San Diego Playwrights

Getting San Diego Playwrights Produced on San Diego Stages

California Young Playwrights Contest Winner–Sol Manuel Garza

on December 2, 2014

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Playwrights Project will produce its 30th annual festival of Plays by Young Writers at The Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre in the Conrad Prebys Theatre Center at The Old Globe on January 22 – February 1, 2015. The festival will feature winning scripts from its California Young Playwrights Contest for ages 18 and under.

Contest winners were selected from 581 plays submitted by students from across the state. Four scripts will receive full professional productions, and four scripts will receive staged readings in this highly regarded festival of new voices.

Sol Manuel Garza

Sol Manuel Garza

With Your Own Eyes
By Sol Manuel Garza
Age 14, San Marcos
Directed by Derek Livingston

With Your Own Eyes by Sol Manuel Garza is a futuristic play about a boy who doesn’t realize the degree to which he’s tied to the grid, until his uncle taps into the system. Sol Manuel wrote the play in English class at High Tech High North County, taught by Carol Cabrera, who began teaching playwriting with Playwrights Project. Derek Livingston, Plays by Young Writers Festival Producer, is serving as Sol Manuel’s writing mentor to help develop the play for production.

How did you first get involved with writing?
I have been exploring my ideas through writing and art since a young age. Most of the ideas I write about start out as drawings. Some of the ways that I began to write included keeping journals, creating comic strips, writing short stories and experimenting with longer stories.

How did you come up with the idea of your script?
The ideas for my story emerged out of my interests in science fiction as a literary genre that helps people to re-examine their everyday practices and societal assumptions. When I read Fahrenheit 451, I was inspired by Ray Bradbury’s ideas about technology and its effect on creating a dehumanizing society. My idea for my script came from several articles I read about personalizing technology to individuals, watching the steep increase of iPhones and constant texting, and merging human biology with technology. All of these influenced my story and its themes.

What themes are involved in your piece?
The themes of my play have to do with being free vs. being manipulated through technology. It’s about what it means to be human and to what extent does technology enhance our humanity and when does technology become invasive and prevent us from being fully human. These themes speak to the increasingly inconspicuous power of modern technology and its tightening grip on all of our lives. Another powerful theme of my play is the strength of the family bond as shown in the relationship between Uncle Will and Trey. There is something special about human relationships that technology cannot replace.

What is the message you hope the audience takes away with them?
The main message I want people to take away with them is that even though we are, as a society, overwhelmingly “plugged into the grid” and dependent on technology, it is never too late to put down your phone, and open your eyes to the wonders of the real world and the uniqueness of interpersonal relationships.

Do you plan to continue writing?
I am always developing stories in my head and it would be impossible for me to stop writing, the same way it would be impossible for me to stop drawing. Currently, I am creating a new story. I enjoy developing the characters, the dialogue between characters, the ideas for settings and outlining interesting plots. For me, writing is a way of thinking and exploring ideas whether through a comic strip, a play or a novel.

What do you want to be when you grow up?
I enjoy the creative process and want to be engaged in writing and in the visual and performing arts throughout my life. I believe that it is vital to incorporate the arts in whatever career I end up pursuing. Doing so will help me to live a well-rounded, healthy life and make meaningful contributions to my community.

For more information and reservations, please contact Playwrights Project at (858) 384-2970 or write@playwrightsproject.org. Visit http://www.playwrightsproject.org.

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One response to “California Young Playwrights Contest Winner–Sol Manuel Garza

  1. […] With Your Own Eyes by Sol Manuel Garza is a futuristic play about a boy who doesn’t realize the degree to which he’s tied to the grid, until his uncle taps into the system. Sol Manuel wrote the play in English class at High Tech High North County, taught by Carol Cabrera, who began teaching playwriting with Playwrights Project. https://sandiegoplaywrights.wordpress.com/2014/12/02/california-young-playwrights-contest-winner-sol… […]

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