The 2017 Scenesters, No. 9: Daniela Villalobos

Scenesters Daniela Villalobos

Today 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 Monday, Jan. 13, we will announce the three scripts that will be read at the 2017 Colorado New Play Summit. (Details below.) Tuesday: Scenester profile No. 10.


  • School: York International, Thornton
  • Class: Senior
  • Teacher: Alison Helfand
  • Your play title: Dr. Grumpy Pants
  • What is your play about? Dr. Madman is obsessed with creating a formula, which he decides to test on his neighbor’s dog. When the neighbor’s grandma grows sick, Dr. Madman tries to help by using the formula, with fatal consequences.
  • What was your inspiration for writing your play? The play was inspired by a woman close to me who is going through cancer. Like Dr. Madman, I wish I could find a cure. One version of my script was full of humor but that did not give me much of a plot to work with. Another version was sad, and I did not want to write 25 pages of a depressing story. So I took pieces from both until I came up with something that had a little of both. The people around me inspired the characters – one being my English teacher, with her sarcastic personality. My baby brother inspired the character of Kiran, the neighbor.

  • More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

  • Favorite word that appears in your script: “Goofy butt.” 
  • Killer casting: In reality, I would want to see the people who inspired these characters act it out. But they would not fit the characters’ physical characteristics.
  • What did you learn from writing this play? Writing a play is not easy. The characters become part of you, and can teach you lifelong lessons. I learned that no matter how much we wish we weren’t in a certain situation, we cannot make it disappear. We have to learn how to solve it, or live with it. 

A Sceneters Daniela Villalobos Quote

Our countdown of the
2017 ‘Scenesters’ (to date):
No. 1: Sarah Shapard, Overland High School
No. 2: Ryan Patrick McCormick, Fort Collins High School

No. 3: Jasmin A. Hernandez Lozano, Vista Peak High School
No. 4: Abby Meyer and Nic Rhodes, Fossil Ridge High School
No. 5: Amelia Middlebrooks, Valor Christian High School
No. 6: Corinna Donovan and Walker Carroll, Crested Butte Community School
No. 7: Jessica Wood, Denver Christian School
No. 8: Parker Bennett, Fossil Ridge 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 46 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 15 counties around the state, including Gunnison, Garfield, El Paso, Chaffee and Ouray.

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 132 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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