Berkeley Rep Announces Winners of Teen Writing Competition

As Berkeley Repertory Theatre celebrates the success of its 50th world premiere, teens at its School of Theatre are preparing two premieres of their own. Today the School announced the winning scripts in its annual Target ® Teen One Acts Festival, which will be produced this spring by a team of 17 local teens. The winning scripts are El Centro Basco by 16-year-old Scott R. White of Berkeley and To All the Ideas I've Loved Before, Pt 1, by 18-year-old Roxie Perkins of Albany.

"The Target ® Teen One Acts Festival is all about celebrating the creativity of local youth and their ability to create new work," explains Rachel Fink, director of the School of Theatre. "In the afterglow of the Theatre's 50th world premiere, it's particularly invigorating to see the next generation challenge themselves with this project."

In the annual Target ® Teen One Acts Festival, teens select original scripts penned by local students to be directed, performed, and produced by their peers. The winning writers are paired with mentors in the professional theatre community to receive feedback and support in revising their work for performance, and the entire process is supported by Berkeley Rep's staff. The dates for this year's Festival are April 3, 4, 5, 10, and 11. Performances are held at the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre at 2071 Addison Street in downtown Berkeley. Tickets, available only at the door, are $10 for students and $12 for adults.

In El Centro Basco, five students struggle to transition from high school to the world beyond. Bound together by their shared passion for basketball, the tightly-knit group of friends find themselves questioning their ambition, integrity, and loyalty as they adapt to the challenges of adulthood. Playwright Scott White became involved with the Festival last year as an actor; this year, as a junior at The Branson School in Ross, he turned his hand to writing. The show is directed by 16-year-old Casey Hudak of Orinda, a junior at Miramonte High School, and stage-managed by 16-year-old Arielle Scharff of Berkeley, a sophomore at Berkeley High School.

To All the Ideas I've Loved Before, Pt 1, is a modern-day exploration of Lilith, the first wife of Adam in Jewish folklore, and the motives which led her to abandon him. The play, which is set inside Lilith's body, is written and directed by 18-year-old Roxie Perkins, a senior at Albany High School who also wrote and directed one of last year's productions. Sierra Baggins of Berkeley, a 14-year-old freshman from Berkeley High, will serve as stage manager.

The producers of this year's Festival are 16-year-old Nkili Birmingham of Berkeley, a junior at Berkeley High, and 17-year-old Wynton Curliano of Orinda, a junior at Miramonte High. Both shows are performed entirely by local teens:

The cast of El Centro Basco includes 15-year-old Matia Emsellem of Berkeley, a sophomore at Maybeck High School; 14-year-old Marcelo Gutierrez of Berkeley, a freshman at Berkeley High; 17-year-old Joshua Hamilton of San Leandro, a junior at Far West High School; 14-year-old Octavio Hingle-Webster of Berkeley, a freshman at Berkeley High; 18-year-old Kevin Inouge of Oakland, a senior at Head-Royce School; 17-year-old Chris Jones of Albany, a senior at Albany High School; 18-year-old Amanda Rawnsley of Oakland, a senior at Skyline High School; and 15-year-old Gareth Tidball of Oakland, a freshman at Oakland Tech High School.

To All the Ideas I've Loved Before, pt 1 features 17-year-old Torie Laher of Orinda, a junior at Miramonte High; 14-year-old Gideon Lazarus of Berkeley, a freshman at Berkeley High; and 16-year-old Aaron Lynch-Miller of Berkeley, a junior at Berkeley High.

The Berkeley Rep Teen Council is a theatre youth group organized by teens for teens. Its goal is to foster the theatre audiences and theatre professionals of tomorrow by opening channels of communication between teens, theatre professionals, and the community at large. The Teen Council provides the opportunity for youth to participate in all aspects of the dramatic process: on stage, backstage, and in front of the stage through an affiliation with the Tony Award-winning Berkeley Repertory Theatre. For more information, call 510.647.2974, visit berkeleyrep.org/school, or e-mail teencouncil@berkeleyrep.org.

 



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