Photos: First Look at Pegasus Theatre's 37TH ANNUAL YOUNG PLAYWRIGHTS FESTIVAL

Performances run through January 27.

By: Jan. 06, 2024
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Pegasus Theatre Chicago is presenting the 37th Annual Young Playwrights Festival, now playing through January 27 at Chicago Dramatists, 798 N. Aberdeen.

Check out production photos below!

The performance schedule is Fridays at 7 p.m. and Saturdays at 2:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.  Tickets are $15 - $30 are on sale now at the button below. Educators may schedule school group matinees via ypf@pegasustheatrechicago.org.  

For 37 years, the Young Playwrights Festival, the oldest such festival in the United States, has engaged and inspired high school students across Chicago by 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.  

“It’s important that audiences start the year celebrating the work of these young playwrights,” said Executive and Producing Artistic Director ILesa Duncan.”The work from all over Chicago, represents the talent of these teens and offers an artistic outlet for them to mine their world for inspiration while exploring potential careers. We look forward to sharing these four new works.”

The 37th Young Playwrights Festival 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?

The cast of the 37th Annual Young Playwrights Festival includes, in alphabetical order: Seth Hubbard, Evan Morales, Ben Murphy, William A.S. Rose II, AunDria TraNay and Hadar Zusman with understudies Josh Braden, Kyle Johnson and Diego Rivera Rodriquez.

The production team for the 37th Annual Young Playwrights Festival includes: ILesa Duncan (director, Listen and You’re Like, Dead); Enrico Spada (director, Can’t Sleep); Reshmi Hazra Rustebakke (director, Splashes of Paint); Lindsay Mummert (scenic designer); Josh Wroblewski (lighting designer); Brandon Reed (sound designer); Jessica Gowens (costume designer); Amanda Herrman (props designer); Line Bower (technical director); Avery Spellmeyer (head electrician); Adi Davis (production manager); NaVada Reed (stage manager) and Ben Locke (casting director).

ABOUT PEGASUS THEATRE CHICAGO

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.

The 37th Young Playwrights Festival is made possible with the generous support of the Walder Foundation, The David & Reva Logan Foundation, Polk Bros. Foundation, the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE). The Festival is also made possible in part by an Illinois Arts Council Agency grant.

Photo Credit: Anthony Robert La Penna

Photos: First Look at Pegasus Theatre's 37TH ANNUAL YOUNG PLAYWRIGHTS FESTIVAL
Aundria TraNay and William A.S. Rose II

Photos: First Look at Pegasus Theatre's 37TH ANNUAL YOUNG PLAYWRIGHTS FESTIVAL
William A.S. Rose II

Photos: First Look at Pegasus Theatre's 37TH ANNUAL YOUNG PLAYWRIGHTS FESTIVAL
Ben Murphy and Aundria TraNay

Photos: First Look at Pegasus Theatre's 37TH ANNUAL YOUNG PLAYWRIGHTS FESTIVAL
Seth Hubbard

Photos: First Look at Pegasus Theatre's 37TH ANNUAL YOUNG PLAYWRIGHTS FESTIVAL
eth Hubbard and Evan Morales

Photos: First Look at Pegasus Theatre's 37TH ANNUAL YOUNG PLAYWRIGHTS FESTIVAL
Ben Murphy, Seth Hubbard, Evan Morales and Hadar Zusman

Photos: First Look at Pegasus Theatre's 37TH ANNUAL YOUNG PLAYWRIGHTS FESTIVAL
Ben Murphy

Photos: First Look at Pegasus Theatre's 37TH ANNUAL YOUNG PLAYWRIGHTS FESTIVAL
William A.S. Rose II and Ben Murphy

Photos: First Look at Pegasus Theatre's 37TH ANNUAL YOUNG PLAYWRIGHTS FESTIVAL
Seth Hubbard, Evan Morales, Aundria TraNay and Hadar Zusman

Photos: First Look at Pegasus Theatre's 37TH ANNUAL YOUNG PLAYWRIGHTS FESTIVAL
Hadar Zusman and William A.S. Rose II

Photos: First Look at Pegasus Theatre's 37TH ANNUAL YOUNG PLAYWRIGHTS FESTIVAL
Hadar Zusman and William A.S. Rose II

Photos: First Look at Pegasus Theatre's 37TH ANNUAL YOUNG PLAYWRIGHTS FESTIVAL
William A.S. Rose II, Seth Hubbard and Hadar Zusman




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