Young Playwrights Festival 2014 Set for Today at Wharton Center's Pasant Theatre

Young Playwrights Festival 2014 Set for Today at Wharton Center's Pasant Theatre

Today, May 10, 2014 at 3:00 p.m. in Wharton Center's Pasant Theatre, six mid-Michigan high school students will be recognized as finalists in this year's Young Playwrights Festival. Each finalist's play will be directed and performed by MSU Department of Theatre students. The Saturday performance is free and open to the public with first come, first served seating. Doors open at 2:30 p.m.

A second performance - this one specifically for high school students - is scheduled for Monday, May 12, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. All high schools are invited to attend. Reservations for the Monday school show must be made in advance by contacting Laurie Briseno, Educational Project Coordinator at 517-884- 3141.

The Young Playwrights Festival is a collaboration between MSU Federal Credit Union Institute for Arts & Creativity at Wharton Center and the MSU Department of Theatre. High school students write and submit one-act scripts to a juried competition. Twelve semifinalists are chosen to work with a MSU Department of Theatre faculty mentor to revise their scripts for a second reading. Six final scripts are selected from the second reading to be produced and performed at Wharton Center by MSU Department of Theatre students. These six finalists are each paired with a theatre mentor from a professional theatre or organization, located either locally or out of state. For a period of four to five weeks, the mentor and student playwright work on the play, the goal being to teach the students more about the art of playwriting. The revised plays are then submitted to the MSU Department of Theatre for production. Finally, during the performance weekend, mentors will come to East Lansing and see the plays with their students. Time will be provided for them to meet, talk and reflect.

Professional mentors include: Edward Daranyi, Stratford Festival of Canada; Seth Gordon, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis; Joe Giardiana, theatre artist, New York City; Carol North, Metro Theatre of St. Louis; Pam Sterling, Arizona State; and Stephen Skiles, Xavier University and Cincinnati Playhouse.

The 18th Annual Young Playwrights Festival is made possible in part by Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts, Gannett Foundation/Lansing Sate Journal, Mid-Michigan MRI, MSU Department of Radiology and Wharton Center Inner Circle.

The 2014 Young Playwrights finalists are:

- Rose Accola, East Grand Rapids, Teacher: Jane Hazle, HEX GIRLFRIENDS

A hilarious comedy about a group of high school girls trying to form their own rock band.

- Hanel Baveja, Huron High School, Teacher: Sean Eldon, APPLICATION PROCESS

Three high school students struggle with the college application process and themselves.

- Nancy Huang, International Academy, Teacher: Jan Gardner, BRIEF HISTORY OF LIARS.

A brother and sister confront each other over one of the sibling's autobiography.

- Max Doyle, Okemos High School, Teacher: Lisa Holmes, ONCE MORE WITH FEELINGS

A screenwriter invites a young typist to type his newest screenplay about falling in love but he has not written a word till she walks in the door.

- Marisa Sundin, Williamston High School, Teacher: Jean Eddington-Shipman, LOVE BY CHANCE

A tangled web of psychological distortion and absurdity involving a college student, her roommate and her poetry speaking cousin.

- Samantha B. Johnson, Williamston High School, Teacher: Jean Eddington-Shipman, LOTTIE

An elderly gentleman spends an afternoon in a cafe reminiscing about his life and inspiring others.

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