Burning Coal Announces KIDSWRITE! FESTIVAL 2024 Coming This May

This year, the KidsWrite! submissions were tasked with writing about themes concerning family or the environment.

By: Apr. 23, 2024
Burning Coal Announces KIDSWRITE! FESTIVAL 2024 Coming This May
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Burning Coal Theatre will present KidsWrite! Festival 2024 on Friday May 24th and Saturday May 25th, 2024 at 6:30 pm.

Started in 2004, Burning Coal Theatre Company's KidsWrite! Festival is a celebration of plays written by 6th-12th graders residing in North Carolina.  Students submit one-act plays, and with a team of professional theatre makers, Burning Coal produces selected scripts.  After reviewing this year's submissions, Burning Coal Theatre Company is pleased to announce accepted scripts and directors for KidsWrite! 2024.

This year, the KidsWrite! submissions were tasked with writing about themes concerning family or the environment. Four plays have been selected to be presented at this year's festival in May. The plays include Disaster at Lakeview, by Avery Seppala (Enloe High School), Regrets of Man, by Noah Howard (Fuquay-Varina Middle School), Through the Years, by Carson Adams (Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School), and To Be Deceased, by Brynn Bolick, Sophia Moore, Bridget Morin, Lavie Nguyen, Gibson Scoggins, and Morgan Strickland (Franklin Academy).

About the Plays

Disaster at Lakeview, by Avery Seppala (11th Grade at Enloe High School)

To get a promotion, Brandon must first manage to successfully direct his own news show, but the world has other plans for him. Watch hilarity ensue as Brandon deals with the challenges thrown at him.

Regrets of Man, by Noah Howard (8th Grade at Fuquay-Varina Middle School)

A disgruntled, angry, and deathly ill CEO of a harmful corporation is forced to take a bus to his destination after his private jet breaks down, and he meets a compassionate and understanding nun who aims to help him understand his inner problems.  “All you have to do is take a chance. Take that chance and do something good with it.”

Through the Years, by Carson Adams (6th Grade at Our Lady of Lourdes)

Three friends moving on in life make a pact to meet at the same place every 5 years to stay in touch.

To Be Deceased, by Brynn Bolick, Sophia Moore, Bridget Morin, Lavie Nguyen, Gibson Scoggins, and Morgan Strickland (8th Grade at Franklin Academy)

It's a dark and stormy night at a lonely mansion on the top of a cliff. Sir Chester Williams has ‘supposedly' died, and the reading of the will brings his family and friends together for one last time. Each guest receives a letter inviting them to the mansion in hopes of inheriting a lavish lifestyle through Williams' fortune, but a mysterious voice reveals that each guest has devious secrets and intentions. William's past comes back to haunt him when the ultimate secret about his family is finally ‘unmasked'.

The idea for this show was inspired by Agatha Christie's famous mystery novels, and the playwrights wanted to feature the theme of family at a murder mystery masquerade party.

About the Directors

Susan Gross is an actor and playwright from NYC, currently living in Durham, NC. Susan made her Off-Broadway debut in the New York premiere of Christopher Durang's The Vietnamization of New Jersey and performed on stage at Theatre Row, The Brick, Dixon Place, and Teatro LATEA. In Boston, Susan performed with Lyric Stage, New Repertory Theatre, Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theatre, Greater Boston Stage Company, and Zeitgeist Stage. Susan made her Burning Coal debut last summer with her solo show Ruby which received its premiere in New York with Tongue In Cheek Theater. Ruby Was nominated for best performance, direction and production of a solo show at Planet Connections Theatre Festivity. Her other plays have been performed at The Secret Theatre in Queens, NY and the Off-Broadway venue, Theatre Row. Susan has taught youth acting classes at North Shore Music Theatre and was the literary manager at Alchemy Theatre Company of Manhattan. She is currently at work on her new play, Just Kids. Susan can be seen opposite Zoe Kazan in In Your Eyes and opposite Jude Law in Steven Soderbergh's Side Effects. She is a proud member of Actors' Equity, Dramatists Guild and SAG-AFTRA.

Johannah Maynard Edwards is the Executive Artistic Director of the National Women's Theatre Festival based in Raleigh, NC. She has directed, devised, and produced in NYC, Minneapolis, and the Triangle. Recent credits include DANCE NATION and THE MOMVERSATIONS PROJECT Workshop Premiere and podcast. Johannah is a Chief Rep for PAAL, the Parent Artist Advocacy League for the Performing Arts and was the Founding Chair of the SETC Disability Inclusion Committee. In 2022, Johannah received the LEAD Award for Emerging Leaders from the Kennedy Center. A long time advocate for equity and accessibility in theatre, Johannah is also the author of The Sensory Friendly Workbook, a resource for organizations to begin producing sensory friendly productions. Johannah is a graduate of NYU/Tisch School of the Arts/Playwrights Horizons Theatre School.


Performances will take place at the Murphey School Auditorium, 224 Polk St., Raleigh, NC 27604. Tickets are $10 and available at burningcoal.org or by calling 919-834-4001.


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