Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Writing prompts

We're four weeks in to summer with only six weeks left before school begins again! At some point in those six weeks we will be announcing the procedural changes to the NJ Young Playwrights Festival, but you shouldn't wait for that announcement to start working on your play.

Picture found on wonderlanddrift.tumblr.com
Head on over to our Pinterest page to find a wealth of links to writing prompts that may spark your imagination. I suggest free-writing based on a few of those prompts to see where your imagination might take you. You may just find yourself with a head start on your script submission!

Happy writing!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Building a national young playwrights database

Since the fall, Jim DeVivo (PTNJ's Director of Education) has led a small team of interns to compile a list of young playwrights programs across the United States as a first step in Playwrights Theatre's initiative to build a national database of these programs. We will collect information through a form on SurveyMonkey, which was sent to about 56 organizations who run contests, festivals, workshops, publications, or other opportunities for young playwrights (typically aged 18/19 or younger). We look forward to compiling the results and sharing a first draft of this database on the NJ Young Playwrights Festival website by the end of 2014.

If you are the administrator for a young playwrights program and did not receive this link, please contact Jim at jdevivo@ptnj.org.

You can follow the action on social media as we've asked those who share their information to announce the news of their participation under the hashtag #youngplaywrights.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Summer playwriting classes at Playwrights Theatre of NJ

This summer, prepare your play for the 2015 NJ Young Playwrights Contest & Festival (NJYPF) by attending one of our Playwriting Workshops for students entering grades 6-12. Classes will be taught by our Director of Education, Jim DeVivo who has 20 years experience mentoring young artists including 12 years as the program director for the NJYPF. Details on our website!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Day 3 - Readings of the High School plays

Prop chicken for Enter Banquo's Ghost by Miranda Hoyt-Disick.
Our Props Manager made this from newspaper and tape in only 20 minutes!

On Tuesday, June 3, we presented the plays from the High School Division of the 2014 New Jersey Young Playwrights Festival along with a special reading of a play from the Living with Disabilities category.

Rosemary Glennon and Seth Jambor in Hurricane Season by Alexa Derman
The day begin with an afternoon of tech rehearsals for the four High School Division plays in which a number of final script changes were implemented. Tech rehearsal is a chance for me to get "production" shots from the Festival, which had to be done with a smart phone. Apologies for some of the blurriness this may have caused!
Cara Ganski and Dan Pellicano in Ink Never Dulls by Talia Green
Dan Pellicano and Timothy Regan in Mechanical Advancement by Emily Donegan

The evening performance began with a special reading of Midnight by Hazel Solender. This play was chosen in our Living with Disabilities category through a grant from VSA, the international organization on arts and disabilities at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, DC. Hazel's script, along with others submitted to the NJ Young Playwrights Festival via the Living with Disabilities category, was sent to VSA for consideration in the annual Playwright Discovery Program.

High School Division plays followed with staged readings given by members of two separate casts. The plays were presented in the following order: Enter Banquo's Ghost by Miranda Hoyt-Disick, Hurricane Season by Alexa Derman, Ink Never Dulls by Talia Green, and Mechanical Advancement by Emily Donegan.

In addition to their selection in the NJ Young Playwrights Festival, the scripts by Talia Green, Emily Donegan, and Alexa Derman were also chosen by the Roxbury Arts Alliance/Roxbury Performing Arts Center for presentation in late July. My Life, My Family, Not My Wallet by Christopher Frick in the Junior HS Division was also selected for this program. In late July, these four plays will be remounted with a new cast and new revisions.

We are also happy to share that this week Alexa Derman is traveling to Los Angeles for the presentation of her play What We Talk About When We Talk About Planned Parenthood, which was a winner in the national young playwrights festival produced by The Blank Theatre.

A fantastic evening of plays from a remarkably talented group of young writers!

You can see additional pictures from the NJ Young Playwrights Festival on our Facebook page here.

High School playwrights and Cast
We again offer our congratulations to everyone who wrote and submitted a play to the Festival. We hope that you continue to share your creative imaginations with us and look forward to receiving a new script from you next year...

... that said ...

There will be some changes to the NJ Young Playwrights format for next year. We will announce some preliminary details within the next few days in order to inform schools of the change so that they can prepare for the fall semester. Further details will be released in the summer. So, please stay tuned!