Wednesday, October 24, 2018

The Theater Project’s 17th Annual Young Playwrights Competition Accepts Entries Now Through January 21, 2019

clip_image002[6]Young Playwrights Competition

WHEN: Submission deadline January 21, 2019
WHO:  NJ high school students
INFO:, 908 809-8865

The Theater Project is once again reaching out to creative young people in its 17th annual Young Playwrights Competition. Winners receive cash prizes and see their work performed by professional actors at the awards ceremony in March of 2019. (Above: Theater Project actors perform a scene from Therapy, one of the winning entries)

“We look forward to inspiring and being inspired,” says artistic director Mark Spina. “Every year, we are energized by the incredible talent and creativity in the entries, and every year we hope to inspire more young people to write and exercise their creativity by providing a showcase for their work.”

On the day of the ceremony, the judges and members of The Theater Project’s Adult Playwrights Workshop also offer half-hour tutorials to any interested contest entrant. Several past winners of the Playwrights Competition have gone on to pursue degrees in theater and playwriting, and they often return to The Theater Project’s event to present prizes and share their journeys with the newest honorees.

“We want to make sure that kids know their creative efforts are valued by showcasing them for the community,” says program coordinator Kevin Carver. “In tough economic times, arts education sometimes gets short-changed as people struggle to make ends meet and schools see their budgets shrink. But when kids lose out on arts experiences, they miss opportunities to develop critical thinking and reading skills that are needed now more than ever.” [Below: actor Deb Maclean; 2018 Prize winners Jacqueline Acunto (holding sign), then Madison Kartoz, Kianni Keys, and Annabelle Roses.]

clip_image002In last year’s contest, twelve young people were honored in the March 2018 awards ceremony:

First Prize: Madison Kartoz, West Windsor Plainsboro High School South

Second Prize: Jacqueline Acunto, Bergen County Academies

Third Prize (Tie): Kianni Keys, Newark Academy
                         Annabelle Roses, Columbia High School

Honorable Mentions:

Amira Cooper                       Union County Academy for Performing Arts

Estefany Garcia                    Thomas Jefferson Arts Academy

Julia Huston                         Bergen County Academies

Kat Newcombe                     Union County Academy for Performing Arts

Victoria Tonstad                   Union County Academy for Performing Arts

Henry Zeigerson                  Union County Academy for Performing Arts

Joyce Zheng                         Bergen County Academies

The submission deadline is January 21, 2019. New Jersey’s high school playwrights submit their short plays at website, where they will find all the necessary entry guidelines and formatting rules.

The Theater Project is an award-winning professional company in residence at The Burgdorff Cultural Center in Maplewood, NJ. The company also offers events in Cranford, Rahway and Union.