Final Days Playwrights Theatre Accepting Submissions to the 29th Annual New Jersey Young Playwrights Contest

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Playwrights Theatre is currently accepting submissions for the 29th Annual New Jersey Young Playwrights Contest. Plays are accepted in the following divisions: Elementary (grades 4-6), Junior High (grades 7-9), High School (grades 10-12), Interested young playwrights must submit their plays online at www.njypf.org. Submissions must be received by January 14, 2012 for playwrights in grades 10- 12; and by January 15, 2012 for playwrights in grades 4-9. Scripts will be reviewed by theatre professionals from across the country and a written critique will be provided to each playwright.

Select plays will be chosen for further development and a public reading at Premiere Stages at Kean University in May and as part of Playwrights Theatre’s Annual Forum Reading Series in December. For complete details and submission guidelines, visit www.njypf.org, or contact Jim DeVivo, Direction of Education at 973-514-1787 X14 or jdevivo@ptnj.org, or visit the New Jersey Young Playwrights Blog at http://njyoungplaywrights.blogspot.com/

There may be up to three winners in each division. High School winners receive a New Jersey Governor’s Award in Arts Education, cosponsored by the New Jersey Arts Education Partnership and the New Jersey Department of Education. Winning playwrights who individually write their play (i.e. without a co-author) may be eligible to receive a scholarship to attend Camp Premiere, the summer theatre program at Premiere Stages. Elementary and Junior High School award recipients will receive Certificates of Achievement.

For over 29 years, the New Jersey Young Playwrights Contest has been deepening the writing experience for young writers by providing entrants with detailed feedback from theatre professionals about their play. For the seventh year in a row, winning plays will be presented in May 2012 as staged readings with professional actors and directors during the New Jersey Young Playwrights Festival, a partnership between Playwrights Theatre and Premiere Stages at Kean University. Admission to the readings is free, but reservations are suggested, as seating is limited.

Two former New Jersey Young Playwrights Contest winners, Mary Hamilton and Judah Skoff, have continued their playwriting careers. Mary Hamiltonis originally from Brielle, NJ. She received a B.A. in English from Rutgers University, and was a 2009 recipient of the Iowa Arts Fellowship, completing her final year in the University of Iowa’s Playwrights Workshop. She has had productions in Edinburgh and Iowa City, and staged readings in New Brunswick NJ, NYC, Australia, and Iowa City. She participated in the WordBRIDGE Playwriting Conference in 2008, Young Playwright’s, Incorporated in 2002, and received the New Jersey Governor’s Award in Arts Education in 2000 and 2001 (she won the contest two years in a row). She was recently named as one of six finalists for the 2012 Page 73 Playwriting Fellowship.

"Winning the New Jersey Playwrights Contest gave me the confidence to pursue my playwriting dreams, and I haven't stopped since,” said Judah Skoff. Immediately after winning New Jersey, I won the National Playwriting Competition, sponsored by Young Playwrights Inc. I went to Brown University to study English and writing. Most recently, my new play, A MATTER OF DREAMS, was named winner of the 2012 New Jersey Playwrights Contest and it will have a world premiere production at the Hunziker Black Box Theatre in April. It, along with two of my other new plays, had their first readings in the Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey's FORUM Series. My association with Playwrights Theatre, going back to the New Jersey Playwrights Contest, truly has made all the difference. I owe them the world."

For more information about the New Jersey Young Playwrights Festival, Playwrights Theatre’s Creative Arts Academy or Playwrights Theatre’s New Jersey Writers Project, please visit www.ptnj.org or call (973) 514-1787.

Playwrights Theatre’s New Jersey Young Playwrights Contest receives generous funding from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts; the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation; and Travelers Foundation, Bank of America, Investors Savings Bank Charitable Foundation, the Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, PSE&G, The Bay and Paul Foundation and the Provident Bank Foundation. The New Jersey Young Playwrights Festival and New Jersey Young Playwrights Program are registered to the Middlesex County Cultural and Heritage Commission.

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