(Sarasota, FL) – FST is proud to announce the winning plays of this year’s Young Playwright’s Festival. For 26 years, FST has honored thousands of young playwrights from all around the world through the WRITE A PLAY(WAP) program. Over the course of the 2016-2017 season, FST received plays written by over 3,600 young playwrights, aged 5-18. This year’s winning plays will be presented in The Dragon vs. The Hiccups & Other Winning Plays which is now playing through May 26 in FST’s Keating Theatre. Tickets are $6. Please contact WRITE-A-PLAY Coordinator Patrick A. Jackson at (941) 366-9797 for tickets, show times, or other questions.
In conjunction with the Sarasota Festival of New Plays, the Young Playwrights Festival includes an imaginative and inventive run of The Dragon vs. The Hiccups & Other Winning Plays, a WORLD PREMIERE production of an anthology of exemplary plays written by children in grades K-6. Directed by Jason Cannon, and performed by a cast of FST Acting Apprentices, these authentic stories from the minds of children contain laughter, lessons, and learning for us all.
The WAP program begins each season with the Fall Children’s show as the example. Kicking things off this year was the production of The Velveteen Rabbit by Kevin DelAguila, based on the book by Margery Williams. 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 Dragon vs. The Hiccups & Other Winning Plays as well as Seven Up, which includes plays from winning playwrights in grades 7-12. This year’s Seven Up winners include plays such as What is Fire?, Good Friends Are Hard to Find, and Rush Hour.
Writing from a place of unfiltered creativity, these young playwrights create work that is both unique and memorable. “The Young Playwrights Festival is a truly magical time of year here at Florida Studio Theatre. In its 26th year, this program has touched the lives of over 1 million students since its creation. We received plays from over 3,600 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.,” said Adam Ratner, Young Playwrights Festival Coordinator and Lead Teaching Artist.
These plays will be seen by over 12,000 Sarasota and Manatee County students. On May 20 these distinguished honored playwrights will attend our Young Playwrights Festival Day with their families and educators. This is a day to celebrate their courage to create; the act of putting their thoughts and feelings out there for all to see is certainly an act of bravery.”
This program has impacted not only the students, but many of the staff at FST as well. Having directed 13 FST children’s theatre productions, Jason Cannon speaks to the impact these young playwrights have on the creative world all around us.
“Children write the plays that adults have forgotten how to write,” says Cannon. “They write in shockingly pure language, with brutal and refreshing honesty. They create worlds and characters and images that adults shy away from because we’ve been trained to censor and doubt ourselves. But when adults then experience these plays, they are reminded not just of how the world really is, but what in its best incarnation it can be.”
Throughout the run of The Dragon vs. The Hiccups & Other Winning Plays, students from Sarasota and Manatee Counties are bussed to FST to see the work of their peers. All bussing is donated by Embracing Our Differences’ Make-A-Day-Of-It program. Following the performance, students then travel to the Sarasota Bayfront to visit the Embracing Our Differences Art exhibit.
This year’s winning plays will be presented in The Dragon vs. The Hiccups & Other Winning Plays which is now playing through May 26 in FST’s Keating Theatre. Tickets are $6. Please contact WAP Coordinator Patrick A. Jackson at (941) 366-9797 for tickets, show times, or other questions.
The Dragon vs. The Hiccups & Other Winning Plays will also be playing on Saturdays in Bowne’s Lab as part of the Saturday Children’s Series which premiered last fall. Performances will be held on April 29 and May 6 at 11:00am, and May13 at 11:00am and 1:00pm. Tickets are available online by clicking the links or by calling the FST Box Office at 941-366-9000.
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 24 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. Last season FST presented the Regional Premieres of Butler by Richard Strand, Outside Mullingar by John Patrick Shanley, and Alabama Story by Kenneth Jones. Most recently, FST presented the Regional Premieres of Clever Little Lies, by Joe DiPietro and Rich Girl by Victoria Stewart.
