2016 Scenesters, No. 9: Kendra R. Knapp

Today at the DCPA NewsCenter, we continue our exciting daily countdown of the 10  student playwrights have been named semifinalists for our third annual statewide playwriting competition. (Details below.)

Sceneter Kendra R. Knapp Scenester No. 9:  Kendra R. Knapp

School: Valor Christian High School

Teacher: Kurt Muenstermann

Play title: Sonder

What is your play about? How media and technological communication both distance people and draw them together at the same time. And how even with copious amounts of communication, important things still can become lost in translation.

Favorite word that appears in your script: “AMERI-TRUCK.”

Excerpt from your play: DARLING: “You mean like, how every single person you see just walking along has a whole life with things going on just like you and – and you’re not in on it at all, you’re just sorta… there.”

Who was your inspiration for writing your play? I suppose you could say the world is my inspiration. (MY world, anyway). We teenagers are almost always communicating with others and using some kind of technological device to do it, but all you really get to see of the other person is their words. That’s why the vast majority of the lines in my play are some kind of text that you would see on a screen.

Killer casting: I would cast Ellen Page (Juno, Inception) as Charlotte because Charlotte is meant to be endearingly cheeky, and Ellen Page has displayed just the right amount of charm in her past roles.

What did you learn from writing this play? It’s hard to make people you’ve invented seem “real,” especially when you have to have them establish who they are through their own mouths. They have to say things that both seem realistic for people to say and also communicate the story and the character how you want.

Our complete countdown of 2016 semifinalists (to date):
No. 1: Jafei Pollitt, Denver School of the Arts
No. 2: Jessica Wood, Denver Christian High School
No. 3: Kristine Guo, Peak to Peak Charter School
No. 4: Gabrielle Moore, D’Evelyn High School
No. 5: Ashley Wright and Amelia Middlebrooks, Valor Christian High School
No. 6: Kalina Gallardo, Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy
No. 7: Kiera Eriksen-McAuliffe, Denver School of the Arts
No. 8: Stephanie Kiel and Mady McGraw, Chatfield High School


About the Denver Center’s 2016 Regional Youth Playwriting Workshop and Competition:

What: A one-act playwriting competition designed for area high schools. Local playwrights and DCPA Education staff members taught 145 playwriting workshops in 60 Colorado high schools. More than 3,110 high-school students participated in those workshops, which were held in every school district in the Denver-metro area and in 18 counties, including Alamosa, LaPlata, Montezuma, Ouray and Weld.  

Why: To nurture Colorado’s young playwrights; develop theatre artists and audiences; develop new plays; and advance literacy, creativity, writing and communication through playwriting.

How: A total of 212 submissions were judged blindly by DCPA artistic, literary and education professionals. That represents a 34 percent growth in submissions from 2014. 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 2016.

These back-to-back videos begin with the three teen play readings at the 2015 Colorado New Play Summit through the full staging of the winning play last summer.

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