Today on Denver CenterStage, we continue our exciting daily countdown of the 10 student playwrights have been named semifinalists for our second annual statewide playwriting competition. (Details below.)
Scenester No. 4: Nathan Mast
School: Thomas B. Doherty High School
Teacher: Mrs. Jennifer Shafer
Play title: Unspoken
What is your play about? Since the day he was born, Bradley has only ever cried. Growing up, he communicated only with his camera. This play goes through the events of his life, eventually revealing why it took him 28 years to finally speak.
Favorite word that appears in your script: “Quack.”
Excerpt: “Granted, he is only in the fourth grade. But fourth-graders can be the most heartless little twerps in the entire world!”
Who or what was your inspiration for writing your play? I have recently taken up photography, so I wanted to incorporate my new-found hobby into my already big love for theatre. Also, I wanted to try my hand at writing. I have done a lot of other things involved in theatre, but I had never written a play. So I wanted to see what I could do.
Killer casting: Josh Hutcherson would be my choice to play Bradley. I think he could portray the character well because he has a variety of skills in the acting world.
What did you learn from writing this play? I got a better sense of being on the other side of the script. When I decided to enter the competition, I didn’t even know where to begin. I feel like I learned how to better put words into action, and to give clear direction, without actually telling someone what I envisioned.
About the Denver Center’s 2014 Regional Youth Playwriting Workshop and Competition:
What: “Your Story. Our Stage”: A one-act playwriting competition designed for area high schools. Local playwrights and DCPA Education staff members taught 143 playwriting workshops in 45 Colorado high schools. More than 2,899 high-school students participated in those workshops, which were held in every school district in the Denver-metro area and in 13 counties, including Chafee, Larimer and Las Animas.
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 158 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 2014 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 2015.
Our complete countdown of 2015 semifinalists (to date):
No. 1: Christina Arias of Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy
No. 2: Joshua Contreras, Gunnison High School
No. 3: Keely Kritz of Denver School of the Arts
No. 4: Nathan Mast, Thomas B. Doherty High School
No. 5: Kiana Trippler, Thunder Ridge High School
No. 6: Ryan McCormick, Fort Collins High School
No. 7: Kaytlin Camp, Gunnison High School
Bonus: Read about 2014 winning teen playwright Laurain Park
COMING THURSDAY: MEET SCENESTER NO. 5!
Video from the teen play readings at the 2014 Colorado New Play Summit