Blank Theatre Now Accepting Submissions for 2014 Young Playwrights Festival
Celebrating its 22nd anniversary, The Blank Theatre's Young Playwrights Festival is a nationwide competition that produces the work of twelve young writers each year. Since 1993, the festival has produced 248 plays by playwrights 19 and younger from 27 states.
Each winning play will have four performances in a weekend run. The productions are made possible in part by grants from Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, The Plum Foundation, The Rosenthal Family Foundation, Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation, Los Angeles County Arts Commission and City of Los Angeles - Office of Councilman Tom LaBonge. Hollywood's Blank Theatre has had its work featured on MSNBC, CNN Showbiz Today, Entertainment Tonight, BBC, CBS, ABC, NBC, PBS, NPR, in Entertainment Weekly magazine, and in the Financial Times of London.
"Every year I am amazed at the depths to which these teenagers go in their writing. They are brave, bold and uninhibited," said Noah Wyle (star of television's ER and Falling Skies), Artistic Producer at The Blank. "The winners are thrilled to see their plays presented by professionals, but these professionals are often given a great gift in return: a renewed sense of artistic purpose. We learn from the playwrights as they learn from us."
The rules for the festival competition are as follows: playwrights must be 19 years of age or younger on March 15, 2014; original plays and musicals can be any length, on any subject. Scripts must be legible and pages must be numbered and unbound. Submissions may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, or hard copies mailed to YPF, c/o The Blank Theatre, PO Box 1094, Los Angeles, CA, 90078 (and must be postmarked or emailed by March 15, 2014). There is a limit of three (3) plays per playwright. All plays must include a cover sheet with the play's title, playwright's name, date of birth, school (if any), mailing address, contact phone number, e-mail address and the play's production history (if any).
Each playwright whose work is accepted will be assigned a mentor: professional writers who will help the youngsters hone their work for performance. Past mentors have included Tony Award-winning playwright Terrence McNally, Tony Award-nominated composer Michael John LaChiusa, writer Jeff Greenstein (Will & Grace), Irene Mecchi (writer, The Lion King, Brave), Tony Award-winning director Michael Mayer (Spring Awakening), television and film director Garry Marshall, among many others. The playwrights then experience the thrill of seeing their plays performed by industry professionals in fully staged productions.
Past festivals have featured well known actors such as Jerry O'Connell (Jerry Maguire), Chris Pine (Star Trek), Noah Wyle, Molly Shannon, Tiffani Thiessen (White Collar), Matthew Moy (2 Broke Girls), Tom Lenk, Nicholas Brendon, and Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy The Vampire Slayer), Megan Ward, Heather Morris and Max Adler (Glee), Josh Radnor and Alyson Hannigan (How I Met Your Mother), Sherri Shepherd (The View), Kelly Lynch, Debra Messing, Parvesh Cheena (Sean Saves The World), Angel Parker (Lab Rats), Constance Zimmer (Boston Legal), Tony Award-winning actress Daisy Eagan, Emmy Award-winning actor Edward Asner, and many others.
In past years, some winning plays have gone on to have a life on The Blank's mainstage for full-scale production. Should this happen, the playwright is treated as a full professional, from signing an option agreement to being paid royalties for his/her play. The Why, a play by 19-year-old Victor Kaufold, received a Los Angeles Stage Alliance Ovation Award nomination for 'Best Writing - World Premiere' as a result of The Blank's production. Kaufold is the youngest nominee in his category in 23 years of Ovation Award history. Three-time Festival winner Stephen Karam was a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and three-time winner Austin Winsberg saw his musical First Date open on Broadway in 2013.