San Diego Playwrights

Getting San Diego Playwrights Produced on San Diego Stages

California Young Playwrights Contest Winner–Siobhan Snider

Siobhan Snider

Siobhan Snider (Playwright, Opposite Togetherness, written at age 14) a sophomore, wrote her play, Opposite Togetherness, as a freshman at Point Loma High. She has always loved being inspired by and writing stories. Through Opposite Togetherness, she explored the effects of her characters’ choices on their lives. She enjoys studying and writing about history and culture. A long-distance runner, she hopes to in the future advance both as an athlete and as a writer.

How did you first get involved in writing?

I was home schooled until fifth grade, and my parents encouraged me to do a lot of reading and writing.

How did you come up with the idea for your script?

I read Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer a few months prior to having Playwrights Project come to my school, and I was intrigued by the different opinions on and experiences with society that people had in the book. I wanted to explore the effects that different lifestyles have on people.

What themes are involved in your piece?

There are commonalities between everyone.

Self-love is important.

Expression and creativity, in any form, are necessary.

Words have power.

What is the message you hope the audience takes away with them?

I hope that the audience leaves with the feeling that connectedness is something essential and beautiful, whether it be with others, yourself or your surroundings.

Do you plan to continue writing?

Yes! Writing has always been something that I have fun doing, and I plan to continue and to do my best to improve.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

My passions are history, culture and travel. I plan on becoming a cultural anthropologist, researching the culture and history of different people and groups across the world.

For more information, or to purchase tickets for the Plays by Young Writers festival, visit http://www.playwrightsproject.org/PBYW or call (858) 384-2970. To find out more about the California Young Playwrights Contest, visit http://www.playwrightsproject.org/contest.htm.

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California Young Playwrights Contest Winner–Isaac Dwyer

Isaac Dwyer 2

Isaac Dwyer (Playwright, Little Elephant, written at age 16) is a juvenile nomad. Flirting and cross-pollinating between the worlds of academia, art, and kind-hearted trouble-making, he hopes one day to bring peace to every latitude and longitude of our slowly-spinning space rock, though the task oftentimes appears daunting. Art-making is his modus operandi, and dabbles dutifully in most mediums, and he currently calls Bennington College home (although this too, in time, will change).

How did you first get involved with writing?

Oh dear. To be truthfully honest I can’t pinpoint a single moment, but sometime in middle school I started scrawling angsty quatrains in the margins of my school notebooks, intentionally making my handwriting illegible so that no one else but myself (and my mother) could decipher them. I was reading a lot of Victorian romance novels at the time, and it showed glaringly. Once I became a bit older, I began attending an arts conservatory where I studied creative writing intensively for two and a half years. It was the teachers there that really whipped me into shape and made me start thinking about all writing (including my own) critically.

How did you come up with the idea of your script?

The first semester of my senior year of high school I took an entry-level Psychology seminar taught by a fellow who’s both a well-versed academic and a Buddhist monk, who remains to this day a great source of inspiration for me. One of the first readings we did was on speech development, and about a series of theories that state that if you aren’t exposed to advanced syntax and grammar before a certain point, you’ll never be able to. We read about a few cases, but the one that stuck with me the most was the story of this girl who was discovered in Arcadia, California in 1970. She was bound to a potty chair from the time she was twenty months old until she was thirteen, completely immobilized, and the two of the handful of words she knew how to say were “Stopit” and “Nomore”. Her face stuck in my brain, and I kept on thinking about her. Then I wrote a play very roughly based off of her.

What themes are involved in your piece?

Revelation. Faith. Passiveness. God-as-strength  v. God-as-hindrance. Love.

What is the message you hope the audience takes away with them?

Remember what it is to be human.

Do you plan to continue writing?

I try not to make plans beyond three months in advance because they usually go awry if I do, but I certainly don’t plan to stop anytime soon. Writing is an easy outlet for me when I need to let off some steam or to stew for a bit.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I won’t grow up. I’ll stay in Never-neverland where the world is one great, wild adventure until the day I die, thank you very much.

For more information, or to purchase tickets for the Plays by Young Writers festival, visit http://www.playwrightsproject.org/PBYW or call (858) 384-2970. To find out more about the California Young Playwrights Contest, visit http://www.playwrightsproject.org/contest.htm.

