The 2017 Scenesters, No. 2: Ryan Patrick McCormick

Scenesters Ryan Patrick McCormickToday at the DCPA NewsCenter, we continue our daily countdown of the 10 Colorado student playwrights who have been named semifinalists for our fourth annual statewide playwriting competition. On Jan. 13, we will announce the three scripts that will be read at the 2017 Colorado New Play Summit. (Details below.) Tomorrow: Scenester profile No. 3.


  • School: Fort Collins High School
  • Class: Senior
  • Teacher: Jason Tyler
  • Your play title: Spilt Lava
  • A Scenester Stranger ThingsWhat is your play about? A boy and girl float across each other in a world where the floor is lava. 
  • What was your inspiration for writing your play? The way uncertainty paralyzes us, especially when love is involved.  
  • Favorite word that appears in your script: “Planetarily”
  • Killer casting: That kid from Stranger Things with the missing teeth would be a good fit for the boy. (Gaten Matarazzo, pictured above and right). He’s innocent yet boisterous – kind of like how Scrappy-Doo should have been.
  • What did you learn from writing this play? This Orson Welles quote means a lot more to me now: “If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story.”

Our countdown of the
2017 ‘Scenesters’ (to date):
No. 1: Sarah Shapard, Overland High School

About the 2017 Regional High-School Playwriting Workshop and Competition:

What: A one-act playwriting competition designed for area high schools. Local playwrights and DCPA Education faculty taught 138 playwriting workshops in Colorado high schools. More than 2,823 high-school students participated in those workshops, which were held in every school district in the Denver-metro area and in many more around the state. 

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 138 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 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 2017.

Sponsors: Robert and Judi Newman/Newman Family Foundation with matching gifts from The Ross Foundation, June Travis and Transamerica.

Video: We talked with the three 2016 student playwriting finalists and looked in as their plays were read by professional actors at the 2016 Colorado New Play Summit in February. Video by John Moore and David Lenk for the DCPA NewsCenter.

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