17th Young Playwrights Festival Now Accepting Submissions

17TH ANNUAL NATIONWIDE BLANK THEATRE COMPANY YOUNG PLAYWRIGHTS FESTIVAL

NOW ACCEPTING SUBMISSIONS
The Blank Theatre Company's Nationwide Young Playwrights Festival is now seeking submissions from playwrights 19 years of age and younger through March 16, 2009. Winning plays will be presented by professional actors and directors in June of 2009 in Hollywood, CA.

Now in its seventeenth year, The Blank Theatre Company's Young Playwrights Festival is a nationwide competition that produces the work of eight to twelve teenage playwrights each year. The Festival has produced 184 plays by playwrights 19 and younger since 1993 from over 25 states.

Each winning play will have five performances in a weekend run in Hollywood. The production is made possible in part by grants from The James Irvine Foundation, The Harold & Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, The Plum Foundation, Los Angeles County Arts Commission and City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.

The Blank Theatre Company's work has been featured on MSNBC, CNN SHOWBIZ TODAY, ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT, BBC, CBS, ABC, NBC, PBS, NPR, ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY, and the FINANCIAL TIMES of London.

"Every year I am shocked at the depths these teenagers go to in their writing. They are brave, bold and uninhibited," says Noah Wyle (from TV's ER), Artistic Producer at The Blank. "The winners are thrilled to see their plays presented by professionals, but these professionals are often given a great gift in return: a renewed sense of artistic purpose. We learn from the playwrights as they learn from us!"

The rules for the Festival competition are simple: Playwrights must be 19 years of age or younger on March 16, 2009; original plays and musicals can be of any length on any subject matter, but must be legible; pages must be numbered and submitted unbound; submissions must be postmarked or emailed by March 16, 2009; limit of three (3) plays per playwright. All plays must include a cover sheet with the play's title, playwrights name, date of birth, school (if any), mailing address, contact phone number, e-mail address and play's production history (if any). That's it. No more rules. Check out www.YoungPlaywrights.com for further information on how to submit.

Each winning playwright will be assigned a mentor: professional writers who will help winning playwrights hone their work for performance. Past mentors have included Tony-winning playwright Terrence McNally, Michael John LaChiusa (Tony-nominated composer), Terry Rossio (writer of "Shrek" and "Pirates of the Caribbean"), Jeff Greenstein ("Will & Grace"), Liz Craft & Sarah Fain ("Dollhouse"), Michael Mayer (Tony-winning director-"Spring Awakening"), Garry Marshall (director, "The Princess Diaries II") and many others. The playwrights then experience the thrill of seeing their plays performed by industry professionals in fully staged workshop productions.

Past festivals have featured well-known actors such as Jeremy Sisto ("Law & Order"), Chris Pine ("Star Trek"), Noah Wyle (ER), Molly Shannon, Tiffani Thiessen, Sarah Michelle Gellar & Nicholas Brendon ("Buffy The Vampire Slayer"), Eliza Dushku ("Dollhouse") Josh Radnor and Alyson Hannigan ("How I Met Your Mother"), Sherri Shepherd ("The View"), Arielle Kebbel ("The Uninvited"), Kelly Lynch ("Charlie's Angels), Debra Messing ("Will & Grace"), Mark Valley and Constance Zimmer ("Boston Legal"), Kathryn Joosten ("Desperate Housewives"), Allison Mack & James Marsters ("Smallville"), Tony-winner Daisy Eagan, Emmy-winner Edward Asner, and many others.

In past years, some winning plays have gone on to The Blank's Mainstage for full-scale production. In this case, the playwright is treated as a professional in every aspect of production from signing an option agreement to being paid royalties for his play. "The Why" received on Ovation Award nomination for "Best Writing - World Premiere" for 19-year-old Victor Kaufold as a result of The Blank's production. Kaufold is the youngest nominee in the category in Ovation history.

For more information, check out the festival's web site at YoungPlaywrights.com or The Blank's site at TheBlank.com.

 

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