Three student plays chosen for Colorado New Play Summit readings

Teen Playwriting Finalists

The Denver Center for the Performing Arts this morning announced the three finalists for  the second annual Regional High School Playwriting Workshop and Competition for Colorado high-school students.

Finalists Kaytlin Camp of Gunnison High School, Jack Hansen of Arapahoe High School and Catherine Novotny of Grandview High School will receive a professional staged reading of their one-act plays at the 2015 Colorado New Play Summit. The finalists also will receive a $250 cash scholarship and complimentary pass to any reading or production at the Summit. In addition, each finalist’s Theatre or Language Arts teacher will receive a $250 gift certificate for books, supplies or other teaching tools for their classrooms. After the Summit, one play will be chosen to be performed by students participating in DCPA Education’s summer classes.

“We were blown away by the number of submissions we received this year,” said Allison Watrous, DCPA Director of Education. “It was a privilege for our team to read all 158 submissions and take on the nearly impossible task of narrowing them down to these three finalists. It is thrilling to see that the passion for theatre is alive and well in Colorado high schools.”

Public readings of the three plays will be held at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb 21, in Conservatory Theatre, located in the Newman Center at 13th and Arapahoe streets. The readings will be free with an RSVP. Click here.  

Last year’s inaugural program included 83 workshops in 33 schools, serving 1,764 students and 42 teachers across 11 counties. This time, the program nearly doubled in size and reach. DCPA education staff conducted 143 workshops in 45 schools, serving 2,899 students and 67 teachers over 14 different counties (including Chaffee, Larimer, and Las Animas).

Meet the three Finalists:
Name: Kaytlin Camp
School: Gunnison High School
Teacher: Mr. White
Play title: Lark’s Mechanics
What is your play about? A girl who owns a mechanic shop, and the interactions she has with her customers.
TACITA: Cato, may I ask you a bit of a… um, sensitive question?
CATO: Sure, go ahead.
TACITA: Are you a part of the ….uh… protests taking place in the cog district? CATO: …Yes. I don’t see why you would consider that a sensitive question.
TACITA: Well depending on who you mention it to they could react badly.
CATO: Yes, I’m aware. Does this change things in your eyes?
TACITA: Not really, I’m actually not that surprised.
CATO: Oh you’re not surprised? I thought you said I was mysterious.
TACITA: Well you are, but like I said before I don’t know you that well, So I’m not that surprised. I’d be more surprised if I found out you were a mermaid.
CATO: I think it’d be impractical for a mermaid to have a mechanical arm.
TACITA: Oh you never know, they could have some type of underwater mechanics. CATO: You say that like mermaids actually exist.
TACITA: Can you prove they don’t?
CATO: Touche.

Read more about Kaytlin here


Name: Jack Hansen
School: Arapahoe High School
Teacher: Ian Ahern
Play title: The Tale of the Almighty Sword
What is your play about? A sword crafted by the gods. The story is told through the different people who possess the sword, as the sword brings them closer to God.

JACQUIS: I am the best swordsman to ever live, and I say this hunk of metal is a piece of (bleep!)
ALMIGHTY VOICE: (Offended) Well… Why is it so awful?
JACQUIS: For starters! The weight is all wrong! Secondly the hilt of the sword is all wrong! It almost takes two hands to wield it, but there is only room for one! Thirdly -­
ALMIGHTY VOICE: Fine! Fine, I will rebuild an even better sword.
JACQUIS: Ha! Good luck you imbecile! You couldn’t build anything even if you were given seven days!
ALMIGHTY VOICE: (He gasps.) That was just rude! You don’t even deserve a sword! (As he says that, JACQUIS dropped the sword and smoke appears indicating that the sword disappeared. 
ALMIGHTY VOICE (in almost a crying voice): A good day to you sir! Bloody drunk!
(A ripple of thunder strikes indicating he is gone.)

Read more about Jack here


Name: Catherine Novotny
School: Grandview High School
Briana Lindahl
Play title:
What is your play about?
Fallon and Adam are racing to win a student presidential election. Their principal sends them on a mission to uncover a cheating scandal to prove their worth.

HARRY: Did you come to seek answers?
KELLY: My math teacher is giving an exam tomorrow. Her name is Mrs. Trescott. Third period pre-calculus. It’s encompassing everything we’ve learned since coming back from summer break.
HARRY: Already have the answers. I will have my superior put these answers subtly on a poster in her room. She will not notice it, but you will. Now, give me $100 and this all happens.
KELLY: Isn’t your price a little steep?
HARRY: That’s the price of cheating. Feel the guilt. At least you’ll be getting a good grade. Now, pay up.
FALLON: I can’t believe Kelly is cheating.
ADAM: You’re right, Harry is just the money transaction. He’s not in charge of anything. We have to tell Mr. T.
KELLY: Fine, here’s the money. (She hands over the cash and then runs out. Fallon and Adam are about to leave when another door opens. The other person stands in the shadows.)
Read more about Catherine here

Meet our 10 Talented Semifinalists:

In the DCPA NewsCenter, we presented daily profiles introducing readers to all 10 of our finalists. Get to know them here (listed alphabetically by play title):

  • Divide by Kiana Trippler, ThunderRidge High School

  • Election
    by Catherine Novotny, Grandview High School
  • Lark’s Mechanics by Kaytlin Camp, Gunnison High School
  • Life According to Mauve by Keely Kritz, Denver School of the Arts
  • Open Mic by Joshua Contreras, Gunnison High School
  • Paper Clips by Christina Arias, Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy
  • The Suburbs by Kendra Knapp, Valor Christian High School
  • The Tale of the Almighty Sword by Jack Hansen, Arapahoe High School
  • The Window on the Fourth Wall by Ryan McCormick, Fort Collins High School
  • Unspoken by Nathan Mast, Thomas B. Doherty High School

  • Video from the teen play readings at the 2014 Colorado New Play Summit

    The Regional High School Playwriting Workshop and Competition was sponsored by the Newman Family Foundation with matching gifts from FirstBank, MarkWest Energy Partners, The Ross Foundation, Stonebridge Companies, and June Travis.

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