Laurain Park Wins DCPA's Regional Youth Playwriting Competition

Laurain Park Wins DCPA's Regional Youth Playwriting Competition

The Denver Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA) has announced that high school freshman Laurain Park's play, One-Sided Fish, was selected for production from 75 submissions to the Regional Youth Playwriting Workshop and Competition. Following the staged reading from the Colorado New Play Summit in early February, the play will be produced by the Denver Center Theatre Academy and will be performed twice in the Conservatory Theatre on June 27. Additionally, Park was awarded a $250 cash scholarship.

"This means a lot to me. It was hard to believe that I actually won," said Park, who is a student at Alexander Dawson High School in Lafayette. "I was really surprised because I am a freshman and also English isn't my first language. I thought I was a math and science student and that I would never be related to the theatre. This is such a discovery for me, proving things that I thought about myself were actually wrong. I'm just thankful to all my teachers, peers, and the crews on the play for wishing me good luck, helping me write the play and making this happen."

One-Sided Fish is a modern day spin on Disney's The Little Mermaid, examining how loyalty and self-identity shape a person's high school experience and sculpts the person that they can become in the future. The story explores the thoughts and feelings of a shy girl learning a few things about assimilation and first love.

Two other finalists, Victoria Capraro (Denver School of the Arts) and Jack Fletcher (East High School), whose plays also received a staged reading during the Summit, were likewise awarded a $250 cash scholarship. In addition, the teachers of the three students received a $250 gift certificate for books, supplies or other teaching tools for their classrooms.

"The playwriting program has elicited such positive and exciting reactions from students, teachers and parents in its inaugural year," said Director of Education, Tam Dalrymple Frye. "It was a thrilling experience to watch the faces of the playwriting finalists the night their plays were read by professional actors. The packed theatre and receptive audience created such wonderful energy. The hardest part of this program was choosing a final play to produce. They are all winners to us!"

In late September 2013, the DCPA Education Department launched the new statewide program. Seventy-five one-act plays were submitted by students from various high schools. The program was designed to advance literacy, creativity, writing and communication through playwriting while nurturing Colorado's promising young playwrights and developing theatre artists and audiences. Local playwrights and Education staff taught 83 workshops in Colorado high schools introducing the art of writing a one-act play. More than 1,750 high school students participated in the workshops, which were taught in every school district in the Denver-metro area and in 11 counties including Park County, El Paso and Gunnison County.

For more information on the program, please visit denvercenter.org/playwright or contact academy@dcpa.org.

Learn more about Laurain Park and One-Sided Fish here: http://denvercenterblog.tumblr.com/post/73405181844/scenester-no-10-laurain-park-alexander-dawson-school

The Regional Youth Playwriting Workshop and Competition was sponsored by the Newman Family Foundation and June Travis.

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