young playwrights festival

Sophia Chapadjiev, Director of Education

Employing the signature “O’Neill process,” the festival provides professional-level support to develop original one-act plays written by middle and high school students. With these methods, the young playwrights hone their work, furthering it from the initial isolation of writing to the collaborative process involved in making their script into a living, breathing play. Students receive a rigorous exploration of their work guided by professional artists as well as a script-in-hand public reading of their new play.

The 2020 Young Playwrights Festival has been moved online.

2020 overview


In light of the Young Playwrights Festival shifting online, we’ve sought new ways to support our fifteen young playwrights and their work in a digital manner so that the show goes on…line. We’ve extended the calendar for our festival, now taking place April 20-May 8, rather than over a single weekend. This model allows for us to spend more time with our playwrights and for our writers to have greater opportunity for gestation, reflection, and development. Our five Featured Playwrights each have a dedicated Mentor who will be meeting virtually with their playwright at least three times to offer developmental support, advice, and encouragement. Featured Playwrights will also receive individualized design consultations from YPF’s resident Dream Designer, Dahlia Al-Habieli. By the end of the Festival, each young playwright will have completed a rendering for their plays. These five playwrights will also get to hear their work come to life in their own Zoom reading performed by a team of actors (all who trained at the National Theater Institute). The 10 honorable mention Guest Playwrights will receive one-on-one mentoring meetings, group playwriting workshops, and dedicated design sessions. While this year’s YPF has taken on a new form, I am grateful for the technology that allows all of us to participate from the safety of our homes – team members are joining us from Pennsylvania; New York; Maine; Virginia; North Carolina; Washington, DC; Mississippi; New Mexico; and Connecticut – while meeting across time zones to support these burgeoning young playwrights and their fresh new works. Thank you, Sophia Chapadjiev YPF Director




director of education


Sophia Chapadjiev Sophia Chapadjiev is the Artistic Director of the Young Playwrights Festival and the O’Neill’s Director of Education. With nearly two decades of experience as an arts educator, Sophia has worked with a number of leading theater organizations in teaching students and teachers alike. Sophia is also a playwright and librettist whose work has been performed in New York, London, Toronto and Sydney. Her play, Over the Moon won Best Play, plus Audience Favorite at the American Globe Theater and In This House was selected as part of London’s inaugural Dark Horse Festival. Selected musical works of hers include: the one-act opera Aloha Flight 243 (music: A. Leyton-Brown) at HERE Arts Center, NY; Tobias Bentley’s World Cello Tour: of the Lesser-Known Nether Regions (music: N. Barstow) at The St. James (nka Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Other Palace), London; and the bijou opera, The Bone Keepers (music: C. O’Neil), a co-production of NYU and American Opera Projects which was highlighted in Broadway World’s opera review and described as “a kind of creep show meets Laverne and Shirley”. Sophia is also the author of Teaching Playwriting: A Step-by-Step Guide to Fostering Creativity in Your Classroom. BFA, Emerson; MFA, NYU's Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program.




advice to young playwrights


Dramatic writing is visual writing: A play is different from a novel or a short story in that it is meant to be performed. A playwright must always focus on what the stage will look like once it is live. This can be a point of real creativity: if you want to set it in a kitchen, set it in a kitchen. If you prefer the moon, set it on the moon. Drama is conflict: Somebody has a desire, and something stands in their way. It sounds vague, but it's the essence of drama. Don't over-explain: Once you lose an audience, it's almost impossible to get them back. So keep things going forward, and don't pause to explain. The audience may get confused, but a little confusion can be fun. And exposition is never dramatic. Strange events permit themselves the luxury of occurring: You've probably been exposed to Realism, with a big R. Realism was a movement that sought to represent "real life" on stage. When it debuted in the late 1800s, it caused riots. It's been the American formula for over 60 years. But... You don't have to follow that. You can have a hover-car chase, swap characters faces, and stage a gunfight in a field of pineapples. In fact, in Len Jenkin's Careless Love, all of that happens. If you have an idea, any idea, no matter how crazy it may seem, write it. Somebody will find a way to do it. Have fun: Writing a play is hard and it takes a lot of work. But seeing something you wrote live on the stage is unbelievably rewarding.




application


Applications are due Friday, February 7, 2020. Below is information about our application process. YOU ARE ELIGIBLE IF YOU:

  • are between the ages of 12-18
  • have written an original 10-15 page play
  • are interested in seeing a play of yours workshopped by professionals and presented at the world-renowned Eugene O’Neill Theater Center

TO APPLY: Download the application form [PDF] Print out TWO copies of your original script Mail your completed application and TWO copies of your play to:
Young Playwrights Festival
305 Great Neck Road
Waterford, CT 06385 NOTE:
  • Applications must be postmarked ON or BEFORE February 7, 2020.
  • Application materials will not be returned.
  • Plays will be selected on a competitive basis.
  • Only the work of those able to attend the entire Festival will be considered for inclusion.
  • The O'Neill does not provide housing or travel for festival attendees.
EARLY SUBMISSIONS ARE STRONGLY ENCOURAGED Questions? Please contact Sophia at sophia@theoneill.org





