Tri-School Theatre students Kristyn Byrd, Julianne Holmquist and Brandon Martinez have had their plays selected for production with the Young Writers Project in Los Angeles.
The Young Writers Project began in 2001 as an opportunity for Theatre of NOTE to work with high school students on developing and producing theatre pieces. After teaching a workshop, they produce selected pieces performed and directed by professional Theatre of NOTE members. This project has premiered more than 50 plays, some of which have gone on to win awards at other festivals. The YWP offers a stipend to the finalists for use in furthering their education.
Tri-School Theatre became involved when we agreed to host a playwriting workshop this past January. Schools across Southern California did the same at their campuses. Students had a deadline of March 1st to submit their finished plays. The YWP chooses 5 plays to be produced, directed and acted by their professional Theatre Company. The student playwrights are invited to be a part of casting, rehearsals and performances. They will work closely with the director, actors and producers as their work is realized on the stage. After each performance, they will have the opportunity to discuss their creative process with the audience.
It is a great honor for these students to have been selected, and to have three students from one program accepted is remarkable. We were told when we hosted the workshop that there were no guarantees of anyone being accepted, and that they generally have chosen only one person from a school. We had three students attend the workshop, they all submitted plays, and all three were chosen to move on to the production phase.
Theatre of NOTE has an impressive history of presenting world premiere plays, many of them by Los Angeles based writers. Original works by local writers have received four Ovation Award 'Best Original Play' nominations, nine LA Weekly Theatre Award play writing nominations (including three wins), five Drama-logue award wins, along with recognition from the GLADD Awards, Garland Awards, and LA Scenies. One play by local writer Erik Patterson (who has participated in the YWP program several times) was a PEN Center USA Literary Award finalist.