Earlier this winter Saranac Lake’s Pendragon Theatre once again rolled out the red carpet and offered free playwright workshops for students. These professionally run workshops helped students streamline their original submissions to the annual Young Playwright Festival. Through the Young Playwrights’ Festival, Pendragon Theatre is not only making the stage come alive for young adults, but their words as well.
“This year we offered writing workshops leading up to the Young Playwright Festival,” says Managing Director Tara Palen. “We thought it made more sense to help the students construct their submissions before the deadline.”
The free playwright contest was open to any middle or high school student within the Adirondack Park. Each one-act play had to be between 10 and 30 pages long with a three-play limit for individuals or teams.
The high school winner Adalyne Perryman with her entry Lilacs and middle school winner Maggie Goff with her entry Kate are currently working with Pendragon’s professional staff of directors, designers and actors to rewrite, develop and stage the script for a staged performance. The middle school runner-up, Dellice Chase’s The Story About the Not So Bad Wolf receives a staged reading. (Full disclosure: Dellice Chase is my daughter and I do a happy dance every time I think about this amazing opportunity to have her play read on stage.)
“Last year we had standing room only during the performances,” says Palen. “It was so nice to see so many families and members of the community. These are short, one-act plays with two live performances and staged readings. After we hold a reception with food and drink. Everything is free and open to everyone. It is always such a nice time.”
According to Palen another popular event at the theatre as been the Winter Readers’ Theatre, coordinate by Jordan Hornstein and Burdette Parks. The free series traces the history of theatre through comedy.
“We have two remaining readings The Country Wife on March 25 and A Flea in Her Ear on April 29,” says Palen. “It has been a great concept and really taken off. The concept for this Winter Readers Series kicked off when we asked our Patrons to attend readings this fall. We let the audience decide what would be our first show of our summer season and ART will open on May 28. It’s going to be a busy summer.”
With options for play readings, live performances, acting camps and playwright contests Pendragon Theatre continues to provide an intimate theatre experience with opportunities for children to gain professional theatre skills. The Young Playwrights’ Festival will be held on Saturday, April 2. For more information on that and other events, call Pendragon Theatre at 518-891-1854. Enjoy!