The 2015 Scenesters, No. 9: Catherine Novotny, Grandview High School

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.)

9 Novotny 400Scenester No. 9: Catherine Novotny

School: Grandview High School

Teacher: Briana Lindahl

Play title: Election

What is your play about? Fallon and Adam are racing to win a student presidential election. Their principal sends them on a mission to uncover a cheating scandal to prove their worth.

Favorite word that appears in your script: “Stakeout,” because it really shows what young minds will do to uncover the truth … and it also has a sense of mystery.

Excerpt: “You can’t hack your way out of everything.

Who was your inspiration for writing your play?
The TV show Scandal. Politics in TV shows fascinates me, and I had in mind a teen perspective of government. The best part of Scandal is the political corruption, and that gave birth to the cheating ring.

Killer casting:
Aubrey Plaza, who plays April n Parks and Recreation as Fallon. She is dry, almost secretive, but she really means best. She has this sense of wisdom that is covered under a mask of slight sarcasm.

What did you learn from writing this play? That there are so many ways a story could go. One word could change the whole outcome, which is why it is important to give your characters depth beyond just the plot.


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
No. 8: Jack Hansen, Arapahoe High School
No. 9: Catherine Novotny, Grandview High School
Bonus: Read about 2014 winning teen playwright Laurain Park


Video from the teen play readings at the 2014 Colorado New Play Summit

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