Archived entries for April Webster

NEWS RELEASE — THE BLANK THEATRE’S 24th ANNUAL YOUNG PLAYWRIGHTS FESTIVAL CHOOSES WINNERS

THE BLANK THEATRE’S 24TH ANNUAL
YOUNG PLAYWRIGHTS FESTIVAL
CHOOSES WINNERS
12 PLAYS BY THE NATION’S BRIGHTEST YOUNG PLAYWRIGHTS
WILL BE PERFORMED AT
THE STELLA ADLER THEATRE IN HOLLYWOOD
JUNE 2 — 26, 2016

Young Playwrights Festival 2016Now celebrating its 24th Anniversary, The Blank Theatre’s Nationwide Young Playwrights Festival has chosen 12 plays by playwrights aged 16—19 from seven different states. These plays will be presented by professional actors and directors in this year’s Festival at The Stella Adler Theatre in Hollywood, June 2—26.

Said Noah Wyle (star of television’s ER and Falling Skies), Artistic Producer at The Blank, “Each Spring for the past 23 years, The Blank has found the freshest, most original voices in the American theatre, invited them to Los Angeles, and promoted their work during a month-long festival in June. This thought provoking work, performed and directed by seasoned professionals, has entertained thousands of audience members over the years. While these authors are often as different as the states from which they come and the subjects with which they deal, they share something truly improbable. They’re teenagers.” Wyle continued, “These are not only the voices of today’s theatre — they are the voices of tomorrow’s as well.”

Producing Director Heather Provost added, “I am especially pleased that 11 out of 12 Festival winners this year are female. Gender parity in our industry is so important and I’m happy that we are contributing to the balance.”

This year’s winning plays are: VICTIMOLOGY by Rachel Linton, Washington, DC, Age 18; AGE-SEX-LOCATION by Honor Levy, Los Angeles, CA, Age 18; MIND GAMES by Sarah Holland, Austin, TX, Age 18; SUPERMARKET OF LOST by Casandra Hsiao, Walnut, CA, Age 16; ABOUT ART by Alexa Derman, Westfield, NJ, Age 19; BITING ELEPHANTS by Sarah Steuer, Memphis, TN, Age 19; LAZY BOY by Charlotte Leavengood, St. Petersburg, FL, Age 16; GWENDOLYN by Dylan Schifrin, Sherman Oaks, CA, Age 17; LOVELY MADNESS by Ariella Carmell, Chicago, Age 16; DOESN’T THAT SOUND LOVELY? by Gabrielle Poisson, Boonton Township, NJ, Age 17; OVEREXPOSURE by Lani Kording, Costa Mesa, CA, Age 18; and STICK AND POKE by Johanna Stone, Altadena, CA, Age 17.

A panel of theatre professionals chose from 200 plays submitted by young writers across the nation. Winning playwrights are next assigned a mentor, and then a professional director who will help them hone their scripts for four public performances with professional actors. This year’s mentors include David Rambo (Revolution, Empire, CSI), Dave Holstein (Weeds, Raising Hope), Ellen Byron (Just Shoot Me, Wings), Gary Tieche (Medium), Kit Steinkellner (four-time YPF winner), Beth Bigler (The Real Housewives of Atlanta and three-time YPF winner), Bert V. Royal (Dog Sees God), Austin Winsberg (five-time YPF winner), Adam Lapidus, Robert L. Freedman, Scott Damian, and Adam Belanoff. This year’s directors are (in alphabetical order) Barbara Bain, June Carryl, Guillermo Cienfuegos, Warren Davis, Bjørn Johnson, Doug Oliphant, Loni Peristere, Christopher J. Raymond, Michael A. Shepperd, Laura Stribling, Richard Tatum, and April Webster.

Over the past 23 years, The Blank has produced 272 plays by young playwrights. Eleven of those plays or playwrights have gone on to be presented on The Blank’s mainstage. Additionally, many of the plays have been nominated for LA theatre awards, including an Ovation Award for Best Writing—World Premiere, and an LA Weekly Award for Best One-Act Playwriting. Other alumni playwrights are populating the nation’s theatres and sound stages with their work. Many YPF winners have gone on to successful writing careers on Broadway, are filling regional stages, and have created network TV shows. Alumnus winner Stephen Karam has been a two-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and is currently Tony Award-nominated for Best Play for The Humans, a hit on Broadway this season.

This year’s YPF is made possible in part by The Bloomberg Philanthropies, Los Angeles County Arts Commission, Los Angeles City Department of Cultural Affairs, The Rosenthal Family Foundation, The Plum Foundation, and the Hollywood Fringe Festival.

