San Diego Playwrights

Getting San Diego Playwrights Produced on San Diego Stages

California Young Playwrights Contest Winner–Carly Cipriano

on February 24, 2014

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 or call (858) 384-2970. To find out more about the California Young Playwrights Contest, visit


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