Friday, February 3, 2017

Pendragon Theatre’s Young Playwright Deadline Approaches

My family always feels so fortunate to be able to attend live theatre across the Adirondack Park. We’ve seen incredible shows at the professional stages of Saranac Lake’s Pendragon Theatre, Adirondack Lakes Theatre Festival, Westport’s Depot Theatre and ADK Shakes, to name a few. We’ve attended regional productions by Our Town Theatre Group, Community Theatre Players and Essex Theatre Company.

Each group provides a variety of wonderful experiences for children and community members to be part of the action, but Pendragon Theatre has a unique opportunity that fosters a different creative outlet.

Contestants for Pendragon Theatre’s Young and Young at Heart Playwright Festival are able to submit as many as three original one-act plays or musicals, 10-30 pages each. There is no set theme so each play is open to the creativity of the playwrights. People can work in teams as long as everyone involved fits the age requirements. Each script page must be numbered, printed on one side, and unbound with a cover page. Since the deadline is fast approaching email submissions are also accepted in PDF format.

Pendragon Theatre’s Young Playwright Festival is a free playwright contest for 7th, 8th and high-school age students residing in the Adirondack Park. For all those 65+ playwrights take note, this is the second year that Pendragon has opened its contest to all those “young at heart” as well. There will also be a free public performance of each winning play as well as public readings of the runners-up during its Young Playwright Festival May 6, 2017.

Festival winners are contacted in March and will work with a creative team to develop and stage the winning scripts for a live performance. An artistic team comprised of a director, dramaturg, designer and actors works with the winning playwrights to bring the script from paper to stage. All the rules and regulations are on the Pendragon Theatre website or call 518-891-1854 with any questions. The deadline for submission is February 15.

My children have submitted entries in the past. Neither one of them seems to hold a strong interest in a career on the stage, but they still enjoyed the process. Writing their contest entry enabled them to think about the actions and direction each character had to make to complete their story. It opened up conversations around our house and allowed each of them to tell a story in a different way. Good luck!

Photo of the Young Playwright Festival used with the permission of Diane Chase,

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Diane Chase is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities guidebook series, Adirondack Family Time. She writes about ways to foster imaginative play through fun-filled events and activities in the Adirondack region.

From her home in Saranac Lake, Diane also writes a weekly family-oriented newspaper column for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise and keeps her own blog Adirondack Family Time. Her writing and photography has appeared in numerous newspapers, magazines, marketing companies and advertising agencies.

She even finds time to assist her husband with Adirondack Expeditions guiding families and young adults in the High Peaks.

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