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
Florida Studio Theatre (FST) is Sarasota’s contemporary theatre, located in the heart of downtown. It has been in operation in Sarasota since 1973. The Florida Studio Theatre campus is a village of theatres – the historic Keating and Gompertz Theatres, the Parisian-style Goldstein and John C. Court Cabarets, and Bowne’s Lab Theatre. Near the Sarasota bayfront, FST brings an energy and vitality to the downtown area. Each theatre is small in size and large in impact – providing an intimate and engaging setting for high-quality, professional performances. Hip and historical, entertaining and challenging, we are the theatre where the street meets the elite, where everyone is welcome to come and engage in the art of theatre.
During its history, FST has grown into a theatre with a budget of over $6 million and over 30,000 subscribers a year, the third largest subscription theatre in the nation.
FST has modeled itself on the strength of creating the best in contemporary theatre at an affordable price. Overall, FST serves over 200,000 attendees per year through its major programs: the Mainstage Series, the Cabaret Series, Stage III, WRITE A PLAY, Education, and New Play Development.
2017 UNDER SIX Winning Plays and Playwrights
The Boy Who Liked Pulling Hair by Brynn Ribbing
M.J. Fletcher Elementary, Mrs. Brown– 3rd Grade
The Brave Knight by William Crouch
Laurel Nokomis School, Mrs. Wardlaw- 3rd Grade
The Challenging Pet Choice by Ashley Bailey, Jacob Cobb, Caleb Cobb, Kian Coose, Senna De Oliveira, Mischa Doan, Taleah Izzo, Henry Jones, Isabella Moscone, Ella Moulton, Dylan Murphy, Jake Nicholson, Clara Plass, Max Priovolos, Victoria Sanchez, Jesse Soares, Nevaeh St. Onge, Maisey Tulla, Kyler Underwood Southside Elementary, Mrs. Waite– 4th Grade
Chippy Finds a New Home by Sky Campbell, Jordan Carpenter, Meja-Uribe
Phillippi Shores Elementary IB World School, Mrs. Kreger, Ms. Esper, Ms. Kelley- 1st Grade
Drip, Drop! by Chloe Johnson
Sarasota Christian School, Mrs. Spraker– 5th Grade
His Name Was Ahmed by Eyal Feldman
Nof Yaldoot Elementary School, Mrs. Idit Levent Levy– 6th Grade
The Interview by Elijah Read
Tatum Ridge Elementary, Ms. Ayrault– 5th Grade
The Race with Max and Molly by Jace Field
Gulf Gate Elementary, Mrs. McKenzie– 1st Grade
The Rainbow Chaser by Jett Smith
Center Montessori School, Mrs. Reid – 3rd Grade
A Recipe for Friendship by Viviana Serrano
Garden Elementary, Mrs. Kern– 3rd Grade
Shoelaces by Peyton Armstrong, Patrick Dekaney, Phillip Heckert, Daniel Reyes, Silas Rizzi
hillippi Shores Elementary IB World School, Mrs. Kreger, Ms. Esper, Ms. Kelley- 1st Grade
SEVEN UP Winners
A Doll By Kuzma Ryabov
Linguistic Gymnasium #23, Tatyana Semenova-9th Grade
Factors of Life by Ocean Bruinius
Pine View School, Ms. Schran – 6th Grade
Forget Me by Sky Stahlmann
Generation Harvest, Mrs. Stahlmann – 12th Grade
Gazelle’s Feet by Maytar Ladovski
Nof Yaldoot Elementary School, Mrs. Idit Levent Levy – 6th Grade
Good Friends Are Hard to Find by Fiona Davey and Ella Morton
Queen Anne High School, Ms. Angela Malcolm – 9th Grade
God, How Lucky I Am by Arina Serkova
Humanitarian Linguistic Gymnasium #23, Marina Trubitsyna – 10th Grade
My Twin Brother by Daniel Paz
Shelanu School, Bar Bracha Menashe – 6th Grade
Rush Hour by Olivia Liu
Pine View School, Mrs. Squires, M.Ed – 6th Grade
What is Fire? by Marielena Savino
Booker Middle School, Ms. Mills – 6th Grade