Winners of Capital Repertory Theatre Young Playwright Contest hit stage
The six winning plays in Capital Repertory Theatre’s second annual Young Playwright Contest cover a wide range of topics, from silly school tournaments to the struggles teens face on the road to self-discovery and acceptance.
Free performances of all six brief titles will be offered on four dates: 4 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 11; 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 12; 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 13; and 6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 14 at Capital Repertory Theatre, 111 N. Pearl Street, Albany, 518.445.7469, capitalrep.org.
Inspired by the real life, and death, of male-to-female transgender teen Leelah Alcorn, The Hottest Rain, written by Rensselaer Jr./Sr. High School senior Alexavier A. J. Kelley, tells the story of 17-year-old Rue—how will she deal with the intolerance thrust upon her?
Bethlehem High School senior, Brendan Kane, playwright of Zugzwang, brings us inside a fictitious contest, where many a student attempts to carry out a tournament themed prank. What happens when one is blamed for a caper he didn’t commit?
The Pen and the Sword—by Albany High School sophomore Cynthia Fowler—takes us into the life of Lenny, a senior fed up with the way students are crammed into overcrowded classrooms; tested to within an inch of their lives; and then sent home with mountains of homework, leaving no time to be a ‘kid.’ Lenny decides to protest in the only way she can, even if her actions result in serious consequences.
Sabrina Salam’s Flawed Perfection addresses an important conversation we should all be having. What hope is there in a world fraught with terrorism; where society is constantly fed lies; and many are led to believe the worst is always right around the corner? Perhaps if society acknowledges humanity’s inherent flaws and works with these imperfections, the future can still look bright. Salam is in eighth grade at Shaker Junior High.
Kübler-Ross, written by Shenendehowa High School senior Savannah McClendon is set in the aftermath of a suicide, where each character represents one of the five stages illustrated in the Kübler-Ross Grief Cycle. How will denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance interact?
Rounding out this year’s winning selections is Ten Ways to Save a Support Group by Jaimie Gaskell, who returns after having YAP’s Homeless Youth Hostel produced in theREP’s inaugural Young Playwright Contest. In Ten Ways, Maggie attempts to keep her lackluster support group for people with inconvenient curses running smoothly, finding it a next to impossible task.
All submissions were evaluated on creativity, dialogue, character development, plot structure and the inclusion of the line, “But, I’m running out of time … ”
The plays, directed by Margaret E. Hall and performed by theREP’s Summer Stage Young Acting Company, are professionally produced, with costumes, props and sets designed and built by theatre staff.
In addition to the staging of their work, the six winning playwrights received an exclusive mentorship with professional playwright Christina Gorman, a featured playwright in NEXT ACT! New Play Summit 4.
Contest winners and their respective schools can be found at capitalrep.org.