The 2nd Annual Young Playwrights Festival
Saturday, May 25, 2019; 7:00 pm
Ensemble Theatre Company is proud to present its 2nd annual Young Playwrights' Festival—a theatrical evening of staged readings of plays written by local Santa Barbara high school students.
Any investor knows that a robust future grows from seeds planted today. That lesson isn’t lost on ETC, whose Young Playwrights' Festival (YPF) will feature professional actors in staged readings of six 10-minute plays written by high school playwrights and inspired by the theme: A more perfect union.
“The only creative limits are what the students impose on themselves,” says Education Director Brian McDonald. “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 this year’s festival has inspired stories that focus on marriage, addiction, loss, time-travel, relationships, balance and unity.”
The 5 month-long program takes inspiration from Stephen Sondheim’s Young Playwrights’ Inc., in working to encourage the creative self-expression of young artists. Beginning with an 8-week course in the fundamentals of playwriting, students develop a 10-minute play which is refined under the mentorship of professional playwrights culminating with public readings with local actors. The effort is a true exercise in community engagement, education and development.
It’s an alliance that yields rewards for all involved: “What I love about creating theater with young people is that I learn as much from them as they do from me,” says YPF instructor Michael Bernard. “Their passion and enthusiasm for self-expression is infectious. Some of the most exciting and unusual plays I have ever seen have sprung from the mind of a teenager.”
The Festival of readings will feature works by Gabriella Crisa (San Marcos High School), Beau Glazier (Laguna Blanca), Morgan Johnson (Santa Barbara High School), Amanda Lennon (SBCC), Rachel Rose (San Marcos High School) and Grace Wenzel (Santa Barbara High School).
Thank you to our education sponsors who helped make this program possible.
The Léni Fund
Sara Miller McCune
John C. Mithun and Mercedes Millington
The Towbes Foundation