By: Mar. 04, 2013
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Each year, thousands of high school students apply to the National YoungArts Foundation to be mentored by the world's leading artists. In this all-new YoungArts MasterClass special, John Guare: A YOUNGARTS MASTERCLASS, award-winning playwright John Guare prepares three talented mentees, Caroline Durlacher, Sharon Jan and Drew Dickerson for a career in writing.

The special will air today, March 4 at 7:30pm EST/6:30pm CT on HBO and HBOGO. It will be available on HBO ON-DEMAND starting Tuesday, March 5.

Selected by YoungArts, an organization that identifies and supports the next generation of artists and contributes to the cultural vitality of the nation, the student playwrights receive individual instruction from Guare at the American Academy in Rome, discover the ruins of the ancient city, and write monologues drawing on their experiences.

In 2011, MasterClass received an Emmy nomination in the category of Outstanding Children's Nonfiction, Reality or Reality-Competition Program. For more on the show, visit

John Guare: A YoungArts Masterclass is a production of Simon & Goodman Picture Company; produced and directed by Oscar and Emmy winners Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon.

American playwright and author John Guare is the author of numerous plays including The House of Blue Leaves (1971) which won the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best American Play in 1971 and went on to win four Tony Awards for its 1986 revival. He also wrote Six Degrees of Separation (1990) which won an Obie Award, the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award, an Olivier Award for Best Play, and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama. Guare received the Award of Merit from the American Academy of Arts and Letters for his plays The House of Blue Leaves, Rich and Famous, Marco Polo Sings a Solo, Landscape of the Body and Bosoms and Neglect.

The National YoungArts Foundation (formerly known as the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts) was established in 1981 by Lin and Ted Arison to identify and support the next generation of artists, and to contribute to the cultural vitality of the nation by investing in the artistic development of talented young artists in the visual, literary, and performing arts. YoungArts provides emerging artists with life-changing experiences with renowned mentors, access to significant scholarships, national recognition, and other opportunities throughout their careers to help ensure that the nation's most outstanding emerging artists are encouraged to pursue careers in the arts.

To date, YoungArts has honored more than 16,000 young artists with over $6 million in monetary awards; facilitated in excess of $100 million in college scholarship opportunities; and enabled its participants to work with master teachers who are among the most distinguished artists in the world, such as Mikhail Baryshnikov, Jacques d'Amboise, Plácido Domingo, Bill T. Jones, Quincy Jones and Martin Scorsese. In addition, at the request of the Commission on Presidential Scholars, which is appointed by the President of the United States, YoungArts serves as the exclusive nominating agency for the U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts, the country's highest honor for artistically talented high school seniors.

In early October 2012, YoungArts acquired the historic Bacardi buildings in Miami and began converting the organization's first national headquarters into a campus that will become a thriving arts and cultural center for young artists ages 15 and up, allowing YoungArts to carry forward an expansion of activities unprecedented in its history. World-renowned architect Frank Gehry has been commissioned to design the master plan for the historic Bacardi campus, creating a multi-disciplinary arts complex that will include a park with state-of-the-art video projection capabilities and arts programming for the benefit of the community. In order to help with its expansion, YoungArts has named Frank Gehry, Plácido Domingo and Bill T. Jones as Artistic Advisors. As part of this initiative, the organization will produce events year-round in New York City, including performances programmed by Mikhail Baryshnikov, master classes and screenings at The Museum of Modern Art, and performances at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. In Los Angeles, YoungArts will inaugurate a new program, providing young artists with master classes, workshops, performances and exhibitions. The new YoungArts campus will host year-round programming in Miami, including master classes and forums, interdisciplinary performances and exhibitions, screenings of the Emmy-nominated HBO YoungArts MasterClass series, and an art gallery offering exhibitions with free admission, curated in partnership with Miami Art Museum, among others.

YoungArts alumni who have gone on to become leading professionals in their fields include actresses Vanessa Williams, Viola Davis, and Kerry Washington; actor, musician, and filmmaker, Adrian Grenier; four-time Tony Award nominee Raúl Esparza; Executive Director of American Ballet Theatre Rachel Moore; recording artists Nicki Minaj and Chris Young; musicians Terence Blanchard, Eric Owens, and Jennifer Koh; choreographer Desmond Richardson; and internationally acclaimed multimedia artist Doug Aitken.

Pictured: John Guare, Sharon Jan & Caroline Durlacher discuss playwriting at The American Academy in Rome, italy


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