The Blank Theatre’s 24th Annual Young Playwrights Festival runs June 2—26 at the Stella Adler Theatre, 6773 Hollywood Boulevard, in Hollywood. The performance schedule is Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 2pm. Each week’s program includes three plays, and admission is $20 for adults and $14 for students. Festival passes, which are good for one ticket each week of the festival, are $68 for adults and $48 for students. Tickets may be purchased in advance online at www.TheBlank.com, or via phone by calling (323) 661-9827.

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05-03-16

Announcing: Listing Info & Play Descriptions – The Blank Theatre’s 20th Annual Young Playwrights Festival

THE BLANK THEATRE
20TH ANNUAL YOUNG PLAYWRIGHTS FESTIVAL

2012 Young Playwrights Festival - The Blank TheatreProfessional actors and directors present 12 winning plays by young playwrights from across the nation during this prestigious four-week festival. Each week is a different evening of three plays. For complete list of plays and performance dates, see schedule below.

DATES:  May 31 – June 24

TIMES:  Thurs/Fri/Sat at 8pm; Sun at 2pm

ADMISSION:  Adults $20 Students $14.  Festival Pass (one seat each week) $64

TICKET INFO:  Available online at www.TheBlank.com, or by calling (323) 661-9827.

LOCATION:  The Stella Adler Theatre, 6773 Hollywood Boulevard (at Highland), in Hollywood.

 

WEEK ONE May 31 – June 3

COFFEE TALK
By Spencer Emerson Opal-Levine (age 9), Sarasota, FL
What do you want to become? Do you have to follow the rules? The denizens of a local Starbucks ask these same questions, but the answers are not what you expect.
Mentor – Ellen Byron
Director – David Shine

THE GRANT PROPOSAL
By Nick Mecikalski (age 18), Madison, AL
In the too-near future, your productivity is very closely watched and charted. This family struggles with what one must do when Grandpa is no longer “useful.”
Mentor – Mark Saltzman
Director – James Kerwin

PRINCESS
By Kate Herzlin (age 19), Rockville Centre, NY
Princess has been sheltered her whole life, as if raised in a fairy tale.  But what should she do if a dream life isn’t her dream?  Can she ever find her true self or must she live everyone else’s version of happily ever after?”
Mentor – Brighde Mullins
Director – April Webster

 

WEEK TWO June 7 – 10

THE INDEX
By Zachary Weaver (age 15), Overland Park, KS
What if they kept a list of your life accomplishments? What would be in your Index? Maybe you haven’t done anything noteworthy. Does that make you not worthy?
Mentor – Patrick Burleigh
Director – Trevor Bishop

SCRAPBOOK
By Brendan Blaber (age 17), Indian Head Park, IL
The last day at Camp Itchyknee seems like the end of the world. And when you are 12 years old, it just may be. Especially if you haven’t been able to tell the cute girl how much you like her yet.
Mentor – David Rambo
Director – J. Richey Nash

THE ART OF LOSING
By Nicole Acton (age 18), Interlochen, MI
Family matters. It is important to give of yourself to help those that have always helped you. But how much can one give? And for how long? And at what cost?
Mentor – Christopher Kyle
Director – Loni Peristere

 

WEEK THREE June 14 – 17

DAMMIT!
By David Agronin (age 17), Owings Mills, MD
Len needs to apologize to his girlfriend but she’s not picking up her phone, so he leaves a message.  And then another. And then another. Can he stop digging this terrible hole for himself and ever get back in her arms?
Mentor – Austin Winsberg
Director – Matt Graber

OTHER PEOPLE’S ORGANS
By Paige Roth (age 18), San Antonio, TX
Getting Mom’s attention is never easy, especially when she is so self-obsessed. But Carlton needs more that just that from her mother: she needs to know what really happened to her father.
Mentor – Robert L. Freedman
Director – Ameenah Kaplan

ARC
By Elana Zeltser (age 16), Sherman Oaks, CA
Kacey doesn’t get why she needs to write a paper on Joan of Arc. What could this girl from a million years ago have to do with her? She just might find out, when Joan in her jail cell appears in Kacey’s bedroom.
Mentor – Kelly Miller
Director – Barbara Bain

 

WEEK FOUR June 21 – 24

BEAR IN MIND
By Emma Steinkellner (age 17), Santa Barbara, CA
Sometimes having a conscience can be a real bear. In Annie’s case it is literally a large British bear who wants her to become respectable. So naturally, she tries to get rid of him.
Mentor – Gary Tieche
Director – Jeff Maynard

ONE PLUS ONE IS FOUR
By Rachel Kaly (age 16), Forest Hills, NY
When a meteor is hurtling it way to earth, about to destroy all in half an hour, is it too late to look for love?
Mentor – Dave Holstein
Director – Warren Davis

THE CARDIOLUTHIER
By Dylan Zwickel (age 19), Manhattan Beach, CA
When your violin strings break, you see a Luthier to get them fixed. But where do you go when you break your heart strings?
Mentor – John Cariani
Director – Michael Matthews

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05-15-12