#ENOUGH Announces Seven Winning Plays Chosen by Lauren Gunderson, David Henry Hwang and More

The winning plays will be free to view on Broadway on Demand from Dec 14-20.

By: Oct. 15, 2020
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#ENOUGH Announces Seven Winning Plays Chosen by Lauren Gunderson, David Henry Hwang and More

#ENOUGH has announced the selection of seven plays by teen playwrights chosen by nationally recognized dramatists Lauren Gunderson, Academy Award winner Tarell Alvin McCraney, Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Schenkkan, Tony Award winner David Henry Hwang, and Karen Zacarías, as the winners of #ENOUGH: Plays to End Gun Violence, a national short play competition for middle and high school students. On December 14, 2020 -- the eight-year remembrance of the shootings at Sandy Hook -- the winning titles will receive their digital premiere on the streaming platform Broadway on Demand and be made available for free for organizations to stage readings locally.

#ENOUGH received 184 submissions from 23 states and three countries when it called on teens to write 10-minute plays that confront the issue of gun violence. The seven winners are Adelaide Fisher's Ms. Martin's Malaise, Eislinn Gracen's Guns in Dragonland, Azya Lyons' Togetha, Debkanya Mitra's Malcolm, Olivia Ridley's Ghost Gun, Sarah Schecter's Hullabaloo, and Elizabeth Shannon's Loaded Language. Each winner will receive a digital premiere on Broadway on Demand, have their play published and licensed through Playscripts in Spring 2021, and Guild membership and craft training through the Dramatists Guild's Young Dramatists Initiative.

"I was incredibly impressed by the skill, inventiveness, and passion of the young playwrights who contributed works for #ENOUGH," says panelist judge David Henry Hwang, whose work includes M. Butterfly and the 2020 Pulitzer Prize finalist musical Soft Power. "The winning plays are entertaining, insightful, and thought-provoking. Collectively, they provide proof that the future -- of our theatre and our nation -- is in good hands."

From Dec. 14-20, the plays will receive a national audience with readings viewable for free on the streaming platform Broadway on Demand produced by Alliance Theatre, Arizona Theatre Company, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Orlando Repertory Theatre, and South Coast Repertory.

#ENOUGH is also making the plays available for free as part of its Nationwide Reading on December 14. Schools, theatres, and community organizations can stage a reading of the plays, either virtually or in-person where possible, and follow that reading with a post-show discussion on gun violence and committing to an action item on gun violence specific to their community.

"We can't talk about gun violence in America only in the aftermath of the most tragic incidents," says Michael Cotey, producer of #ENOUGH, "Through the Nationwide Reading and the Digital Premiere we're allowing every community to create the space and address the impact of gun violence now."

More details on the winning playwrights, including bios and headshots, and their plays can be found below: Information on how to participate in the Nationwide Reading can be found online here.

About #ENOUGH: Plays to End Gun Violence: #ENOUGH: Plays to End Gun Violence is a theatre activism campaign launched by Michael Cotey in 2019. #ENOUGH strives to spark critical conversations and incite meaningful action in communities across the country on the issue of gun violence through the creation of new works of theatre by teens. # ENOUGH's mission is to promote playwriting as a tool of self-expression and social change, harnessing this generation's spirit of activism and providing a platform for America's playwrights of tomorrow to discover and develop their voices today. enoughplays.com

Playwright Bios and Play Description

Ms. Martin's Malaise by Adelaide Fisher

Ms. Martin is an ordinary high school teacher, trying to deal with the everyday stress and worrying 'what-ifs' of 21st century teaching. But when her worst fears come true, and she is forced to make a difficult decision and an even more difficult confrontation, what will she do? And how will she move forward from it?

Adelaide Fisher is a Florida-based writer and a current junior. She wrote this play with the support of the Orlando Repertory Theater. She's been involved in theatre since she was 5, and wrote her first play in the 7th grade for Young Playwrights for Change. Right now, you can find her both onstage and behind the scenes proudly representing International Thespian Troupe 6614. When she's not at rehearsal, she spends her time reading, baking, studying, and doing art. She lives with her mom, her dad, her younger brother, and two pet snails, named Velma and Daphne.

