The Lucille Lortel Theatre Foundation Has Announced the NYC Public High School Student Playwriting Fellowship

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The Lucille Lortel Theatre Foundation Has Announced the NYC Public High School Student Playwriting Fellowship

The Lucille Lortel Theatre Foundation has announced the NYC Public High School Student Playwriting Fellowship, created as an opportunity for young writers citywide to get unparalleled access to New York City professional artists for mentoring. The inaugural Lortel student Fellows and finalists - representing every Borough, as well as D75 and D79 school districts - submitted original 10-minute one-act plays and were selected by a panel of playwrights, directors, and literary managers including Kareem Fahmy, Seri Lawrence, Cori Thomas, Mark Wade, and Cary Wong. Fellows will meet with a playwright mentor to discuss their play and learn more about playwriting as a career. Playwright mentors for this group of teen playwrights are Joshua Harmon, Kait Kerrigan, Sylvia Khoury, and Rehana Lew Mirza. All plays will be presented in a special one-night-only performance at the Lucille Lortel Theatre (121 Christopher Street) on March 24, 2020. Kimille Howard will direct.

Fellows will meet twice with their playwright mentor and then with Ms. Howard to learn what a director does and how they collaborate with a playwright. In addition to the unique opportunity to see their plays brought to life on stage, a collection of all seven plays will be published by the Lucille Lortel Theatre and distributed to the student playwrights. To foster a sense of fellowship between the students, they will go to dinner and a show together and be invited to events at the Lortel. Participation in the program was free and sponsored by the Lucille Lortel Theatre Foundation.

"We are tremendously excited to launch this program, encouraging young artists to share their voices with their city," said George Forbes, Executive Director of the Lortel Theatre Foundation. "We are also extremely grateful to Peter Avery and the NYC Department of Education for all their assistance in helping us launch this initiative."

"The future is bright. How inspiring to have a new dedicated NYC Festival invested in the next generation of diverse playwrights with insights to share - encouraging our public high school students to unleash their creative voices," remarked Peter Avery, Director of Theater for the NYC Department of Education. "On behalf of the Chancellor and our DoE Arts Office, we applaud the Lortel Foundation's vision to encourage seven NYC teen playwrights of all abilities with professional mentorship and the gift to see their work realized in a professionally staged reading at the Lortel Theater."

This Year's Fellows:

Name High School Borough Title of Play

Joseph Di Girolamo P721K D75, Brooklyn I Have A Dream

Anya Jiminez Professional Performing Arts School Manhattan Divination

Zanieka Nembhard Pathways to Graduation D79, Brooklyn The Interview of Wyetta Sims

Helene Quinola The Queens School of Inquiry Queens The Love I Meant to Say

Marcus Rosario World View High School Bronx Circumstances

Rommy Sasson Brooklyn Technical High School Brooklyn Caught in a Storm

Katherine Sciortino Susan E. Wagner High School Staten Island Snowed In

This Year's Finalists:

Marlyatou Barry NYC iSchool Brooklyn The Gold Necklace

Markel Davis P23Q D75, Queens Casey Jones's Redemption

Katie Heintz Susan E. Wagner High School Staten Island Room, Waiting

Joseph Hernandez Bronx High School for Medical Science Bronx Traicionado

Maja Ivaskeviciute Repertory Company High School for Manhattan Summer of Winter

Theatre Arts

Guadalupe Vazquez William C. Bryant High School Queens ROE


The Lucille Lortel Theatre, in collaboration with the Department of Education Arts Office Theater Program, created the NYC Public High School Student Playwriting Fellowship as an opportunity for young writers citywide to get unparalleled access to NYC professional artists for mentoring. Funded entirely by the Lucille Lortel Theatre, this innovative theater education program sends a high-profile message of inclusivity and artistry to both the educational and professional worlds. The program engages public school teens of all levels of ability who devise an original evening of one-act plays. Master theater artists from across the professional theatre community and who represent the diverse continuum of the participating students will participate in the program, mentoring and directing the students to create fully realized plays based on their collective experiences and imagination. The free program provides approximately two months for students to write and submit their plays. Fellows then have another two months of play development culminating with a performance on the stage of the Lucille Lortel Theatre. The opportunities provided by this program encourage NYC public high school students to become the next generation of playwrights. For more information, visit

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