DTF Celebrates Young Playwrights
Dorset Theatre Festival provides opportunities for regional middle and high school students to learn about playwrighting and create a play of their own through its Jean E. Miller Young Playwrights Competition. A public reading of this year’s winning works will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday, September 29, at the Dorset Playhouse, 104 Cheney Road, Dorset. The event is free and open to the public; no ticket is required. The Competition is an annual collaboration between Dorset Theatre Festival and local schools. Each spring, a visiting playwright and Bennington College mentors teach a series of playwrighting workshops at participating schools, after which students are invited to submit a short play for adjudication by a panel of nationally recognized playwrights. Winners are chosen in autumn, and their works are then given a public reading onstage at the Festival. Eight Vermont schools participated in this year’s workshops, from which 75 plays were submitted to panel of ten judges. Winners for this year’s competition were ‘For the Greater Good’ by Will Koch of Stratton Mountain School; ‘How to Write an Essay’ by Gracie Smith of Arlington Memorial School; ‘Drama Skit’ by Rudy Senecal of Burr and Burton Academy, and ‘The Blackmail’ by George Zilkha of Maple Street School.
Gandiello, a playwright, screenwriter and teaching artist, stated “Every class I visited was bursting with imagination, enthusiasm, and curiosity. My favorite moment in each of these classes is when a student realized that these worlds and stories were theirs; the choices for what should happen and how were entirely up to them. Engaging students with the arts encourages them to find their own voices, and to explore the world around them and empathize with others in new ways.” For more information, visit dorsettheatrefestival.org.