Guns in Dragonland by Eislinn Gracen

During a recess like any other, Lilah Gordon and her best friend/imaginary dragon, Toucan, set off on a special adventure to help Lilah earn dragon wings of her own. But things go awry when a mysterious noise from her nearby school compels the duo to embark on the biggest quest they have ever encountered.

Eislinn Gracen is Florida-based artist, writer, and current junior. Her piece, GUNS IN DRAGONLAND, was initially workshopped & produced as a virtual staged reading as the headliner for Beth Marshall Presents' New Works Series. She was a participant and winner in the inaugural Be Original playwriting festival in 2019, hosted by New Generation Theatricals and Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center. She won the Florida Theatrical Association Award for her play, WOLF IN A CONCRETE JUNGLE, which was performed as a table read at the festival and also as a staged reading at UCF last winter. Most recently, she wrote the part of THE PARDONER in the Howler's Theatre presented virtual reading of the Orlando Fringe Festival's THE CANTERBURY TALES PROJECT.

Togetha by Azya Lyons

Imani, Aiyanna, Chayenne, and Aaliyah have just graduated high school and are celebrating at a party in their honor. All seems to be going well until a fatal incident happens, leaving the remaining girls reeling.

Azya Lyons is a Mississippi-based creative writer. She enjoys writing fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry and plans to make writing her vocation. Azya is the recipient of 2 Silver Keys in Scholastics, has been published in 2 literary journals, and has won a national poetry contest.

Malcolm by Debkanya Mitra

Four individuals tell the story of Malcolm, a Black folk musician whose quest through the Eastern Seaboard to find himself was violently interrupted, painting an evocative picture of the connection shared among strangers through a single life.

Debkanya Mitra is a Maryland-based writer and is currently a student at the University of Maryland.

Ghost Gun by Olivia Ridley

Propelled by the urgency of his own decay and desperate to be heard, BLACK BOY delivers his "villain's monologue" - a parting speech typically delivered to a hero before their death - to his audience held at gunpoint.

Olivia Ridley is a New Jersey-based writer and a current senior . In 2018, her play SLUSH, which explored the similarly topical issue of assisted suicide, was selected to be performed at Luna Stage in NJ. Though she is deeply passionate about playwriting, she has a more extensive background as a performer, working primarily with Vanguard Theater Company in NJ, and most recently with Seth Rudetsky's PLAYS IN THE HOUSE (Teen Edition). And her passions extend beyond theater; she loves writing/performing slam poetry when she can, and enjoys political science and debate as well. In her art, Olivia hopes to expose the nuance of "taboo" topics and spark much needed conversation, seeking to educate not only the audience, but herself as well in the process.

Hullabaloo by Sarah Schecter

In this re-imagining of Buffalo Bill's storytelling and P.T. Barnum's grandeur, a ringleader explores the fusion of American myth and gun culture through four acts of an incredible spectacle - and a show gone terribly wrong.

Sarah Schecter is a theatre artist, community organizer, and chef from Oakland, California. She is a senior in high school studying Playwriting, and a member of the Teen Core Council at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Her work has been published by the New York Times, Still I Rise Films, and We Write The World, and performed by Oakland School for the Arts, PlayGround SF, and the Heart of Oakland Festival. She spends her non-theatrical time as President of Bay Area Student Activists, a student-led civic engagement group, and learning and cooking in kitchens around the Bay Area.

Loaded Language by Elizabeth Shannon

When a rumor about a school shooter begins to circulate, Kiersa and her friends must decide what they should do to protect their classmates before it is too late.

Elizabeth Shannon is a Maryland-based writer and a current senior. She is an apprentice at the Maryland Ensemble Theatre (MET), as well as a member of the Theatre Focus in the Academy for the Fine Arts. Her play, WHAT ARE YOU HIDING?, which she co-wrote with Morgan Southwell, was a winner of Baltimore Centerstage's Young Playwright's Festival, and a finalist in The Secret Theatre's Act One: One Act Festival, as well as part of the live-streamed reading series, THE FUTURE WAS NOW, by Quarantined Theatre Company, which can be found on YouTube. Her play, SMOKE, has also been published through Scripts For Stage, and had a Zoom performance with University of Texas El Paso's student organization, Ensemble. Her play, NUCLEAR is a current winner of The Blank Theatre's 28th Annual Young Playwrights Festival.


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