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High School Playwrights Win Mentoring and Coaching Through National Discovery Competition

High School Playwrights Win Mentoring and Coaching Through National Discovery Competition

Nine high school playwrights from Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Texas have won The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ 2016 VSA Playwright Discovery Competition.

The budding professionals will take place in "a weekend of pre-professional activities at the Kennedy Center during the annual Page-to-Stage New Play Festival,” said The Kennedy Center in a release.

During these activities, the young playwrights will be coached and mentored as they begin their journey of pursuing careers in the arts.

Specifically, the competition asked students with or without disabilities to write plays focusing on the experiences of disabled individuals.

According to the release, the program "was begun in 1984 by Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith, and has continued annually since. This year’s recipients were chosen from more than 87 applications from across the U.S. Winners in the Primary Division (grades 6-7) and Junior Division (grades 8-9) will be announced at a later date."

"Through their personal experiences and observations, the depth of the disability experience shines in their works. We are proud to support the development of these young artists in helping shape the conversation and give voice to the importance of telling these stories,” said Betty Siegel, Director of VSA and Accessibility at the Kennedy Center in a release.

For individuals interested in applying or encouraging students to apply for next year, VSA offers free resources to help guide the playwrighting process. Those resources can be found here. 

The program is in part funded by the U.S. Department of Education although the Kennedy Center points out that a grant from the Department does not necessarily indicate endorsement.

Read more about the program here.

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor


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