Scenesters Molly Karst

The 2019 Scenesters: Molly Karst

Scenesters-Sophie Greenway 800

The Colorado Academy student is among three winning playwrights whose scripts will be presented Saturday at the Colorado New Play Summit

Today on the DCPA NewsCenter, we continue our countdown of the three winning Colorado student playwrights whose plays will be read on Saturday, February 23, at the 2019 Colorado New Play Summit. (Details below.)

Molly Karst, Colorado Academy

  • Pen name: M. Rae K.
  • Class: Sophomore
  • Play title: Swiped Off Your Feet
  • Teacher: Maclain Looper
  • What is your play about? Swiped Off Your Feet depicts the mid-romance crisis of Conzo and Romea on what is supposed to be their wedding day. Conzo enters with astonishment, wailing: “You left me at the altar?!” From there, a destiny-determining confrontation ensues between these two supposed lovebirds. (Fun fact: I’ve been marketing the story to my family as a ‘dystopian rom-com,’ to which they replied, “But you don’t know anything about romance.” Also, ‘dystopian’ is a stretch.)
  • iguana scenestersWord play: What’s one fun, unusual word that appears in your script? Iguana.
  • What was your inspiration for writing your play? From looking around and reading Buzzfeed articles, I see college students and millennials using online dating to engage in both “hook-up culture” and earnest relationships. Pretty soon, my friends and I will be searching for romance in society, and I came to ask: “When the time comes, will we only be meeting people online? How long can a relationship last if it started on a platform engineered to usher people from one person to the next? How much of that is attributed to laziness and ease? Do connections found through technology compare to the ones stumbled upon in life?” Swiped Off Your Feet was both my attempt to answer and explore these questions, as well as feed my inner hopeless romantic.
  • steve carell scenestersKiller casting: I’m bouncing between a young Steve Carell or a current William Jackson Harper (Chidi on “The Good Place”) for the role of Conzo. That role calls for an endearing, comedically frenetic energy that an audience can’t help but fall for. Both Michael Scott (“The Office”) and Chidi have that quality, and both actors portray it with pitch-perfection.
  • Killer dialogue:

CONZO: Are you saying you’d rather have us be in some impossible, soul-shattering situation as star-crossed lovers than automatically fulfilled?


CONZO: Why?!?!?!

  • Your initial playwriting training was through the Curious New Voices program. How did that experience help prepare you for this assignment? I am endlessly grateful for the opportunities I’ve had to create with Curious Theatre and work with the marvelous Dee Covington and Josh Hartwell through the Curious New Voices program in both my school and over the summer. I’m so fortunate to have been offered experience in developing short plays and furthering my craft with such lovely mentors. I’m so excited to continue my journey through DCPA Education and continue refining what I love.
  • What did you learn from writing this play? Immersing myself in the world and drama of Conzo and Romea was rewarding, refreshing and all-consuming in the most fulfilling sense of those words. Hunkering down at Backstage Coffee and strictly allotting hours and chai lattes to explore their lives transformed my days into ones entirely occupied by writing, but ultimately days dedicated to artistry and creation. When I typed ‘END OF PLAY,’ I felt I had spent time doing something worthwhile and, above all, enjoyable. And of course, I had effectively educated myself about both the dangers and merits of Tinder (but mostly dangers) without creating an underage profile.

Colorado New Play Summit 2019See the student readings at the Colorado New Play Summit

  • Public reading 8 p.m. Saturday, February 23
  • Randy Weeks Conservatory Theatre in the Newman Center for Theatre Education at 1101 13th St., at the corner of 13th and Arapahoe streets
  • The event is free but reservations are encouraged by clicking here

About the 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 170 playwriting workshops in 40 Colorado schools. A record 3,277 high-school students participated in those workshops, which were held in every school district in the Denver-metro area and in 21 counties around the state. The objective was to introduce students to the craft of playwriting, and encourage them to submit their own plays for the competition.

The Scenesters: The full list of 10 2018-19 playwriting finalists

  • 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 181 submissions were judged blindly by DCPA artistic, literary and education professionals. Ten finalists were initially selected, from which three winners were chosen. After a week of in-house workshopping at the Denver Center with trained actors, and mentorship from both DCPA Teaching Artists and a professional playwright, the three winning plays will be read at 8 p.m. Saturday, February 23, in The Randy Weeks Conservatory Theatre. Each winner also will receive a cash scholarship of $250 and complimentary passes to the Colorado New Play Summit. One new feature this year: The three winning scripts each will have additional readings at their playwrights’ own schools in the coming weeks. In addition, each teacher of the three winners will receive a $250 gift certificate for books, supplies or other teaching tools for their classrooms.
  • Sponsors: The Robert and Judi Newman Family Foundation with matching gifts from The Ross Foundation, June Travis and Transamerica.

Online video bonus: A look back at the 2017-18 Scenesters

In the video above, DCPA Senior Arts Journalist John Moore speaks with Executive Director of Education Allison Watrous and the student playwrights whose works were selected to be read at the 2018 Colorado New Play Summit. Video by David Lenk for the DCPA NewsCenter.

More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter