Photos: First Look At Pegasus Theatre Chicago's YOUNG PLAYWRIGHTS FESTIVAL Supported By $30,000.00 NEA Grant

The Young Playwrights Festival partners with high school students and teachers across Chicago, teaching them to craft one-act plays.

By: Jan. 24, 2024

Pegasus Theatre Chicago has announced that the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has approved a grant in the amount of $30,000.00 for the organization. This grant will support the Pegasus’ Young Playwrights Festival, the oldest such festival in the United States. In total, the NEA will award 958 Grants for Arts Projects awards totaling more than $27.1 million that were announced as part of its first round of fiscal year 2024 grants. See photos from this year's festival here.

For more information on the current Young Playwrights Festival, now playing through January 27 at Chicago Dramatists, 798 N. Aberdeen, go to PegasusTheatreChicago.org. For more information on other projects included in the NEA’s grant announcement, visit Arts.gov/news.

“The NEA is delighted to announce this grant to Pegasus Theatre Chicago, which is helping contribute to the strength and well-being of the arts sector and local community,” said National Endowment for the Arts Chair Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD. “We are pleased to be able to support this community and help create an environment where all people have the opportunity to live artful lives.”  

“Pegasus Theatre Chicago extends its deepest gratitude to Chair Jackson and the NEA for selecting Pegasus for this grant,” said Executive and Producing Artistic Director ILesa Duncan.”Pegasus looks forward to working with the NEA to finalize the grant paperwork and appreciates the agency’s support allowing us to continue our mission of engaging and inspiring Chicago’s teens.”

The Young Playwrights Festival partners with high school students and teachers across Chicago, teaching them to craft one-act plays. Under the auspices of Pegasus Theatre Chicago, the winning teen playwrights’ productions are work-shopped and staged by industry professionals. The competition typically receives more than 300 submissions annually.  

The 37th Young Playwrights Festival

 

now playing through January 27, includes:

Splashes of Paint 

 

by Amanda Heckler 

(Taft High School, Teacher: Adrienne Carmona)

Director by Reshmi Hazra Rustebakke 

During the Renaissance period, a young woman is forced to hide her visual art painting which jeopardizes her happiness.

You’re Like, Dead 

 

by Ella Johnson 

(Whitney Young Magnet High School, Teacher: Elizabeth Danesh)

Director: ILesa Duncan 

Richard accidentally dies and befriends Death in the afterlife as they both grapple with their loneliness.

Can’t Sleep

 

by Alexander Loaiza 

(Thomas Kelly High School, Teacher: Chani Buchic)

Director: Enrico Spada

In order to stave off the grief of his dog dying James pretends he's in a happy kids television show.  Can he acknowledge his childhood traumas and awake from his dream?

Listen

 

by Grant Parris 

(Whitney Young Magnet High School, Teacher: Elizabeth Danesh)

Director: ILesa Duncan  

Two friends George and Zach find themselves in a time loop that ends in tragedy. Can they stop the devastating chain reaction from repeating?

Pegasus Theatre Chicago has been a mainstay in the Chicago theater community for more than four decades. Its mission is to champion new, authentic voices and produce boldly imaginative theatre primarily by and about black or other people of color. Home of the Young Playwrights Festival, the company promotes cultural equity while celebrating diversity, inclusion and first voice and is committed to initiating important conversations through the arts with strong community engagement and socially relevant programming. The Young Playwrights Festival for high school-age scribes celebrates its 37th year in 2024. Pegasus Theatre Chicago has received 77 Joseph Jefferson Awards since its inception.

Photo Credit: Anthony Robert La Penna

Photos: First Look At Pegasus Theatre Chicago's YOUNG PLAYWRIGHTS FESTIVAL Supported By $30,000.00 NEA Grant
Ben Murphy, Seth Hubbard, Evan Morales and Hadar Zusman

Photos: First Look At Pegasus Theatre Chicago's YOUNG PLAYWRIGHTS FESTIVAL Supported By $30,000.00 NEA Grant
Seth Hubbard and Evan Morales

Photos: First Look At Pegasus Theatre Chicago's YOUNG PLAYWRIGHTS FESTIVAL Supported By $30,000.00 NEA Grant
Seth Hubbard

Photos: First Look At Pegasus Theatre Chicago's YOUNG PLAYWRIGHTS FESTIVAL Supported By $30,000.00 NEA Grant
Aundria TraNay and William A.S. Rose

Photos: First Look At Pegasus Theatre Chicago's YOUNG PLAYWRIGHTS FESTIVAL Supported By $30,000.00 NEA Grant
Seth Hubbard, Evan Morales, Aundria TraNay and Hadar Zusman

Photos: First Look At Pegasus Theatre Chicago's YOUNG PLAYWRIGHTS FESTIVAL Supported By $30,000.00 NEA Grant
William A.S. Rose II and Ben Murphy

Photos: First Look At Pegasus Theatre Chicago's YOUNG PLAYWRIGHTS FESTIVAL Supported By $30,000.00 NEA Grant
Ben Murphy

Photos: First Look At Pegasus Theatre Chicago's YOUNG PLAYWRIGHTS FESTIVAL Supported By $30,000.00 NEA Grant
Ben Murphy and Aundria TraNay

Photos: First Look At Pegasus Theatre Chicago's YOUNG PLAYWRIGHTS FESTIVAL Supported By $30,000.00 NEA Grant
Hadar Zusman and William A.S. Rose II

Photos: First Look At Pegasus Theatre Chicago's YOUNG PLAYWRIGHTS FESTIVAL Supported By $30,000.00 NEA Grant
William A.S. Rose II, Seth Hubbard and Hadar Zusman

Photos: First Look At Pegasus Theatre Chicago's YOUNG PLAYWRIGHTS FESTIVAL Supported By $30,000.00 NEA Grant
Hadar Zusman and William A.S. Rose II

Photos: First Look At Pegasus Theatre Chicago's YOUNG PLAYWRIGHTS FESTIVAL Supported By $30,000.00 NEA Grant
William A.S. Rose II




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