Student Playwrights Honored In Playwriting Competition At Delaware Theatre Company

The playwrights will be honored at a public showcase performance of their plays on Thursday, March 21, 2024, at 7:30 p.m. on the Delaware Theatre Company stage.

By: Mar. 07, 2024
Student Playwrights Honored In Playwriting Competition At Delaware Theatre Company
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Delaware Theatre Company has announced the five winning plays in the 2023-2024 Delaware Young Playwrights Festival!

• You Remind Me by Amara Harrison of Charter School of Wilmington

• Splinter by Emily Howard of Charter School of Wilmington

• Hatshepsuts Djed by Valentine Logan of William Penn High School

• Best Friends by Darby Ann Tisdel of MOT Charter High School

• Frame 313 by Mia Trotter of Appoquinimink High School

The playwrights will be honored at a public showcase performance of their plays on Thursday, March 21, 2024, at 7:30 p.m. on the Delaware Theatre Company stage.

The playwrights of these five plays were selected in January as finalists in the 2023-2024 Delaware Young Playwrights Festival (DYPF). They participated in a series of playwriting workshops through the month of February with professional theatre artists from Delaware Theatre Company to further refine their writing. Having completed their work and met high standards of achievement in writing, these playwrights are being honored for their winning plays at the DYPF Recognition Night on March 21, 2024. The work presented that evening from these winning plays will feature the talents of professional actors, directors, designers, and technicians from Delaware Theatre Company bringing to life the words crafted by the student playwrights. In addition, DTC will recognize seven additional playwrights who received honorable mentions for their plays and acknowledge all of the 69 playwrights from eleven schools from throughout Delaware who entered plays into DYPF. The event is free and open to the public.

This year's DYPF began in September with a kickoff workshop for Delaware teachers and students in grades 8-12. From there, 61 plays written by 69 students representing eleven different schools from across the state were submitted for the first round. Each playwright received personal feedback about their plays from a teaching artist of the Delaware Theatre Company staff. Student playwrights had the opportunity to revise their plays. Playwrights then resubmitted their work for the second round, also known as the "competition round." From these entries, the five finalist plays were selected for additional development under the guidance of Delaware Theatre Company's team of theatre artists and educators. This development took place during the series of playwriting workshops, leading to the culminating performance March 21.

Though not selected as finalists, seven other plays and their playwrights are recognized with an honorable mention for the merits of their work. They are Sip of Faith by Keiry Oquendo of Cab Calloway School of the Arts, A Good Day for Firsts by Jamie Olvera of Cape Henlopen High School, The Journal by Mackenzie Zoccolillo of St. Elizabeth High School, What Are We? by Scott Harbeson of MOT Charter High School, Go Away by Natalie Fannin of Charter School of Wilmington, Geriatric Jedi Showdown by John Schiller of Charter School of Wilmington, and Romeo & Juliet: Remastered by Felicia Vitelli of St. Elizabeth High School. DTC congratulates these playwrights and invites them, along with all of this year's playwrights, to the awards recognition night and showcase of finalist plays on March 21.

DYPF invites students in grades 8-12 to write a play based on a theme inspired by one of Delaware Theatre Company's productions. This year's theme was inspired by this quotation from Layon Gray's play Kings of Harlem: "Historical moments are created by historical opportunities.” Gray's play tells the story of the all-Black New York Renaissance basketball team and their unprecedented opportunity to play in the first integrated professional basketball championship tournament in 1939. This quotation served as a springboard for the DYPF theme: Write a play about a character or characters who encounter(s) a challenge or opportunity and must make a difficult choice to take action, even when a positive outcome is not guaranteed. Through the use of a standards-based writing rubric, students created and shaped their original plays with regard to characters, conflict, dialogue, theme, and other dramatic criteria. Delaware Theatre Company celebrates the work of all 69 students in adding 61 new plays to the world of theatre through their participation in the 2023-2024 Delaware Young Playwrights Festival.

The mission of Delaware Theatre Company's DYPF is to provide students with an authentic audience for their creative writing and teachers with an innovative literacy program. Guided by passion and professionalism, DYPF uses educational resources, interactive workshops, personal feedback to every playwright, and public performances to engage students in the art of theatre through the act of writing a play. Both competitive and cooperative, DYPF fosters, respects, and celebrates the voices of young writers.