TADA!, the 17-year-old non-profit organization responsible for producing original musical theatre performed by children, has announced the winners of its Eight Annual Playwriting Competition of one-act plays and musicals to be produced as part of TADA!'s "Spring Staged Reading Series" and "New Play Project." The three plays to receive staged readings are Souvenir Summer by Danna Keiter; Marching On High by Robin Rice Lichtig; and Hang Time, by Stephanie Canciello. Souvenir shows a 13 year-old girl coping with her parents' divorce and will play March 16 and 17. High pits a homeless teen poet against a perfectionist flag girl from New Jersey; Hang Time shows the reactions of teens waiting for results at an HIV testing clinic. Both works will be read March 16 & 18.
The Grand Prize winner, by Doug Cooney, is The Beloved Dearly, a dark comedy about 12-year-old Earnie's booming pet funeral business. That show will be fully staged April 11-20.
Tickets are free to the readings and ($4-$7) for The Beloved Dearly. All performances are followed by an open discussion with the audience, the playwright, the director and the actors. For information on the Free Spring Staged Reading Series and New Play Project at TADA!, 120 West 28th St., call (212) 627-1732.
In a time when it has become increasingly difficult to obtain corporate or government funds, TADA! was awarded a major Grant from David & Minnie Berk Foundation to produce its "Script Marketing Project." With this special project, a catalogue of TADA!'s original scripts and scores will be published as well as distributed to theatres, schools, camps and other organizations. Playwrights and composers/lyricists will be able to have their works exposed to a much larger audience and possibly ensure a continuing source of income.
Winning plays from the Playwriting Competition may also be eligible for publication (and royalties for the writer) in the "Script Marketing Project" described above. --By David Lefkowitz