ACT's Annual Young Playwrights Festival Returns 3/19- 3/21

ACT's annual Young Playwrights Festival (YPF) returns March 19 through 21 for a seventh year, and features a stunning mix of dramatic and comedic new works from extraordinarily talented student writers ages 14 to 18.

Taking place in the Allen Theatre, ACT will present staged readings of eight new plays developed through ACT's Young Playwrights Program (YPP). This program serves upwards of 350 middle and high school students from King, Kitsap, and Pierce counties throughout 16 greater Seattle-area schools. And for the first time, ACT's YPF will include students attending the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center's afterschool YPP program. Plays were selected by an artistic panel, within ACT, from a pool of approximately 300 submitted works. To prepare for the staged readings, each student playwright is partnered with a professional director, dramaturge, and actors. They participate in nearly 20 hours of rehearsal with his or her creative team. Each program is performed twice during the three-day festival.

ACT Young Playwights Festival Schedule:
Program A
Thursday, March 19 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 21 at 12:00 noon

GERA by Charlie Butler, Bellevue High School, 11th grade
directed by Kristina Sutherland

SNATCH AND RUN by Kayla Beasely, Franklin High School, 9th grade directed by Julie Beckman

SOLITAIRE by Nick Hasle, Lakeside School, 12th grade
directed by David Gassner

WHITE DOVE OVER AFGHANISTAN by Becca Ehlers, TOPS K-12 School, 8th grade directed by Kate Jaeger

Program B
Friday, March 20 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 21 at 4:00 p.m.

REALIZATIONS by LaKeonna Wyrick, Home Schooled, 11th grade
directed by Isaiah Anderson Jr.

ATTACHMENT by Ellen Vickrey, NOVA, 10th grade
directed by Andy Jensen

TWO CENTS by Andrew Rowland, Ballard High School, 11th grade directed by Tim Hyland

AFTER MAREN by Zoe Barker-Aderem, Garfield High School, 12th grade directed by Gillian Jorgensen

"The eight young playwrights chosen for our Festival are some of the strongest, most creative voices from ACT's YPP. They are given an authentic hands-on experience of the next phase in the playwriting process -rehearsing and putting a play in front of an audience," said ACT's Literary Manager & Director of Education Anita Montgomery. "It is thrilling to watch these students step into the role of working playwright, and the work that appears on the stage is simply stunning!"
YPP offers greater Seattle-area students a high-quality, exciting language arts curriculum based on the art of playwriting. Professional playwright and teaching artists from ACT teach the rudiments of playwriting in participating area schools in the fall quarter of each school year. Concepts taught include dramatic structure, character creation, dialogue, action, subtext, point of view, understanding and developing dramatic conflict, writing a scene, generating ideas through improvisation, the importance of rewrites, and writing for an audience.

Each student playwright completes a 10- to 20-minute original play by the end of the session. The 10-week classroom portion of the YPP runs from September through December each year. Started in 2002, YPP is a natural extension of ACT's commitment to new plays and playwrights. Since its inception, ACT's YPP has grown from 72 middle and high school students in six schools and an eight-week curriculum to more than 300 students in 16 schools and a 10-week/20-session curriculum.

About ACT - A Contemporary Theatre
For the past 44 seasons, ACT's mission has been to inspire our diverse community through theatre that advances our understanding of human life. To dare, excite and enrich artists and audiences. To steward our many resources. Through The Central Heating Lab, ACT seeks to heat things up and create a conversation with its season that reaches for a deeper impact.

ACT gratefully acknowledges the generous support of Season Sponsors ArtsFund, ACT Foundation, The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, The Mayor's Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, and The Shubert Foundation, along with Producing Partners 4Culture, The Boeing Company, Getty Images, Microsoft Corporation, Nesholm Family Foundation, One Nation, PONCHO, and The Seattle Foundation.

ACT's Young Playwrights Festival is made possible with the help of The Glaser Foundation
The Hamilton Family Foundation, The Harvest Foundation, PONCHO, and The Clowes Fund

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