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California Young Playwrights Contest Winner–Carly Cipriano

Carly Cipriano

Carly Cipriano (Playwright, The Island, written at age 14) is a freshman at Mt. Carmel High School. She is very passionate about theatre, and constantly participates in school and community shows. She uses writing as an emotional and creative outlet, and loved finding a bridge between her love for theatre and her passion for writing. She wants to thank Playwrights Project for this amazing opportunity.

How did you first get involved with writing?

In fifth grade, before having any idea of what I was doing, I started writing fanfiction with my best friend. It started off small, but as we grew up and our writing styles changed, we started writing little plays and stories just for fun. We still do that. Our characters and stories mean a lot to us.

How did you come up with the idea of your script?

I wish I could say something incredible life story influenced The Island, but honestly? When my class was being read the rules for writing our plays, one rule was “Absolutely NO crazy characters”. So I thought it might be fun to see just how close I could get to ‘crazy’ without being called on it. I got a character in mind, and everything grew from there. As I wrote, the ‘crazy’ toned down a lot, and I started getting a real image in mind.

What themes are involved in your piece?

Survival, trust, isolation, dependence.

What is the message you hope the audience takes away with them?

I want the audience to realize that you have to come to terms with and overcome your obstacles, even if they are a part of who you are. That’s what Jack and Max’s relationship represents. Max symbolizes a side of Jack that he isn’t familiar or comfortable with, but he realizes that he has to learn to trust him/himself, in order to overcome his obstacles. And that is what the island is–one big obstacle in Jack’s life.

Do you plan to continue writing?

Yes, I DEFINITELY do. Even if I don’t do anything with what I do write, it’s really great therapy and I’m constantly inspired to do it. Short stories, plays, poetry–anything and everything. I get so much out of doing it.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I want to pursue a career in musical theatre! It’s the only thing in life that I am truly and solely passionate about. I love it more than anything in the world, and I hope to study and work professionally.

For more information, or to purchase tickets for the Plays by Young Writers festival, visit http://www.playwrightsproject.org/PBYW or call (858) 384-2970. To find out more about the California Young Playwrights Contest, visit http://www.playwrightsproject.org/contest.htm.

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California Young Playwrights Contest Winner–Erica Myrmel

Erica Myrmel

Erica Myrmel (Playwright, Thirty-Nine to Forty, written at age 15) is a 10th grader at Point Loma High School. Aside from her academics, she writes slam poetry and swims on her school’s varsity team. Erica has a life-long passion for writing, one she wishes to continue throughout her life. This is her first play ever produced and she is enjoying every second of the experience. She would like to thank everyone who has supported and inspired her. She especially thanks Playwrights Project for giving her this amazing opportunity.

How did you first get involved with writing?

I have loved writing all my life. I learned to read at a very young age and once I learned to write I started writing short stories in a notebook my parents gave me. This is the first play I have ever written.

How did you come up with the idea of your script?

I did a few activities which were meant to inspire ideas for plays. In those activities I randomly came up with the plot to Thirty-Nine to Forty.

What themes are involved in your piece?

The biggest theme in my story is that happiness is the reassurance of family. My main character, John Mane, was really unhappy in his life so he started doing something that had made him happy in his youth, which was skateboarding. By the end of the play, he realizes that the people he loves are the most important things to him and that they are the ones who make him truly happy.

What is the message you hope the audience takes away with them?

I hope that my audience leaves knowing that it is never too late to make changes in their lives and that it is never too late to be happy.

Do you plan to continue writing?

I definitely want to continue writing. This has been an amazing experience and it has inspired me to keep doing what I love.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I thought for a long time that I wanted to major in psychology and become a special agent in the FBI. Now, although I am still interested in that profession, I have realized that there are so many different options out there. I know I will change my mind many times before I find the job I love and want to do for the rest of my life.

For more information, or to purchase tickets for the Plays by Young Writers festival, visit http://www.playwrightsproject.org/PBYW or call (858) 384-2970. To find out more about the California Young Playwrights Contest, visit http://www.playwrightsproject.org/contest.htm.

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California Young Playwrights Contest Winner–Matthew Maceda

Matthew Maceda

Matthew Maceda, who is attending Westview High School, is a three-time winner of the contest. In sixth grade, he participated in a playwriting course at Mesa Verde Middle School taught by Playwright Project’s Founder Deborah Salzer. His plays, From Underdog to Top Rhino (co-written with classmate Eric Pak) and his solo work The Trial of Wolf vs. Pig, received staged readings in the 2012 and 2013 festivals, respectively. His newest winning play is Pound. This play focuses on a pampered pup named Princess, as she finds herself locked up in “the big dog house” with some unlikely new friends. Princess’s view of the world is expanded as she befriends some dogs who know it’s a “ruff” life.

