Friday, April 27, 2012

NJ Young Playwrights to speak at NYU

Tomorrow (Saturday, April 28), I will be presenting a session about the New Jersey Young Playwrights Festival at the NYU Forum on Theatre for Young Audiences.

I will be joined by three former young playwrights: Summer Dawn Hortillosa (2006), Constantine Lignos (2006), and Justine DeSilva (2010, 2011). We will be discussing their experiences in the Festival and the impact it has had on their work since. We will also consider the questions of how to share young playwrights' work with a wider audience and place of young playwrights' work within the field of theatre for young audiences (TYA).

On Sunday (April 29) at the NYU Forum, John Pietrowski, Artistic Director of Playwrights Theatre of NJ will be a panelist for a discussion about the current and future role of the writer in the theatre.

You can follow the conference through the NYU Forum's blog at and get more information via the website at or the Facebook page at!/nyutyaforum.

I will also provide some updates here next week.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Results of the 2012 New Jersey Young Playwrights Festival

Playwrights Theatre is pleased to announce the winners of the 29th Annual New Jersey Young Playwrights Contest. From the 261 plays submitted by young writers throughout the state, a panel of theatre professionals has selected four High School plays, three Junior High School plays and three Elementary Schools plays. In each category, plays were selected without knowledge of playwrights' schools or grade. Judges were not provided with any of the playwrights' information.

The 29th Annual New Jersey Young Playwrights Contest Festival will be held on May 21 and May 22 as part of a partnership between Playwrights Theatre and Premiere Stages at Kean University. Select plays from this festival will be reprised at Playwrights Theatre’s nationally-recognized Forum Reading Series in December 2012. This reading series brings together writers from all over the United States.

The plays will be presented at the University Center's Little Theatre at Kean University on Monday, May 21 at 7 pm for the Elementary and Junior High Division winners and on Tuesday, May 22 at 7 pm for the High School Division winners’ plays. The readings will feature professional actors and directors and reservations can be made by calling 973-514-1787 X21 or via email Admission to the readings is free, but reservations are required, as seating is limited.

In the High School Division (grades 10-12), the winners are:
  • Monster by Samuel Gelman, 12th grade, The Pingry School
  • The Mystery Madame of 110 and Broadway by Emma Hathaway, 11th grade, Bergen County Academies
  • Must-Read by Isabelle Ingato, 11th grade, Toms River High School East
  • Disneyland by Alina Sodano, 11th grade, Bergen County Academies
The aforementioned winners will receive a New Jersey Governor’s Award in Arts Education, which is co-sponsored by New Jersey Arts Education Partnership and the New Jersey Department of Education, at the Governor’s Awards Ceremony on May 10 at 4:30 pm at the War Memorial in Trenton. The Governor’s Award is the highest honor in arts education in New Jersey.

In the Junior High School Division (grades 7-9), the winners are: 
  • It Always Would by Emma Q. Baxter, 7th grade, Randolph Middle School
  • Fame in the Family by Madeleine Granovetter, 9th grade, Glen Ridge High School
  • Only Strangers by Nicole Zanchelli, 9th grade, Mount Saint Mary Academy

In the Elementary School Division (grades 4-6), the winners are:
  • Rosedale by Elizabeth Kilgore, 5th grade, St. Vincent Martyr School 
  • The Time Travelers by Jason Li, 6th grade, Cranbury School
  • From Geek to Chic by Mollie Sullivan, 4th grade, Torey J. Sabatini School

Samuel Gelman (High School) and Elizabeth Kilgore (Elementary) were winners in their respective divisions last year. For the past two years, Emma Q. Baxter has submitted plays to contest and she was recognized last year with an Honorable Mention. Mollie Sullivan’s (Elementary) play was presented in March 2012 during the Madison Young Playwrights Festival.
We are so proud of all playwrights who submitted a script to the Festival this year. I am currently processing the reader responses from the first round of the contest and plan to email those to playwrights no later than the first week in May. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

2012 results are forthcoming...

The selection panel met on March 23 to choose the plays that will be produced during the 2012 New Jersey Young Playwrights Festival. I have contacted each of these playwrights directly and am in the process of confirming with each of their families. That information will be posted once everyone is confirmed.

Playwrights who have not been contacted will receive their feedback from our readers by mid-May at the latest. These will be sent via email to the address provided along with each submission. In the meantime, please keep an eye on this blog for updates and contact us at with any questions.