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Modern Family, Dexter Stars Set For 19TH YOUNG PLAYWRIGHTS FEST

Jerry O'Connell (The Defenders, Crossing Jordan), Jennifer Stone (Wizards of Waverly Place, Harriet the Spy), Lenny Jacobson (Nurse Jackie), Ariel Winter (Modern Family), Michael J. Willett (United States of Tara), Scott Lowell (Queer as Folk), and Larry Poindexter (The Hard Times of RJ Berger on MTV) will join soap opera stars Billy Miller and Greg Rikaart (The Young and The Restless), and Megan Ward (General Hospital) in The Blank Theatre Company's 19th Annual Young Playwrights Festival. Twelve winning plays by teen playwrights aged 15 -19, from five different states, will be presented during this year's festival at The Stella Adler Theatre in Hollywood, running from June 2 - 26, 2011.

Among the 70 actors who will appear in this year's festival, WEEK ONE (June 2-5) will feature Larry Poindexter and Greg Rikaart, along with Gale Harold (Hellcats, Queer As Folk, Desperate Housewives), and Susan Park (The Unusuals). WEEK TWO (June 9 -12) will feature Jennifer Stone, Megan Ward, and Ariel Winter, along with Dale Dickey (My Name Is Earl, Breaking Bad). WEEK THREE (June 16-19) will feature Lenny Jacobson and Jerry O'Connell, along with Julia Campbell (Dexter), Scott Lowell (Queer As Folk), Eric Nenninger (Generation Kill, Glory Days), and Marcia Wallace (The Simpsons). WEEK FOUR (June 23-26) will feature Billy Miller, along with Parvesh Cheena (Outsourced), and Tessa Thompson (Detroit 1-8-7).

Winners were chosen by a panel of theatre professionals from plays submitted by teenagers from across the nation. Winning playwrights were next assigned a mentor and then a professional director who has helped them hone their scripts for four public performances. In the past 17 years, The Blank has produced 196 plays by teenaged playwrights. Eleven of those plays or playwrights have gone on to be presented on The Blank's mainstage, including Speech & Debate by Stephen Karam, a three-time winner in The Blank's YPF. Additionally, many past plays have been nominated for LA theatre awards, including an Ovation Award for Best Writing-World Premiere, and a LA Weekly Award for Best One-Act Playwriting.

The Blank Theatre Company's 19th Annual Young Playwrights Festival plays Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 2pm, beginning June 2 and running through June 26 at The Stella Adler Theatre, 6773 Hollywood Boulevard, in Hollywood. Each week's program includes three plays. Tickets are $17 for adults and $12 for students. Festival Passes, which include one ticket for each week, are $56. Tickets may be purchased online at www.TheBlank.com, or by calling (323) 661-9827.


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