Richmond's New Voices for the Theater Playwriting Competition to Showcase Winners at FESTIVAL OF NEW WORKS, 6/14-29

Richmond's New Voices for the Theater Playwriting Competition to Showcase Winners at FESTIVAL OF NEW WORKS, 6/14-29

The New Voices for the Theater playwriting competition will celebrate its 25th year in Richmond June 14-29, 2014. Working closely with Playwright-in-Residence Johnna Adams and professional theater artists, high school student playwrights from across the Commonwealth bring their original one-act plays to life on the stage at the Festival of New Works, held June 27-28, 2014 at Shafer St. Playhouse at VCU (221 N. Shafer St). 150 plays were submitted this year and eight resident winners were chosen in April.

The two-week program will kick-off with a 25th anniversary celebration and premier reading of World Builders by Johnna Adams Sunday June 15 from 4-7pm pm at the Leslie Cheek Theater at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. The Festival of New Works and anniversary celebration are both free to the public. New Voices for the Theater is a program of SPARC - School of the Performing Arts in the Richmond Community, the largest community-based performing arts education program in Virginia. Major support for New Voices is made possible by generous individuals, Dominion Foundation and the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation.

About Johnna Adams: Johnna received a Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Association Citation in April 2013 for her play Gidion's Knot, which was produced last May in RVA. She is the 2011 recipient of the Princess Grace Award and a 2012 Finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Award. The Contemporary American Theatre Festival premiered Gidion's Knot in Shepherdtown, WV, in summer of 2012 and twelve regional productions are planned around the country for the 2013-14 season, including productions at InterAct Theatre (Philadelphia), Profiles (Chicago), Kitchen Dog (Dallas), Stages (Houston) and Furious Theatre Company (Los Angeles). Johnna's plays Angel Eaters, Rattlers, 8 Little Antichrists, Sans Merci, Cockfighters and The Sacred Geometry of S&M Porn are published by Original Works Publishing ( and a forthcoming edition of Gidion's Knot will be published by Dramatists Play Service, Inc. Johnna graduated from the DePaul University Theatre School with a BFA in Acting and received a 2012 MFA in Playwriting from Hunter College with Tina Howe.

Winning Playwrights and the 25th Annual New Voices Festival of New Works:

Cicadas by Morgan Barclay, Thomas Dale High School

Rooftop Noises by Via Cosby, Center for the Arts at Henrico High School

Aiming for Mars by Erin Lottes, Stafford Senior High School

This is the Way the World Ends by Genna Markee, Maggie Walker Governor's School

Saturday, June 28th, 7pm

Feigned by Bethany Matthews, Woodbridge Sr. High School

Richard by Agata Ambrozewicz, Warwick High School

Hookers and Other Soldiers by Joshua Logan Walker, Easter View High School

The Human Condition by Emily Schmid, Potomac Fall High School

The 25th annual New Voices Festival of New Works will take place at VCU's Shafer St. Playhouse - 221 Shafer St., Richmond, VA, 23284. Free and open to the public, first come first serve. Doors open ½ hour before show on Friday, June 27th, 7pm.

About SPARC: For 33 years, SPARC has been "setting the stage for life" by providing the youth of the Richmond region distinctive performing arts education, enhancing their life skills and benefiting their schools, families and neighborhoods. SPARC's mission is to inspire young people (ages 3-18) to reach their full potential through quality training in the performing arts. The mission is facilitated through professional artists presenting a range of classes, workshops, summer camps, productions and outreach programs. SPARC students study a graduated, experience-based curriculum of acting, singing, and dance. In addition to building the skills for excellence in the performing arts, students gain valuable life skills such as poise, confidence, character, appreciation of diversity, and teamwork. Incorporated in 1984 as a 501(c) (3) non-profit, SPARC makes it financially possible for students to participate in performing arts education who might not otherwise be able to afford it. When TheatreVirginia went dark in 2002, SPARC took over the compelling New Voices for the Theater statewide playwriting program. Celebrating its 25th Anniversary in 2014, the New Voices for the Theater playwriting competition provides an exciting opportunity for Virginia students to work closely with professional theater artists during a two-week residency.

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