Pegasus' Young Playwrights Festival Begins Next Month at Chicago Dramatists

Pegasus Theatre Chicago (Pegasus) shines the spotlight on emerging authors with the 28th annual Young Playwrights Festival, an annual professional production of next-generation, one-act plays penned by Chicago teens, Jan. 5 through 31. The 2015 Festival, at the new location of Chicago Dramatists, 1105 W. Chicago Ave., explores the theme of "something wicked interferes" through four one-act premieres. Previews are Jan. 1 - 3 at 7:30 p.m. and Jan. 4 at 3 p.m. Press and opening of Young Playwrights Festival is Monday, Jan. 5 at 7:00 p.m. Performances are Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 8 through 31.Tickets range from $18 to $30 and are available at or the box office at 773-878-8864.

Young Playwrights Festival is a citywide playwriting competition that gives voice to teenagers while promoting the art of writing for the stage. This school-oriented program helps students craft one-act plays for an April submission deadline. In 2014, Pegasus received over 400 submissions. Four winning playwrights receive $500 and work with theater professionals to workshop, stage and produce their scripts as part of Pegasus' main stage season. Young Playwrights Festival, the second oldest of its kind in the country, enhances language arts, encourages independent, high-level thinking and strong personal values, and influences career development for area teens.

"This was a very strong year for entries," said Producing Artistic Director Ilesa Duncan. "It always amazes and humbles me to read the creative talents of these young writers. And it is such an honor to see those works come to life on the stage through the Pegasus production."

The 28th production will showcase the 2014 school year winners:

Deja Jenkins, Whitney Young Magnet High School, wrote "A Matter of Life (And Maybe Death) directed by Ilesa Duncan. When Iris is recovering from a serious accident in the hospital, she's confronted by a mysterious stranger. The battle of her life ensues as she attempts to outwith this confessed servant of death.

Daisianee Minenger from Providence St. Mel penned "Dare to be Different" directed by Juan Ramirez. Rico and Cornell are from opposing gangs, but protect their bond of friendship despite the danger they face from within their worlds. Matters get further complicated when Cornell reveals a secret.

Taylor Vazquez, a recent Lane Tech Academy grad, created "Dirty Spoons", about a boy attempting to impress his father by becoming a contestant on a cooking show. When Glenn becomes a "cheftestant" on "Chefs off the Street", he soon discovers there's something dark about cooking competitions and even stranger about his fellow chefs. "Dirty Spoons" is directed by Ilesa Duncan.

Steve Maloy was a Whitney Young student when he wrote and submitted "A Day at the Office." Directed by Warner Crocker, A DAY AT THE OFFICE follows Andrew, a young executive who is desperate to land Infini Corporation as a client to gain favor with his superiors. But will he need to sell his soul to the Devil in order to succeed?

The design team for The 28th Young Playwrights Festival include: Scenic Designer - Sarah Lewis, Lighting - Emil Boulos, Sound Designer - Chris Kriz, Costumes - Izumi Inaba, Props Designer - Mealah Heindenreich, Technical Director - Elyse Estes, Master Electrician - Angie Jorgenson, Production Manager - Samantha Dzirko, and Stage Manager - John Carlin

The ensemble cast includes: Christian JJ Anderson, David Goodloe, Angelica Herndon, Victoria Montalbano, Jose Nateras, Adam Overberg, and Sarah Patin

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