Theater Project's 11th Annual Young Playwrights Competition Seeks Submissions; Deadline 1/21

Theater Project's 11th Annual Young Playwrights Competition Seeks Submissions; Deadline 1/21

When The Theater Project says that playwrights entering its upcoming competition must be young, it means it. Not many 13-18 year-olds have an opportunity to have a play they wrote performed in a reading by professional actors, but the three of them who win the project's Young Playwrights Competition will get that chance.

The competition is open to secondary school students aged 13-18, and will culminate in a performance/awards ceremony in March, 2013.

The Theater Project, an award-winning drama company, is sponsoring the 11th annual competition to encourage the next generation of theater practitioners and audiences by honoring student work and bringing it to life. In addition to having their work performed, the first, second, and third place authors will receive $600, $400 and $200 savings bonds, respectively. Three additional student writers will receive Honorable Mention certificates.

"Putting words together in a meaningful way is not only about communication, but also fosters the critical thinking skills so necessary to success in education and the workplace," says Theater Project artistic director Mark Spina.

The competition was inspired by a generous donation from Linden resident Bill Mesce, Jr., an award-winning playwright and screenwriter, whose recent short story collection, PRECIS, was published by Stephen F. Austin University Press. He is also the author of OVERKILL: THE RISE AND FALL OF THRILLER CINEMA, and writes regularly about film and television for the award-winning website, Sound on Sight. Mesce's reaction to the first ten years of the competition: "It is not only impressive but inspiring to see these young people applying themselves to an art form that has always been about a command of language, and a bit awesome to see how well they carry it off."

Only one entry per author. Entry fee: $5
Scripts must be typed in play format.
All submissions must be 10 to 25 pages (excerpts of longer work are OK!).
Original work only, no adaptations.
All entrants must be NJ residents in secondary school.
Entries MUST be received by January 21, 2013

HOW TO ENTER: By January 21, 2013, submit a 10 to 25 page script according to the guidelines above to TheaterProject@AOL.COM with a 50-word biography of the author, contact information and the name of school currently attended. The $5 entry fee can be paid at our web site:

All questions can be directed to The Theater Project at 973.763.4029 or by email at

Pictured: 2011 Winners (Photo by Kevin Sebastian). Seated -- Melanie Cuccioli. Back Row: Victoria Grayner, Janine Puhak, Arthur Mezzo, Lauren Friezo.

First Prize: Janine Puhak - Cranford, Mount Saint Mary Academy, Watchung
Second Prize: Lauren Friezo - Montclair, Kimberley Academy, Montclair
Tied for Third Prize: Victoria Grayner - Dumont, Dumont High School
and Arthur Mezzo & Melanie Cuccioli (joint entry) - Mountainside,
Governor Livingston High School, Berkeley Heights

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