Finalists for Regional High School Playwriting Competition named

2016 Scenesters: Teen playwriting finalists
Meet your 2016 Scenesters: Teen playwriting finalists (from left) Kendra Knapp, Gabrielle Moore and Jessica Wood.

The Denver Center for the Performing Arts has today announced the three finalists for the third annual Regional High School Playwriting Workshop and Competition for Colorado high-school students:

  • Dark River by Jessica Wood, Denver Christian School READ MORE
  • Divinity of Hell by Gabrielle Moore, D’Evelyn High School READ MORE
  • Sonder by Kendra Knapp, Valor Christian School READ MORE

All three finalists will receive mentorship from a professional playwright and a staged reading at the 2016 Colorado New Play Summit. One of the finalists will also have their play produced during DCPA Education’s 2016 summer program.

Knapp also placed as a top-10 semifinalist last year, but did not advance to the final three. She entered again this year and her play was selected. All submissions were read by blind draw, so the judges did not know the identity of the playwrights.

“These young playwrights are the next generation of theatre. It is our responsibility and our privilege to encourage them and give them the tools to succeed,” said DCPA Director of Education Allison Watrous. “This year we received a whopping 212 submissions from high-school students across 18 counties. The three finalists will be paired up with working Colorado theatre professionals and will have their plays brought to life by professional actors as a part of the Colorado New Play Summit.”

The 2015-16 Regional High School Playwriting Workshop and Competition served 3,110 students and 82 teachers in 60 schools over 18 counties, including Alamosa, LaPlata, Montezuma, Ouray and Weld. Teaching artists conducted 145 workshops that resulted in a record-breaking number of play submissions.

Each finalist’s Theatre or Language Arts teacher will receive a $250 gift certificate for books, supplies or other teaching tools for their classrooms. Finalists also receive a $250 cash scholarship and complimentary pass to any reading or production at the Summit.


2015-16 Regional High School Playwriting Workshop and Competition Finalists: (Alphabetical by play title):

Black and Blue by Ashley Wright and Amelia Middlebrooks, Valor Christian High School
Daffodil
by Kristine Guo, Peak to Peak Charter School
Dark Wood by Jessica Wood, Denver Christian High School
Divinity of Hell by Gabrielle Moore, D’Evelyn High School
Don’t; Quixotic by Kalina Gallardo, Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy
Empty Space by Kiera Eriksen-McAuliffe, Denver School of the Arts
Home in the Garden by Stephanie Kiel and Mady McGraw, Chatfield High School
Mahdi
by Jacob Kendrick, Peak to Peak Charter School
Moonlight by Jafei Pollitt, Denver School of the Arts
Sonder, by Kendra R. Knapp, Valor Christian High School

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More on the 2016 Regional Youth Playwriting Workshop and Competition:

What: A one-act playwriting competition designed for area high schools.  

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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