Friday, January 31, 2020

Student Playwrights Honored in Playwriting Competition at Delaware Theatre Company

This post's content comes from a release from Delaware Theatre Company...

Delaware Theatre Company (DTC) is pleased to announce the five finalist plays and playwrights in the 2019-2020 Delaware Young Playwrights Festival (DYPF):
  • Distant Shores by Melody Fritz (Appoquinimink High School)
  • Fortunes by Zach Hitchens (Cab Calloway School of the Arts)
  • Coffee Shop by Nikolas Mandalas (Dover High School)
  • The Lost Kids by Lauren McAllister (St. Elizabeth School)
  • The Mind's Eye by Bridgette A. Rivers (St. Elizabeth School)
The five finalists will participate in a series of playwriting workshops with professional theatre artists to further refine their writing and ready their works for a public showcase performance on March 12, 2020 at 7:30 p.m. on the DTC stage.

This year's DYPF began in September 2019 with a kickoff workshop for Delaware teachers and students in Grades 8-12. From there, 55 students representing nine schools from all three counties throughout the state submitted their original plays for the first round. 

Each playwright received feedback about his or her play from a teaching artist of the DTC staff. Student playwrights then had the opportunity to revise their plays. Playwrights resubmitted their work for the second round, also known as the "competition round." From these entries, the five finalist plays were selected for additional development under the guidance of DTC’s team of theatre artists and educators.

Though not selected as finalists, six other plays and their playwrights are recognized with an honorable mention for the merits of their work. They are: The Vinyl by Asjah Brown (MOT Charter High School); Composition by Kylie Daisey (Cape Henlopen High School); Coffee and Confidants by Skylar Hass (Smyrna High School); A Glass Mask by Trinity Hunt (Cab Calloway School of the Arts); More Than an Eye by Hylea Lisenby (Cape Henlopen High School); and Wondering Goodbye by Katelyn Mock (Sussex Central High School).

Now in its ninth year of the relaunch of this acclaimed program, DYPF invites students in Grades 8-12 to write a play based on a theme inspired by one of Delaware Theatre Company's productions. This year's theme was inspired by a quotation from the Patrick Barlow adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, produced by DTC in December 2019. 

The quotation reads, “And so I say ‘Open Sesame,’ Bob. To all the real treasures of the world. All the true treasures!” These words, spoken by the character of Ebenezer Scrooge after his transformative night, served as a springboard for the DYPF theme: Write a play in which a character seeks, finds, or identifies his or her version of treasure as a result of life circumstances.

Through the use of a standards-based writing rubric, students created and shaped their original plays with regard to characters, conflict, dialogue, theme, and other dramatic criteria. Delaware Theatre Company celebrates the work of all 55 students in adding 51 new plays to the world of theatre through their participation in the 2019-2020 Delaware Young Playwrights Festival.

The mission of Delaware Theatre Company's DYPF is to provide students with an authentic audience for their creative writing and teachers with an innovative literacy program. Guided by passion and professionalism, DYPF uses educational resources, interactive workshops, personal feedback to every playwright, and public performances to engage students in the art of theatre through the act of writing a play. Both competitive and cooperative, DYPF fosters, respects, and celebrates the voices of young writers.

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