meet our 2020 playwrights

Julia Browning

Negative Space

Norwich Free Academy

Connecticut

Isabel Comas-Soares

The Speech

Robert E. Fitch High School

Connecticut

Anya Jiménez

Sneakers

Professional Performing Arts School

New York

Marlie Kass

The Stories of Myth

Brimmer & May School

Stefan Kuhn

Mrs. Witherbee and the Super Moles

Clark Lane Middle School

Massachusetts

Connecticut

2020 overview


In light of the Young Playwrights Festival shifting online, we’ve sought new ways to support our fifteen young playwrights and their work in a digital manner so that the show goes on…line. We’ve extended the calendar for our festival, now taking place April 20-May 8, rather than over a single weekend. This model allows for us to spend more time with our playwrights and for our writers to have greater opportunity for gestation, reflection, and development. Our five Featured Playwrights each have a dedicated Mentor who will be meeting virtually with their playwright at least three times to offer developmental support, advice, and encouragement. Featured Playwrights will also receive individualized design consultations from YPF’s resident Dream Designer, Dahlia Al-Habieli. By the end of the Festival, each young playwright will have completed a rendering for their plays. These five playwrights will also get to hear their work come to life in their own Zoom reading performed by a team of actors (all who trained at the National Theater Institute). The 10 honorable mention Guest Playwrights will receive one-on-one mentoring meetings, group playwriting workshops, and dedicated design sessions. While this year’s YPF has taken on a new form, I am grateful for the technology that allows all of us to participate from the safety of our homes – team members are joining us from Pennsylvania; New York; Maine; Virginia; North Carolina; Washington, DC; Mississippi; New Mexico; and Connecticut – while meeting across time zones to support these burgeoning young playwrights and their fresh new works. Thank you, Sophia Chapadjiev YPF Director




director of education


Sophia Chapadjiev Sophia Chapadjiev is the Artistic Director of the Young Playwrights Festival and the O’Neill’s Director of Education. With nearly two decades of experience as an arts educator, Sophia has worked with a number of leading theater organizations in teaching students and teachers alike. Sophia is also a playwright and librettist whose work has been performed in New York, London, Toronto and Sydney. Her play, Over the Moon won Best Play, plus Audience Favorite at the American Globe Theater and In This House was selected as part of London’s inaugural Dark Horse Festival. Selected musical works of hers include: the one-act opera Aloha Flight 243 (music: A. Leyton-Brown) at HERE Arts Center, NY; Tobias Bentley’s World Cello Tour: of the Lesser-Known Nether Regions (music: N. Barstow) at The St. James (nka Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Other Palace), London; and the bijou opera, The Bone Keepers (music: C. O’Neil), a co-production of NYU and American Opera Projects which was highlighted in Broadway World’s opera review and described as “a kind of creep show meets Laverne and Shirley”. Sophia is also the author of Teaching Playwriting: A Step-by-Step Guide to Fostering Creativity in Your Classroom. BFA, Emerson; MFA, NYU's Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program.




advice to young playwrights


Dramatic writing is visual writing: A play is different from a novel or a short story in that it is meant to be performed. A playwright must always focus on what the stage will look like once it is live. This can be a point of real creativity: if you want to set it in a kitchen, set it in a kitchen. If you prefer the moon, set it on the moon. Drama is conflict: Somebody has a desire, and something stands in their way. It sounds vague, but it's the essence of drama. Don't over-explain: Once you lose an audience, it's almost impossible to get them back. So keep things going forward, and don't pause to explain. The audience may get confused, but a little confusion can be fun. And exposition is never dramatic. Strange events permit themselves the luxury of occurring: You've probably been exposed to Realism, with a big R. Realism was a movement that sought to represent "real life" on stage. When it debuted in the late 1800s, it caused riots. It's been the American formula for over 60 years. But... You don't have to follow that. You can have a hover-car chase, swap characters faces, and stage a gunfight in a field of pineapples. In fact, in Len Jenkin's Careless Love, all of that happens. If you have an idea, any idea, no matter how crazy it may seem, write it. Somebody will find a way to do it. Have fun: Writing a play is hard and it takes a lot of work. But seeing something you wrote live on the stage is unbelievably rewarding.




application


Applications are due Friday, February 7, 2020. Below is information about our application process. YOU ARE ELIGIBLE IF YOU:

  • are between the ages of 12-18
  • have written an original 10-15 page play
  • are interested in seeing a play of yours workshopped by professionals and presented at the world-renowned Eugene O’Neill Theater Center

TO APPLY: Download the application form [PDF] Print out TWO copies of your original script Mail your completed application and TWO copies of your play to:
Young Playwrights Festival
305 Great Neck Road
Waterford, CT 06385 NOTE:
  • Applications must be postmarked ON or BEFORE February 7, 2020.
  • Application materials will not be returned.
  • Plays will be selected on a competitive basis.
  • Only the work of those able to attend the entire Festival will be considered for inclusion.
  • The O'Neill does not provide housing or travel for festival attendees.
EARLY SUBMISSIONS ARE STRONGLY ENCOURAGED Questions? Please contact Sophia at sophia@theoneill.org





Funding for the Young Playwrights Festival provided by: The Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut; CT Automotive Retailer's Association; Bodenwein Public Benevolent Foundation, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee; the Waterford Education Foundation; and O'Neill Annual Fund donors

C O N T A C T

Eugene O'Neill Theater Center

305 Great Neck Road

Waterford, CT 06385

Administrative Offices: (860) 443-5378

Email: theaterlives@theoneill.org

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