Today at the DCPA NewsCenter, we continue our daily countdown of the 10 Colorado student playwrights who have been named semifinalists for our fourth annual statewide playwriting competition. On Jan. 13, we will announce the three scripts that will be read at the 2017 Colorado New Play Summit. (Details below.) Tuesday: Scenester profile No. 9.
SCENESTER NO. 8: PARKER BENNETT
Our countdown of the 2017 'Scenesters' (to date):
- School: Fossil Ridge High School
- Class: Sophomore
- Teacher: Kristin Rust
- Your play title: Counting in Clay
- What is your play about? A sculptor lives on a secluded island where he crafts living people from clay. However, all of his projects so far have been flawed, until he manages to create something he thinks might be perfect ...
- What was your inspiration for writing your play? Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein and the film Swiss Army Man.
- Favorite word that appears in your script: "Haven."
- Killer casting: I would cast James McAvoy to play The Sculptor. I think he could bring a lot of energy and anxiety to the character, and could play the gentleman and the pyschopath simultaneously.
- What did you learn from writing this play? This was a writing experience unlike any I've ever had, because I wasn't just writing for myself. I was writing for an audience. People were actually going to read this, so the message of my story had to be crystal clear. I tend to go into writings with basically no care or planning, but this competition made me look at my writing in the same way I've looked at Shakespearean literature in English class. I treated my work with respect, and learned to think of myself as an artist.
No. 1: Sarah Shapard
, Overland High School
No. 2: Ryan Patrick McCormick
, Fort Collins High School
No. 3: Jasmin A. Hernandez Lozano, Vista Peak High School
No. 4: Abby Meyer and Nic Rhodes, Fossil Ridge High School
No. 5: Amelia Middlebrooks, Valor Christian High School
No. 6: Corinna Donovan and Walker Carroll, Crested Butte Community School
No. 7: Jessica Wood, Denver Christian School
About the 2017 Regional High-School Playwriting Workshop and Competition:
What: A one-act playwriting competition designed for area high schools. Local playwrights and DCPA Education faculty taught 138 playwriting workshops in 46 Colorado high schools. More than 2,823 high-school students participated in those workshops, which were held in every school district in the Denver-metro area and in 15 counties around the state, including Gunnison, Garfield, El Paso, Chaffee and Ouray.
Why: To nurture Colorado’s young playwrights; develop theatre artists and audiences; develop new plays; and advance literacy, creativity, writing and communication through playwriting.
A total of 132 submissions were judged blindly by DCPA artistic, literary and education professionals. Ten semifinalists are being identified through this rolling daily countdown. At the end of the countdown, three winners will be named. They will receive a cash scholarship of $250 each AND a staged reading in the 2016 Colorado New Play Summit next month. In addition, each teacher of the three finalists will receive a $250 gift certificate for books, supplies or other teaching tools for their classrooms. One play also will be presented as a fully staged performance exercise for DCPA Education students in the summer of 2017.
Robert and Judi Newman/Newman Family Foundation with matching gifts from The Ross Foundation, June Travis and Transamerica.
Video: We talked with the three 2016 student playwriting finalists and looked in as their plays were read by professional actors at the 2016 Colorado New Play Summit in February. Video by John Moore and David Lenk for the DCPA NewsCenter.