The 2017 Scenesters: Amelia Middlebrooks

Scenesters Amelia Middlebrooks
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 Jan. 13, we will announce the three scripts that will be read at the 2017 Colorado New Play Summit. (Details below.) Monday: Scenester profile No. 6.



  • School: Valor Christian High School in Highlands Ranch
  • Class: Junior
  • Teacher: Kurt Muenstermann
  • Your play title: The Mistress of Stories
  • What is your play about? It’s about growing up, and how difficult that is. How finding help and guidance is crucial, and sometimes no matter how hard it is to do, we have to break away from what is toxic in our lives to truly grow.
  • What was your inspiration for writing your play? My own experiences, as well as the movie Take the Lead, the real story of a dance teacher who believed in the talent of a group of problem kids. High school is difficult to navigate, so an adult role model is always helpful to have.
  • A Scenester 5 Amelia DowneyFavorite word that appears in your script: “Swordplay.”
  • Killer casting: I would have Robert Downey Jr. play Maxwell because he’s relatively short in real life and could probably understand a bit of where the character comes from, But he’s also very charismatic and humorous and he could add a bit of needed levity.
  • What did you learn from writing this play? I really learned the importance of good friends and people in your life who will tell you when to sever the toxic relationships in your life. Friends are often underrated, and I feel like they are often what hold us firm in the stormiest of seas.

A Scenester 5 Amelia Quote


A look back: Amelia was also a playwriting semifinalist in 2016

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

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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