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Youth Playwright Contest

The Youth Playwright Contest will take place at Engle Lane Theatre, Community Players Of Streator in November 2017.  If your play is selected for the Festival, you will work with a creative team composed of a director, producer, designer, and actors to develop and stage your script.

The development process for each script will draw on the techniques used by Community Players Of Streator.  Through these methods, you will have the opportunity to take your creative writing project to the next step, by moving from the initial isolation of writing to the collaborative process of making your script into a living, breathing play.

You should expect a vibrant discussion of your work, professional and helpful artists with whom to work, full rehearsals with your artistic team, and opportunities to re-write and re-work your play.  The Festival culminates in a script-in-hand public reading of your work.

All selected playwrights must be available for the entire duration of the festival.  

Advice to Young Playwrights

Dramatic writing is visual writing: A play is different from a novel or a short story in that it is meant to be performed.  A playwright must always focus on what the stage will look like once it is live.  This can be a point of real creativity: if you want to set it in a kitchen, set it in a kitchen.  If you prefer the moon, set it on the moon.

Drama is conflict: Somebody has a desire, and something stands in their way.  It sounds vague, but it's the essence of drama.

Don't over-explain: Once you lose an audience, it's almost impossible to get them back.  So keep things going forward, and don't pause to explain.  The audience may get confused, but a little confusion can be fun.  And exposition is never dramatic.

Strange events permit themselves the luxury of occurring: You've probably been exposed to Realism, with a big R. Realism was a movement that sought to represent "real life" on stage. When it debuted in the late 1800's, it caused riots.  It's been the American formula for over sixty years.
But…
You don't have to follow that.  You can have a hover-car chase, swap characters faces, and stage a gunfight in a field of pineapples. In fact, in Len Jenkin's Careless Love, all of that happens. If you have an idea, any idea, no matter how crazy it may seem, write it. Somebody will find a way to do it.

Have fun: Writing a play is hard and it takes a lot of work. But seeing something you wrote live on the stage is unbelievably rewarding.

 

Submission Information and Requirements:

  • Applicants must be between the ages of 12-18
  •  Must be a student in grades 7-12
  • Scripts may be written by one or more persons.
  •  Enter if you have written an original play with duration of 60-120 minutes with a 15 minute intermission.
  • Are interested in seeing a play of yours work shopped on stage
  • Submit your script to the Community Players Of Streator Youth Playwright Contest
  • Fully complete the Entry Form: type your name, address, all phone numbers, E-mail, date of birth, grade, school name, school, phone number, teacher’s name, and parents names/email/phones
  • Scripts must be submitted with only the title of the play on the first page. 
    Do not put any identifying information on your play (no names/ addresses/ schools/ teachers name) – ONLY put this information on the Entry Form.
  • .Scripts must be typed, page-numbered and in the Standard Playwriting Format.
  • Monologues and screenplays are not eligible, nor are adaptations of other authors’ works.

 

 Youth Playwright Entry Form                                                                Script Format Example

 

  • Submissions Received between January 1st, 2017 – April 1st, 2017
  •  Finalist Chosen by May 1st, 2017
  •  Rewrites from finalist Due by July 1st, 2017
  •  Winner chosen in August 2017
  •  Stage Production in November 2017
 
Timeline: 

 

 

 

 SCRIPTS NOT MEETING THE ABOVE CRITERIA MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED.

 

Additional Information:

You get to WRITE ABOUT WHAT YOU WANT – there’s no censorship! Do remember, though, that the more obscenities your characters use, the more likely an audience will tune them out.

In plays, the story should be told through dialogue and action rather than just description (or stage directions). Try to avoid using a narrator and keep stage directions to a minimum.

Avoid using too many characters; we suggest 6-8 maximum.

In the theatre, unlike movies or TV, you cannot easily switch from one setting to another. Keep in mind that whatever you write must be able to be produced on a stage in front of a live audience.

All you have to do is:

Fill out an application form

Print out TWO copies of your original script

Email your completed application and ONE copy of your play to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. between January 1st, 2017 – April 1st, 2017

**NOTE:  Applications must be submitted on or before April 1st, 2017 * Application materials will not be returned. * Only the work of those able to attend the entire Festival from August 2017 to November 2017 will be considered for inclusion.

EARLY SUBMISSIONS ARE STRONGLY ENCOURAGED!