How did you first get involved with writing?

I’ve always had an interest in writing, but I first started creating scripts when Playwrights Project came to my school in 6th grade.

How did you come up with the idea of your script?

I’ve been taught to write things that I am familiar with, and I then thought of my dog. I’m always asking myself what could have gone on in his head when he was in a shelter.

What themes are involved in your piece?

My play emphasizes the simple nature of humanity as well as the idea of having faith in the “big picture”.

What is the message you hope the audience takes away with them?

Overall, I hope that the audience would take the time to think how they view their lives and the world’s many issues, both man-made and natural. Also, I hope that they might appreciate their pets more.

Do you plan to continue writing?

I plan on trying to win a full production next year now that I’m older.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I would jump at the opportunity to be a professional soccer player.

For more information, or to purchase tickets for the Plays by Young Writers festival, visit http://www.playwrightsproject.org/PBYW or call (858) 384-2970. To find out more about the California Young Playwrights Contest, visit http://www.playwrightsproject.org/contest.htm.

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California Young Playwrights Contest Winner–Zoe Kamil

Zoe Kamil

Zoe Kamil is a student at Jewish Community High School of the Bay. Inspired by her fascination with the dichotomy of “attending a religious high school in one of the most liberal cities in the world,” she wrote the play Nine Hours. This play follows the last two people on earth — transgendered Faye and the orthodox Jew Michal — as they set out on a journey of desperation, faith, acceptance, and strength.

How did you first get involved with writing? 

I can’t remember a time when I haven’t written. In tenth grade, I took a beginning playwriting course at school and absolutely fell in love with the form.

How did you come up with the idea of your script?

My script is a direct reflection of the environment I spend my school days in. As an atheist attending a Jewish high school in a ultra-liberal city, I wanted to write something about the necessary and often uncomfortable struggle that occurs when very different kinds of people have to survive in close quarters.

What themes are involved in your piece?

Above all else, my piece is about empathy, tolerance, and ultimately acceptance.

What is the message you hope the audience takes away with them?

I want audiences to walk out of the theatre with increased faith in the power of honest conversation and open-mindedness.

Do you plan to continue writing?

I have absolutely caught the playwriting bug throughout high school, and am pursuing a college degree in playwriting and theatre production in New York City next year.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I hope to be working in the world of theatre as a producer, director, or playwright someday. I’m also fascinated by theatre management. We’ll see!

For more information, or to purchase tickets for the Plays by Young Writers festival, visit http://www.playwrightsproject.org/PBYW or call (858) 384-2970. To find out more about the California Young Playwrights Contest, visit http://www.playwrightsproject.org/contest.htm.

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California Young Playwrights Contest Winner–Devyn Krevat

Devyn Krevat

Devyn Krevat won a staged reading of her first play The Case of the Missing Pencil Tips in 2007 when she was in sixth grade. Now a senior at Canyon Crest Academy, she’s done it again. This time Devyn’s play Fairy Tale will receive a full production. In this smart and humorous tale, we see what happens when a narrator fights for control as the characters hijack his story and these traditional fairy tale characters defy their prescribed roles.

How did you first get involved with writing?

I’ve been writing as long as I can remember, but my first encounter with playwriting was in fifth grade. The Playwrights Project came to my school and did a week-long workshop that culminated in a reading of our work. I wrote The Case of the Missing Pencil Tips and entered and won a staged reading in the thirteen and under category.

How did you come up with the idea of your script?

I wrote the first draft of the script at a three-week playwriting intensive at Stanford’s EPGY program. We were writing ten minute plays based off characters we’d brainstormed. I had the idea to write a play about a narrator who couldn’t control his characters, which led to “Fairy Tale”.

What themes are involved in your piece?

My play deals with figuring out your place in your story, either in breaking out of the confines of what you think you have to do or discovering what your true role is.

What is the message you hope the audience takes away with them?

You have the power to change your role in your story.

Do you plan to continue writing?

Absolutely! I’m planning on studying dramatic writing in college (along with mathematics).

