Theater at Monmouth's WRITE ON! Festival Finalists Staged Readings Set for Today

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Theater at Monmouth has announced the finalists for the 2013 Write On! Student Playwriting Festival. The Festival is the final destination for the year that was filled with teacher professional development, in-school workshops, curriculum development, and student-written plays.

More than 35 submissions were received in this inaugural year of the theatre's new playwriting project funded in part by a $10,000 grant from the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation. Foundedin 1986, the STK Foundation works to build Maine communities, with a strong interest in projects that support literacy, communityservices, and the arts. Write On! integrates the art of playwriting into the middle and high school curriculum to enhance academicand culturally literacy, creative expression, and communication skills. The eleven plays selected for performance range from five to 30 minutes with plots ranging from ghost to bear sightings, fighting off zombies to fighting against parents, and starting at a new school to looking for a new home.

The 2013 Write On! Finalists include:

Grand Prize

· The Ghost Boy by Aaron Lockman, Grade 12

Second Place

· A Part of Me: The Glorious Past by Emily Stevens, Grade 11

Honorable Mention

· Grandma's Boys by Aric Belanger, Grade 6

· Don't Take Candy From Babies by Matthew Chalmers, Grade 6

· The Young One's Fault by Gavin Diou-Cass, Grade 7

· The Amazing Rescue by Ashley Harmon, Grade 7

· The Likharev Incident by Alex Real, Grade 8

· A New Generation by Jordan Sansaricq, Grade 8

· Ester by Emily Webber, Grade 7

· School by Isabell Whitten, Grade 7

· The New Life by Ariana Wiles, Grade 7

Submitted plays were reviewed by a jury of professional theatre artists and the eleven finalists participated in workshops with the artists to refine and revise their plays. All eleven plays will be presented in a staged-reading on Thursday, August 15 at 7:30 part of the Theater at Monmouth's 2013 summer season. Students will sit on the stage as their plays are read emphasizing the central focus of the program-the development of new plays by young Maine writers.

Since its founding, TAM has a brought classic literature to students across the state through education tours and in-school residencies. Write On! was developed in response to recommendations by TAM"S 2011 Education Task Force to create a school-based program that address Maine's Common Core Standards both for student learning and teacher professional development. Write On! includes professional development workshops for teachers, curriculum guides, and classroom visits with professional teaching artists continuing TAM's mission to take learning in and through the arts to all corners of the state.

Through Write On! students learn the importance of language structure, grammar, and word choice as a means of clearly communicating their own thoughts, choices, and imaginations through the development of a 10-minute play (grades 5-8) or a one act play (grades 9 - 12). To help teachers integrate the program into their classroom, TAM will offer the following complimentary components: professional development workshops for teachers; artist-facilitated in-school workshops to help student writers in their development process, and unit guides to help teachers with lesson planning.

For more information on how to become involved in Write On! (as a teacher in your classroom or as an aspiring young writer) call 207.933.2952 or visit 2014 School Application Materials and 2014 Student Submission forms are available online. Student submissions must be received no later than May 1, 2014.

Tickets for the 2013 Write On! Student Playwriting Festival are $20 General Admission. For reservations, contact the TAM Box Office at 207.933.9999 or visit

Theater at Monmouth, founded in 1970, was named the Shakespearean Theater of Maine by the State Legislature in 1975. Thetheatre's mission is to present innovative approaches to Shakespeare and other classic plays through professional productionsthat enrich the lives of people throughout Maine. Since its founding, TAM has produced expertly crafted, engaging productions inits three-month Summer Repertory Season entertaining audiences from 36 states and through Education Tours annually, reaching more than 15,000 students statewide.

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