Childsplay Theatre announces the finalists for Write Now, a new play festival focused on developing new work for young audiences. The festival is being held March 16-19, 2017 in Tempe, Ariz. The 4 scripts were chosen from over 100 new play submissions.
Festival attendees will also experience a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see The Yellow Boat and hear from its original creative team: David Saar, Carol North, Judy Matetzschk-Campbell and Susan Zeder. To add to the weekend, a workshop led by Michael Rohd has just been announced. Rohd has worked around the nation to design and lead theatre-based community engaged, participatory projects and processes focused on social practice, civic practice and local capacity-building.
Childsplay is pleased to have chosen a wide range of scripts that touch on various topics relevant to young audiences today-from a quirky play about a 13 year old (and their parents) to a story for the very young “written” entirely in pictures.
The finalists will receive a weeklong workshop with teams of professional directors and dramaturges drawn from around the country. The works will then be presented in rehearsed readings at Write Now.
The four finalists and creative teams are:
By Gloria Bond Clunie
Director: Carol North (former Artistic Director, Metro Theatre)
Dramaturge: Graham Whitehead (former Artistic Director, Mermaid Theatre)
“He was like the sky, only nobody looked up!” Blu Peterson is an outrageously special, strong but fragile, brilliant, artistic teen! Everyday at school, he battles the bullying that threatens to turn his technicolor world gray. When his older brother Scott teams with friends to search for Blu’s missing journal, they discover clues that help them understand this extraordinary artist and are surprised to discover the important gift Blu has created for his family and community. Humor and tragedy weave a story of loss, love, friendship, and the persecution many young people collide with every day.
The Hero Twins: Blood Race
By Ramón Esquivel
Director: Courtney Sale (Artistic Director, Seattle Children’s Theatre)
Dramaturge: Christina Marín (Central Arizona College)
Competing in the ancient Blood Race, a stonecutter named Moth descends into the underworld to free her twin brother, Cricket, who is trapped there. To win the race, Moth must defeat the reigning champion, Jaguar, and overcome deadly obstacles. But the Blood Race is designed to give Jaguar many advantages, so Moth must rely on her intelligence and unconventional skills to defy the odds. When she learns the truth of the Blood Race and the society built upon it, Moth faces a choice: accept the way things are and have always been, or tear it all down and start anew. An original story inspired by Classic Mayan mythology, The Hero Twins: Blood Race employs parkour, freerunning, capoeira, and other martial arts and dance forms to weave a tale of determination, discovery, and liberation.
A Squirrel Boy, A Robot Cat, But Also Parents
By Jonathan Graham
Director: Nina Meehan(Artistic Director, Bay Area Children’s Theatre)
Dramaturge: Matthew Weiner (Actor’s Theatre Phoenix)
Max and Jane are both 13. There are things they’d rather not talk about-like weird living situations and unfortunate parents. But they both like to draw. And they kind of like each other, too. So that’s a start. This comic drama explores housing instability, absentee parents, substance abuse, friendship, and the power of making art in tough times.
My Name is Loofa Tutu
By Nicholas Kryah
Director: Annie Cusick Wood (former artistic director, Polka Theatre)
Dramaturge: Megan Alrutz (University of Texas at Austin)
“When you wake up in the dark, anything can happen.” Especially if you are Loofa Tutu. Her curiosity and hunger for adventure propel her into a mysterious realm where she discovers “X marks the spot.” But X is elusive. As Loofa pursues X, her journey takes her as far as the limitless reaches of outer space and as close as her own bedroom window.
Early bird registration for Write Now is open through Wednesday, February 15, 2017 at www.writenow.co.
Write Now is partially funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.
About Childsplay: Childsplay, Inc. is a nonprofit theatre company of professional, adult artists who perform for and teach young audiences and their families. The mission of Childsplay is “to create theatre so strikingly original in form, content or both, that it instills in young people an enduring awe, love and respect for the medium, thus preserving imagination and wonder, the hallmarks of childhood which are keys to the future.” For more information, visit www.childsplayaz.org.
About the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation: The mission of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation is to improve the quality of people’s lives through grants supporting the performing arts, environmental conservation, medical research and the prevention of child abuse, and through preservation of the cultural and environmental legacy of Doris Duke’s properties.