She’s one of three winning playwrights whose scripts will be presented at the Colorado New Play Summit
Today on the DCPA NewsCenter, we continue our daily spotlight of the three winning Colorado student playwrights for DCPA Education’s annual AT&T High School Playwriting Competition, whose plays will be read on Saturday, February 22, at the 2020 Colorado New Play Summit. (Details below.) We call them “The Scenesters.”
Meghan Frey, Estes Park High School
- Class: Senior
- Teacher: Andrew Virdin
- Play title: Romeo and Julien
- Who is your favorite writer: Nicola Yoon
- What was your inspiration for writing your play? Honestly, from one of my friends. I was trying to come up with an idea for my play and I just couldn’t come up with anything. So, one day I was talking to her and she gave me the idea. I thought it would be fun to write about, so I went with it.
- What happens in your play: It starts with a high school senior named Annabelle who is in love with her best friend, Romeo. She has been in love with him for years. One day she finally gets the courage to ask him out, but gets rejected. She doesn’t understand why until shortly after, when Romeo introduces her to Julien, his new boyfriend.
- What did you want to say? My original point was simply to tell a high-school love story. However, when I started writing it, I decided to have it take place in the early ’80s, because this was a time when being gay wasn’t accepted like it is today. I wanted to show the things gay kids had to face back then, and how that compares to today.
- What does it mean for your play to be selected for a reading at the Summit? This is such an amazing opportunity, and I still can’t believe they chose my play. I think it’s really cool that something I wrote is going to be performed in front of an audience. I never would have thought this would happen, and I think it’s cool that my writing resonated with other people.
- What did you learn from writing this play? I learned a lot about the struggles, oppression and fear that LGBT+ kids have to face in their daily lives. I am not part of the LGBT+ community, so I have never had to face these struggles, and I had never given it much thought before I wrote this play. After writing the play, I have a whole new perspective and appreciation for the things they have had to go through and overcome so that they can finally just be themselves.”
- Killer dialogue:
“We spend eight hours a day with these people for years, and yet we don’t really know each other. We all just show people what we want them to see, but they don’t know who we really are.”
- What’s one fun word that appears in your script? Dangling.
About the AT&T High School Playwriting Competition:
- What: A one-act playwriting competition designed for area high schools. Local playwrights and DCPA Education faculty taught 165 playwriting workshops in 21 counties statewide. A total of 3,152 high-school students participated in those workshops. The objective was to introduce students to the craft of playwriting, and encourage them to submit their own plays for the competition. In seven years, the writing program now has engaged more than 20,000 Colorado students.
- Why: The goal of the program is 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 154 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 have public readings at 9:30 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturday, February 22, 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. 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.
The 2019-20 AT&T High School Playwriting Competition is sponsored by AT&T, Robert and Judi Newman Family Foundation with matching gifts from The Ross Foundation, June Travis and Transamerica.
See the student readings at the Colorado New Play Summit
- Public readings at 9:30 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturday, February 22
- 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
Video bonus: A look back at the 2018-19 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 2019 Colorado New Play Summit. Video by David Lenk for the DCPA NewsCenter.