Or are you already planning your regional Young Playwrights for Change competition?
Here are some of the successes and lessons learned from another regional host, Don Fleming at Seattle Children’s Theatre.
– As a host of a regional Young Playwrights for Change competition, what are some of your success stories?
This was our first year hosting this competition. As far as I know we’ve never done anything like this before, and we got 28 submissions, which I thought was pretty good. An enormously diverse range of plays from a very diverse group of playwrights. It was a great way for long-time students and audience members to connect with us in a new way, and a great way to reach out to young people who had no previous contact at all with Seattle Children’s Theatre.
– How did you celebrate your winners? With a stage reading, production, cash prize, other?
We did a staged reading of 5 finalists using volunteer actors and directors, both young people and adults. It took place in the theatre lobby. I conferred with all the volunteer directors and announced our selection at the end of the event. We rehearsed the plays for a couple of hours and then read them. I really liked the event. The playwrights were all there to work with the directors and actors, and they were supportive of each other. It seemed just right in scale and surprisingly easy to put together.
– What was the impact of Young Playwrights for Change on your community and/or organization?
I think it is part of our ongoing quest to find ways to incorporate youth voice into our organization. I think it showed that adults can learn from the perspective of young people as well as vice versa.
– As a first time host, what are some of the lessons your learned or challenges you faced?
We did put some resources behind it, in terms of publicizing it and providing some playwriting workshops (those were valuable experiences in and of themselves) but I like that we did not over-produce the event or provide a cash prize or anything like that. I am glad the emphasis stayed on writing and learning and sharing and building community rather than competition or winning.
So if you haven’t signed up to be a regional host, do it now! The deadline is now October 8th. Click here to register: http://assitej-usa.org/programs/dramatic-change/
Questions? Comment on this post or for more history on the Young Playwrights for Change project and how it was sparked by the Dramatic Change initiative check out this link. or just search Young Playwrights for Change on this site.
Seattle Children’s Theatre (SCT) is one of the most prominent theatres for young audiences and among the top 20 regional theatres in the country. Our programs empower young people to make new discoveries about themselves and the world around them while building a lifelong interest in the arts. The mission of Seattle Children’s Theatre is to provide children of all ages access to professional theatre, with a focus on new works, and theatre education. To learn more visit sct.org.