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Young playwrights take center stage in Actors’ Theatre New Voices series featuring high school talent
By Joey Yazell–
What started off as just a grade, turned into a highly anticipated production for eight high school students. The Actors Theatre Apprentice/Intern Company will be presenting an evening of eight ten minute plays written by local and regional highschool students.
The “New Voices Young Playwrights Festival” is a playwrighting competition held throughout Louisville and surrounding areas, including southern Indiana. With help from theater departments in local schools, over 500 students submited work. Submissions are open to students in the New Voices program and other independent writers. This years turnout comes from five regional schools in Jefferson County, Ky. and Floyd County, Ind.
The competition allows for young and undiscovered talent to be displayed in a very public way. “The New Voices Young Playwrights Festival allows them to do that. With the support of Actors Theatre, these students are able to see their own creativity come to life on the stage,” says Actors Theatre Artistic Director Mr. Les Waters.
“New Voices” is an educational program run by Steven Rahe through Actors Theatre. This program educates young students in high school about the basics of playwrighting and theatre. Over 600 students participated in this year’s program, but only eight have the opportunity to showcase their work.
The Cardinal was fortunate enough to sit down with one local named Chanze Castro from Valley Station.
This is the first play he’s ever written and it has been chosen as one of eight winners to become a fully produced ten minute play. His play “Cameron the Mango” is a metaphorical tale of one mango’s journey of leaving the tree, doing something different and standing out, while saving his generation and the ones to follow.
Chanze is a junior at Valley Traditonal High School and thanks his English teacher Mr. Keith Nixon for giving him the hope and motivation to write the play.
“My teacher said, ‘Let yourself be brilliant and just let whatever comes to mind come out on paper,’” said Castro.
The festival will be April 22 and April 23, both nights showing all eight plays. The plays include:
Postmortem Proposal by Bunny Buckalew (Floyd Central High School) Floyds Knobs, Ind.
Cameron the Mango by Chanze Castro (Valley Traditional High School) Louisville, Ky.
Is You Is or Is You Ain’t My Baby by Bonnie M. Hopkins (Floyd Central High School) Floyds Knobs, Ind.
Strangely Ever After by Christine Oser (Eastern High School) Louisville, Ky.
Battle of the Sugar Plums by Lily Payne (Floyd Central High School) Floyds Knobs, Ind.
Life From a Fish Bowl by Hannah Watkins (South Park TAPP) Louisville, Ky.
Please by Jennifer Winstead (Eastern High School) Louisville, Ky.
Paper or Plastic by Clare Wolz (Mercy Academy) Louisville, Ky.
Tickets to the New Voices Young Playwrights Festival are free by calling 502-584-1205.
Photo courtesy of Actors’ Theatre of Louisville