EAST LANSING, Mich. — Six original one-act plays by some of mid-Michigan’s top high school playwrights are being recognized as finalists in this year’s 23rd Annual Young Playwrights Festival. The plays will premiere on Wharton Center’s Pasant stage on Saturday, May 11, at 2:00p.m. This event is FREE and open to the public with first come, first served seating.
This year, more than 100 Michigan high school students submitted plays to be considered for the annual award. Six finalists were chosen and their plays are being produced by students in the MSU Department of Theatre. Each playwright was also matched with a theatre professional who is mentoring the student to help strengthen their play and create a final audience-ready version.
This year’s mentors include:
- Jan Akers – Emory University, professor of theatre and director
- Joseph Giardiana – New York City-based theatre artist
- Elizabeth Wong – Los Angeles-based playwright and screenwriter
- Emily Kohring – St. Louis-based theatre artist
- Thomas Cote – The Workshop Theatre in New York City, artistic director
- Eric Gilde – New York City-based actor and writer
Three-time Young Playwrights Festival winner, Hanel Baveja, said, “To be that age and have such professional treatment of your words and a professional venue for your performance is the most affirming thing possible for someone who sees a career in writing.”
The 2019 Young Playwrights finalists are:
Name School Teacher Script Title
Josie Leydenfrost Pioneer High School Alex Leydenfrost Last Letters From Home
Michael Muston Lapeer High School Dawn Summerlee Flickering Streetlight Hanging Somewhere Below Canal Street
Caitlin Wilcoxen Williamston High School Erika Williams Cause of Death
Alexa Collins Grosse Pointe South Harry Campion The Upside of Going Down
Audrey Tieman Haslett High School Rebecca Kipp A Note from the Author
Kate Stacey Haslett High School Rob Porritt Closure
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