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I’m not quite sure, but I know whatever I end up doing, I’ll always want to be involved in theatre.

For more information, or to purchase tickets for the Plays by Young Writers festival, visit http://www.playwrightsproject.org/PBYW or call (858) 384-2970. To find out more about the California Young Playwrights Contest, visit http://www.playwrightsproject.org/contest.htm.

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California Young Playwrights Contest Winner–Heidi Erwin

Heidi Erwin

Heidi Erwin is a student at Westview High School. She attended Black Mountain Middle School last year, where she wrote her play, Mostly Perfect, in a Playwrights Project program in her English class. Heidi’s play follows senior citizen Ralph Baker who has grown weary of the futuristic utopia he inhabits. He rebels against the system in order to feel alive.

For more information, or to purchase tickets for the Plays by Young Writers festival, visit http://www.playwrightsproject.org/PBYW or call (858) 384-2970. To find out more about the California Young Playwrights Contest, visit http://www.playwrightsproject.org/contest.htm.

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California Young Playwrights Contest Winner–Kirra McColl

Kirra McColl

Kirra McColl wrote A Perfect Home in a Playwrights Project program in her school, Paul Ecke Central Elementary School. Two rats, Edward and Margaret, find their home “over-run” with humans; this forces them to venture from their rural residence into the big city in search of the perfect home.

How did you first get involved in writing?

We’ve been writing every day at school since first grade.

How did you come up with the idea for your script?

The theme I was given was migration so I decided to write about rats.

What themes are involved in your piece?

Migration and the search for a better home.

What is the message you hope the audience takes away with them?

I just want the audience to enjoy my play.

Do you plan to continue writing?

I don’t know what the future holds (I am only 12).

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Taller.

For more information, or to purchase tickets for the Plays by Young Writers festival, visit http://www.playwrightsproject.org/PBYW or call (858) 384-2970. To find out more about the California Young Playwrights Contest, visit http://www.playwrightsproject.org/contest.htm.

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Playwrights Project Presents Plays by Young Writers

Playwrights Project will produce its 29th annual festival of Plays by Young Writers at The Sheryl and Harvey White Stage in the Conrad Prebys Theatre Center at The Old Globe on March 6-16, 2014. The festival will feature winning scripts from its California Young Playwrights Contest for ages 18 and under.

Contest winners were selected from 165 submissions by students statewide. Four scripts will receive full professional productions, and five scripts will receive staged readings in this highly regarded festival of new voices.

All contest submissions were evaluated by theatre professionals who volunteered their time and expertise. Final Judges in the selection process included Deborah Salzer (Founder of Playwrights Project), Martin Benson (Founding Co-Artistic Director of South Coast Rep), Stephen Metcalfe (Director & Screenwriter of films like Pretty Woman and The Marrying Man), and Delicia Turner Sonnenberg (Artistic Director of MOXIE Theatre). Program Manager and Producer Derek Charles Livingston spearheaded the evaluation process, which focused on a sense of truth, imagination, fresh use of language, and grasp of dramatic structure. All contest participants who requested feedback received individualized written critiques.

The Festival is divided into Program A (for ages 11+) and Program B (for ages 16+). Each program includes two-to-three staged readings and two full productions. Two acting ensembles will present the two different programs, with actors playing multiple roles.

Program A

Directed by George Yé

Staged Readings

Pound by Matthew Maceda, Age 14, Rancho Peñasquitos

Mostly Perfect by Heidi Erwin, Age 13, Rancho Peñasquitos

A Perfect Home by Kirra McColl, Age 11, Leucadia

Full Productions

Fairy Tale by Devyn Krevat, Age 17, Carmel Valley

Thirty-Nine to Forty by Erica Myrmel, Age 15, Ocean Beach

Program B

Directed by Manny Fernandez

Staged Readings

The Island by Carly Cipriano, Age 14, Rancho Peñasquitos

Opposite Togetherness by Siobhan Snider, Age 14, Point Loma

Full Productions

Little Elephant by Isaac Dwyer, Age 16, Idyllwild

Nine Hours by Zoe Kamil, Age 17, San Francisco

For more information, or to purchase tickets for the Plays by Young Writers festival, visit http://www.playwrightsproject.org/PBYW or call (858) 384-2970. To find out more about the California Young Playwrights Contest, visit http://www.playwrightsproject.org/contest.htm.

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