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California Young Playwrights Contest

On November 5th, 2011 the Playwrights Project,

Program Director and Producer Chelsea Whitmore with young playwright winners, Caleb Roitz, Nachi Baru, Matthew Maceda and Eric Pak and Kira Nolan.

Program Director and Producer Chelsea Whitmore with Recollections playwrights: Savannah Sincoff, June Gottleib and John Whitmore.

a program dedicated to advance literacy, creativity, and communication by empowering individuals to voice their stories through playwriting, awarded four playwrights for their amazing work in the annual California Young Playwrights Contest. Awards were given to four playwrights for their participation in the new program Recollection, for ages fifty five and up to share the experiences of their lives in a more dramatic fashion. The winners for the California Young Playwrights Contest and Recollections will have their plays performed at Plays by Young Writers at the Lyceum Theater from April 20th to 29th in the upcoming spring. The two main winners of the California Young Playwrights Contest were Nachi Baru, age 15, with American Idyll, and Caleb Roitz, age 18, with Hallowed. American Idyll was inspired from Baru’s anger towards obsession with reality television and wanted to emphasize the importance of literature. This is Baru’s third win in this program, progressing from when he was in fourth grade with stories about animals to the decay of modern culture. Roitz, who is also a returning winner, won with his emotional story Hallowed, which analyzes a man’s life through encounters with different groups of people. Roitz has been a crowd favorite before with his win the previous year, producing thoughtful and intriguing work that shows lots of potential for a career in theater. Two additional plays were also awarded with staged readings. From Underdog to Top Rhino was written by Matthew Maceda, age 12, and Eric Pak, age 11. The two young writers begun this story in class and not only produced a creative and imaginative story but it also was the beginning of a close friendship. Kira Nolan, age 12, additionally won with her play The Eccentric Flight of a Fly, which was inspired by her accidentally swallowing a fly. Recollections produced a batch of well written plays as well. Let’s Have Drinks, written by Savannah Sincoff, reviews two long lost friends’ memories on losing their virginity in a comedic style. June Gottleib’s Changing Roles & My Year of Being Alone made the audience teary from the description as a play about the loss of her spouse from Alzheimer’s disease. Wahoo by Les (Topper) Birdsall is about a young boy during The Great Depression working with his inattentive father at a Christmas tree lot. Last, but definitely not least was John Whitmore’s Childbirth the Musical about the conception and birth of a child. Near the conclusion of the ceremony, the fourth annual Deborah Salzer Excellence in Arts Education Award was given to Martin Benson, cofounder artistic director at South Coast Repertory in Orange County. In honor of his accomplishments a staged reading of The Martin was performed to review his helpfulness he has provided over the years. Overall the evening was a wonderful representation about what the Playwright Project is all about.

All photos by Reminisce Photography and Design


Beeb Salzer, Pat Launer (host), Deborah Salzer and Martin Benson, winner of 4th Annual Deborah Salzer Excellence in Arts Education Award.

ArtsNFashion Magazine Winter Issue 2011  

The arts can be an extraordinary vehicle for education and multi-cultural understanding, as well as a source of beauty and inspiration. Cove...

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