Tom Jones by Mark Brown. Most recently, FST presented the Regional Premieres of Fly by Ricardo Khan and Trey Ellis and Dancing Lessons by Mark St. Germain.
Tickets to the events, plays, and performances can be purchased through the FST Box Office by calling (941) 366-9000, or by visiting the website at floridastudiotheatre.org.
The Sarasota Festival of New Plays is sponsored by the Sarasota County Tourist Development Tax Revenues, Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Woman’s Exchange, Inc., and the Community Foundation of Sarasota County.
ABOUT FLORIDA STUDIO THEATRE
Known as Sarasota’s Contemporary Theatre, Florida Studio Theatre was founded in 1973 by Jon Spelman. Starting out as a small touring company, FST traveled to places such as migrant camps and prisons. The company then acquired the former Woman’s Club building, becoming the first permanent venue. Shortly after Richard Hopkins arrived, the building was purchased and renamed The Keating Theatre. In the years that followed, Florida Studio Theatre established itself as a major force in American Theatre, presenting contemporary theatre in its five theatre venues: the Keating Theatre, the Gompertz Theatre, the Parisian style Goldstein Cabaret and John C. Court Cabaret, and Bowne’s Lab Theatre.
Even with its growth, Florida Studio Theatre remains firmly committed to making the arts accessible and affordable to a broad-based audience. FST develops theatre that speaks to our living, evolving, and dynamically changing world. As FST grows and expands, it continues to provide audiences with challenging, contemporary drama and innovative programs.
UNDER SIX Winners
The Child Who Wants to Fly by Francisco Macias
Laurel Nokomis School, Mrs. Tweed – 2nd Grade
The Fairy Who Couldn’t Fly by Helene Giraud
Gulf Gate Elementary, Ms. McKenzie– 1st Grade
A Friend on the Other Side of the Wall by Roni Gutberg
Shelanu School, Mrs. Philosoph– 6th Grade
Leave Me Alone by Georgi Borg
Island Village Montessori School, Ms. Turoff & Ms. Vale– 4th Grade
My Little Cupcake by Kate Campion
Southside Elementary, Ms. Schreiber- 3rd Grade
Puddles by Tristin Abers
M.J. Fletcher Elementary, Ms. Andalora– 3rd Grade
Sandman by Sean Leake
Garden Elementary, Mrs. Davis– 2nd Grade
The Science Experiment by Jaidyn Thomas
Island Village Montesorri School, Ms. Turoff & Ms. Vale– 4th Grade
The Second Grade Train
by Gabrielle Meese, Camiryn Opstal, Tristyn Opstal, Aiden Pressman, Mia Rosenthal, Ariel Shulman
Temple Beth Shalom Schools, Ms. O’Brien– 2nd Grade
Soldiers of SHINE!
by Jojo Barnes, Angelo Butler, Emilio Carranza, Marvens Lacombe, Josias Sanchez, Josiah Saunders, Edenilson Villatoro
Visable Men Academy, Mrs. Gehndyu– 4th Grade
A Spotty Situation
by Natasha Antoniuk, Cocomi Bransome, Hayden Capaccione, Brody Carroll, Waylon Curran, Nathanael Hearon, Jasiu Hyde, Sophia Kepecz, Katherine Lee, Jackson Mitchell, Diya Nair, Devon Peterson, Mollie Raymond, Rylee Roads, Emmett Russo, Andre Sanchez, Spencer Schurawel,
Phillippi Shores Elementary IB World School, Ms. Williams– 1st Grade
“Stick” To Being Me by Michael Rixon
McNeal Elementary, Mrs. Byal– 4th Grade
There’s a Monster in My Class by Trinity Sweeny
Gulf Gate Elementary, Mrs. Shemky– 1st Grade
SEVEN UP Winners
by Wyatt Collins, Kaylee Ferryman, Connor Rowland, Victoria Stephenson, Kyle Taylor
Venice Middle School, Ms. Albanese– 7th Grade
Earth Dog or Space Dog??? by Christian Ledesma
Booker Middle School, Mr. Pauling – 7th Grade
Fairy Tale News by Jaquavien Jones & Isazier Whitfield
Booker Middle School, Ms. Mills– 8th Grade
Last Batman Standing by Katherine Arico & Nick Polaszek
Venice Middle School, Ms. Albanese– 7th Grade
The Lost Child by Andrew Rybin
Humanitarian Linguistic Gymnasium #23, Ms. Olga Milenkaya– 9th Grade
The Mask by Eva Izgiyaev
Urim School, Mrs. Rapoport– 6th Grade
Obstruction by Savannah Pearson
Shorecrest Preparatory School, Mr. Leavengood– 12th Grade
The Parting by Spencer Emerson Opal-Levine
Pine View School, Ms. Grandusky– 6th Grade
Runaway by Skyler Stahlmann
Generation Harvest, Mrs. Stahlmann– 10th Grade
HAIRSPRAY – November 12 – January 11
DANCING LESSONS – December 10 – February 27
FLY – February 4 – April 4
CHAPATTI – April 8 – May 30
WITH THE PRIMA DONNETTES – October 22 – February 5
AMERICAN PIE – December 31 – April 23
AND OTHER LIFE LESSONS FROM VAUDEVILLE – February 18 – June 7
OUT OF BOUNDS MATCH UP – October 18 – January 3
WRITE A PLAY
RAP-Punzel – September 23 – November 14