The 2016 Scenesters, No. 1: Jafei Pollitt

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

Jafei Pollitt ScenestersScenester No. 1: Jafei Pollitt

School: Denver School of the Arts

Teacher: Brandon Becker

Play title: Moonlight

What is your play about? Moonlight follows a man who’s on a mission to reach a moon that has been talking to him since he was a teen. When he meets the mystical God who takes the role of Earth’s Moon, he discovers something shocking and extraordinary about his rather normal life.

Favorite word that appears in your script: “Dream.”

Excerpt: Man: “I had a dream a couple of months ago. It was an awakening I swear. The moon, she had this amazing face and she was talking to me, but it wasn’t English. Her mouth was just spilling out water, but I heard every word. I heard every single word.


Who was your inspiration for writing your play? The original inspiration actually came from a thumb war I was having with my friend and I was having a really fun time so I went home and wrote a scene about it for future sentimental use. Eventually, I had to add to the story because thumb wars can only hold an audience’s attention for so long and so out of pure whim I decided to write about the moon. The story built on itself and with revisions; I saw a definite theme to base the story off of.

Killer casting: Johnny Depp hands down for any play I ever write.

What did you learn from writing this play? I learned the intricate relationships that come with putting together a story and how much depth they give. I also learned about my style and focus as a writer; I like to play with ideas that are nearing the impossible.

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: “Your Words Take the Stage”: 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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