Responsibility to the story is the thing. And the development of story-tellers for the future of the American Theater may be one of the most valuable educational programs that the Ensemble Theater Company can offer the Santa Barbara community.
ETC’s YOUNG PLAYWRIGHTS’ FESTIVAL is a 5-month-long program that gives young writers a safe and nurturing forum from which to create a 10-minute play which is subsequently produced and staged with professional directors and actors for public audiences.
The program, broken up into three phases, begins with a weekly course focusing the fundamentals of playwriting under the direction of Michael Bernard. At the completion of phase one, each playwright will have completed their first draft of a 10-minute play based on a pre-established theme. In the second phase of the program the student will refine his/her play under the tutelage of a professional playwright through a series of four private one-on-one sessions, ending with a final draft ready for the next phase of the program. In the third and final phase, the young playwright is paired with a team of local professional directors and actors who rehearse the play in preparation for a public staged reading on the ETC stage at the New Vic.
About the Instructor
Michael Bernard spent 10 years as the Associate Artistic Director of The 52nd Street Project, a nationally recognized theater company that creates original theater with kids from Hell’s Kitchen New York City and theater professionals. At the Project he taught playwriting and mentored hundreds of kids plays from ideas to production. He also taught playwriting in over 50 New York City High Schools as an Artist in Residence for the Manhattan Theater Club. As a writer Michael wrote the script for "Baseball Swing" at the Annenberg Performing Arts Center in Beverly Hills and his play "A-Li-En The Family" was featured in the 2014 LA SCI-FEST. He was also chosen to adapt two stories by Neil Gaiman for original productions in LA. In addition to a variety of television commercials Michael has also written for Disney, Nickelodeon, Henson Productions, Nick at Nite, DC Comics, Showtime, Spike TV, The Sundance Channel, Noggin, WE, MTV and VH1. He currently teaches theater at UCSB and SBCC.
The program will accept 20 students in grades 9-12 from Santa Barbara County. There is no previous experience necessary. Acceptance is based on the student’s application, teacher references and work samples. The group will be narrowed down to 12 students for the final two phases of the program (the one-on-one mentorship with a professional playwright and the production/performance phase). The 12 finalists will be selected by a committee and based on the quality of their 10-minute play. Deadline to apply is December 22, 2018. Notification of application results will happen on January 2, 2019.
- Tuition is $500 for Phase 1 (students selected to continue in the 2nd and 3rd phase of the program will do so at no additional cost)
- Scholarships are available. (see below)
- Thanks to the support of our sponsors this program is FREE to Santa Barbara Unified School District students.
|January–March||Phase 1: Fundamentals of Playwriting|
|April||Phase 2: One-on-One Sessions with professional playwrights|
|May||Phase 3: Casting and Rehearsals with theatre professionals|
|May 25-26||Public Staged-Readings|
"A More Perfect Union”
Although the phrase “a more perfect union” is best associated with its place in the preamble to the United States Constitution its use as a theme for our purposes can be expanded to include personal relationships, family unions, workers unions, balance, unity, etc. We encourage our writers to think outside the box and use this theme of “a more perfect union” as inspiration.
Download the Application
Apply Online for a Scholarship