Florida Studio Theatre Announces Winners of the Youth Playwriting Competition

Arts & Culture

Florida Studio Theatre (FST) is proud to announce the winning plays of this year’s annual youth playwriting competition. Now in its 29th year, FST’s award-winning WRITE A PLAY (WAP) program is a year-round arts-in-education initiative, providing students with the example, the inspiration, and the skills to write their own original plays. Over the course of the 2019-2020 season, FST received submissions written by over 7,600 young playwrights between the ages of 5-18—the most playwrights who have submitted plays to the program in over twelve years.

On March 16, FST announced that it was cancelling its educational programming due to the COVID-19 health crisis, including FST’s annual Young Playwrights Festival (YPF) Day (which has been postponed to Spring 2021). An annual celebration of children’s imagination and creativity, YPF Day features performances of the year’s winning plays and an awards ceremony. Winners from this year’s youth playwriting competition will be honored at the next YPF Day, and will have the chance to see their work presented in front of their family and teachers.

“This year, we received plays that ran the entire creative gamut,” said Adam Ratner, FST’s Young Playwrights Festival Coordinator and Lead Teaching Artist. “Plays ranging from swashbuckling adventure stories about pencils battling erasers to charming tales of unicorns giving dancing lessons. Although we are saddened that we weren’t able to celebrate the creativity of these young writers, we are looking forward to next year’s YPF Day. Not only will it be the 30th anniversary of the WRITE A PLAY program, but we will be honoring twice as many playwrights!” This year’s winning plays by students in Kindergarten through 6th grade include The Amazon Box Talks by Addison Crutchfield (4th Grade); The Avocado Invasion by Students in Ms. Hickey’s 5th Grade Class; The Brave Princess and the Naughty Prince by Kimberlee Carswell, Emma Nell Abreu, and Violet Pastor (1st Grade); Cash Only! by Cali Fuller (2nd Grade); Farm Trouble by Mallory Anderson (3rd Grade); The Grandma That Eats Everything by Daniel C. Contreras (3rd Grade); How This Wish Came True by Piper Fancher (3rd Grade); Lost in the Crowd by Pranaam Lobo (4th Grade); Saving Planet X by Students of Ms. Guiterrez’s 4th Grade Class; A Second Chance by Journey Prince (3rd Grade); and The Tooth Fairy & The Little Girl by Mia Guenero (1st Grade).

The winning plays written by students in 7th grade and up include The Ballad of Billy by Matrick Thorpe (7th Grade); Big Dreams Under the Big Top by Cora Thayer (8th Grade); Flying Solo with IBD by Spencer Emerson Opal-Levine (11th Grade); I Am Different by Kyle Ramon and Jillian Vega (8th Grade); I Know I Am Different by Alon Barkay (6th Grade—Israel); Isolation by Zahra Kerbalai (9th Grade—Scotland); The Last Slice by Nelson Vidro (8th Grade—Camden, NJ); An Old Home by Luna Maria Chacon (8th Grade—Camden, NJ); and Out and Proud by Cassandra Bradley (12th Grade). For more information about FST’s WRITE A PLAY (WAP) program, please contact FST’s Director of Children’s Theatre, Caroline Kaiser, at ckaiser@floridastudiotheatre.org.

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