Center Stage to Celebrate 2014 Young Playwrights Festival on May 5

Center Stage to Celebrate 2014 Young Playwrights Festival on May 5

On Monday, May 5, Center Stage celebrates the 28th Annual Young Playwrights Festival with live performances of honored plays, an awards ceremony for the recognized playwrights, and the world premiere of six new My America/My Baltimore filmed monologues. The festival takes place Monday, May 5, at 7 pm.

YPF is an annual competition that welcomes Maryland students in grades K-12 to submit original scripts. This year, student playwrights submitted nearly 500 plays, which were read by a panel of staff, visiting artists, and volunteers. The final honored plays selected will be showcased with workshops, in-school performances, and select pieces will be staged at Center Stage.

Accompanying the staged readings at the Festival will be the premiere of six new filmed My America/My Baltimore student monologues. In response to Center Stage's My America project-where 50 leading American playwrights were asked to answer the question "What is my America?"-Center Stage opened this question up to the creative minds of tomorrow. This year, more than 260 students in grades K-12 throughout Maryland submitted monologues exploring "What is my America?" and six monologues will be filmed and premiered at the 2014 Young Playwrights Festival.

Center Stage welcomes the community to attend the free Young Playwrights Festival performance on May 5, which includes an awards ceremony recognizing honorees, staged readings of selected plays, the My America/My Baltimore films, and a reception in honor of all of the students who submitted scripts. The event is free; however, a $5 donation is suggested at the door. Tickets can be reserved by calling the Center Stage Box Office at 410.332.0033.

The Young Playwrights Festival is presented by Center Stage's Department of Community Programs & Education, under the direction of Rosiland Cauthen, and is made possible through the generous support of our many community partners, including The Kennedy Center VSA, The P&G Fund of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, Eggspectation, M&T Bank, Transamerica, and the Maryland State Arts Council.

Center Stage is supported by a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC), an agency dedicated to cultivating a vibrant cultural community where the arts thrive. An agency of the Department of Business & Economic Development, the MSAC provides financial support and technical assistance to nonprofit organizations, units of government, colleges, and universities for arts activities. Funding for the MSAC is also provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. Center Stage's 2013-14 Season is made possible by Season 51 presenting sponsor M&T Bank. Maryland Public Television is a Media Partner for Center Stage's 2013-14 Season.

About Center Stage: Under the leadership of playwright, actor, and director Kwame Kwei-Armah OBE (Artistic Director) and national arts leader Stephen Richard (Managing Director), Center Stage is an artistically driven institution committed to engaging, entertaining, and enriching audiences of today and tomorrow through joyous and bold performance. Hailed by The Wall Street Journal as "a model of what regional theater can and should be," Center Stage has, for more than 50 years, dedicated itself to exploring new works and bringing classics to life. This rich history is marked by critically acclaimed new works that have shaped the American theater; from the Tony Award-winning The Triumph of Love to World Premieres such as Miss Evers' Boys by David Feldshuh and On the Verge by Eric Overmyer. In 2013, Center Stage's unprecedented presentation of the Tony Award-winning Clybourne Park in repertory with the World Premiere of Kwei-Armah's Beneatha's Place sparked dialogue, drew international media attention, and became the subject of a nationally broadcast PBS documentary, "A Raisin in the Sun Revisited: The Raisin Cycle at Center Stage." With its signature focus on civic and community engagement, Center Stage, The State Theater of Maryland, enters its second 50 years with a commitment to exploring how art and entertainment communicate in the 21st century and to igniting conversation in Baltimore and beyond.

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