The 2016 Scenesters, No. 2: Jessica Wood

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.)

Jessica400Scenester No. 2: Jessica Wood

School: Denver Christian High School

Teacher: René Meyer

Play title: Dark River

What is your play about? The misconceptions that can permeate the consciousness of an entire town, and how seemingly unimportant decisions can have a huge impact on the way people act and think.

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

Excerpt from your play: Old Versie: “I couldn’t understand him, not at all. Playing with such children was as unheard of as throwing away food. It simply wasn’t done, and you could get in a lot of trouble if you were caught.”


Who was your inspiration for writing your play? I wrote a short story my freshman year and was thinking about expanding it, because I really liked the plotline. When I heard about this competition, I decided to try my hand at writing a play based on my original story.

Killer casting: Gregory Peck (even though he’s dead) to play Old Ander because of his brilliant portrayal of Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird.

What did you learn from writing this play? That even though writing a play is difficult, it can be lots of fun, and is a truly rewarding experience.

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.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *