Thursday, June 5, 2008

Festival Recap – Performance Day 2


High School readings
We presented four very strong plays during the High School performance:
- Impression: Sunrise by Ben Muzi
- Treading Water by Kate Douglas
- Sorry, Allie by Bennett Kirschner
- The Moodring Monologues by Julie A. Earls

It is always interesting to witness the first performance of a play with an audience present. A director guides a play with a vision of how to present the story and all of its intricacies. Blocking, technical aspects, and every detail are approached with an idea of how the audience will or should perceive them. The thing is that you just never know how an audience will react until they are there experiencing the piece. This is an excellent experience for the writer as each laugh, breath, and silence from the audience informs the playwright about each of those moments in the play. The audience’s engagement with each of these plays was strong and clear and was very exciting to observe.

As with the readings on Monday, the high school playwrights and their schools were presented with certificates to mark the achievement. We also presented an Honorable Mention to Brianna Delfs for her play Some People Never Go Crazy (What Truly Horrible Lives They Must Lead).

High school playwrights and some of the cast.

The directors of the high school plays forwarded me the following words of congrats and advice to the playwrights whose work they directed:

“Congratulations to all the young playwrights on a job well done! To Bennett and Julie -It was a thrill to take part in the process that brought your creative work to life. Keep writing! Big smiles,” - Dania Ramos

“I had a great time working on the high school scripts. The plays were well-written, complex and explored some very interesting subjects. I was excited by the talent I saw, and encourage all the writers to keep working and honing your craft. You will be the voice of the next generation of theatrical artists. Fine job!”
– Jim Ligon

Congratulations again to all 13 winners of the NJ Young Playwrights Contest. We hope you will continue writing and look forward to seeing your work in the years to come.

And to all young playwrights out there… keep writing! The Contest will begin again in the fall. The submission deadline and guidelines will be available in early October at our website – - and on this blog. In the meantime please keep coming back to this site for playwriting advice and information. We hope to have reflections on the Festival from playwrights, performers, and crew as well as playwriting tips and exercises from many of our teaching artists and staff. So, come on back and see us then!

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