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Ensemble Theatre Company Accepting Applications For 5th Annual Young Playwrights Festival

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This four month-long program provides young writers a safe and nurturing environment in which to learn the craft of playwriting.

Ensemble Theatre Company Accepting Applications For 5th Annual Young Playwrights Festival

Ensemble Theatre Company, Santa Barbara's professional theater, is now accepting applications for its 5th Annual Young Playwrights' Festival for aspiring writers aged 14-19. This four month-long program provides young writers a safe and nurturing environment in which to learn the craft of playwriting.

As part of the process, the participants develop a 10-minute play that is subsequently presented with professional directors and actors for a public audience. This free program will accept up to 10 students from Santa Barbara County. The deadline to apply is January 29, 2022. Applications may be found online at https://etcsb.org/education/young-playwrights-festival.

Students in the Young Playwright Festival program will receive multiple and varied opportunities to develop their creativity and gain artistic skills. Phase One includes weekly classroom instruction focusing on the study of playwriting techniques, a brief history of American theater and a lively forum for discussion and critique of student work. At the completion of this first phase, students will have completed a draft of a 10-minute play. Phase Two provides one-on-one mentoring from a professional playwright to help students engage in the revision process. Phase Three gives students the opportunity to participate in a live casting session with professional actors, develop a creative collaboration with an experienced theater director and actors to produce a live staged reading in front of an audience, as well as participate in an on-stage talk-back session with audience members.

This year's festival in made possible through a grant from The National Endowment for the Arts that supports projects for youth from infancy through age 24 that operate outside of school time, in artistic venues and community settings as well as on school sites. This program encourages relevant, dynamic, and innovative community building and learning through youth-focused arts and culture projects.

"As the country and the arts sector begin to imagine returning to a post-pandemic world, the National Endowment for the Arts is proud to announce funding that will help arts organizations such as Ensemble Theatre Company reengage fully with partners and audiences," said NEA Acting Chairman Ann Eilers. "Although the arts have sustained many during the pandemic, the chance to gather with one another and share arts experiences is its own necessity and pleasure."

"This is a great honor for us," says Jonathan Fox, ETC's Artistic Director. "We are proud to be a new recipient of an NEA grant." "The development of storytellers for the future of the American theater may be one of the most valuable educational programs that the ETC can offer the Santa Barbara community," said Education Director Brian McDonald. "Thanks to the generous support from the NEA, we are able to offer this unique dramatic writing program free to all participating students and provide a supportive team of nearly 30 theater professionals."


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