Dirt Dogs Theatre Co. Announces Selections For Student Playwright Festival

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Dirt Dogs Theatre Co. Announces Selections For Student Playwright Festival

Plays by local high-school seniors, Rachel Iliev, Jack A. Mowry, and Samuel Ryan Neely have been chosen by Dirt Dogs Theatre Co. for its third annual Student Playwright Festival. Each playwright is awarded a $500 scholarship and is paired with a Houston-based playwright as a mentor to fine-tune their plays and prepare them for production. The students will be the guests of honor as the plays are performed at the MATCH - Midtown Arts & Theater Center Houston.

The festival, originally scheduled for June 4, will be postponed due to COVID-19. The revised event date will be announced soon.


Rachel Iliev of DeBakey High School for Health Professions presents her play, Keep Your Head Above the Water. The play is about siblings meeting the man responsible for their sister's drowning and hearing the details of her death. Iliev will be mentored by Houston playwright, Gwen Flager. Flager's first full-length play, Waiting to be Mended, was produced by Theatre Suburbia in 2010. Her most recent play, Shakin' the Blue Flamingo premiered in 2018 as part of Queensbury Theatre's New Works Development Program.

Jack A. Mowry of Heights High School debuts his play, The New World. When an old friend comes to visit, a feud is reignited over a broken contract made years ago. Mowry is mentored by Ted Swindley, creator of the worldwide hit musical Always...Patsy Cline. Swindley is the Founding Artistic Director of Stages Repertory Theatre and is president of Ted Swindley Productions, Inc., a theatrical licensing and consulting company.

Samuel Ryan Neely of Conroe High School, debuts his play 100% More Freedom Brand. One day, a person in a suit pops out of a detective's TV and together they set out to stop a crime racket. Neely will be mentored by Doug Williams, best known to Houston and DDTCo. audiences as co-author of The Boundary. His is also the author of the award-winning screenplay, Black Star Rising about U.S. Rep. Barbara Jordan, the novel, Nowhere Man, and a nonfiction project, Veterans Day, about a whistleblower case that exposes a deadly government cover-up.

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