Blank Theatre Announces 2014 Young Playwrights Festival Winners
Now celebrating its 22nd Anniversary, The Blank Theatre's Nationwide Young Playwrights Festival has chosen 12 plays by young playwrights aged 16 - 19, from seven different states. These plays will be presented by professional actors and directors in this year's festival at The Stella Adler Theatre in Hollywood, June 5 - 29.
"Ever since I acted in the first Young Playwrights Festival, I have always had a special place in my heart for these extremely talented young writers," said Blank Artistic Producer Noah Wyle. "The issues tackled, and the depth of emotion and understanding these kids have is remarkable. I wish I knew as much as they do when I was their age!"
This year's winning plays are: NINE HOURS by Zoe Kamil, San Francisco, CA, Age 18; WHAT WE TALK ABOUT WHEN WE TALK ABOUT PLANNED PARENTHOOD by Alexa Derman, Westfield, NJ, Age 17; ROCK CANDY by Gabrielle Greenfield, Dallas, TX, Age 19; BAROPHOBIA by Aiyana White, Encino, CA, Age 18; THE SON ALSO RISES by Patric Verrone, Pacific Palisades, CA, Age 18; PAM by Agnes Nguyen, Anaheim, CA, Age 19; PILLOW TALK by Zoe Cheng, Cincinnati, OH, Age 17; INNOCENCE by Matthew Ubl, Jacksonville, FL, Age 18; THE RUB by Max Friedlich, New York, NY, Age 19; FAIREST by Frank Garland, Seattle, WA, Age 16; THE NOT LESBIANS by Travis Amiel, Millwood, NY, Age 18; and BLACK SHEEP by Robert Gold, Valley Village, CA, Age 17.
This year's winners join a prestigious club of alumni which includes 2012 Pulitzer Prize finalist Stephen Karam, who was a three-time festival winner, and Adam Cochran (a two-time winner in YPF), who was nominated for a Drama Desk Award in NYC for Outstanding Music in a Play in 2011.
A panel of theatre professionals chose from over 200 plays submitted by young writers across the nation. Winning playwrights are next assigned a mentor, and then a professional director who will help them hone their scripts for four public performances with professional actors. This year's mentors include David Rambo (Revolution, V, CSI), Kelly Miller (South Coast Rep literary manager), Dave Holstein (Weeds, Raising Hope), Todd Milliner (executive producer, Hot in Cleveland, Grimm), Ellen Byron (Just Shoot Me, Wings), Gary Teich (Medium), Michael Jung (Disney), Kit Steinkellner (four-time YPF winner), as well as Bob Lowry, Oahn Ly, and Patrick Burleigh. This year's directors are (in alphabetical order) Barbara Bain, Andre Barron, Darren Bousman, Nicole Dominguez, Bjorn Johnson, Ameenah Kaplan, Jack Laufer, Michael Matthews, Michael A. Shepperd, Richard Tatum, Jason Weiss, and Constance Zimmer.
Over the past 21 years, The Blank has produced more than 240 plays by young playwrights. Eleven of those plays or playwrights have gone on to be presented on The Blank's mainstage, including Speech & Debate by Stephen Karam. Additionally, many of the plays have been nominated for LA theatre awards, including an Ovation Award for Best Writing-World Premiere, and an LA Weekly Award for Best One-Act Playwriting. Other alumni playwrights are populating the nation's theatres and sound stages with their work. Many YPF winners have gone on to successful writing careers creating TV shows, filling regional stages, teaching writing to others, and founding regional Young Playwrights Festivals.
This year's festival is made possible by The Rosenthal Family Foundation, The Plum Foundation, Los Angeles County Arts Commission, and City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.
The Blank Theatre's 22nd Annual Young Playwrights Festival runs June 5 - 29 at the Stella Adler Theatre, 6773 Hollywood Boulevard, in Hollywood. The performance schedule is Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 2pm. Each week's program includes three plays, and admission is $20 for adults and $14 for students. Festival passes, which are good for one ticket each week of the festival, are $68 for adults and $48 for students. Tickets may be purchased in advance online at www.TheBlank.com, or via phone by calling (323) 661-9827.