Here we have an interview with Lori Reed, the middle school drama teacher. The interview with Ms. Reed gives the information about what this contest is all about, and what the winners earn.
What is the young playwrights competition?
So it’s called the playwrights in progress, and it’s an opportunity for young people to express their views in an art in the form of a play!
What do you do to help students enter into the competition?
We have a process of preaching the parts of the play, reading other students plays so they can see examples, then brainstorm together, and then when they start writing their plays their classmates start to improve and expand their own plays.
What does the winner of the young playwrights competition earn?
In our Friend’s Central competition you get to direct your cast and see your own play up on the main stage, and what’s really cool is that the actors that are casted help to expand your play during rehearsals.
What is your favorite part of the young playwrights contest?
It amazes me how each student has the power to be a great playwright.
How many plays do you think you will receive?
We’ll receive 1 from every 7th grader, so maybe 50 plays, and I opened it up to the 8th grade. Anybody who wishes to be entered into the Philadelphia playwrights festival in May will enter.
How many plays will be performed?
The plays are usually from 10 to 20 minutes each so we should like to perform 5 plays.
How does one register for the young playwrights competition?
Anybody who wishes to be entered into the Philadelphia playwrights festival in May can enter.
in 7th grade you’ll be invited to lunch and submit your plays together. In 8th grade if their interested they should come and see me and we will have a couple of lunch periods to write these plays.
When will the winner be decided?
In the 2nd or 3rd week of January I’ll announce it in assembly.
Has anybody begun writing their play yet?
We have students that have a strong start. I would say we have 5 or 6 students that have a strong start. Every student has written 5 to 10 pages of their play.
While some people will be entering just for the FCS version the very best of the best will be sent to the Annual Playwriting Competition. This competition is available for any young person in the Philadelphia area. In the past there have been over 700 entries, which get reduced down to around 40 that get looked into to be performed. All of the entries will get responses from the staff. These decisions will be made by a team of over 70 Philadelphian area artists, staff, and students. These 40 lucky youngsters will be reached out to and invited to come in and work with the actors and directors to revisit their script. If they work well together they spend the weeks until the performance deciding which actors will do which parts. The plays are performed to the public. Ms. Reed has already scheduled a meetup so that you can audition for a part in the spring play.
By Theo Dankoff ‘24 and Nell Zuckman ‘26
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