Thursday, January 24, 2013

We're underway!

Submissions to the New Jersey Young Playwrights Festival exceeded our expectations for the year. We couldn't be happier! Scripts are now on their way out to readers and we look forward to the selection process ahead.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Phew!

The submission deadline for the 2013 New Jersey Young Playwrights Festival is now passed.

Congratulations on your work! Take a break. Get some rest. We will start reading scripts next week.

Updates to follow.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Junior HS and Elementary plays due today

Arrived this morning to find that we've received half the number of scripts that were submitted to us last year, which is very exciting! Please keep them coming in...

A reminder that today is the deadline for play submissions from students in grades 4-9. Scripts must be received by 11:59 pm in order to be eligible for this year's contest. See the website for the two-step submission process: http://www.njypf.org/

Monday, January 14, 2013

High school plays due today

Today is the deadline for play submissions from students in grades 10-12. Scripts must be received by 11:59 pm in order to be eligible for this year's contest. See the website for the two-step submission process: http://www.njypf.org/

(Students in grades 4-9 you have until 11:59 pm tomorrow!)


Sunday, January 13, 2013

One day more!

One day more until the first submission deadline for the NJ Young Playwrights Festival (grades 10-12 only; those of you in grades 4-9 have until Tuesday).

A little inspiration from the Les Mis 10th Anniversary cast in concert at Royal Albert Hall in London.

http://youtu.be/jPsy5ChXGHI

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Advice for young playwrights, Part 6

The final installment of our advice series comes from playwright/teacher/NJYPFestival script reader, Kelby Siddons. Enjoy!
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What makes a strong play?

At least two of the following, usually all three: compelling characters, strong structure, poetic language and/or action.

What types of characters do you like to write?

I like to write characters in a state of becoming, which leads me to teen characters who are smart, funny, caring, and driven but have doubts, (in)experiences, and relationships that challenge them.

What do you look for when choosing a play to work on?

As a director, I look for a play that fascinates and rewards me, and by extension, the audience. Sometimes the reward is big laughs, sometimes it's important, unresolved questions. I'll always gravitate more towards the play that gives me both those things.

Please describe the best experience that you had working on a play.

I directed an ensemble in Shakespeare's As You Like It, and it was wonderful because of how clearly complicated things become and the fact that each actor had an integral role to play in all those comic complications. In terms of structure, Shakespeare is the ultimate to borrow from.

Please describe the worst experience that you had working on a play.

As a Kangaroo in  Peter Pan, I was completely expendable. To paraphrase Jose Rivera, write parts that actors want to play.

What advice would you give to a young playwright currently working on a new play?

Ask yourself where the Fear and Love are in your play and your characters' lives. If you have one without the other, there's no conflict. Drama is created when these two dance.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

One week to go, too!

If you are in grades 4-9, then at 11:59 pm today there will be exactly one week left for you to submit your play to the NJ Young Playwrights Festival!

Monday, January 7, 2013

One week to go!

If you are in grades 10-12, then at 11:59 pm today there will be exactly one week left for you to submit your play to the NJ Young Playwrights Festival!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Advice to young playwrights, Part 5

Continuing our advice series with comments from playwright and NJYPFestival script reader, Kirk Woodward. Enjoy!
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What makes a strong play?

For me the most important element of a strong play is a good idea. A solid idea makes everything else possible. A weak idea means the writer is constantly playing catch-up.

What types of characters do you like to write?

The answer to this question varies with the play, of course, but I like characters with spunk. Also, as a male playwright I set myself years ago the challenge of writing at least as many female as male characters, and I like that.

What do you look for when choosing a play to work on?

I know this comment is terribly subjective, but it has to excite me. There are many excellent plays that will do better if someone else writes them or directs them, because they don’t stir my imagination.

Please describe the best experience that you had working on a play.

I once wrote the entire score for a musical for children during one working day, while sitting at my desk. (Didn’t get much other work done, however.) That was fun!

Please describe the worst experience that you had working on a play.

Fairly typical: I worked a long time on a draft of a play, and when I finished it I re-read it and realized it was a total bomb from beginning to end. NOTE: if that happens, you have to either rewrite it entirely, or discard it. Don’t try to breathe life into a dead play. You’ll write others. If you don’t like it, no one else will, that’s for sure.

What advice would you give to a young playwright currently working on a new play?

Don’t listen to advice too much. When it comes down to it, your job is to write. Let other people do the evaluating. Write what you feel you’re called to write.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Deadlines!

We are now 12 days away from the submission deadlines for the 2013 New Jersey Young Playwrights Festival! Please remember that submitting your script to us is a TWO part process:

1) Complete the playwright information page at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2013NJYPFtitlepage
2) Send your script as an email attachment (Word Doc or PDF only, please!) to njypf@ptnj.org

When sending your script, please label the file with YOUR NAME - TITLE of PLAY - DIVISION. Thanks!

ALSO, we encourage all NJ-based young playwrights to send their plays to the national playwriting contest run by Young Playwrights, Inc. Their submission deadline is today! For more information, see their website at http://www.youngplaywrights.org.

Happy writing!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy 2013

Happy New Year, everyone!

Don't forget, the submission deadline for the 2013 NJ Young Playwrights Festival is in two weeks!

January 14 for High School submissions (grades 10-12) and January 15 for Junior HS (grades 7-9) and Elementary submissions (grades 4-6). Visit the website at http://www.njypf.org for information or to submit your script.